A healthier twist to the classic treat, these protein cinnamon rolls are a must-try! They are higher in protein and lower in sugar than a classic cinnamon roll, while not skimping on that ooey gooey, fluffy goodness. Top these cinnamon rolls with your favorite cream cheese frosting or glaze and you have the most delicious gluten-free, vegan and dairy-free breakfast, brunch, or dessert!

A protein cinnamon roll with glaze/frosting.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Easy to make – cinnamon rolls can sometimes be a headache and feel very time consuming. These rolls come together pretty quickly and are fool-proof!
  • Protein cinnamon rolls are gluten-free, vegan and dairy-free, and refined sugar-free.
  • They are higher in protein and lower in sugar than a typical cinnamon roll – no sugar coma over here!
  • They store and freeze well for reheating.
  • Makes a great on the go snack, fun addition to breakfast or brunch, or healthy dessert.

Looking for cinnamon rolls without yeast that are gluten-free/paleo? Try this recipe!

How to make protein cinnamon rolls

Full measurements & instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post!

Ingredients & substitutions

  • Protein powder: Macro Mike is my favorite protein powder to use for these cinnamon rolls. The flavors are amazing (they taste like dessert) and they add so much flavor and sweetness to the recipe without adding any extra sugar. You can use my code amb-dani for a discount. I do not recommend using whey protein as it tends to dry out baked goods, yielding stiff rolls.
  • Gluten-free flour: Not all gluten-free flour is created equal. I used Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 gluten-free baking flour and can attest to it’s success with these rolls!
  • Yogurt – Both dairy and plant-based yogurt will work in this recipe. If using Greek yogurt, you might need to use a tablespoon or two extra.
  • Sweetener – I am using monk fruit, but feel free to use regular sugar or any granulated sweetener you prefer.
  • Instant yeast packet
  • Baking staples: Vanilla extract, cinnamon, sea salt
  • Powdered sugar: I like to make a simple glaze for these. To keep them refined sugar-free, I opt for Monk Fruit powdered sugar. This one is my favorite – tastes like the real deal. But feel free to use regular powdered sugar or your favorite frosting recipe.

equipment Needed

  • Mixing bowl or stand mixer: I love using a stand mixer with the dough paddle attachment because it makes it so easy and you don’t have to get your hands too dirty 😉
  • Spatula
  • Baking dish/pan: I usually use my 8×8 baking pan, but any pan will work.
  • Rolling pin (or your hands, but a rolling pin is always helpful!)
  • Parchment paper
A plate of protein cinnamon rolls with frosting.

Steps to make protein cinnamon rolls

  • Step 1: In a large measuring glass or mixing bowl, add the water. Heat it to about 120°F. I use a food thermometer to test it. You don’t want the water to be too hot or it can kill the yeast. Add the yeast packet and sugar and stir well to combine. Let it sit aside for 10 minutes to activate. It should be bubbly on top when ready!
  • Step 2: Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of your stand mixer. Add the yeast mixture and start your mixer (or mix by hand), until uniform dough forms. You’ll want to knead the dough for 5ish minutes.
  • Step 3: Flour a flat surface and roll the dough to a square around 13×13 inches in size. Brush on melted butter using a pastry brush or spatula.
  • Step 4: Sprinkle on sugar and cinnamon powder. Then, tightly roll the dough up into a log.
  • Step 5: Bake! Drizzle the frosting/glaze over the cinnamon rolls and serve warm!
A pan of baked cinnamon rolls.

Helpful Tips & FAQ’s

  • Weight out dry ingredients – For the best results, weighing out the flour and protein powder with a kitchen scale like this digital food scale is recommended.
  • Can I use regular all-purpose flour? I haven’t tested it, but don’t see why it wouldn’t work – I just can’t attest to it turning out the same!
  • Rise dough in a warm spot – You can leave it on the countertop if the weather is warm. However, you might want to rise dough in an oven with the lights on during colder weather.
  • What if my dough doesn’t rise? It may look like your dough has not risen at all. Gluten-free flour will not rise the same as all-purpose flour – that’s okay!
  • How to store/reheat protein cinnamon rolls: Place cooled protein cinnamon rolls into an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. Reheat rolls in the microwave for 15-30 seconds or until the rolls are warmed through and enjoy!
  • Can you freeze protein cinnamon rolls? Store them in an air-tight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let them thaw overnight before enjoying or re-heat them in an air fryer oven.
  • To glaze or frost cinnamon rolls: You can drizzle a powdered sugar glaze over top of the cinnamon rolls or frost them with cream cheese frosting or buttercream frosting.

