These homemade, small-batch Air Fryer Cinnamon Rolls are soft and fluffy with a sweet cinnamon swirl and cream cheese frosting. There’s no yeast or rising time required, so you can have these cinnamon buns ready in just 25 minutes!
If you love the cozy smell of cinnamon filling up your kitchen, you’ll love these homemade cinnamon rolls! I mean, who doesn’t love a fresh, warm cinnamon bun dripping with cream cheese frosting?!
These rolls have become a weekend staple for us, and definitely complete any Saturday morning breakfast or Sunday brunch.
For a decadent treat, we love sweet rolls in our house. These Nutella rolls never disappoint, and these cranberry white chocolate rolls are a holiday brunch tradition.
Now, these cinnamon rolls are fast becoming a favourite, and they’re made in the air fryer, so they bake up quickly without any need to turn on your oven!
If you’re looking for more dessert recipes to make in the air fryer, try this air fryer cake or these air fryer chocolate chip cookies. These air fryer muffins are also a must try!
Why you’ll love this recipe
- They’re small batch! Cinnamon rolls are best enjoyed warm and fresh, and six is the perfect amount for a small brunch gathering (or for two hungry people)!
- There’s no yeast or rising time required. You just need to assemble and bake (or air fry in this case), so you don’t have to wait to satisfy that cinnamon bun craving.
- They air fry in half the time as the traditional oven. These cinnamon rolls would normally take about 20 minutes to bake in the oven, but they’re ready in just 9 minutes in the air fryer!
Details on the ingredients
Flour – You’ll need one cup (plus a few tablespoons) of white flour for this recipe. While I love to bake with whole grain flours, for a soft and fluffy texture, you’ll want to go with all-purpose white flour for these buns.
Sugar – We’re using two types of sugar for these rolls. A little granulated sugar is added to the dough for some sweetness, and brown sugar is used for the cinnamon filling.
Baking powder – For leavening, you’ll want to use 3 teaspoons of baking powder for these rolls.
Salt – A little salt enhances the sweet flavours.
Butter – I use unsalted butter, but if you only have salted, just omit the added salt in the recipe. You’ll also need some melted butter for the cinnamon filling.
Buttermilk – For a soft, fluffy and tender texture, buttermilk works perfectly in these rolls.
Vanilla – Similar to salt, a little vanilla is added to enhance the flavours of the other ingredients. Be sure to use pure vanilla extract instead of artificial.
Cinnamon – An essential ingredient for cinnamon rolls!
Frosting – You can enjoy these cinnamon rolls on their own, but a simple frosting made with cream cheese, powdered sugar and milk definitely takes them up a notch.
How to make cinnamon rolls in the air fryer
Start by making the cinnamon filling. Stir together the melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup of flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt.
Add in the cold cubes of butter and use a pastry cutter or your fingers to incorporate the butter into the flour mixture until it’s crumbly with pieces of butter throughout.
Stir the vanilla into the buttermilk and add to the dry ingredients. Stir together until just combined. The dough will be shaggy and sticky.
Add 2 tablespoons of flour to your work surface. Fold out the dough and start kneading it by folding it over a few times to incorporate the flour from the work surface. The dough should start to get firm and less sticky. (If it’s still sticky, knead in a little more flour).
Ensure your work surface and rolling pin are well floured, then use the rolling pin to roll out the dough into a rough rectangular shape that’s 1/4 inch thick.
Spread the cinnamon filling out on the dough. (It should be a spreadable consistency. Make sure it’s cooled a bit before spreading it on as it will melt the butter pieces in the dough and create holes in the dough).
From the short edge, roll the dough into a log, folding in the dough at both ends to ensure the filling doesn’t come out.
Slice the log into 6 even pieces. (You can also roll the cinnamon rolls from the long edge and cut the log into 12 mini cinnamon rolls).
Arrange the slices in a single layer in a greased 8-inch round cake pan.
Air fry on 400F for 9 minutes, or until the rolls are browned on top.
