The best soft and fluffy air fryer cinnamon rolls topped off with a homemade cream cheese yogurt frosting. This beginner’s cinnamon roll recipe is super easy to make since it only requires one rise. The perfect treat!
The easiest homemade air fryer cinnamon rolls
These are seriously the best air fryer cinnamon rolls in the world! The sweet dough is incredibly light, fluffy, and soft, plus they are topped off with a healthy homemade cream cheese frosting. So delicious.
This recipe is very similar to classic cinnamon rolls, but instead of baking them in the oven, we cook them in an air fryer for 8 minutes! Yes, you read that correctly, just eight minutes.
This is the easiest cinnamon roll recipe for three reasons: (1) you only need to proof the dough one time, (2) the dough is made in one bowl, and (3) you knead the dough by hand and not with an electric mixer. The instructions are super easy to follow (I show pictures of each step), so beginner bakers can make these.
Anyways, I cannot wait for you to try these incredibly soft and fluffy air-fried cinnamon rolls. This could be my favorite Healthful Blondie recipe yet!
Why you’ll love this recipe:
- These super fluffy and doughy cinnamon rolls are baked in an air fryer.
- They are frosted in homemade four-ingredient yogurt cream cheese frosting.
- Easily make this recipe vegan since there are NO EGGS in this recipe already.
- These cinnamon rolls are so easy to make and only require one proof.
- The dough is made in one bowl, and you knead it by hand.
- Beginner bakers can make this cinnamon roll recipe with no problems!
- One of the only cinnamon roll recipes ready in under 80 minutes.
- Try these oven-baked healthy cinnamon rolls with icing next!
Taste & texture
These air fryer cinnamon rolls are sweet, buttery, sticky, and warm! The main flavors are cinnamon and sugar. The dough is slightly sweet, and the brown sugar makes them super sticky and soft. Plus, the cream cheese frosting adds the perfect creamy sweetness and makes them exactly like traditional cinnamon rolls.
Once air fried, these cinnamon rolls are super fluffy and soft on the inside and golden crisp on the outside. They will look a bit overdone, but don’t worry, the inside is doughy and perfect!
Ingredients you’ll need
Air fryer cinnamon rolls only call for traditional and simple ingredients. You’ll need flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, butter, and a few more. Trust me when I say that these are the BEST air fryer cinnamon rolls you’ll ever eat. Here is a list of everything you need so you are prepared:
- Milk: I recommend whole milk or full-fat oat milk. That being said, I have tested these with almond milk, and it also works. Keep reading below to see my tips on how to heat your milk properly.
- Instant Yeast: If you want the dough to rise quickly, use instant quick-rise yeast. You can also use active dry yeast, but the cinnamon roll dough will take longer to rise. Read more about this in the frequently asked questions section of this blog post.
- Granulated Sugar: This helps activate the yeast and give the dough a little sweetness.
- Butter: To make sure the dough is fluffy and moist during air frying.
- Flour: Use all-purpose flour for this dough. It yields the softest and fluffiest cinnamon rolls.
The Cinnamon-sugar butter:
- Butter: This is not like other cinnamon roll recipes, so read this! You need softened butter, not melted. If you use melted butter, it will just seep out, and the filling will be dry when you air fryer these cinnamon rolls.
- Vanilla Extract: For the best flavor!
- Brown Sugar: You can use light or dark brown sugar. We mix this with the softened butter to make homemade cinnamon sugar butter – the perfect filling for these air fryer cinnamon rolls!
- Cinnamon: You need cinnamon for cinnamon rolls! This adds the best classic flavor.
Healthy Cream Creese Yogurt Frosting:
- Cream Cheese: You can use regular cream cheese or lighten up this healthy frosting with reduced-fat Neufchatel.
- Vanilla Greek Yogurt: Use vanilla, not plain! This adds the best flavor and helps with the soft consistency a frosting needs to have. You can also use 0%, 2%, or 5% – all will work.
- Maple Syrup: This healthy cream cheese frosting is refined suagr free, so we use maple syrup to sweeten it.
Kitchen tools required
You don’t need any fancy or special kitchen utensils for this cinnamon roll recipe. Here is a list:
- Air Fryer
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Medium Mixing Bowl
- Measuring Tools: 1 teaspoon, 1 Tablespoon, 1/4 cup, and 1 cup.