More healthy Cinnamon roll recipes to try

Protein cinnamon rolls recipe video

If you try this recipe and love, it’d mean the world to me if you left a star rating below & tagged me in your creations on Instagram @danishealthyeats!

Protein Cinnamon Rolls (Gluten-free, Vegan)

A healthier twist to the classic treat, these protein cinnamon rolls are a must-try! They are higher in protein and lower in sugar than a classic cinnamon roll, while not skimping on that ooey gooey, fluffy goodness. Top these cinnamon rolls with your favorite cream cheese frosting or glaze and you have the most delicious gluten-free, vegan and dairy-free breakfast, brunch, or dessert!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Rise Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Appetizer, Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 9 Rolls

Ingredients
  

Dough

  • 2 cups Bob's Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-free Baking Flour
  • 1/4 cup protein powder *see notes
  • 2 tbsp melted butter, vegan butter, or ghee
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp coconut yogurt *can sub. greek yogurt. See notes.
  • 2 tbsp granulated sweetener (monk fruit, coconut sugar, etc)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract & pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup milk *i used full-fat canned coconut milk
  • 1 pack quick rise yeast
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

Filling

  • 2 tbsp melted butter or ghee *vegan or regular butter work!
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar or monk fruit *I like golden monk fruit
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

Glaze (or use your favorite frosting recipe!)

  • 2/3 cup powdered monk fruit sweetener or regular powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp milk, as needed
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions
 

Cinnamon rolls

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • In a large measuring glass or mixing bowl, add the water. Heat it to about 120°F. I use a food thermometer to test it. You don't want the water to be too hot or it can kill the yeast. Add the yeast packet and sugar and stir well to combine. Let it sit aside for 10 minutes to activate. It should be bubbly on top when ready!
  • Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of your stand mixer, starting with 1/4 cup yogurt (save the extra 2 tbsp for if they're needed!).
  • Add the yeast mixture and start your mixer (or mix by hand), until uniform dough forms. You'll want to knead the dough for 5ish minutes. If the dough seems overly dry, add an extra 2 tbsp yogurt.
  • Place the dough in a bowl, smoothing it into a large ball. Cover with a tea towel and place somewhere warm to rise for 30 minutes. I like to place mine on top of the preheated stove. Don't worry if it doesn't seem like the dough has risen much – gluten free flour won't rise like normal flour.
  • Flour a flat surface and roll the dough to a square around 13×13 inches in size. Brush on melted butter using a pastry brush or spatula.
  • Sprinkle on sugar and cinnamon powder. Then, tightly roll the dough up into a log. I like to use a serrated knife to slice the log into rolls – you should get 9. Place the rolls in a greased or parchment-lined pan or springform pan.
  • Bake for 15-18 or so minutes, until lightly golden around the edges and the centers are somewhat firm to touch. Careful not to over-bake or they'll get firmer. Let the rolls cool for 10-15 minutes before removing from the pan.

Glaze

  • Mix together the powdered sugar, vanilla, & milk, until a smooth glaze forms.
  • Drizzle the frosting/glaze over the cinnamon rolls and serve warm! Alternatively, you can also frost the rolls with cream cheese frosting or buttercream frosting.

Video

Notes

    •  Looking for a yeast-free, gluten-free cinnamon roll recipe? Try these!
    • Protein powder recommendations: I do not recommend using whey protein as it tends to dry out baked goods, yielding stiff rolls. I used a plant-based protein.
    • Yogurt – Both dairy and plant-based yogurt will work in this recipe. If using Greek yogurt, you might need to use a tablespoon or two extra.
    • Weight out dry ingredients – For the best results, weighing out the flour and protein powder with a kitchen scale like this digital food scale is recommended.
    • Can I use regular all-purpose flour? I haven’t tested it, but don’t see why it wouldn’t work – I just can’t attest to it turning out the same!
    • Rise dough in a warm spot – You can leave it on the countertop if the weather is warm. However, you might want to rise dough in an oven with the lights on during colder weather.
    • What if my dough doesn’t rise? It may look like your dough has not risen at all. Gluten-free flour will not rise the same as all-purpose flour – that’s okay!
    • How to store/reheat protein cinnamon rolls: Place cooled protein cinnamon rolls into an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. Reheat rolls in the microwave for 15-30 seconds or until the rolls are warmed through and enjoy!
    • Can you freeze protein cinnamon rolls? Store them in an air-tight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let them thaw overnight before enjoying or re-heat them in an air fryer oven.
Keyword gluten free baking, gluten free cinnamon rolls, healthy cinnamon rolls, protein cinnamon rolls, vegan cinnamon rolls

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