Batter Me Up makes the best cinnamon rolls in Tampa

Slices of cake on plates

Batter Me Up is a bakery in the city of Tampa whipping up some of the most artistic confections in the entire Tampa Bay region.

In 2019, Megan Palancia’s bakery, Batter Me Up, transformed her home-kitchen into a home business—and herself into an entrepreneur. Today, I stopped by her cozy abode and was treated to plate after plate of what were to become my new favorite desserts in the Bay. Before digging into the decadence, however, I decided to dig into the enthusiastic, 20-something baker’s past.

“My grandparents owned a bunch of restaurants,” Megan shared with me, spreading frosting over a warm batch of cinnamon rolls. “I grew up on the culinary scene, so I always knew I’d do something with food.” 

She paused, pulling a triple-layer cake towards the tray of cooling buns. “Peanut Butter Overload,” she proclaimed, holding the masterpiece. “My best flavor.”

I watched as she continued to add more desserts to the countertop spread. At this point, I was pretty much drowning in my own salivation, but my lack of self-control was quickly distracted by the entertaining frankness of her story’s next chapter.

“I tried cooking,” Megan recalled, “But I was really terrible at it. Like, definitely not my thing.” 

“So—,” I prompted with a slight chuckle.

“—I tried baking,” she responded. “And I loved it.”

Turning dreams into cakes

During her senior year of high school, Megan was accepted to Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Academy, and—eager to turn her baking dreams into edible delights—spared no time in enrolling. Less than a month after graduation, she was already on campus. 

Following her degree completion, and an internship at the prestigious Highlawn Pavilion, Megan accepted a pastry chef position at the acclaimed Don Cesar. After a few years in the “Pink Palace,” she transitioned to the Renaissance Vinoy, where she passed long evenings whipping up waterfront desserts for Florida’s wealthy elite. 

Despite her fine-dining success, however, Megan’s “Restaurant Owner” instincts were screaming. Unable to shake her innate, familial urge, she made the pivotal decision to leave her comfortable job and follow in her grandparents footsteps. Within a few months, she launched her business concept, Batter Me Up, and the rest is history.

Today, from her personal home-kitchen, Megan tediously crafts—in my opinion— the best cakes in the Bay. I have multiple hypotheses for why her treats are so delicious (such as homemade always being better, or the “mom’s love” feeling you get while eating them), but those are irrelevant at the moment. For now, all you need to know is that Batter Me Up is an indulgent, smashing success of a bakery, and you absolutely need  to try it.

Oreos, mascarpone, and the most insane cinnamon rolls you’ll ever eat

During my Batter Me Up visit, I was fortunate enough to try a vast selection of Megan’s tastiest desserts fresh out of the oven. To help you plan your future order, here are the most foodgasmic offerings on the menu:

  • “Oreo Explosion” Cheesecake: Standing tall on a buttery cookie crust, this rich treat successfully blends heaping fistfuls of “America’s Favorite Cookie” into a cool mascarpone/cream cheese batter. Though this cheesecake flavor is a widespread classic, Batter Me Up’s interpretation features a perfect cookie-to-dairy ratio that is strikingly reminiscent of those phenomenal holiday Oreo balls.

(If that reference didn’t make sense to you, you need better Christmas cookie trays. Megan can probably help with that.)

  • “Peanut Butter Overload Cake”: Have you ever noticed that nearly every “peanut butter cake” is just a dismal layer of peanut butter filling between tiers of chocolate cake? Personally, I find that phenomenon to be a bit frustrating, but it doesn’t exist, however, at Batter Me Up. With an entire 16 oz jar of the good stuff baked into 3 tiers of peanut butter cake with peanut butter filling, Megan’s “Peanut Butter Overload Cake” will satisfy your sweet-and-salty cravings, while simultaneously renewing your faith in nut butter-based desserts.
  • Cinnamon rolls: These gooey rolls are probably the best version of this dessert classic that I’ve ever tried, and hands down Batter Me Up’s greatest product. If I could give them an 1,000 star Yelp rating, I would. But, since I can’t, I’ll just continue to pitch them relentlessly while slowly drowning in their thick, cream cheese-covered goodness.

Dessert people are happier

Before heading out of Megan’s snug kitchen, I asked her what it is that she enjoyed most about baking for the Bay.

“I don’t want to sound cliché,” she responded with a blush, “But I love to make people happy. And dessert just makes people happy.”

Later, as I lifted one of those glorious cinnamon rolls from my box of leftovers, I thought back on her statement. 

Dessert people are definitely happier, I agreed—but Batter Me Up dessert people are the happiest.

To place a delivery (or pick up) order with Batter Me Up, foodies can visit https://www.battermeup.com/. For further questions about menu offerings, gluten free items, etc., prospective customers can call (727) 858-7804, or connect with the bakery on Facebook; https://www.facebook.com/battermeuptampa/.

Kara VanDooijeweert is a current journalism student at Rutgers University. If you can't find her in the Bay's best restaurants, she's probably off exploring the wilderness. Catch her on instagram, @karanicolev.