Can you air fry cinnamon rolls? Yes! You can enjoy warm, gooey air fryer cinnamon rolls in the time it takes to preheat an oven. This recipe for cinnamon rolls in the air fryer works with large canned cinnamon rolls. That includes Pillsbury Grands cinnamon rolls, Trader Joe’s cinnamon rolls, or your favorite brand. Snag the recipe and get the answer to important questions like, “How often can you eat cinnamon rolls on a healthy diet?”
I have a confession to make. Sometimes, on holidays, I eat dessert for breakfast (or brunch, if I sleep in). This past Mother’s Day, I wanted nothing more than a warm cinnamon roll with icing (AKA cinnamon scrolls in Australia).
I’m the cook in my household, and I didn’t want to make cinnamon roll dough from scratch. At the time, I wasn’t fully vaccinated for COVID, so I couldn’t eat a cinnamon roll in a restaurant. If I did takeout, I’d either have to eat the cinnamon bun in the car or enjoy it cold after I got home.
The imperfect option that I was left with for warm rolls was making canned cinnamon rolls in the air fryer. I love how you can air fry cinnamon rolls in 10 minutes, the time it takes to preheat the oven. We were able to get outside, hiking in the sunshine, just a little bit earlier.
Am I saying air frying cinnamon rolls is healthier than baking them in the oven? No. Am I saying everyone should be including this air fried cinnamon roll recipe in their diet? Definitely no!
You don’t ever have to eat a cinnamon roll if that’s working for you. Rock on!
This one’s for the people, like me, who do include occasional celebratory treats. So, let’s get to it!
📋 Calories, Net Carbs, Protein
One serving of Air Fryer Cinnamon Rolls (one cinnamon roll with icing) has 320 calories, 51 grams net carbs (!), and 4 grams protein. This nutrition information is for the Immaculate Baking Company organic cinnamon rolls, but other brands of large cinnamon rolls are similar.
Why make air fryer cinnamon rolls? Cinnamon rolls do not provide a nutrition bounty, that is for sure! That said, here are some of my reasons for making this recipe:
- Fast: Cinnamon rolls air fry in 10 minutes, no preheating required. This is the fastest way to cook cinnamon rolls that I’ve found. Quick and simple!
- Foolproof: This recipe has two ingredients and it is practically impossible to mess up. You could pretty much be the worst cook in the world and you’ll still have success here.
- Judgy people meter: Some people become so obsessive about being “perfect” nutritionally that they start attacking the food choices of others. Guiltlessly enjoying a big, fat ultra-processed cinnamon roll is a good way to suss out who may need to chill. I’d argue that trying to apply your food rules to everyone on Earth is not healthy, regardless of how you eat.
- Delish: Hey, the biggest reason to eat a cinnamon roll is to satisfy a craving, and there’s no shame in that. (That said, foods like cinnamon rolls CAN become problematic if they are a part of your regular eating pattern that is negatively impacting your health. They’re not meant to be an everyday food.)
What do you need to make air fryer cinnamon rolls? Here is your shopping list:
- Large cinnamon rolls from a can (Pillsbury cinnamon rolls or another brand)
- Cooking oil spray (non-aerosol)
That’s it for this one. Canned cinnamon rolls nearly always come with an icing packet, so you should have everything you need.
The cinnamon rolls I used range from 2.5-2.75 inches (6.35-7 cm) in diameter. If your cinnamon rolls are considerably larger or smaller, it may impact the air frying time. Small cinnamon rolls air fry in less time.
If you want to make a more filling meal, I’d add some nutrient-dense foods to your plate. Eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, and fruit are some great options for foods that go with cinnamon rolls.
I’m air frying the cinnamon rolls as-is. However, I’ve seen recipes where folks cut the cinnamon roll dough into bites or donuts before air frying. Feel free to get creative!
The only thing you really need for this recipe is an air fryer. I use a 10-Quart Kalorik Digital Air Fryer Oven, but your Ninja Foodi, Pampered Chef Air Fryer, Actifry, Cosori, Nuwave, Instant Vortex, Cuisinart, Philips, Power Air Fryer, etc. should work as well. Remember that cooking times may vary slightly depending on the air fryer you use.
🔪 How to Make Air Fryer Cinnamon Rolls
Let’s learn how to air fry cinnamon rolls! Open the can of cinnamon rolls and set the packet of icing aside. It is ready to use.
Spray your air fryer tray or air fryer basket with the cooking spray. The cinnamon rolls do tend to stick the tray if you don’t use oil spray.
Place your cinnamon rolls in a single layer on the air fryer tray or basket, leaving some space between them. They will puff and spread as they cook, so the space is necessary. You may need to cook them in batches if you have a small air fryer basket.
️⏲ Cooking Time and Temperature
How long does it take to cook cinnamon rolls in the air fryer? Large canned cinnamon rolls take a total of 10-11 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175C) in the air fryer. If you’re using an air fryer oven with multiple shelves, use the top rack position (closest to the heating element).
