The Hive’s newly launched cinnamon rolls have become a huge hit in Hoboken, so much so that they’ve been selling out 30 minutes after the shop opens. What makes them so good? The Hoboken Girl has the inside scoop on how the fluffy sweet treats are made. Read on for our exclusive profile on the homemade cinnamon rolls sold at The Hive.
Story Behind the Rolls
The Hive, founded by Kristin Karotkin and Catherine Willhoit, opened in November 2020. What makes it unique is that it’s more than a coffee shop – it’s a hub for parents to bring kids to play while moms and dads enjoy coffee and baked goods. There’s also a mini-market stocked with mostly local goods.
In the beginning, the founders knew they wanted to launch cinnamon rolls eventually but due to lack of time, it wasn’t possible. Fast-forward to January 2022 and Kristin and Catherine were finally able to bring their vision to life.
“I grew up in NJ and always went to Cinnabon at the mall and [Kristin and I] wanted something that people wouldn’t necessarily make themselves at home. We wanted to just do a big, very fluffy, delicious, gooey cinnamon roll,” co-founder Catherine tells Hoboken Girl. “We finally had the time and bandwidth to take it on…and I think we nailed it.”
The founders decided to exclusively sell the cinnamon rolls on the weekends. And, it was a launch to remember. “We launched during the snowstorm and people were waiting outside in the snow. There was a line all the way down the block in the crispy, cold freezing air,” Catherine says.
The Baking Process
The cinnamon rolls are a Hive original, with the recipe being something the founders tweaked many times (12 rounds to be exact) and tried different frostings to get the desired outcome. The end goal was for the rolls to be big, fluffy, and densely flavored. Making the rolls is not an easy process — in fact, it’s very laborious, but still made with “heaps of love and patience.” The hard-working moms aim to make 100 rolls each Saturday and Sunday.
What are the secret ingredients? For one, the big secret is…bread flour. Kristin and Catherine use bread flour because it makes the buns “pillowy soft,” rather than using all-purpose flour. Then there are the basic eggs, butter, and sugar that go into the dough. The filling consists of brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter and plenty of it. Finally, the frosting calls for cream cheese — balancing the sweet and tangy taste — plus a little butter and powdered sugar.
Catherine describes the baking process as: “Roll the dough, make the filling, make the frosting, make the actual dough. Our finishing trick is pouring a little bit of warmed half-and-half over the dough before the rolls go into the oven and that helps brown the tops and make them a little bit of a crunch. The dough has two rises. Once you’ve actually made the dough, it rises for about one-and-a-half to two hours and doubles in size. Then, you divide it into some balls that you then roll out and spread with filling, and then you roll them up to that beautiful cinnamon roll. Slice them up, and then those go into the fridge overnight. The morning of, we let them rise again, come to room temperature, and that’s the second rise. Finally, we add the frosting to make the cinnamon roll complete.”
All About the Craze
The cinnamon rolls’ popularity stemmed from The Hive’s Instagram account. After posting a reel before launching the sweet desserts, the reel alone garnered 12,000 views (click here to watch). Catherine also says food influencers and The Hive’s usual customers helped spread the word by posting on their social media accounts.
Lucky customers who got to try the treat firsthand have been raving. Some customer comments: “Cinnabon could never.” “This is the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten.” “These are 1000 percent worth the wait.” “They are without a doubt, hands down the BEST cinnamon rolls I’ve ever consumed. Unreal!!!”
Try Them for Yourself
The cinnamon rolls cost $8 each and are sold every Saturday and Sunday until the rolls are sold out, which is usually within 30 to 45 minutes. “It’s nuts,” Catherine says. “People have waited around for them. Some people will place their order as soon as we open at 8AM and then come back once the rolls are ready at 9AM.”
The orders must be placed in the store at 1000 Park Avenue, Hoboken. If the buns are sold out, Catherine recommends some of The Hive’s other favorites, including hot chocolate bombs and homemade cookies including s’mores, brownie butter, chocolate chip, and confetti.
The founders recommend getting the rolls while they’re hot. “We’re going to see how long the wave is. I think as soon as people start to tire from these then we’ll probably scale back but for now, we’re going to do them Saturdays and Sundays probably through the end of March, and then reassess what to do. This might just be a winter treat.”
To stay in the know for The Hive’s latest news, including more upcoming girls’ night out events, be sure to follow the coffee shop on Instagram.