While the rolls are air frying, make the frosting by beating together the cream cheese, powdered sugar and milk using an electric mixer.
Let the cinnamon rolls cool for a few minutes, then spread on the frosting and enjoy warm.
Storage and freezing
These cinnamon buns are best enjoyed warm and flaky right out of the oven. If you have leftovers, just store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. They will get a little firm in the refrigerator, so just warm them in the microwave before eating.
If you don’t add the cream cheese frosting, you can leave the rolls at room temperature for a few days.
You can freeze these rolls with or without the frosting. Just store them in a single layer in an airtight container and freeze for 2-3 months. If they’re frosted, defrost in the refrigerator. If they’re not frosted, defrost at room temperature.
Frequently asked questions
You’ll want to use a pan that fits the size of your air fryer. I used a Cosori 5.8 quart air fryer for this recipe so it was large enough to fit an 8-inch round cake pan in the air fryer basket. The 6 large cinnamon rolls were also a perfect fit for this size pan. If your air fryer is smaller, you’ll need to use a smaller pan and even cut the recipe in half.
These buns have the best rise when baked on a high heat, so set your air fryer to 400F. I haven’t tested this recipe on a lower temperature, but if your air fryer only goes to 390F, I suggest letting the rolls bake a little longer.
At 400F, the cinnamon rolls should only take about 9 minutes to bake in the air fryer. They will expand and rise and should be browned on top. Air fryer brands and models can differ, so take a quick look at about 7 minutes to see how the rolls are doing. Be careful not to open the air fryer basket too early or too often. This may affect how the rolls rise.
No air fryer, no problem! You can bake these cinnamon rolls in the oven on 425F degrees for about 20 minutes.
You want the butter cubes cold so little pieces are mixed into the dough. As the cinnamon rolls bake in the oven, the butter pieces will melt and release steam and create little air pockets that help achieve a soft and fluffy texture.
Keeping your buttermilk cold will help ensure the little pieces of butter stay cold and intact as you work the dough.
To ensure your butter and buttermilk are cold enough, just pop them in the freezer for 5 minutes or so just before they’re required in the recipe.
You can use dairy milk in place of buttermilk, but the rolls will not have the same soft and fluffy texture, especially if you don’t use a full fat milk. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make your own by adding a 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice to a measuring cup and then filling it to the 1/2 cup mark with milk. Stir and let it sit for 5 minutes to curdle.
To cut rolls neatly and evenly, I use a stainless steel bench scraper and chopper. It cuts through the dough neatly and it has measurement marks on it to help measure out the dough into even slices. The scraping function also helps lift the dough off the work surface as I roll up the cinnamon rolls.
Key recipe tips
- Type of air fryer. The air frying time is based on a Cosori 5.8 quart air fryer. As different brands and models vary, you may need to adjust the air frying time slightly.
- Checking for doneness. Resist the urge to check on the rolls multiple times in the air fryer as this will affect how well they rise and bake. If you think they might over bake, take a peak at them after 7 minutes.
- Preheating. If your model air fryer requires preheating, make sure you preheat it on 400F for 5 minutes before adding the cinnamon rolls. Once preheated, be careful adding the pan of cinnamon rolls to the hot air fryer basket.
- Measuring flour. Make sure you properly measure the flour by using the spoon and level method. You don’t want the flour packed into the measuring cup as you’ll end up with too much for the recipe.
- Cutting in the butter. Be careful not to warm up the butter too much as you work it into the flour. I normally use a pastry cutter or my fingers, but you can also use a food processor and just pulse a few times to incorporate the butter into the flour.
- Work surface. Ensure your work surface is well floured so the dough doesn’t stick as you roll it out and roll up the cinnamon rolls. I find a large wooden cutting board is the best surface to work from.
- Thickness of dough. Don’t roll out the dough too thin as it will not hold the filling and holes may form as you start to roll the dough. I find the ideal thickness is 1/4-inch.
