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Healthy Cinnamon Roll in a Mug

This Healthy Cinnamon Roll in a Mug is a single-serve mug recipe, ideal for those of us who have a sweet tooth and want to quench that cinnamon roll craving without baking a full batch. This easy recipe is fun to make and only requires about 10 minutes of time. The best part? You probably already have all of the basic ingredients for this quick version.

Spoon inside a mug with a single serve cinnamon roll.

Have you ever found yourself eyeballs deep in a craving for cinnamon rolls but you either didn’t want to take the time to bake an entire batch of cinnamon rolls or you didn’t have all of the ingredients?

WELL. 

Have I got a magical treat for you?!

What we have here is a single serving microwave cinnamon roll that we prepare in a mug for an on-demand sweet treat to quench that craving.

It takes about 8 to 10 minutes to make from start to finish and you’re left with one perfect cinnamon roll.

The best part is this cleaner recipe is actually healthier than traditional cinnamon rolls, as it is lower in sugar and contains a boost of protein.

I make this cinnamon roll mug cake recipe gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and dairy-free with an added protein boost, but you’ll see there are plenty of options to customize it.

Close up top down image of cinnamon roll in a mug with a spoon digging in.

Recipe Highlights:

Yeast-Free:

Most cinnamon roll recipes require hours of preparation, as you must least the yeasted dough rest to rise not just once, but twice.

Not to mention, if something goes wrong with the yeast and it doesn’t react the way it should, you’re left with cinnamon rolls that are scrawny and dry rather than luscious and puffy.

Single-Serve:

As you’ve experienced, cinnamon rolls tend to come in an enormous batch. In fact, my Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls are perfect when you’re serving a lot of guests during the holidays, but not so great when you don’t want to be tempted by leftovers.

Healthier:

Lower in sugar and refined sugar-free, these cinnamon rolls are lower on the glycemic index than your standard cinnamon roll.

The Perfect Cinnamon Roll!:

This Healthy Cinnamon Roll in a Mug turns out exactly like a single cinnamon roll.

You get those gooey cinnamony layers with the perfect amount of sweetness and that soft, chewy doughy texture.

Just think of one single perfect cinnamon roll and that’s precisely what you’re getting here.

A Great Intro To Cinnamon Rolls:

If you’ve been intimidated by making a whole batch of homemade cinnamon rolls, this is a fabulous place to start! 

The dough itself is easier to make and you get to go through the motions of making the rolls, but in a very small batch.

In this sense, this roll is somewhat impossible to mess up because even if the rolling turns into a complete disaster, you can still throw whatever you have in you mug, nuke it, and deliciousness will result.

All of that being said, I’m going to give it to you straight. This single-serve dessert requires far more prep than any of my other mug desserts.

But, in my opinion, it is well worth the effort.

For all my other desserts in a mug, you simply stir up the ingredients and microwave. For this cinnamon roll mug treat, you go through many additional steps, as you create an actual cinnamon roll.

Spoon scooping some cinnamon roll to the side so you can see the center.

Now that we’re all lined out on what’s what, let’s discuss the simple ingredients needed to make the best cinnamon roll in a mug.

Ingredients for Cinnamon Roll in a Mug:

Flour: I use Bob’s Red Mill’s Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour, which is a Gluten-free blend. You can use any gluten-free flour blend you like (such as King Arthur, Pamela’s, or gluten-free pancake mix), or you can use regular white flour.

Varying brands of flours have varying absorbencies so if the dough looks too dry or too wet, you can adjust the amount of liquid or flour accordingly. You want the dough to be nice and sticky (this results in a moist and delicious cinnamon roll), but not so sticky that you can’t handle it and not so dry that it’s crumbly.

Protein Powder (optional): A protein cinnamon roll?! Could life get any better? I add a couple tablespoons of protein powder to give this treat a great macronutrient breakdown. If you don’t have protein powder, replace it with more flour.

