There's nothing better than homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast. However, if you want protein to start your day then cinnamon rolls aren't your first choice.. Until now! This Protein Cinnamon Roll recipe is packed with protein powder to give you sustained energy throughout the day. You're going to love how easy and seriously scrumptious these rolls are!
Cinnamon rolls are that one baked good that I always order at a bakery. When I first started making them at home the traditional way, they usually turned out tough or dry. After many attempts, I've almost mastered the cinnamon roll with yeast! However, I've also mastered a much easier method that is just as delicious - the no yeast cinnamon roll! Trust me, you'll love it.
Now, you might be wondering “no yeast” can that possibly be any good? Well, let me tell you that it absolutely is! We use Greek yogurt and self rising flour to spark the reaction and make the rolls very fluffy without yeast!
These high protein cinnamon rolls (ya, they are high protein!) will have your taste buds singing and are so easy, they'll quickly become a staple in your house. So keep reading to start making this protein cinnamon roll no yeast deliciousness!
Want more delicious breakfast ideas? Try these! Protein Double Dip French Toast, Overnight Oats With Protein Powder, and Oat Milk Pancakes.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Dough and Filling Ingredients
All substitutions are a 1:1 substitute unless otherwise noted
Self Rising Flour: This is the star ingredient! Self rising flour has baking powder mixed into the flour. It is often used as a base of fluffy biscuits so it makes sense why it makes such great cinnamon rolls.
Substitutions: All purpose flour mixed with salt and baking powder can be used by following one this recipe.
Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt has a thick consistency and slightly higher acidity than normal yogurt which helps it react with the baking powder.
Substitutions: Coconut yogurt is the only other yogurt I would recommend making this recipe with. Coconut or Greek yogurt should be unsweetened.
Sugar: Always need a little sweetness! The sugar will get rolled into the dough with the cinnamon.
Substitutions: White sugar is what we use, but you can use coconut sugar, or brown sugar. We prefer real sugar but you can also use a no calorie sweetener.
Butter: This butter will get spread on the dough, after it gets rolled out, so that the sugar and cinnamon have something to stick to. Plus, the butter keeps it moisturized.
Substitutions: Light butter, coconut oil, vegan butter, or any butter you have will work.
Cinnamon: What are cinnamon rolls without cinnamon? Just rolls and those aren’t as good as cinnamon rolls!
Substitutions: You can use cinnamon sugar as a substitution to cinnamon powder.
Protein Powder: We use vanilla protein powder from I Heart Macros but you could use cinnamon roll protein powder to really amp up the flavor!
Substitutions: Any of your favorite protein powders will work. Cinnamon bub protein powder is often recommended to us, but we haven’t tried it yet for this protein cinnamon roll.
Milk: Milk will get poured into the bottom of the rolls before baking and then is absorbed into the rolls making them even more delicious!
Substitutions: We used oat milk, but almond milk, flax milk, or Fairlife protein milk is another great option!
Almond Extract: This helps to mask some of the protein flavor in the frosting. It isn't necessary but I find it really helps to balance flavors.
Substitutions: Vanilla extract or lemon zest would work for flavoring too.
Cream Cheese: In my opinion, cream cheese frosting is the only way to top cinnamon rolls. Plus, cream cheese adds extra protein!
Substitutions: Neufchatel cheese can be used. It is just like cream cheese but has a lower fat content.
How to Make this - Step by Step
Step one: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the dough ingredients together in a large bowl until a slightly sticky dough forms. You may need to add a little more flour or a little milk to form dough that can be rolled out and molded yet is still slightly sticky.
Step two: Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface using a rolling pin. It should be rolled into a long rectangle about 12-14” long by 10” wide and about ¼” thick. Roll carefully so you don't end up with uneven edges. Spread your softened butter (be sure it's just softened and not melted butter) on the dough and then sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar on top of the dough.
Step three: Carefully roll dough from the short side. Roll it somewhat tight so it stays together.
Step four: Use a serrated knife to cut the cinnamon roll dough into 8 even sized pieces. Place each of these, swirl side up, in a circular 9” pan, cake pan, or in a square pan (9” x 9”). Mix the protein powder and milk together until smooth and then pour this into the bottom of the pan around the rolls. Some proteins end up baking rather than absorbing into the dough. If you are nervous this will happen, simply pour just the milk into the pan (without the protein powder).