- Cool the filling. Make sure the cinnamon filling has time to cool a little. If the filling is too warm, it will melt through the butter pieces in the dough. It should be cool but still a spreadable consistency.
More air fryer recipes
- Air Fryer Tortilla Chips
- Air Fryer Carrots (3 Ways!)
- Air Fryer Crab Cakes
- Air Fryer Baby Potatoes
- Air Fryer Snap Peas
- Air Fryer Chicken Patties
If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below!
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Air Fryer Cinnamon Rolls
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 9 minutes
- Total Time: 24 minutes
- Yield: 6 rolls
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Air Fry
- Cuisine: American
These soft and fluffy Air Fryer Cinnamon Rolls with cream cheese frosting are small-batch with no yeast and ready in just 25 minutes!
For the filling:
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the dough:
- 1 cup + 2 –3 tablespoons all-purpose white flour, divided
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 1/2 cup buttermilk, cold
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the frosting:
- 1/2 cup cream cheese
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons milk
- Preheat the air fryer on 400F for 5 minutes and grease an 8-inch round cake pan.
- Make the filling by stirring together the brown sugar, cinnamon and melted butter. Set aside to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, start making the dough by whisking together 1 cup of flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
- Add in the cold cubes of butter and use a pastry cutter or your fingers to incorporate the butter into the flour mixture until it’s crumbly with pieces of butter throughout.
- Stir the vanilla into the buttermilk and add to the dry ingredients. Stir together until just combined. The dough will be shaggy and sticky.
- Add 2 tablespoons of flour to your work surface and then fold out the dough. Start kneading and folding it over a few times to incorporate the flour from the work surface until it’s firm and less sticky. (If it’s still sticky, knead in a little more flour).
- Ensure your work surface and rolling pin are well floured, then use the rolling pin to roll out the dough into a rough rectangular shape that is 1/4 inch thick.
- Spread the cinnamon filling out on the dough.
- From the short edge, roll the dough into a log, folding in the dough at both ends to ensure the filling doesn’t come out.
- Slice the log into 6 even pieces.
- Arrange the slices in a single layer in the prepared cake pan.
- Air fry on 400F for 9 minutes, or until the rolls are browned on top.
- While the rolls are air frying, make the frosting. Use an electric mixer to beat together the cream cheese, powdered sugar and milk until smooth.
- Let the cinnamon rolls cool for a few minutes, then spread on the frosting and enjoy warm.
- The air frying time is based on a Cosori 5.8 quart air fryer. As different brands and models vary, you may need to adjust the air frying time slightly.
- To ensure the butter and buttermilk are cold enough, place the cubed butter and 1/2 cup of buttermilk in the freezer for 5 minutes just before they’re required in the recipe.
- Make sure you properly measure the flour by using the spoon and level method. You don’t want the flour packed into the measuring cup.
- Make sure the cinnamon filling has time to cool a little. If the filling is too warm, it will melt through the butter pieces in the dough. It should be cool but still a spreadable consistency.
- Do not roll the dough too thin as it will not hold the filling and holes may form as you start to roll the dough. I find the ideal thickness is 1/4-inch.
- Resist the urge to open the air fryer and check on the rolls multiple times as this will affect how well they rise and bake. If you think they may over bake, take a quick look at them at around 7 minutes.
- Be sure to check out the other sections above the recipe card for more detailed advice and suggestions for making this recipe.
Keywords: cinnamon buns, air fryer, small batch
Ben | Havocinthekitchen says
The list of air-fryer options is endless, and it keeps surprising me! I’ve never used it for “baked” recipes, although I’ve read you can make awesome old-fashioned yeast donuts without any oil. Anyway, these rolls sound and look splendid, pass me a couple please 🙂
Donuts are on my list to try in the air fryer for sure! Thanks Ben!
Katerina | Once a Foodie says
Yummmm, these look absolutely amazing, Leanne! Can’t believe they are made in the air-fryer and without yeast. Brilliant!