April 11, 2016


This single-serve microwave Protein Cinnamon roll is right around 300 calories and HUGE! I never understood why donuts get all the attention, because my favorite sweet breakfast treat is (hands down) the cinnamon roll. I’m talking bakery-style: doughy in the middle, lots of cinnamon sugar and smothered with icing. Unfortunately, I don’t have 800 calories to waste on breakfast every day, so I came up with this “macro-friendly” version (after several failed tries I might add). This Microwave Protein Cinnamon Roll is high-protein, low-sugar, satisfying (like actually keeps you full), and tastes freakishly close to the real thing. The best part is… you don’t have to activate yeast, proof, or even bake. That’s right, NO baking! Just one minute in the microwave and voila!

Protein powder recommendations

For the protein powder, I used Quest brand in unflavored multipurpose flavor. You could also use vanilla flavor or even cinnamon crunch, just make sure it’s either a whey concentrate or whey blend (whey isolate combined with casein and milk protein isolate). Whey isolate is not idea for this recipe as it tends to dry it out! I cannot promise the result using a plant-based protein powder, egg white protein, or collagen protein (I have not tested these in this recipe).

Flour substitutions

For the flour, I recommend Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour. I have heard good things about King Arthur brand as well, but not all gluten-free flours are created equal. I’ve had this recipe fall apart with certain brands! You can also use all-purpose flour or spelt flour if you don’t need gluten-free.

Other substitutions

The only other ingredients are baking powder (which replaces the yeast in this recipe), light buttery spread, unsweetened applesauce, calorie-free sweetener, and cinnamon. It’s seriously so simple! You can swap the light buttery spread for unsalted butter, the unsweetened applesauce for Greek yogurt, and the sweetener for granulated sugar if you like. Really any granulated sweetener you like will work!

Making the cinnamon roll

Just combine the ingredients to form a sticky, soft dough, then, using wetted hands, form dough into a 8″x2″ strip on a lightly floured surface. Lightly brush with melted buttery spread and sprinkle with cinnamon-sweetener mix.

Carefully roll dough strip into a bun and place in a microwave-safe dish coated with cooking spray.

Cooking tips

Microwave for about 1 minute (my microwave puts out 1,000 watts) until the edges are firm but the center is still soft to the touch. Be careful not to “over microwave” your cinnamon roll or it will get tough and dry. Mine only needed about a minute in my 700-watt microwave. If your microwave has higher wattage (like 1000 watts), you may only need 45 seconds.

Frosting options

Last but not least, smother with my sugar-free buttercream frosting (from my Frosted Protein Sugar Cookies recipe)! You can also make cream cheese frosting (2 tbsp. light cream cheese + 1 tbsp. sweetener), OR protein frosting (1 scoop protein powder + enough milk or water to make a thick sauce + sweetener to taste). My favorite is the buttercream but the cream cheese is also very good (pictured).

Here’s the printable recipe for this single-serve Microwave Protein Cinnamon Roll. Please leave a comment below if you try this bad boy!

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Microwave Protein Cinnamon Roll

This single-serve Microwave Protein Cinnamon Roll tastes like a bakery cinnamon roll, minus all the sugar! Lower in fat and calories, made gluten-free.
Course Breakfast
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Servings 1 serving
Calories 303kcal


  • 1/4 cup (30g) whey blend protein powder I used Quest multi-purpose protein (unflavored)
  • 1/4 cup (30g) gluten-free baking flour* or all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. calorie-free sweetener* I used one that's twice as sweet as sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tbsp. unsweetened applesauce or more buttery spread or butter
  • 2 tbsp. water as needed
  • 1 tbsp. buttery spread, divided or unsalted butter

Cinnamon filling

  • 2 tsp. calorie-free sweetener* I used one that's twice as sweet as sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Frosting (see notes)


    • Whisk together protein powder, flour, sweetener, and baking powder in a mixing bowl.
    • Mix in unsweetened applesauce, water, and 2 tsp. softened buttery spread until a sticky, soft dough forms (don’t over-mix!). If the end product is too crumbly, mix in 1-2 teaspoons of water until the dough sticks to itself.
    • Using wetted hands, form dough into an 8″x2″ strip on a lightly floured surface.
    • Coat dough strip with remaining 1 tsp. melted buttery spread.
    • Combine cinnamon and sweetener in a small dish, and sprinkle over dough strip, spreading out to the edges.
    • Carefully roll dough strip into a “bun” and place in a microwave-safe dish coated with cooking spray or buttery spread.
    • Microwave for about 1 minute (my microwave puts out 700 watts, try 45 seconds for 1000 watts) until the edges are firm but the center is soft to the touch. Alternatively, you can bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes. Don't over-cook or your roll will get tough and hard!
    • Ice your roll with sugar-free buttercream frosting (1/4 cup powdered erythritol + 1 tsp. cornstarch + 2-3 tbsp. unsweetened almond milk + 1 tsp. buttery spread), OR cream cheese frosting (2 tbsp. light cream cheese + 1 tbsp. sweetener), OR protein frosting (1 scoop protein powder + enough milk or water to make a thick sauce + sweetener to taste).
    • Enjoy immediately!


    Calories (per roll without frosting): 303kcal, Fat: 9.6g, Sat fat: 3.5g, Carbs: 27g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 1g, Protein: 26g, Sodium: 359mg

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