How to make air fryer cinnamon rolls
Air fryer cinnamon rolls are so easy to make, but let’s walk through the process step-by-step together. Here are detailed directions with pictures for visual reference:
Step 1: make the dough
First, in a large microwave-safe mixing bowl, add milk. Microwave in three 20-second increments, so it is warm to about 110°F (not hot). Then, whisk and add instant yeast sugar.
After that, whisk in melted butter and salt. Next, add in 1 and ¾ cups of flour and mix with a spatula. It will be sticky, but it should not be stuck to the bowl.
Then, use the extra ¼ cup of flour to dust your surface with flour and knead the dough for 5 minutes until it can form a smoother ball. It should be soft, smooth, and not sticky by the end.
Step 2: Proof the dough
Next, lightly oil a clean mixing bowl and place the dough ball into it. Cover with a dish towel and place somewhere relatively warm (I love the inside of the microwave). Let sit for an hour to rise or until it doubles in size.
Step 3: Make the filling
Meanwhile, make your cinnamon butter by mixing the softened butter, brown sugar, and ground cinnamon together.
Step 4: Roll out the cinnamon rolls
On a lightly floured surface, roll the proofed dough out into a rough rectangle with a rolling pin, about 1/4 inch in thickness. Do not overwork the dough.
Then, spread the cinnamon butter mixture all over the dough and roll the dough up from the long end (hot-dog style) – seal the edge gently. This recipe makes 6 – 8 thick cinnamon rolls.
Step 5: Air fry the cinnamon rolls
Next, preheat the air fryer to 390°F and add parchment to the bottom of the basket. Evenly space out the cinnamon rolls, so they don’t overlap; sides touching is ok. If you have a small air fryer, you must cook them in batches.
Air fry the cinnamon rolls for about 5 minutes until golden. FLIP. Air fryer for another 2 – 3 more minutes until they look very golden and borderline overcooked. They will be crispy on the outside and super soft on the inside, trust me… PERFECT!
Step 6: Make the frosting
Meanwhile, make the frosting by placing all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beating with a handheld electric mixer on medium for 1 – 2 minutes until fluffy and smooth. You can also you a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.
Finally, spread the cream cheese frosting over the cinnamon rolls while they are still warm. Enjoy!
Expert baking tips for the perfect air fryer cinnamon rolls
- Don’t burn your milk. Heat your milk in intervals if you are using a microwave. Burnt milk will not taste good at all!
- Make sure your yeast is not expired, and use instant yeast. If you use expired yeast, the dough won’t rise. Dry yeast will work, but not as well, so please read the directions below.
- Proof the dough for at least 1 hour. Giving the dough time to rise is super important if you want soft and fluffy cinnamon rolls. This recipe only requires 1 proof time, so don’t skip it. I love using the inside of my microwave for a faster proof.
- Only knead the dough for 5 minutes. If you knead to dough too much, the dough may not rise properly, and the cinnamon rolls can be tough.
- Cook in batches. If your air fryer is small, air fry these cinnamon rolls in batches. Do not overlap them, or else they will not cook properly!
Variations and ingredient substitution
I only recommend substituting 1 or 2 ingredients since the original recipe is so delicious! Here are my recommendations:
- Milk: You can use full-fat oat milk too. I love Oatly. Almond milk will also work.
- Butter: You can use vegan, dairy-free butter too. I recommend Earth Balance sticks – they are the best for baking. Or you can use melted coconut oil.
- Cream Cheese: You can use Neufchatel cream cheese instead, which is reduced fat. Or you can use dairy-free cream cheese.
- Dark Brown Sugar: You can use light brown sugar or coconut sugar too.
- Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls: If you want pumpkin spiced cinnamon rolls, substitute the cinnamon with pumpkin pie spice.
- Cardamom Cinnamon Rolls: If you want cardamom spiced cinnamon rolls, add one teaspoon of cardamom alongside the cinnamon.
How to make these cinnamon rolls vegan:
You can easily make these air fryer cinnamon rolls vegan by making four ingredient substitutions. The best part is that there are no eggs in the recipe already!
- Substitute the milk with full-fat oat milk.
- Substitute the butter with vegan baking butter; Earth Balance sticks are best.
- Substitute the cream cheese with vegan cashew cream cheese.
- Substitute the greek yogurt with almond milk or oat milk yogurt.
What to serve with cinnamon rolls:
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do my cinnamon rolls look overdone?
Don’t worry, that is ok! Since we are air frying the cinnamon rolls, the outer layer of dough will turn golden brown and almost look burnt, but the inside will remain super soft, fluffy, and doughy. Just look at the pictures for reference.
