Vinegar Rolls (Grandma's Recipe) (2024)

by Lois Britton 67 Comments

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Hey, if you’re new here, welcome! Thanks for stopping by to check out my Vinegar Roll recipe. You’ll find family favorite recipes here from the perfect chocolate chip cookies to a Sangria recipe that I perfected during our four years in Spain. You’ll also find a lot of traditional Polish recipes that I picked up on our most recent stint overseas. Hearty comfort food whether you’re Polish or like me (not Polish). Bon appetit!

I’ve been wanting to blog about Vinegar Rolls ever since I read Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. As Kingsolver’s family documents their decision to eat locally for one year, the beginning is tough. They’re waiting for fruits to come into season, craving a dessert.

I know they would have enjoyed one of my grandma’s recipes during this lean time. Vinegar rolls always remind me of apple pie without using a bit of fruit.

As a young boy, my dad and his family lived on a ranch in southeast Arizona. My grandparents and great-grandparents homesteaded back when Arizona was still a territory.

They raised and grew most of what they ate just like Kingsolver was attempting to do. There were no quick trips to the supermarket to pick up a missing ingredient or to satisfy a craving.

They made do with what they had on hand. Vinegar rolls are comfort food for our family – something my grandmother learned to make from her mother-in-law.

I don’t know a lot of family history, but I do know my paternal ancestors came from Germany. The use of vinegar fits in with my ideas of German cooking. It’s used in many ways that would seem uncommon in an American kitchen.

Vinegar Rolls (Grandma's Recipe) (2)

Made with only pantry staples, vinegar rolls are something you can whip up anytime to mimic the taste of apple pie, both sweet and tart with a bit of cinnamon. The liquid will become thicker during baking and gel a bit.It couldn’t be simpler. I’ve included two simple substitutions to make this a vegan dessert.

Enjoy!

Lois

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Vinegar Rolls (Grandma's Recipe) (3)

Vinegar Rolls

★★★★★4.7 from 6 reviews

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 60 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • Yield: 6-8 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American
Print Recipe

Description

Simple ranch house cooking, an old family recipe

Ingredients

Scale

  • single pie crust, purchased or your favorite recipe (vegan pie crust)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, soft (vegan margarine such as Earth Balance)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425
  2. Roll dough into a 12 inch square
  3. Spread with butter
  4. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon
  5. Beginning with one side, tightly roll up the dough and place in a baking dish, seam side down
  6. Combine water and 2/3 cup sugar in a saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves
  7. Add the vinegar, and check the taste, your looking for a pleasant balance of sweet and sour, adjust as needed
  8. Pour the liquid into the pan with the dough
  9. Bake for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 350 and bake for another 50 minutes, occasionally brushing the top of the pastry with the liquid.
  10. Cool a bit before serving

Notes

Can easily be doubled
It’s very nice served warm with a little vanilla ice cream

(Vegan substitutions are in parenthesis)

Lois Britton

An accountant by trade and a food blogger since 2009, Lois Britton fell in love with Polish cuisine during the years she lived in Poznań, Poland. As the creator of PolishHousewife.com, she loves connecting readers with traditional Polish recipes. Lois has a graduate certificate in Food Writing and Photography from the University of South Florida. She is the author of The Polish Housewife Cookbook, available on Amazon and on her website.

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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Jean

    I haven’t had vinegar rolls in ages, but I’m going to very soon! It’s surprising how something so simple can taste so good. I’m a big fan of eating them warm with vanilla ice cream.

    Reply

  2. Stripesmom

    outside of my family know one I’ve met has heard of vinegar rolls. takes me back to days where the kitchen smelled of tart, sweet, and cinnamon. such a great kept secret

    Reply

    • polishhousewife

      It does seem to be a family secret, but with 123 pins, at this point, that might change.

      Reply

    • Anna

      Should this be baked in a loaf pan?

      Reply

      • Lois Britton

        I usually bake in a casserole-type dish.

        Reply

  3. Patricia

    My Grand mother made these as I grew up. When she passed away the recipe went with her. I made cinnamon rolls 6 months back and put together the water the sugar from my little girl memory. I didn’t know them as vinger rolls. My family knew them as vinagermarowns. So just maybe our families have changed the name but the taste makes me cry thinking about my Granma making us the rolls out of love. So I am going to pass these on to my Granddaughters reminding them of Grandmother’s love

    Reply

      • Melanie

        My grandmother made them and my family called them vinegar stickies. These look just like hers. It’s such a great memory. Can’t wait to try them. Thank you!

