Homemade cinnamon rolls are a delicious treat that are quick and easy to make in the air fryer! The rolls are soft, fluffy, filled with warm cinnamon and brown sugar, and topped with an easy cream cheese icing.
There is nothing better than homemade cinnamon rolls, and when you don't want to turn on your oven, the air fryer is a great alternative that makes perfect fluffy, golden brown cinnamon rolls in under 10 minutes! You can make these with store-bought cinnamon roll dough if you prefer, but making the dough from scratch gives the best flavor and is well worth the extra effort!
INGREDIENTS FOR AIR FRYER CINNAMON ROLLS
HOMEMADE CINNAMON ROLL DOUGH
- Whole milk: Warm to 100-110°F. Whole milk makes a softer, more tender dough, but reduced fat or non-dairy milk can also be used.
- Brown sugar: Brown sugar feeds the yeast and adds great depth of flavor to the cinnamon roll dough!
- Yeast: This recipe uses active-dry yeast, but instant or rapid rise yeast can also be used. Active-dry yeast is mixed with warm liquid and sugar to become activated, instant or rapid rise yeast doesn't need to be activated and can be added to the dough along with the flour.
- Eggs: 2 large eggs add richness and flavor to the dough.
- Salt: Reduce to ½ teaspoon if your butter is salted.
- Flour: All-purpose flour is perfect for cinnamon rolls!
- Unsalted butter: Softened and cut into pieces.
CINNAMON SUGAR FILLING
- Milk: For brushing the dough. Using milk (instead of softened butter) helps the cinnamon sugar filling stick to the dough without melting out during baking.
- Brown sugar
- Ground cinnamon
CREAM CHEESE ICING FOR CINNAMON ROLLS
- Cream cheese: Brick-style, softened.
- Butter: Softened. Salted or unsalted is fine.
- Powdered sugar
- Cream: Or milk
HOW TO MAKE AIR FRYER CINNAMON ROLLS
MAKE THE DOUGH
- Add the whole milk to a glass measuring cup and microwave in 30-second intervals until it reaches 100-110°F. Whisk in the brown sugar and active-dry yeast and let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes, or until the yeast dissolves and bubbles form on the surface. Whisk in the eggs and then transfer the mixture to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Add flour and salt and mix with a wooden spoon or the paddle attachment in the stand mixer.
- Add the softened butter to the dough, one piece at a time, and mix in the stand mixer or knead the dough by hand until combined after each.
- Once all of the butter is added, knead the dough in the stand mixer or by hand for about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic.
Form the dough into a smooth, round ball and place it in a large bowl that's been lightly coated with oil or softened butter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until doubled in size. The dough will rise faster in a warm environment, such as near a warm oven or next to a window on a sunny day. You can also place the bowl in the fridge to let the dough rise overnight.
SHAPE THE DOUGH
Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down to release the air and then transfer the dough to a clean surface. Lightly dust both sides of the dough with flour and roll it out into a wide rectangle, about 12 x 20".
Use a pastry brush to paint the dough all over with milk, then cover with the cinnamon sugar mixture.
Trim the uneven edges on the sides, if desired, and tightly roll the dough up into a long, skinny log.
Use a sharp knife to cut the dough into 1.5" pieces.
AIR FRY THE CINNAMON ROLLS
Place a piece of aluminum foil in the bottom of your air fryer basket. Lightly spray the foil with nonstick spray. I don't recommend using parchment paper, since it can potentially catch fire if it flies up towards the heating element!
Arrange the cinnamon rolls about half an inch apart on top of the foil. Make sure the foil is weighed down by placing at least one roll on each edge of the foil, otherwise the foil might fly around in the air fryer and damage the cinnamon rolls!
Set the temperature to 350°F and air fry the cinnamon rolls for 8-10 minutes. They will be puffed up and golden brown.
Check the bottom of the cinnamon rolls to make sure it's cooked (though it will be very light and soft), or use a digital thermometer to check the internal temperature of the dough. Cooked dough should be around 190-200°F.
