Since they debuted in January of this year, The Hive’s cinnamon rolls have become a huge hit in Hoboken (seriously, we’re talking lines out the door) — and all for good reason. When The Hive first released these delicious treats, they sold out just 30 minutes after the shop opened. Now, cinnamon roll weekends are officially back at The Hive — and the team has upgraded from their once tiny oven to help meet the high demand, which means those out-the-door lines now move much faster. What’s more, there’s also a brand new fall flavor: pumpkin space. In honor of National Cinnamon Roll Day, The Hoboken Girl chatted with the team at The Hive to learn more about how these cinnamon rolls are made as well as what to expect this fall and winter. Plus, we got to hear all about how The Hive is celebrating National Cinnamon Roll Day today (and yes, it includes special Tuesday cinnamon rolls + even a giveaway). Read on for our exclusive profile on the homemade cinnamon rolls sold at The Hive.
(Photo credits: @hellofromthehive)
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 told Hoboken Girl. “We finally had the time and bandwidth to take it on… and I think we nailed it.”
(Photo credits: @linksbypia)
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 said.
Once the summer hit, the team decided to sell the cinnamon rolls only on Fridays, since so many people were down the shore for the weekends.
“Every cinnamon roll is handmade and baked fresh the morning we serve them, and not only that, they’re incredibly laborious to produce,” Catherine + Kristin told HG. “Whatever we don’t sell that morning, we can’t save for another day, so knowing how many people leave for the beach or for weekends away during the warmer months, we decided to shift from Saturdays and Sundays to Fridays between July 4th and Labor Day.”
Now that chillier weather is here, so are cinnamon roll weekends — which were always part of the plan. The response, unsurprisingly, has been super positive.
“Customers have been so pumped to have them back at the weekends!” Catherine + Kristin said. “There’s something so comforting about a fresh-out-the-oven, homemade cinnamon roll (with none of the effort to make them!).”
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 crank out as many rolls as they can 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.
(Photo credits: @sarahbethmontes)
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 said 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!!!”
A New Fall Flavor — And National Cinnamon Roll Day
^Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Roll
(Photo credits: @_littlemissfoodie)
The Hive officially launched its new fall flavor as of October 1st, and it’s a classic: pumpkin spice.
“We plan on releasing seasonal flavors throughout the fall and into winter, so follow along on Instagram for all the updates!” The Hive told Hoboken Girl. “Our first new flavor is Pumpkin Spice, and given the response we’ve had so far from previews with friends, these are going to be insanely popular.”
Catherine + Kristin added that these cinnamon rolls are still being sold on a first-come, first-served basis — starting at 8AM. But luckily, they now have improved oven space to help crank out these rolls much faster than when they first launched.
As for National Cinnamon Roll Day, which is October 4th: “We’re baking buns throughout the day, starting at 8AM, then again around midday, and 3PM, and will have some surprise giveaways to share. We’re also including our newest seasonal flavor, Pumpkin Spice, in the mix, so if you’ve been craving a hit of fall, this is it.”
The cinnamon rolls are now once again being sold every Saturday and Sunday until the rolls are sold out, which can typically happen pretty quickly. “It’s nuts,” Catherine said. “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.
Stay in the know for The Hive’s latest news and upcoming seasonal flavors by following the shop on Instagram.