Gently flip the cinnamon rolls after 8 minutes of air frying. I say gently flip because sometimes the layers on the cinnamon rolls don’t want to stay together. Pillsbury Grands cinnamon rolls in an air fryer seem to do the best job of sticking together.
Add the icing AFTER air frying for less mess. Simply snip a corner of the icing packet and drizzle it on. Voila! Your dessert-y breakfast is done.
P.S. If they turn out misshapen for some reason, pretend it happened on purpose and make them into cinnamon roll snails. (That recipe cracks me up. Hahaha)
To make cinnamon rolls in the oven, simply follow the directions on the packaging. My cinnamon roll package suggests baking them in a 350F (175C) preheated oven for 18-20 minutes. For a dark cookie sheet, they recommend baking at 325F (163C).
Drizzle oven baked cinnamon rolls with icing after baking.
How long will cinnamon rolls last in the fridge? Air fried cinnamon rolls get stale quickly and should really be eaten the same day. You can keep leftover cinnamon rolls in an airtight container in the fridge for about 2 days.
I’ve seen it suggested that you can keep leftover cooked cinnamon rolls on the counter at room temp for 2-3 days. However, some cinnamon rolls are made with eggs or dairy that should not be left without refrigeration. Also, leaving sugary treats on the counter (even in a container) seems like a good way to encourage an ant infestation. I wouldn’t do it.
💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). I’m going to answer a big question here. Can you eat cinnamon rolls every day as part of a healthy diet?
My short answer is no, if you’re trying to follow recommendations for added sugars. This may come as a surprise if you’ve adopted a misunderstanding of the philosophy that “all foods can fit.”
There is no one way of healthful eating that is a best fit for everyone. For example, someone recovering from an eating disorder may have cinnamon rolls as a challenge food. In that case, perhaps enjoying cinnamon buns every day is helping with recovery goals.
In general though, it’s best that we get most of our calories from nourishing whole foods, not ultra-processed dessert foods. I used organic cinnamon rolls in this recipe, but don’t let the organic health halo fool you. They are still almost entirely composed of white flour, white sugar, and added oils, just like other cinnamon rolls.
One large cinnamon roll contains about 24 grams of added sugar. The AHA recommends that women and children limit added sugars to 25 grams per day, and men limit to 36 grams. To “fit” a sugary cinnamon roll into your diet daily, you would need to cut out nearly all other sources of added sugar.
IMVHO, this is not realistic for most people (at least in the U.S.). There are small amounts of added sugar in most condiments, flavored yogurts and oatmeal, microwave foods, etc. If you buy any ultra-processed foods at all, it’s highly likely you’re getting other sources of added sugar in the diet.
It’s likely OK to fit a cinnamon roll in once in a very great while, if you wish. However, I don't recommend eating them daily. (Bummer! Haha)
Reheating cinnamon rolls (with frosting) is easy. You could microwave them for about 30 seconds or air fry at 350F (175C) for 2-3 minutes. Reheating cinnamon rolls in the oven takes too long, so I wouldn’t bother.
There are a number of gluten free cinnamon rolls mixes (here, here, here) that you could try air frying. These are a bit more work than canned cinnamon rolls, but less work than making them entirely from scratch. Alternatively, here’s a premade gluten free cinnamon roll that gets good reviews, no air frying necessary.
Most canned cinnamon rolls are not vegan because they contain refined white sugar likely processed with a bone char filter. Also, some cinnamon rolls from a can contain dairy products. If you aren’t picky about the sourcing of the sugar, Immaculate Baking, Annie’s, Pillsbury, and Trader Joe’s cinnamon rolls are free of animal products.
Oh goodness, no. Lol One of the advantages of keto and low carb diets is that you cut things like cinnamon rolls out. If you want to satisfy a cinnamon roll craving on keto, this keto cinnamon rolls mix looks like a good option.
“Best cinnamon rolls” is entirely subjective, and depends on what you’re looking for. I have suggestions for vegan, keto, and gluten free cinnamon rolls above. Here’s an option for organic cinnamon rolls. Pillsbury cinnamon rolls have layers that stick together the best.
👩🏻🍳 Other Air Fryer Breakfast Recipes
Are you looking for more breakfast air fryer recipes? I've got you! Try these next:
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats no sugar post. Let's get cooking!
Air Fryer Cinnamon Rolls
- Mist your air fryer tray or air fryer basket with cooking spray.
- Place your cinnamon rolls in a single layer on the air fryer tray or basket, leaving some space between them. You may need to cook them in batches if you have a small air fryer.
- Place the cinnamon rolls in the top rack position of the air fryer. Air fry for 8 minutes at 350°F (175°C). Gently flip the cinnamon rolls and air fry at 350°F (175°C) for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- To finish, snip a corner of the icing packet that came with the cinnamon rolls and drizzle it over the tops. Enjoy!
- Oven directions: For best results, follow the oven directions on your cinnamon roll packaging. My cinnamon roll package suggests baking them in a 350°F (175°C) preheated oven for 18-20 minutes. For a dark cookie sheet, they recommend baking at 325°F (163°C). Drizzle with icing after baking.