What if my air fryer basket is small and doesn’t fit all the cinnamon rolls?
No problem! Air fry them in batches. DO NOT stuff your air fryer and overlap the rolls because then they will not cook properly and can turn out undone.
Do I need to let the dough proof?
Absolutely. You must proof the dough for at least 1 hour so it can rise and the gluten can activate. If you don’t let the dough rise, the cinnamon rolls will be dry and dense.
Do I have to proof the cinnamon rolls again before air frying them?
No! That’s why this is the easiest cinnamon rolls recipe. You only need to proof the dough one time. Once you roll the cinnamon rolls out and cut them, you can immediately air fryer them.
Can I use active dry yeast?
You can, but I don’t recommend it. To do this, follow the same steps but don’t add the other ingredients to the milk until you see little bubbles (that means that the yeast is activated). For the best results, you must use instant yeast.
Can I freeze cinnamon roll dough before baking?
Yes! You can freeze your cinnamon rolls after you roll and cut them out. Just add them to a pan, cover it with foil, and freeze for up to 2 months. When you are ready to bake, thaw the dough in the fridge overnight and leave them at room temperature for about 45 minutes before air frying them.
Can I make them vegan?
Yes, you can make these air fryer cinnamon rolls vegan. Just scroll up to the section titled “how to make these cinnamon rolls vegan” to see the instructions on how to do this.
What’s the best temperature to air fry cinnamon rolls?
For best results, you should air fry cinnamon rolls at 390 degrees Fahrenheit for 7 – 8 minutes.
How long should I air fry cinnamon rolls?
You should air fry cinnamon rolls for a total of 8 minutes at 390 degrees Fahrenheit.
How to store and freeze air fryer cinnamon rolls:
Storing: If you have leftover cinnamon rolls, simply store them at room temperature for 3 – 4 days in an air-tight container. You can also store leftovers in the fridge.
Freezing: Store them in a freezer-safe bag for up to 2 months. Don’t freeze them with frosting on top; it just won’t taste good when you eat them. To reheat, let the rolls thaw in the fridge overnight or reheat them in the microwave for 30 – 45 seconds!
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Did you make this recipe?
If you make this recipe, be sure to comment and rate it down below. Also, don’t forget to tag me @healthfulblondie on Instagram and use the hashtag #healthfulblondie so I can see your delicious creation and share it with my followers!
Air Fryer Cinnamon Rolls
- 2 tbsp softened butter, (unsalted or salted, but add ¼ tsp salt if using unsalted!)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup dark or light brown sugar , packed
- 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
- Make the dough: In a large microwave-safe mixing bowl, add the milk. Microwave in three 20-second increments, so it is warm to about 110°F (not hot). Whisk and add instant yeast sugar. Then whisk in melted butter and salt. Add 1 & ¾ cup of flour & mix with spatula. It will be sticky, but it should not be stuck to the bowl. Use the extra ¼ cup of flour to dust your surface with flour and knead the dough for 5 minutes until it can form a smoother ball. It should be soft, smooth, and not sticky by the end.
- Proof the dough: Lightly oil a clean mixing bowl and place the dough ball into it. Cover with a dish towel and place somewhere relatively warm (I love the inside of the microwave). Let sit for an hour to rise, or until it doubles in size.
- Make the filling: Meanwhile, make your cinnamon butter by mixing the softened butter, brown sugar & ground cinnamon together.
- Roll out cinnamon rolls: On a lightly floured surface, roll the proofed dough out into a rough rectangle with a rolling pin, about 1/4 inch in thickness. Do not overwork the dough. Spread the cinnamon butter mixture all over the dough. Then, Roll the dough up from the long end (hot-dog style) and seal the edge gently. This recipe makes 6 – 8 thick cinnamon rolls.
- Air fry the cinnamon rolls: Preheat your air fryer to 390°F and add parchment to the bottom of the basket. Evenly space out the cinnamon rolls, so they don’t overlap; sides touching is ok. Air fry the cinnamon rolls for about 5 minutes until golden. FLIP. Air fryer for another 2 – 3 more minutes until they will look very golden and borderline overcooked. They will be crispy on the outside and super soft on the inside, trust me… PERFECT!
- Make the frosting: Meanwhile, make the frosting by placing all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beating with a handheld electric mixer on medium for 1 – 2 minutes until fluffy and smooth. You can also you a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.
- Spread the cream cheese frosting over the cinnamon rolls while they are still warm. Enjoy!
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