The protein powder I use is Goat Whey Protein Powder that has no added flavors or sweeteners. Vanilla protein powder would be great too. You can also use a vegan protein powder.

Baking Powder: A touch of baking powder helps leaven the cinnamon roll to make it nice and fluffy. Most gluten-free flour blends already contain leavening agents but we use a little extra for good measure. If you use all-purpose flour instead of gluten-free flour, ramp up the baking powder measurement to ¾ teaspoon.

Salt: A little sea salt enhances the sweetness of the cinnamon roll without having to add more sweetener. It also levels up the delicious cinnamon flavor. Add a pinch to both the dough and the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Non-Fat Greek Yogurt (or Melted Butter or Full-Fat Canned Coconut Milk): The liquid portion of the cinnamon roll dough. Greek yogurt brings that creamy tang as well as added protein to this healthy cinnamon roll for one.

You can also use melted butter, heavy cream, or full-fat canned coconut milk if you’d prefer. Full-fat canned coconut milk provides the right fat content and moisture content to ensure the dough is nice and rich and flavorful, so it’s my preference over yogurt.

I haven’t tested the recipe using almond milk. My guess is it would work but the result wouldn’t be as impressive due to the low fat content of non-dairy milk. I believe you’d just end up with a dry cinnamon roll.

Pure Maple Syrup: A tiny touch of pure maple syrup goes a long way in sweetening the cinnamon roll dough. Replace it with regular cane sugar, brown sugar or coconut sugar if you’d like.

Ground Cinnamon: The reason we’re all here! A generous cinnamon sugar filling is what provides that amazing sweet, gooey, delicious cinnamon roll deliciousness. Use a quality Ceylon cinnamon for the best result.

Coconut Sugar: The ground cinnamon and coconut sugar get mixed together to create that cinnamon swirl that get engulfed between layers of delicious tender dough. Coconut sugar is lower on the glycemic index than regular cane sugar and has a naturally creamy, caramel flavor.

Coconut Oil: A little coconut oil is spread over the dough for two reasons: It brings even more moisture and deliciousness to the treat and it also helps the cinnamon and sugar mixture stick to the dough, creating those amazing moist and doughy layers. Coconut oil is what is responsible for making a gooey cinnamon roll.

You can replace the coconut oil with softened butter or ghee if you’d like.

Optional Frosting:

Combine Greek yogurt and a little pure maple syrup for the optional frosting. As an alternative, you can use full-fat canned coconut milk and pure maple syrup for dairy-free frosting that is thinner (this is what I do). The tangy Greek yogurt mimics the flavor of cream cheese frosting, yet it is much lower in fat.

There are plenty of ways you can customize this cinnamon bun to your heart’s delight. Here are some of the options.

Recipe Adaptations:

  • Use regular all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour instead of gluten-free flour if you aren’t gluten-free.
  • Replace the coconut oil with softened butter if you aren’t dairy-free.
  • Use any of your favorite granulated sweeteners for the cinnamon roll filling. Brown sugar, cane sugar, coconut sugar, maple sugar, and sugar-free sweetener (such as monk fruit sweetener or brown swerve) all work. Stick with a zero sugar sweetener if you’re watching your blood sugar.
  • If you don’t have protein powder on hand, use extra flour.
  • Add 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the cinnamon roll mixture if you have it on hand.
  • Grain-free flours like coconut flour and almond flour will be more difficult to work with without making many other changes to this recipe. For this reason, I recommend sticking to this recipe as written or googling a grain-free option if you follow a ketogenic diet or a grain-free diet.
  • Add chocolate chips to make a chocolate chip gooey cinnamon roll.

Make a Keto Cinnamon Roll Mug Cake by following my Keto Mug Cake recipe. Simply omit the chocolate chips, and stir together 1 teaspoon of sugar-free sweetener, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of melted butter or coconut oil to create the cinnamon swirl.

Now that we’ve covered the ingredients for cinnamon roll in a mug, let’s make one!

