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Soft & Fluffy Protein Cinnamon Rolls with 10g of Protein

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.

Plated protein cinnamon roll

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?

Cinnamon roll on plate

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:

Review of protein cinnamon rolls


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

Cinnamon roll dough coming together

It’s worth noting that I use a protein powder that is a blend of whey & casein protein, and I highly recommend you do the same. You can use 100% whey protein, but whey protein tends to be stickier and leads to baked goods that are drier (check out my Protein Powder Substitution Guide to see the differences).

If you want to use the same protein powder I use, the code “Matt” will save you 10% on PEScience brand protein powder.

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.

Cinnamon roll dough on floured surface

I formed my dough 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.

Rolled out cinnamon roll dough

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.

Cinnamon sugar on cinnamon roll

Roll the cinnamon roll dough towards you, trying to keep it as tightly rolled as possible. I used the parchment paper to pull it towards me to allow the dough to roll itself, but you can also simply use your hands. Plastic wrap is also a great way to roll the dough, as you’ll find in my Oreo Sushi Roll recipe.

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.

Scored cinnamon roll dough

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.

Protein cinnamon rolls before baking

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.

Protein icing for cinnamon rolls

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!

Protein cinnamon rolls out of the oven

Allow the warm cinnamon rolls to cool for about 10 minutes before adding your icing.

Spreading the icing over the top of the cinnamon rolls, and you’ll be ready to dig in!

Protein cinnamon rolls with icing

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 warm cinnamon rolls fresh out of the oven, or save the leftovers in an airtight container and enjoy them throughout the week.

Plated cinnamon rolls

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 Cinnamon Roll

Protein Cinnamon Rolls with 10g of Protein

Yield: 10 Cinnamon Rolls
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Cooling Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

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

Cinnamon Filling

Protein Icing


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Add all of your cinnamon roll dough ingredients to a large bowl and mix until it comes together to form a dough.
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Use a sharp knife (I find a serrated knife works best) to slice off the edges, then cut into 10 cinnamon rolls.
  8. 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.
  9. Bake the protein cinnamon rolls at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
Nutrition Information
Yield 10 Serving Size 1 Cinnamon Roll
Amount Per Serving Calories 140Total Fat 4gCarbohydrates 16gProtein 10g

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Share The Love

Mindy Pedersen

Sunday 15th of October 2023

I made these during meal prep for my dessert this week and they are GORGEOUS. I am not the biggest fan of the flavor of plain greek yogurt in sweet applications and I love cream cheese so I subbed out half of the greek yogurt for 1/3 less fat cream cheese and added just a touch more milk to the icing to make it more spreadable and it was DIVINE. I could have eaten it with a spoon.

Another absolute banger of a protein baking recipe, Matt! Thanks so much!


Tuesday 26th of September 2023

Loved the idea and followed the recipe to a T. Was so excited as everything worked out until it cooked. Has all the flavors but sadly it did not rise. It was hard. Any suggestions as to why it didn’t rise? Would like to give it another try. Thanks!


Monday 2nd of October 2023

Shoot, I am so sorry! The only thing I could think is that the baking powder is old and did not rise properly. If you followed everything else exactly, there's no reason why it shouldn't work as I've made these countless times! When something doesn't rise, baking powder tends to be the culprit.


Monday 21st of August 2023

I don’t know why but I couldn’t get the dough to not stick to the wax paper. I added so much flour and it still didn’t firm up.

Mindy Pedersen

Sunday 15th of October 2023

@Deniece, did you use the PeScience protein powder? If not, I'll bet that's the issue. Protein powders all work SO differently in baked goods.


Wednesday 19th of July 2023

I tried these the other day and they were incredible! Even without the glaze. Thank you!


Wednesday 19th of July 2023

Hi there, Can you please help me convert the grams in your recipe to cups? When looking online I’ve found that different websites are giving a different conversion for the same ingredient. I really want to make these. I have all of the ingredients ready. Thank you!


Thursday 27th of July 2023


Thank you for getting back to me. I actually bought a scale. They turned out very yummy. Thanks again! And for all of the recipes you offer!


Sunday 23rd of July 2023

Hey April, I do get asked this from time to time, but it is significantly easier for me to provide the weight measurements. I create all of my recipes using a food scale rather than use cups because when you are baking with protein powder, it's extremely important to accurately measure. When you use cups, there's a lot of room for error that I try to avoid.

If you need to do a conversion, every food label will give you a weight AND measurement. For example, if you're measuring the sugar substitute, the label will say 1 tsp (4g). That means that one teaspoon weighs 4 grams. Since the recipe calls for 50 grams, that's roughly 12 servings. 12 teaspoons is equal to 1/4 cup.

I hope that helps!

About Matt Rosenman

With over 15 years of experience in health and fitness, Matt Rosenman is the expert voice behind Matt’s philosophy is simple: no foods are off-limits, and a healthy lifestyle shouldn't be complicated or restrictive. As a certified personal trainer with a bachelor’s degree in Health Behavioral Sciences, Matt brings well-rounded expertise to his blog. From revamping classic recipes with a nutritious twist to debunking health myths, he guides his readers through the maze of fitness fads with science-backed advice. Featured in major publications and with a strong following on social media, Matt is committed to making “healthy” uncomplicated—proving there's no need for a cheat day when you’re enjoying delicious, better-for-you meals every day. Join Matt on his mission to simplify health without sacrificing flavor. Learn More

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