        Reply

        • polishhousewife

          Thanks for your comment, Melanie! I’m so happy to hear that someone else knew these growing up. I hope they’re as good as you remember!

          Reply

        • Marlene Sinclair

          My mother made vinedar dumplings

          Reply

          • polishhousewife

            Interesting! Were they also sweet and sour?

          • Annie Clark

            My grandmother made us what we called tomatoes with dumplings it was so good. No one seems to know about this. My grand mother was from Mississippi. Rodney , Ashland, Fayette, out twenty. Highway.

  4. Martha

    My mother made this and the recipe died with her. This one seems to be the closest to what I remember – the pastry was so light and flaky that a pie crust base makes perfect sense. Can’t wait ti try it. Just sent the recipe to my brother since we had just been reminiscing about some of her recipes. Hope this turns out to the be one. Thank you.

    Reply

    • polishhousewife

      I hope it matches your memory. My grandmother never wrote this down, so it involved some trial and error get the same taste. All the best!

      Reply

  5. Gretchen Thomas

    Do you slice them into rolls ( pinwheels) after you bake them?

    Reply

    • polishhousewife

      Gretchen, I have sliced them inch thick into pinwheels for buffets, but if I’m serving dessert family style, I’d probably slice them into a 3 or 4 inch serving and top with ice cream. Thanks for your question; I appreciate you taking the time!

      Reply

      • Cindy

        WHEN do you slice them? Before you bake them or when you serve them?

        Reply

        • polishhousewife

          Just before serving. Thanks for asking!

          Reply

  6. Donna

    Thank you sooo much for posting this recipe. My granma and mom both made these. Unfortunately neither used a written recipe. I used to know how to make them too but an accident(skull fracture, bad concussion) messed with some of my memories and I haven’t been able to make them in years. I’ve come close in my attempts to recreate the recipe but I think this may be it.

    Reply

    • polishhousewife

      I’m glad to reconnect you with your family recipe, Donna. My grandmother didn’t use a written recipe either, so it’s taken some trial and error. I hope they’re as good as you remember!

      Reply

  7. Antoinette Smith

    What type of pan is used and does the sauce cover the roll, I would like to try them.

    Reply

    • polishhousewife

      I use a baking dish large enough to hold the volume of dough I’m using, probably a 9-inch round or square pan, maybe a 9×13 if making a double recipe. I bend the rolled dough to make it fit. And the sauce probably hits the dough somewhere between the midway point and the top. If it just covers the top I think you’re OK, but I wouldn’t want it to be submerged by an inch or more that would be too much liquid. Let us know how it goes!

      Reply

      • Louise Sofia

        Haven’t tried them yet, but I will. My grandmother made a vinegar pie that I loved and it tasted like a lemon pie. Amazing what vinegar can do for a recipe

        Reply

        • polishhousewife

          That’s so true. It’s the last thing I would expect to find in a sweet recipe, but it’s full of surprises!

          Reply

  8. Juleen Dickins

    I remember my mother making a “lemon meringue pie” using vinegar instead of lemon and this sounds like another of these great substitute recipes that were made during the depression and earlier. I’m going to try this asap, I know my brother will love this!

    Reply

    • polishhousewife

      Sometimes to you have to get creative! ❤️

      Reply

  9. Criss

    What a great recipe !! I’ve never heard of them until now but I think they would make a great treat for breakfast or dessert. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply

  10. Deborah

    My grandmother and mom would make these, thank you for the memories. Mom sliced them “Before” baking, put them in a cast iron pan and cooked them on top of the stove. I would beg for them to be made.

    Reply

  11. Nina

    This sounds delicious! I can’t wait to try it. My grandmother used to make vinegar candy. It was a hard candy, to suck on and I’ve never heard of anyone else having this treat. Of course the recipe is gone now.

    Reply

  12. Aimee

    Very interesting, my grandmother was Hungarian, I know many polish recipes are similar to Hungarian, but have never had this…that I can remember anyway! I might give this a try!

    Reply

    • Karen cochran

      So you roll from long side to long side.

      Reply

      • polishhousewife

        Yes

        Reply

  13. polishhousewife

    Yep

    Reply

  14. Joyce

    Would love to see the recipe! !!! Can’t find it on this page. It looks good.

    Reply

    • polishhousewife

      I hope you can find it now, Joyce. I’ve been having some server issues.

      Reply

  15. Heather

    Can’t wait to try this and thank you for the kind Vegan substitutions!

