This recipe took me a few tries, but I’ve finally landed on a version that I am proud to bring you.
These protein cinnamon rolls are one of the most delicious ways to get some extra protein in for breakfast, and may just be one of my favorite healthy recipes of all time.
These protein cinnamon rolls are packed with 10g of protein each and only 140 calories, but you’d never know it. They’re soft, buttery, and packed with delicious cinnamon flavor.
This recipe is kid-approved, and it’s a perfect recipe to make with your kids on a weekend or snowy day.
Plus, there is no yeast required, so you can whip up a batch in no time!
In my trials, I made sure that you’d be able to peel these protein cinnamon rolls, because what fun is a cinnamon roll if you can’t peel it all the way down to its gooey cinnamon core?
Needless to say, these protein cinnamon rolls deliver.
If you need some validation that these protein cinnamon rolls are actually as good as they look, the reviews I’ve been getting on Instagram have been nothing but positive:
How to Make Protein Cinnamon Rolls
Unlike other recipes of mine, like my Air Fryer Donut Holes, that require adding ingredients in a specific order, these protein cinnamon rolls are as simple as adding all your ingredients to a large bowl and mixing.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this simple cinnamon roll dough:
- Unflavored or Vanilla Protein Powder
- All-Purpose Flour
- Sugar Substitute or Regular Sugar
- Baking Powder
- Light Butter
- Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt
- Unsweetened Applesauce
- Vanilla Extract
It’s worth noting that I use a that is a blend of whey & casein , and I highly recommend you do the same. You can use 100% , but tends to be stickier and leads to baked goods that are drier (check out my Substitution Guide to see the differences).
If you want to use the same I use, the code “Matt” will save you 10% on PEScience brand .
I’ve tested these high protein cinnamon rolls with both unflavored and vanilla protein powder, and I can tell you that they both work out great. Personally, I prefer the unflavored version, but using vanilla still creates a balanced sweetness.
Of course, you could use cinnamon or cinnamon roll protein powder if you have that- it would obviously work great!
Once you have mixed up all the ingredients, you’ll add the dough to a generously floured surface.
I formed my on a sheet of parchment paper to make things easy, but it will work just fine on a clean countertop.
It’s important to use extra flour to help form the cinnamon roll dough. Many people choose to skip this step in an attempt to save extra calories, but I can assure you that the additional flour is necessary to avoid this dough from becoming too sticky.
If you’re worried about the calories, at most you’ll end up using a serving of flour, which would come to about 10 extra calories per cinnamon bun.
Use your hands to press down the dough into a rectangle (don’t worry about it being a perfect rectangle). As I form the dough, I like to flip it a few times to make sure it is not sticking at all.
The sheet of parchment paper I formed my dough on is 12×16″, so I estimate that my cinnamon roll dough is roughly 10×14″.
Soften your butter in the microwave to make it easily spreadable, then cover the entire dough.
Mix the cinnamon and brown sugar together in a small bowl, then sprinkle it over the butter. Leave a small amount of room around the edges to avoid the brown sugar melting out of the cinnamon rolls as they bake.
towards you, trying to keep it as tightly rolled as possible. I used the parchment paper to pull it towards me to allow the to itself, but you can also simply use your hands. is also a great way to the , as you’ll find in my Oreo Sushi . the
The dough is pretty soft, so roll it up nice and slowly.
Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the edges off of the log to square it off.
Score your dough to measure out 10 cinnamon rolls, then slice through to create your protein cinnamon rolls.
Place your cinnamon rolls spaced out in a round cake pan.
You can bake these protein cinnamon rolls on a baking sheet as well, but using a pan keeps everything nicely enclosed and allows the cinnamon rolls to bake into each other, which keeps them nice and soft inside.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.
While the protein cinnamon rolls bake, I like to prep a very simple high protein frosting using vanilla protein powder, powdered sugar, Greek yogurt, and milk.
I love making this icing because it’s a very easy (and delicious) way to add extra protein to these cinnamon rolls, but you can leave it out if you prefer.
You can also keep things simple by making a basic powdered sugar + milk icing, or go the traditional route and make cream cheese icing.
Once the cinnamon rolls have been baked for 20 minutes, they will have expanded and puffed up very nicely!
Allow the to cool for about 10 minutes before adding your .
Spreading the icing over the top of the cinnamon rolls, and you’ll be ready to dig in!
I should note that I recommend separating the cinnamon rolls with a butter knife or spatula before adding the icing. Once I added the icing, I couldn’t quite tell where one cinnamon roll ended and another one started, so I ended up cutting them a little bit funky.
Enjoy these fresh out of the oven, or save the leftovers in an airtight container and enjoy them throughout the week.
These protein cinnamon rolls will firm up a bit once they cool, so if you’re enjoying them as leftovers, I recommend softening them in the microwave before enjoying them.
I mean, who doesn’t prefer a warm & gooey cinnamon roll anyway?
More recipes for cinnamon sugar lovers
As a kid, I would eat Cinnamon Toast Crunch pretty much every single morning, so it’s no secret that I absolutely love cinnamon sugar.
Here are some other recipes worth checking out if you’re a cinnamon lover like me:
- Protein Apple Cider Donuts
- Healthier Cinnamon Crunch Bagels (Panera Copycat Recipe)
- High-Protein Oatmeal Cream Pies (Little Debbie Copycat)
- Low-Calorie High-Protein Snickerdoodle Cookies
- Cinnamon Toast Crunch Protein Bars
Protein Cinnamon Rolls with 10g of Protein
These soft & fluffy cinnamon rolls are easy to make and are sure to be a crowd-pleaser! While they are packed with protein, these taste just like the real deal, and nobody would ever know that they are secretly healthy.