Step five: Bake the rolls for 20 minutes. While they bake, add the frosting ingredients to a large mixing bowl and use a hand mixer to mix until fluffy and creamy. Place in the fridge until ready to use.
Step six: Once the rolls are golden brown, remove from the oven and add the cream cheese icing. Let cool a little bit and enjoy!
Watch How to Make This - Step by Step
Want your frosting a little sweeter or want to lower the sugar in the rolls? Try either adding powdered sugar to the frosting or swapping out a no calorie sweetener for the sugar that gets rolled into the dough.
Facts and Common Questions
Are cinnamon buns healthy?
Not typically. However, if you are after a protein packed, quick carb, quick sugar for a pre workout bump, then yes these protein cinnamon rolls are perfect for that! Pair them with a cinnamon roll protein shake for an even more protein-packed meal.
What replaces the yeast in cinnamon rolls?
Since these are cinnamon rolls without yeast, we use self rising flour to get that delicious fluffy texture without yeast! It has baking powder mixed in to help them rise!
Why are my cinnamon rolls dry and hard?
If they are dry or hard, you likely have too much flour in the dough. This is more likely to happen with this recipe because not all yogurt is the same. If you are using Greek yogurt, you will need the flour amount listed or a little less, depending on the brand. If using coconut yogurt, then you may need to add a bit more flour.
Can I use a different protein powder?
Yes! Any protein powder you like can be used. We use a sweet vanilla flavored protein powder, so if you use something different it won't taste the same. Just be aware that some whey proteins will bake in the bottom of the pan, rather than being absorbed into the rolls. Some great protein options are premier protein cinnamon roll flavor or I Heart Macros Vanilla.
Want to Save it for Later? Here’s how!
These rolls are great to keep through the week! Just watch the frosting as it can tend to separate when reheated.
Fridge: These will keep for up to a week in the fridge. We recommend storing in an airtight container or in the pan you baked then in with plastic wrap on top. To reheat, microwave for 1 minute and then carefully mix the frosting with your fork on time to recombine it if it separates.
Freezer: These will keep for 3 months sealed in the freezer and stored separately from the frosting. When ready to eat, let them thaw overnight in the fridge the night before and make fresh frosting.
Cinnamon: Cinnamon is produced from the bark of a cinnamon tree, which can grow to be 60 feet tall! It's thought that cinnamon has been used for over 4,000 years. In ancient Egypt it was a very hot commodity and even worth more than gold at one point. We can see how that would be with how amazing cinnamon rolls taste! (source)
More Joyful Recipes!
Try these refreshing smoothie recipes to pair with your protein cinnamon rolls!
Peanut Butter Avocado Smoothie
Did you try this and love it? Leave us a review, we would love to hear from you!
Protein Cinnamon Rolls
- 1 ¾ cup self-rising flour
- 1 cup Greek Yogurt
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon powder
- 1 scoop protein powder
- ½ cup milk
- 8 oz cream cheese low fat
- ½ cup Greek Yogurt no fat
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- 2 scoops protein powder
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the dough ingredients together until a slightly sticky dough forms. You may need to add a little more flour or a little milk to form dough that can be rolled out and molded, yet is still slightly sticky.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface using a rolling pin. It should be about 12-14” long by 10” wide and about ¼” thick. Spread your softened butter on the dough and then sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar evenly over the top.
- Carefully roll the dough from the short side.
- Use a serrated knife to cut the log into 8 even sized pieces. Place each of these, swirl side up, in a circular 9” pan or in a square 9” x 9” pan. Mix the protein powder and milk together until smooth and then pour this into the bottom of the pan around the rolls. Some proteins end up baking rather than absorbing into the dough. If you are nervous this will happen, simply pour only the milk into the pan (without the protein powder).
- Bake the rolls for 20 minutes. While they bake, add the frosting ingredients to a large mixing bowl and use a hand mixer to mix until fluffy and creamy. Place in the fridge until ready to use.
- Once the rolls are golden brown, remove from the oven and add the cream cheese frosting. Let cool a little bit and enjoy!
I used a cinnamon swirl protein powder flavor I had. They turned out very sweet, which is what I like. Thank you!
This makes me feel better about eating cinnamon rolls 🙂