MAKE THE CINNAMON ROLL CREAM CHEESE ICING
Use an electric mixer to beat the softened cream cheese and softened butter until smooth. Mix in the powdered sugar and cream until smooth.
Use an offset spatula to spread the icing over the cinnamon rolls and serve warm!
HOW TO STORE CINNAMON ROLLS
Cinnamon rolls taste best the same day they're made and while warm. Store leftovers in an airtight container and keep at room temperature for 2 days or in the fridge for 1 week. To reheat, wrap individual cinnamon rolls in a damp paper towel and microwave for about 30 seconds or until warm.
HOW TO FREEZE CINNAMON ROLL DOUGH
Once you've added the filling, rolled, and cut the cinnamon rolls, arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the sheet flat in your freezer until the dough is frozen solid, then transfer to a sealed container and keep frozen for 1 month.
When ready to cook, add a sheet of foil to your air fryer and place the frozen rolls on top. Make sure the foil is being evenly held down by the cinnamon rolls.
Air fry at 350°F until cooked through, about 12-15 minutes.
Add the cream cheese icing and serve warm. Enjoy!
MORE SWEET BREAKFAST RECIPES
- Honey Wheat Bread
- Homemade Monkey Bread
- Bavarian Cream Donuts
- French Cruller Donuts
- Mini Blueberry Muffins
Air Fryer Cinnamon Rolls
- air fryer
Cinnamon Roll Dough:
- 1 cup whole milk
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 2 and ¼ teaspoon active-dry yeast
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 - 4 and ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into pieces
Cinnamon Sugar Filling:
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- milk, for brushing the dough
Cream Cheese Icing:
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon cream or milk
Make the Cinnamon Roll Dough:
- Add the whole milk to a liquid measuring cup and microwave in 30-second intervals until the temperature reaches 100-110°F on a digital thermometer. Mix in the brown sugar and active-dry yeast and let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes or until bubbly. Add the eggs and mix until combined.
- Transfer to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Use a wooden spoon or the paddle attachment and stir in the salt and 4 cups of flour. Add more flour, 2 tablespoons at a time, until the dough comes together and isn't too sticky.
- Add the softened butter to the dough, one piece at a time, and mix until incorporated after each. Once all of the butter is added, knead the dough by hand or in the stand mixer for about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic.
- Form the dough into a smooth, tight ball and place in a large bowl that's been lightly greased with oil or softened butter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until doubled in size. The dough will rise faster in a warm environment, such as next to a window on a sunny day or near a warm oven. You can also refrigerate the dough to let it rise slowly overnight.
Shape the Rolls:
- Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down to release the air and then transfer the dough to a clean surface. Lightly sprinkle both sides of the dough with flour and roll it out into a wide rectangle, about 20 inches long, 12 inches wide, and ¼-inch thick.
- Use a pastry brush to paint the dough with milk, then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar filling generously all over the dough.
- Starting on the long side of the rectangle, roll the dough up into a tight skinny log.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the dough into 1.5" pieces. You should get about 16 rolls.
Air Fry the Cinnamon Rolls:
- Place a sheet of aluminum foil in the bottom of your air fryer basket. Lightly spray the foil with nonstick spray and arrange the cinnamon rolls around the edges, about half an inch apart. Make sure the foil is weighed down by placing at least one roll on all the edges. Otherwise the foil will fly around in the air fryer.
- Set your air fryer to 350°F and air fry the cinnamon rolls for 8-10 minutes. Check the bottom of the rolls to make sure it's cooked through (though it will be very light and soft), or use a digital thermometer to check the internal temperature of the dough. Cooked dough should be around 190-200°F.
Make the Cream Cheese Cinnamon Roll Icing:
- Use an electric mixer to beat the softened cream cheese and softened butter until smooth. Mix in the powdered sugar and cream until combined.
- Spread the icing over the cinnamon rolls while warm.