CInnamon Roll Dough
- 60g (2 Scoops) Unflavored or Vanilla Whey/Casein Blend Protein Powder (The code "Matt" will save you 10% on PEScience brand)
- 180g (1.5 Cups) All-Purpose Flour
- 50g Granulated Sugar Substitute (or regular sugar)
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 42g Light Butter (I use Country Crock Original Spread)
- 75g Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt
- 75g Unsweetened Applesauce
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Pinch of Salt
- 36g Light Butter (I use Country Crock Original Spread)
- 50g Brown Sugar Substitute (or regular brown sugar)
- 2 tsp Cinnamon
- 31g (1 Scoop) Vanilla Whey/Casein Blend Protein Powder (code "Matt" will save 10% on PEScience brand)
- 20g Powdered Sugar Substitute
- 50g Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt
- 1 Tbsp Milk of Choice
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Add all of your cinnamon roll dough ingredients to a large bowl and mix until it comes together to form a dough.
- Lay a sheet of parchment paper on the counter and generously flour the surface. Remove your dough from the bowl, add it to your parchment paper, and sprinkle a little more flour on top.
NOTE: If you don't add flour to your surface, the cinnamon roll dough will be very difficult to roll up. Don't be shy with the extra flour- at worst it will add 10 calories to each cinnamon roll, in case that is a concern, and it will make a world of difference. Reference the photos in this post to see how much I used!
- Use your hands to lightly press down the dough into a 10x14 rectangle (roughly). I like to flip the dough a couple of times to make sure the entire thing has been coated in the flour and none of it is sticking.
- Soften the butter for the cinnamon filling in the microwave for a couple of seconds (it should be soft, not melted) then spread it over the dough. Mix up the cinnamon and brown sugar in a bowl, then sprinkle that over the top, leaving a small amount around the edges.
- Carefully roll the dough toward you starting from the long side of the rectangle directly across from you. I like to use the parchment paper to pull it towards me and allow the dough to roll itself, but you can use your hands to roll the dough as well- just do it nice and slowly.
- Use a sharp knife (I find a serrated knife works best) to slice off the edges, then cut into 10 cinnamon rolls.
- Place the cinnamon rolls in a round cake pan with some space in between each. They will expand into each other, but that's what we want to achieve that soft and gooey interior between the cinnamon rolls.
- Bake the protein cinnamon rolls at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.
- While they bake, make your simple icing by mixing all of the protein icing ingredients together in a bowl, then placing it in the fridge until the cinnamon rolls are ready.
- Remove the baked cinnamon rolls from the oven and allow them to cool for 10 minutes. Spread your icing over the tops of the cinnamon rolls, then dig in!
- The applesauce in the cinnamon roll dough helps keep the cinnamon rolls soft and cakey. You can leave it out if needed and use 75g of extra Greek yogurt instead, but the final result will be a bit denser (more like bagels).
- These protein cinnamon rolls can be baked on a baking sheet instead of inside a cake pan, but using the cake pan method is the traditional method to allow them to bake into each other.
- If you do not want to use protein powder, you can replace it with the same amount of flour and follow the recipe the same way. The cinnamon rolls won't be quite as sweet, but they'll still turn out great.
- If you are gluten-free, I can't promise that a gluten free flour like almond flour, coconut flour, or oat flour will work in this recipe, but a 1:1 gluten-free baking flour replacement should work.
- Note that I do not count the sugar substitute in my nutritional facts because they contain zero calories, but if you are strict about counting carbs, be sure to calculate the nutrition on your own.
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Nutrition InformationYield 10 Serving Size 1 Cinnamon Roll
Amount Per Serving Calories 140Total Fat 4gCarbohydrates 16gProtein 10g
Tuesday 18th of April 2023
Has anyone tried whole wheat flour instead of all purpose?
Tuesday 25th of April 2023
That will definitely work!
Wednesday 15th of February 2023
Hey Matt, quick question. I made these and they turned out pretty good, but I had issues with the dough. I used literally the same exact ingredients you did - even the same protein and put it as the last ingredient. But my dough was pretty sticky and pretty hard to work with. After adding the protein last and then mixing by hand, it got a little better, but still didn't look as workable as yours. Any idea what went wrong?
Tuesday 7th of March 2023
@Matt, much appreciated, thanks for the reply
Friday 24th of February 2023
Hey Jay- the interesting (and annoying) thing about recipes like these is that even the Greek yogurt you use can make a difference since some are more liquidy than others. But see the photos in the post to check out how much flour I add to my dough when I'm working with it. I've learned that a little bit of extra flour goes a long way to fix any stickiness. I used to be afraid that it would add a bunch of unneccesary calories, but even fi you're generous with the flour, you end up adding MAYBE 10-15 grams of flour, which in total will add 50 calories max to the entire batch. Add some extra flour over the top of the dough, fold it over a few times, and sprinkle a little more flour and it should save you.
Monday 7th of March 2022
I made these last night and warmed up two in the air fryer this morning. SOOOOOO good! Moist in the middle and very cinnamony. Cannot taste the protein powder. Felt like I was a "regular" cinnamon roll! Very easy to make.
Saturday 19th of February 2022
Jill Christine uses cake pop and a little water for her icings. A little extra protein 😊