Lockdown baking is definitely a thing. In 2020 we saw supermarket shelves stripped of flour, yeast, packet cake and bread mixes, due to the inordinate number of people getting their bake-on. Cue a deluge of homemade sourdough loaf pics on social media.
Fast forward to now and home baking shows no sign of slowing down, but this time around cinnamon scrolls may be the new sourdough, according to our sources.
Of course you can make them from scratch, but a packet mix seems far more convenient. So Fiona Mair, CHOICE home economist, has put the cinnamon scroll offerings from well-known brands Greens and White Wings to the test, to see which is best.
We put cinnamon scroll packet mixes from Green's and White Wings in a head to head.
At first glance they appear remarkably similar, but a look at the ingredients and method suggests they'll likely turn out a little differently.
"The White Wings scrolls recipe is more traditional," says Fiona, "in that it contains yeast and you need to allow the dough to rest before baking." You're also required to add an egg.
"The Green's scroll recipe, on the other hand, is similar to that for scones, with the only added ingredients being butter and milk," she says.
How much do they cost?
A pack of Green's Temptations Cinnamon Scroll costs $4 and makes nine scrolls. A pack of White Wings Crafted Cinnamon Scrolls, which also makes nine scrolls, is more expensive at $6.
But when you're looking at cost, you also need to factor in the ingredients you have to supply yourself to make them. And White Wings requires more extra ingredients (1 egg, 120g butter and 120mL milk) than Green's (60g butter, a little more than 200mL milk).
As a result, the Green's scrolls end up costing $4.86 for nine, or $0.54 per scroll. Whereas the White Wings scrolls are $7.66 for nine, or $0.85 per scroll.
Green's: 10–12 mins
White Wings: 25–30mins plus two hours' rest time
"Green's instructions are easy to follow, and the scrolls are easy to prepare," says Fiona. "The only difficulty is rolling out the dough to the correct size and cutting them evenly. But if you're going for the homemade look, that really doesn't matter."
White Wings scrolls, while still fairly easy to prepare, take a bit more time and effort.
"There are a lot of steps to follow, and extra effort is required kneading the dough by hand for eight minutes, making sure the dough is not too sticky or too dry," says Fiona.
"This may be a little difficult if you haven't any experience in yeast doughs. And rolling out the dough to the correct size and cutting them evenly can be tricky.
"These cinnamon scrolls aren't something you can quickly whip up if you're having guests over. However, if you're organised you can prepare them ahead of time and refrigerate overnight so they're ready for baking the next day."
Ease of use score
(Includes scores for ease of following the recipe and ease of preparing the scrolls):
White Wings: 80%
Both recipes performed well, according to Fiona. The resulting scrolls had fairly evenly risen shapes, with golden brown tops and bases, although the White Wings scrolls rose slightly higher than the Green's and had a firmer base. They both had a tender, melt-in-the-mouth crumb, weren't too sweet and had just the right amount of cinnamon.
But there were some differences.
"The Green's scrolls have a scone/soft biscuit texture, with a slightly buttery flavour," says Fiona.
As for the White Wings scrolls, "They have a soft crumb similar to a sweet bread, and their mouth feel and slightly yeasty flavour is more authentic," she says.
"The scroll layers are easy to unravel for both products," she warns.
(Includes scores for appearance, texture, flavour):
White Wings: 87%
The finished product: Green's (left) and White Wings.
Overall, Fiona was impressed with both of these products, which is reflected in their overall scores. They were fairly evenly matched, with White Wings scrolls narrowly taking victory over Green's in this head-to-head bake-off.
"The White Wings product requires a bit more time and effort – although if you're organised you can start preparing them the day before you want to eat them – however, it's a more authentic cinnamon scroll recipe," says Fiona.
They were fairly evenly matched, with White Wings scrolls narrowly taking victory over Green's in this head-to-head bake-off
On the other hand, she says "The Green's scrolls have a relatively quick preparation time, so are ideal if you need to make something at the last minute for unexpected guests."
(60% performance, 40% ease of use):
White Wings: 84%
OK so it's hardly a spoiler alert to point out that cinnamon scrolls fall into the category of comfort food rather than health food. But if you're tempted to reach for a second scrumptious scroll in a single sitting perhaps digest the following details first.
If prepared as directed, each scroll has:
- 1220kJ (Green's) or 1350kJ (White Wings), which is about 14–16% of the kilojoules an average Australian adult needs a day
- 20.1g (Green's) or 22.8g (White Wings) sugar – about 5–6 teaspoons.