How to Make Cinnamon Roll in a Mug:

Combine the gluten-free all-purpose flour (or regular all-purpose flour), protein powder, baking powder, and sea salt (dry ingredients) in a small bowl and stir well.

Dry ingredients for cinnamon roll in a bowl.

Add the full-fat canned coconut milk and pure maple syrup.

Dry ingredients with wet ingredients ready to be mixed in.

Stir well until everything is combined and a thick, sticky dough forms. The dough will be very wet and sticky – this is normal.

Cinnamon roll dough in a bowl.

Place a sheet of parchment paper on top of a cutting board or flat surface and dust generously with flour.

Transfer the cinnamon roll dough to the lightly floured surface, knead it a few times into the flour until it is easy to work with, and press it into a rectangular even layer.

Cinnamon roll dough for one rolled out.

Stir together the coconut sugar, cinnamon, and sea salt (for the cinnamon roll filling) in a separate small bowl until well combined.

Cinnamon, coconut sugar and salt in a small bowl.

Spread the softened coconut oil evenly over the dough, then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture evenly on top.

Cinnamon roll dough sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, ready to be rolled

Roll the dough into a log (just like you would regular cinnamon rolls), then roll the log into a round circle. Transfer to a microwave-safe mug. 

Cinnamon roll for one in a mug, ready to be microwaved.

Microwave on standard high heat for 1 minute. The exact cooking time depends on your microwave, but 1 to 1.5 minutes will work perfectly in most cases.

Cinnamon roll for one fresh out of the microwave.

If desired, mix up some frosting for the cinnamon roll in a bowl. You can go with a mixture of Greek yogurt or full-fat coconut milk and pure maple syrup, or make a regular powdered sugar glaze.

Drizzle the frosting over the roll and enjoy!

Horizontal photo of mug cinnamon roll with frosting on top.

If you have any leftovers, cover the mug in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Microwave for 20 to 30 seconds before consuming.

Recipe Tip:

Rolling the cinnamon roll dough will be easier if you use more flour. However, the more flour you use, the drier (less moist) the cinnamon roll will be. For this reason, I opt to keep the cinnamon roll as moist as possible by not using a lot of flour, and as a result, the roll itself is a bit messy going into the mug.

Due to the variation in the absorbency of different gluten-free flour blends, the exact measurements of flour will vary slightly but will be fairly close. As long as your dough is sticky but still rollable, you’re on the right track.

Once the mug cinnamon roll has been microwaved, it will look similar to a regular cinnamon roll because the dough will expand as it cooks.

Can I Make This in The Oven?:

You can absolutely make this single-serve cinnamon roll recipe in the oven as opposed to the microwave. To do so, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the oven–safe mug on a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the cinnamon roll is cooked through.

Spoon scooping the cinnamon roll

Nutrition Facts:

This healthier single-serve mug cinnamon roll is lower in calories and sugar than your classic cinnamon roll. If you’re using Greek yogurt (instead of coconut milk), one cinnamon roll in a mug contains 313 calories, 5 grams of fat, 50 grams of carbohydrate, 10 grams of sugar, and 16 grams of protein. 

The protein content varies depending on the brand of protein powder you use.

If you use full-fat canned coconut milk instead of yogurt, the calories are 363, with 14 grams of fat, 50 grams of total carbohydrates, 9 grams of sugar, and 11 grams of protein.

Truthfully, I prefer the coconut milk version because it makes a moister, more decadent roll that tastes just like a regular cinnamon roll.

Given the macronutrient breakdown, not only is this something I would be comfortable enjoying for breakfast or dessert, but it would make an excellent pre or post-workout snack to replenish glycogen.

And that’s it! A single-serve dessert and a perfect cinnamon roll that you can make whenever the craving strikes. No need to make a full batch (which takes hours), and no plethora of leftovers to keep you tempted.

If you love easy desserts in mugs like this, also try out some of my other treats!

More Single-Serve Mug Treats:

The easiest cinnamon roll you’ll ever make!

