Baking has become the new go-to activity for many of us as we stay at home to social distance and slow the spread of COVID-19. While many people have turned to sourdough bread recipes or easy, one-bowl desserts, one baker has turned to giant cinnamon rolls.
Portland resident Whitney Light Rutz has taken her love of baking to the next level by making "giant ass cinnamon rolls" to benefit the Oregon Food Bank. While Rutz has been making these oversized treats for years, she was inspired to get back to baking after two friends were diagnosed with COVID-19. She needed to relieve stress and do something. After sharing a photo of her creation on social media, the positive response was so high, Rutz decided to start auctioning off her signature baked good to help others.
Initially, Rutz would accept bids, and the cinnamon roll would go to the highest bidder. Now she's switched her approach to benefit those on the frontline. For every $1,000 donated, Rutz will make a cinnamon roll with it going to either the highest donor or to a local healthcare worker or first responder in the donor's name (Rutz only does local deliveries though, so if you're outside Portland you can still donate and give to a local frontline worker!) And considering the size of her creations, one roll could easily feed many.
Rutz pays for all of the ingredients herself and 100% of the donations goes to the food bank. As of Monday, Rutz has raised over $34,000 (her initial goal was $2,000!) for the Oregon Food Bank and the number continues to grow. While the "giant ass cinnamon rolls" are still the main attraction, the boxes they come in are just as fun. Ranging from a simple, colorful thank you to intricate drawings, the whole package is uplifting.
Now more than ever people are looking for comfort and Rutz's "giant ass cinnamon rolls" are a great source of warmth. To stay up-to-date with Rutz's fundraising efforts, follow her Instagram @giantasscinnamonroll. And if you can, make a donation to Rutz and the Oregon Food Bank here.