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Coping with COVID-19 with cinnamon oatcake rolls

Updated: Mar 24, 2020

As the world comes to grips with the realities of the global pandemic we are facing, we are needing to adjust to a new sense of normal. Since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020 terms like "social distancing", "self isolation" and "quarantine" have become part of our daily vocabulary as people across the globe try to flatten the curve of this virus. During these uncertain times many of us are looking for new ways to stay positive while being cooped up at home. My distraction of choice is baking, apparently a popular choice in Germany as many grocery stores are having difficulty keeping baking supplies on shelves.

I won't lie, it's hard to be so far from home during a time like this. Living through this crisis in a foreign country feels a lot like living in a bubble. Our social media feeds and usual news sources have kept us informed and up-to-date on the current situation in Canada, but we feel out of touch with those right outside our door. We can no longer stroll the streets of our new home, we can no longer have beers and chat with our favourite pub owners and we can no longer spend time with our friends in Freiburg.

So, I bake. And eat. And bake some more.

What are you doing to stay positive and keep busy during these weird times? Let me know in the comments - we're in this together!

These rolls are the perfect combination of two of my favourite quintessential Nova Scotia treats: cinnamon rolls and oat cakes. Enjoy!

Wash your hands!

I mean personal hygiene should be a part of everybody's normal routine, but it's doubly important now to wash your hands with warm soapy water for a minimum of 20 seconds.

Form the dough

Heat milk in a saucepan over the stove until it is slightly warmer than your body temperature. Pour milk into a large bowl and add yeast. Let the yeast proof for 3-5 minutes or until it takes on a frothy appearance. Add egg, white sugar, melted butter and salt and stir until combined.

Add flour and rolled oats and stir until ingredients are well incorporated. The dough should be slightly sticky but easy to handle. If your dough is too sticky add more flour or oats. I added about an extra half cup of oats before my dough was firm enough to handle.

Knead your dough for 5-7 minutes with lightly floured hands. Form the dough into a ball and place back into the bowl. Cover and let dough rest for about an hour, the dough will likely only rise slightly.

Make the filling

In a small bowl combine brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla sugar. I use vanilla sugar because it is really difficult to find liquid vanilla here and it's expensive to buy. Vanilla sugar seems to be the norm for German home baking.

Roll the dough into a rectangle on a floured surface. Mind the edges as they may begin to crumble - when this happens just apply more pressure to the edges. Careful not to make the dough too thin or you you will have trouble when it comes time to form your dough log.

Brush the dough with melted butter. If you're using liquid vanilla add it to the butter just before brushing on the dough. Coat the buttered dough in the cinnamon/brown sugar mixture.


First, preheat the oven to 350 F. Starting at the long edge of your dough fold it in on itself and roll upwards to form a log. To get a nice, clean edge on my cinnamon rolls I like to use dental floss to cut the dough. Slip the dental floss under the log, about 1.5 inches from the end, and cinch the dental floss. Coat the bottom of your pan with melted butter or cooking spray. Place rolls in the pan, giving them enough space to grow slightly while they bake.


Bake the rolls for about 20 minutes or until they are golden brown. Remove them from the oven, let cool slightly and enjoy while they are warm!


Prep-time: 2 hours | Cook-time: 20 minutes | Clean-up time: 20 minutes | Yields: 8 rolls

These quantities are for a half batch - my German oven is oh-so tiny. Double quantities to make a full batch - you'l be glad you did.



  • 1/2 cup of warm milk

  • 1 and 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

  • 1/4 cup melted butter

  • 1/4 cup white sugar

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 egg

  • 2 cups of oat flour (or all purpose flour)

  • 1/2 cup of rolled oats


  • 1/4 cup melted butter

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • 2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla sugar (if you're using liquid vanilla add to the melted butter)


  • To make dough combine milk and yeast in a large bowl and let sit for 3-5 minutes

  • Add melted butter, white sugar, salt, egg and mix

  • Add flour and rolled oats, adding more if dough is too sticky

  • Once ingredients are incorporated knead for 5-7 minutes with lightly floured hands

  • Form dough into a ball and place back in bowl, cover and let rest for an hour

  • To make the filling combine brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla sugar in a small bowl

  • Preheat oven to 350 F

  • Once dough is ready place on a lightly floured surface and roll out into a rectangle. Careful not to make the dough too thin or you will have trouble forming the rolls.

  • Brush dough with melted butter and coat dough in the cinnamon/brown sugar mix

  • Starting at the long edge of your rectangle fold dough in on itself and roll upwards to form log

  • To cut the log use dental floss, placing the floss underneath the log and cinching. This will give you a nice, clean edge on your rolls.

  • Coat the bottom of your pan in butter or cooking spray and place the rolls inside, giving them enough space to grow slightly in the oven

  • Bake the rolls for 20 minutes or until golden brown

  • Enjoy!

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Shaylyn MacAulay
Shaylyn MacAulay
Mar 22, 2020

@lisa.macaulay - they were so delish! We may or may not have eaten them all...


The cinnamon rolls look delish 👍😘

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