Grebel Recipes

Community Supper Bread

The smell of freshly baked bread wafts out of the Grebel kitchen every Wednesday morning, a reminder that it is the day of the always anticipated weekly Community Supper.  Food services employee Ruth Martin says the tradition goes back at least to the early 1980s.

bread on dinner table

This recipe makes 22 very large loaves.

  • 15 tbl instant yeast
  • 35 cups warm water
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 5 cups vegetable oil
  • 10 tbl. Salt
  • Enough flour to make a nice dough (no one knows exactly how many cups!)

Mix yeast, water, sugar, oil and salt together.  Add flour as needed to form a soft, not sticky dough.  Knead for 10 minutes until it feels right.
Cover and let rest until doubled in size, approximately 1 hour.
Punch down, and shape into loaves.
Cover and let rest until doubled.  
Bake at 350 until done, 30 minutes or so.

Twist and Knot Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Sauce

Janet Martin, who began working in Grebel’s kitchen in 1983, introduced this recipe from the cookbook Favourite Family Foods, created by the women of the Markham Waterloo Mennonite Conference.  Students rejoice when this popular dessert appears at supper time and, if there are leftovers, look forward to seeing them again at breakfast the next morning. Cinnamon Rolls are also an oft-requested item for celebratory coffee breaks.

This recipe makes 8 pans (12 x 20") with 12 buns per pan (really big buns!)

  • 16 pkgs yeast
  • cinnamon rolls
    8 cups warm water
  • 8 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 8 cups scalded milk
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 2 lbs. margarine
  • 4 tbl. salt
  • 16 eggs, beaten
  • 4 tsp nutmeg (optional)
  • 36-40 cups flour
  • melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon (as much as you like)

Place yeast in bowl, add 8 cups warm water, sprinkle 8 tsp sugar on top, stir lightly. 
Let rest 10 minutes.
Scald milk with 1/3 of the remaining sugar.  Put margarine into large mixing bowl, pour hot milk/margarine mixture over it to melt.  Stir, cool slightly, add salt, eggs, remaining sugar, nutmeg and yeast mixture.  Stir in enough flour to make a soft dough, knead 10 minutes, keeping dough quite sticky.  Cover and let rise until double.  Roll out dough into a rectangle, spread with melted butter, sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.  Fold dough in thirds and cut into 1" strips.  Twist each strip and make a knot.  Place in pan.  Let rise until doubled in size.  Bake at 325 for 20-30 minutes.  Cool slightly, top with caramel sauce while buns are still warm.

Caramel Sauce

  • 2 ½ lbs margarine
  • 5 cups brown sugar
  • 2 ½ cups milk or cream
  • 17 ½ cups icing sugar

Boil margarine sugar and cream
together until smooth, remove
from heat, cool slightly, add icing
sugar while still warm and beat
well.  Pour over buns.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Grebel cookies – they’re big, they’re tasty, they’re lovingly baked from scratch, and they are as iconic as the Chapel windows. In 2012, the Conrad Grebel cooks baked 18,774 cookies, not all of them chocolate chip.

This recipe makes 90 3.75 oz. cookies

chocolate chip cookie
  • 8 cups shortening or 6 cups butter or margarine
  • 8 cups packed yellow sugar
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • 8 tsp. vanilla
  • 16 eggs
  • 16 cups of flour
  • 8 tsp baking soda
  • 8 tsp salt
  • 8 cups chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 12 cups chocolate chips

Cream together shortening, sugars and vanilla.  Add eggs and beat well.
Combine flour, baking soda and salt.  Add to creamed mixture.
Stir in nuts and chocolate.
Portion with #12 scoop onto parchment paper.
Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Cupcakes

Another popular supper dessert or coffee break treat, nicknamed “Death Muffins” by students.  The original recipe calls for a chocolate icing to be slathered on top of the cooled cupcakes.  These days, in an attempt to minimize artery damage, they are more frequently served without icing. Slightly less deathly, but still delicious.

chocolate muffins

Recipe makes 18 cupcakes


  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 6 oz. chocolate chips

Beat cream cheese, sugar and eggs together, stir in chocolate chips.  Set aside.


  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 tbl vegetable oil
  • 1 tbl vinegar
  • 1 tbl vanilla

In a large bowl, stir together flour,
sugar, cocoa and salt. 
In a second bowl, mix water, oil,
vinegar and vanilla.  Gradually add
this to the dry ingredients, beating
until smooth.

Fill paper lined cupcake tins half full
of batter, top each with a tablespoon
of the filling.

Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes.

Cool top with your favourite chocolate frosting.

Rice Krispie Rolls

This popular dessert made its appearance at Grebel in 1985 and derives from a recipe in the Favourite Family Foods cookbook published by the women of the Markham Waterloo Mennonite Conference. It became an instant hit. In 2012, due to the increasing frequency of students with peanut allergies, this dessert appears only occasionally.


  • 3/4 cup corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 2 tbl butter
  • 4 ½ cups Rice Krispies cereal

Cook corn syrup and sugar until it bubbles.
Take off heat and blend in peanut butter and butter.
Stir in Rice Krispies.
Press onto a 9x13 cookie sheet.


  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 tbl. milk
  • 1 ½ cups icing sugar
  • 2/3 cup cocoa
Melt butter with milk over low heat.
Remove from heat and stir in cocoa
and icing sugar.  Blend thoroughly. 
Remove Rice Krispie mixture from
cookie sheet and turn out onto a
piece of parchment paper. 
Spread mixture evenly with cocoa
mixture.  Starting at the long end,
roll up jelly roll style, press to seal,
wrap in parchment paper and
refrigerate for 30 minutes before slicing.