Spoon inside a mug with a single serve cinnamon roll.

Healthy Cinnamon Roll in a Mug

Yield: 1 Cinnamon Roll
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 8 minutes

A single-serve Healthy Cinnamon Roll in a Mug that you can whip up any time the craving for cinnamon rolls strikes! This healthier treat is lower in sugar, gluten-free, and can easily be made dairy-free.

Ingredients

Cinnamon Roll:

Cinnamon Roll Filling:

  • 1 tsp (5g) coconut oil, softened
  • 1 tsp (5g) coconut sugar****
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch sea salt

Optional Frosting:

  • ¼ cup (50g) Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup

Instructions

    1. Combine the gluten-free all-purpose flour (or regular all-purpose flour), protein powder, baking powder, and sea salt (dry ingredients) in a small bowl and stir.

    Dry ingredients for cinnamon roll in a bowl.

    2. Add the full-fat canned coconut milk and pure maple syrup.

    Dry ingredients with wet ingredients ready to be mixed in.

    3. Stir well until everything is combined and a thick, sticky dough forms. The dough will be very wet and sticky - this is normal.

    Cinnamon roll dough in a bowl.

    4. Place a sheet of parchment paper on top of a cutting board or flat surface and dust generously with flour. Transfer the cinnamon roll dough to the lightly floured surface, knead it a few times into the flour until it is easy to work with, and press it into a rectangular even layer.

    Cinnamon roll dough for one rolled out.

    5. Stir together the coconut sugar, cinnamon, and sea salt (for the cinnamon roll filling) in a separate small bowl until well combined.

    Cinnamon, coconut sugar and salt in a small bowl.

    6. Spread the softened coconut oil evenly over the dough, then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture evenly on top.

    Cinnamon roll dough sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, ready to be rolled

    7. Roll the dough into a log (just like you would regular cinnamon rolls), then roll the log into a round circle. Transfer to a microwave-safe mug. 

    Cinnamon roll for one fresh out of the microwave.

    8. Microwave on standard high heat for 1 minute. The exact cooking time depends on your microwave, but 1 to 1.5 minutes will work perfectly in most cases.

    9. If desired, mix up some frosting for the cinnamon roll in a bowl. You can go with a mixture of Greek yogurt or full-fat coconut milk and pure maple syrup, or make a regular powdered sugar glaze. Drizzle the frosting over the roll and enjoy!

    Horizontal photo of mug cinnamon roll with frosting on top.

Notes

*Use your favorite GF flour blend or use regular all-purpose flour. You’ll need additional flour for dusting when you roll out the cinnamon roll dough.

**You can replace the Greek yogurt with full-fat canned coconut milk for an ultra moist cinnamon roll. 

***Increase this amount of baking powder to ¾ tsp if you’re using regular all-purpose flour.

***Use granulated cane sugar or brown sugar instead of coconut sugar if you’d like.

Nutrition facts are calculated based on using Greek yogurt.

Nutrition Information
Yield 1 Serving Size 1 Cinnamon Roll
Amount Per Serving Calories 313Total Fat 5gCarbohydrates 50gFiber 3gSugar 10gProtein 16g

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Maggie

Thursday 17th of November 2022

Mine bombed out. I doubled the recipe, subbing coconut flour, and ghee. I used coconut cream that had been in the fridge. One of them almost caught fire. More explanations please.

Julia

Thursday 17th of November 2022

Hi Maggie, Coconut flour cannot be used to replace a gluten-free flour blend in any circumstance as it absorbs 4 times the amount of liquid. You would need to make multiple other changes to the recipe to get it to work using coconut flour (in other words, it would be a totally different recipe).

When you say one of them almost caught fire, were you using your microwave or your oven?

Because it sounds like you made a considerable amount of changes to the recipe I'm not sure how much help I can be. I would suggest following the recipe as written to get the best result. I hope this helps, but feel free to let me know if you have any other questions.

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