Wow, this is the one.
I’ve eaten a lot of cinnamon rolls from a lot of bakeries, and most are simply average. Not this one. This one is different. This one is something special.
The cinnamon roll from Detour Bakery brings together excellence in bread, inter-swirl filling, and frosting.
The frosted cinnamon roll from Detour Bakery in Denver, Colorado.
The bread was perfectly done throughout. There were no under-baked spots, the crust was golden and tender, and the flavor and texture were like a nice white dinner roll. It was moist and yeasty (a good thing!) while still being fluffy.
The inter-swirl filling is where a lot of rolls fall off the rails, but not this one. The cinnamon and sweetness were well-balanced, and the filling was neither too dry nor overly moist. so the cinnamon stuck to the bread without turning the bread gooey.
Up on top was a dollop of frosting. Nice texture, no strange after-tastes, and complementary to the flavor of the bread and cinnamon. On the spectrum of frosting flavors, I thought it fell more towards buttercream than cream-cheese.
Overall, a very well executed cinnamon roll.
This might be my new favorite. At the very least, it’s much more accessible than my previous favorite up on the Alaska Highway in British Columbia. It’s worth a detour.
An easy 10/10
Where to get it:
1479 S Holly St
Nestled at the foot of Mt. Evans, location of the highest paved road in North America, there is a a log-construction building surrounded by natural beauty. Pine trees in the adjacent wilderness make the air sweet, and the 10,600 ft elevation and nearby lake ensure that the breeze stays cool even in the brilliant sun. The Echo Lake Lodge acts as meeting point, gift shop, and restaurant for cyclists and drivers heading up Mt. Evans or exploring the woods. And they sell cinnamon rolls.
Cinnamon roll from Echo Lake Lodge near Mt. Evans in Colorado
My roll came out of the oven only two hours before I sampled it. The flavor of the roll was well-balanced. Not too sweet, not too cinnamon-y. The bread had hints of milk and yeast, also quite pleasant. The icing tasted quite natural and neutral with perhaps a hint of buttercream and vanilla; I’d be shocked if it was anything except homemade.
Unfortunately, the roll was somewhat under-baked. Where it was properly done, it was excellent, but there were many spots in the interior that were only raw, chewy dough.
The underbaked spots took away from the roll so much that I have to rate it 6/10. If the roll had been fully baked, it would have easily been a 9/10.
Where to get it:
Echo Lake Lodge
13264 Chicago Creek Rd
Idaho Springs, CO
Just outside of Boulder, Colorado, along the beautiful Peak to Peak Highway, there is a town called Nederland. The air is refreshingly crisp at 8,300 ft in elevation, and every March you can celebrate Frozen Dead Guy Days with the jovial townspeople. Not there in March? Then perhaps you can celebrate with a cinnamon roll from the New Moon Bakery and Cafe.
Cinnamon roll from the New Moon Bakery and Cafe in Nederland, Colorado
I got a cinnamon roll at New Moon based on an earlier experience with their muffins. Although I wouldn’t consider myself a muffin connoisseur, I have to say that the blueberry muffin I had at New Moon might be the best I’ve ever eaten, anywhere. I had high hopes for their cinnamon roll.
Sadly, the roll was… OK, I guess. Not great, not awful. The flavor was well-balanced. Not too much cinnamon, not too much sugar, and neither of them overpowering the flavor of the bread. The icing was fine.
What I noticed more than the flavor was the texture. The interior was doughy, in a “Is this underbaked?” sort of way. As a result, the bread was chewy and dense rather than light and airy. Not sure what happened there, but it’s possible that the butter used for the cinnamon seeped into the bread and altered the bread’s texture as it cooled. The roll was purchased in the late morning, so perhaps it would have been better earlier.
In short, a decent cinnamon roll, but I’d recommend going for their muffins instead. 7/10
Where to get it:
New Moon Bakery & Cafe
1 West 1st St.
Nederland, CO 80466