Cranky Granny's Sweet Rolls owner Sianni Dean is continuing her family tradition of bringing people together with great food.

She says her cinnamon roll business is inspired by her memories of cooking with her grandmother while growing up in Willingboro, New Jersey.

"I wanted to be able to bring people together the same way that we were able to whenever I used to go over to her house," Dean said.

What's special about it?

Dean said her business, which hopped from several locations throughout the Austin area before finding a permanent home in Pflugerville in April 2023, aims to create a sense of nostalgia for customers by turning traditional desserts like peach cobbler or banana pudding into a cinnamon roll.

"We just want to turn it into a sentimental store," Dean said. "So it has that nostalgia, bringing [customers] back to those happy times while also enjoying something that is totally new."

Meet the chef

Dean said she began her journey in the world of food at the early age of five, selling candy to her peers. At 16, she began working with a basic cinnamon roll dough recipe, adjusting ingredients and perfecting it over time before offering Cranky Granny's cinnamon rolls for purchase from her home kitchen in New Jersey.

"At first they came out terribly," Dean said. "I just kept practicing the recipe and trying different things to really make it into our own. It took us a good three years."

Dean moved to the Austin area in November of 2020, and grew her business in the years following the pandemic, partnering with different businesses that would allow her to sell her sweet rolls in their storefronts. Cranky Granny's meandered from central Austin to the Domain and Round Rock through such partnerships, Dean said, before settling in the Pflugerville area.

What they offer

The Cranky Granny's menu includes a variety of specialty cinnamon rolls, from the classic roll to peach cobbler and churro cinnamon roll. The bakery also offers a rotating menu of seasonal flavors, such as a tres leches roll that was offered last summer and brought back by popular demand.

Savory flavors are also on the menu for a limited time, such as the fried chicken cinnamon roll.

In addition to cinnamon rolls, Cranky Grannies offers milkshakes, hot and frozen coffee as well as bottled soft drinks.

Going forward

As Dean works to build her local brand in Cranky Granny's, she says her ultimate goal is to develop the cinnamon roll bakery into a destination franchise with locations throughout the state, as well as in her home state of New Jersey.

"I don't feel like it's a concept where it's like McDonald's or Chick-fil-A or something like that, where you have a bunch of them congested in one area," Dean said. "It's kind of that destination piece [that] I want here in Pflugerville. This is considered our Austin location, then Dallas, Houston and I want to take it back home to New Jersey."
  • 16051 Dessau Rd. Ste. F, Pflugerville