    Reply

    • polishhousewife

      My pleasure, Heather! Vegans do not live by salad alone! ❤️

      Reply

  16. Janice Knight

    My Grandmother, and then my Mother would do something like this with left over pie dough. But without the vinegar. We are Italian. And of course, my Grandmother never wasted anything!!
    I can’t wait to try your recipe! And, thank you for sparking a wonderful memory!!

    Reply

  17. Janice K

    My Grandmother, and then my Mother would do something like this with left over pie dough. But without the vinegar. We are Italian. And of course, my Grandmother never wasted anything!!
    I can’t wait to try your recipe! And, thank you for sparking a wonderful memory!!

    Reply

    • polishhousewife

      Enjoy, Janice!

      Reply

  18. Sherry

    I enjoyed reading about this ingenious recipe. I will be making this soon, probably this morning.

    Reply

  19. Brenda in TX

    A cousin brought vinegar rolls to a family reunion years ago claiming our grandmother made them. Hers were quite tart. I do not remember my grandmother making them.
    I am very tempted to try making them, but only a half recipe. I’ll let you know what my family thinks. Thanks for the memories. 🙂

    Reply

    • polishhousewife

      Enjoy!

      Reply

  20. L. K.

    My grandmother always made what our family called a “roly poly” with the dough left over from making a pie. It was just like base of yours but without the vinegar sauce. I’m definitely going to try your recipe the next time I make a pie, to compare them! 🙂

    Reply

    • polishhousewife

      My mother-in-law always rolled the pie crust scraps with cinnamon sugar; my mom left them flat. I love it any way. Just be sure to make extra crust to try this!

      Reply

  21. GooWee

    So you pour the juice over and around the bread? Does it sort of boil in the juice? Does the roll get done all through the middle? This is sort of like a cinnamon roll but with vinegar in the sugar sauce?

    Reply

    • polishhousewife

      Yes, you pour this watery syrup all around the rolled up dough. While it cooks, the liquids thickens. It’s kind of like a cinnamon roll, but not a yeast dough.

      Reply

  22. Sherry

    Do you ever add raisins and/or nuts to this?
    Thanks for recipe, I’m making this morning.

    Reply

    • polishhousewife

      Hi Sherry, sorry for the late reply. I’ve been traveling. I haven’t added nuts and raisins, but you certainly could. I think it would be good.

      Reply

  23. Susir

    This was soooo good! I loved it!
    Two of us ate it in one day! Followed
    Recipe exactly as written. Smelled
    Heavenly while baking! Yummy

    Reply

    • polishhousewife

      Susir, I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe! Thanks for letting me know.

      Reply

  24. Anthony Launza

    Finally, people who knows what a vinegar roll is. My mother use to make this all the time growing up. Know as an adult I request it every time I go home. I ask her how to make it but she never measures. She does it by taste, so I never could get it right……. finally a recipe I can go by. Thank you!!!!

    Reply

    • polishhousewife

      My grandmother was the same way about not writing things down, it took a lot of trial and error to get the right taste! Enjoy, Anthony!

      Reply

  25. Diana

    Hi I am getting ready to make this recipe. Sounds so yummy! Can this be frozen? And if so how long?

    Reply

    • polishhousewife

      Hi Diana, I haven’t frozen it, but I think it would work well.

      Reply

  26. Marianne

    Can you make these a day or two ahead and reheat before serving?

    Reply

    • polishhousewife

      Yes, indeed!

      Reply

  27. Judy Greathouse

    My mama used to make what she called “ Vinegar Pie” but I don’t have her recipe either and my mama is no longer with me . I really yearn for my mamas special cooking.

    Reply

    • polishhousewife

      Nothing is better than mama’s cooking! <3 Treasure the memories, Judy.

      Reply

  28. Trina Fitch

    Are they supposed to be sliced into rolla before baking? When are they to be sliced?

    Reply

    • polishhousewife

      Hi Trina, I slice them after baking. Have fun in the kitchen!

      Reply

  29. Diana

    OMG these are amazing! I’ve never heard of Vinegar Roll either. I was skeptical but willing to try. I am sooo glad I did. Thank you for a new family tradition for my family!

    Reply

    • polishhousewife

      It sounds crazy, but they really are tasty and budget friendly! I’m thrilled, Diana, to hear that your family enjoyed them, and I’m so grateful that you took the time to let me know. Happy baking!

      Reply

  30. Dee Kersbergen

    D

    Reply

  31. Linda

    it looked delicious..I want to try over holiday

    Reply

    • polishhousewife

      Enjoy, Linda!

      Reply

  32. Lana

    Dziękuję xx

    Reply

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Vinegar Rolls (Grandma's Recipe) (2024)

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