Cinnamon Roll Perfection: Mastering the Art of Cooking in an Air Fryer

How to make cinnamon rolls in an air fryer

Air fryers have gained popularity in kitchens around the world due to their promise of healthier food and improved cooking times. While they are commonly used for frying, air fryers can also be used to bake various types of food, including cinnamon rolls. In this article, we will explore the process of cooking cinnamon rolls in an air fryer and the advantages it offers over traditional baking methods.

Air Fryer Technology

Air fryers use a unique cooking method that distributes hot air to cook food evenly. Unlike traditional ovens, air fryers require little to no cooking oil due to their design and heat dissipation capabilities. These appliances work similarly to convection ovens, with a fan blowing hot air onto the surface of the food.
The air is pushed down from above the frying basket, making direct contact with the food. Excess air is then drawn up from the basket and circulated downward, creating a tornado-like flow of hot air. Specially designed grooves or fins direct the air up the basket, ensuring thorough circulation both inside and outside the basket. This extensive airflow results in uniform cooking temperatures and ensures that food is cooked evenly, regardless of how it is arranged in the fryer.

Air Fryers vs. Conventional Baking

When comparing air fryers to traditional frying methods, air fryers offer several advantages. While frying food in hot oil produces the best results, air fryers come remarkably close to achieving a similar result. In addition, air fryers are known for their convenience, using less oil and creating minimal mess during the cooking process. Manufacturers such as Samsung and Philips continue to invest in research and development to improve air fryer technology, suggesting that these appliances will revolutionize the way we cook, bake and fry food in the future.
The main difference between air fryers and traditional gas ovens is the even distribution of heat. Air fryers heat and cook food more evenly, eliminating the need to turn or move food during the cooking process. While convection cooking in ovens heats food from the outside in, air fryers use the same method in a more compact and efficient manner. This is due to the smaller size of air fryers, which are designed to cook food in smaller quantities than convection ovens.

Baking cinnamon rolls in an air fryer

There are many advantages to using air fryers to cook food, including cinnamon rolls. One of the most important benefits is the ability to cook the rolls evenly without having to turn or move them. Air fryers distribute heat in a way that ensures fluffy, golden and well-cooked layers on the cinnamon rolls, avoiding the common problem of overdrying or overcooking that can occur with traditional ovens.
The best way to make perfect cinnamon rolls in an air fryer is to use canned or refrigerated cinnamon rolls, such as those from Pillsbury. Start by measuring the bottom of the fryer basket and cutting a piece of parchment paper to fit perfectly. Place the parchment paper on the bottom of the basket and lightly coat with cooking oil. Arrange the refrigerated cinnamon rolls on the parchment paper, making sure they are not overcrowded. The air circulation in the fryer will ensure even cooking, so it is not necessary to space them out.
Set the fryer for 320°F and 12 minutes. Alternatively, you can use a stopwatch to manually time the cooking process. Check the surface and doneness of the cinnamon rolls and add an additional 5 minutes if a deeper color or more cooking is desired. Use tongs to remove the cinnamon rolls from the fryer and transfer to a plate. Add toppings as desired and serve immediately.

Additional Tips

While it is generally not necessary to move the rolls in the fryer, a simple trick can improve the outer layer of the cinnamon rolls. After cooking for about 6 minutes, pause the timer and use tongs to flip the rolls upside down. Continue cooking for another 7-10 minutes. This method results in a more satisfying outer layer that is both golden and thoroughly cooked.
It is worth noting that using parchment paper can interfere with the cooking process by blocking the flow of hot air under the basket. While you can skip the parchment paper and spray oil directly onto the base, this is not recommended because canned spray oils may contain pressurized chemicals that could damage the fryer. If you prefer not to use parchment paper, you can coat the fryer basket directly with regular oil using a brush. Ultimately, the choice depends on your personal preference and how you intend to use the fryer.

Air frying different types of cinnamon rolls

The main limitation of air fryers for baking is their smaller size compared to conventional ovens. Tabletop air fryers have a smaller cooking pan or basket, which limits the number of cinnamon rolls that can be baked at one time. However, this can be overcome by cooking the rolls in batches. Simply follow the same process described above for each batch, making sure that the cinnamon rolls are evenly spaced and not overcrowded in the fryer basket.
It is also worth noting that different brands of cinnamon rolls can vary in size and cooking time. Therefore, it is important to refer to the instructions on the package of the specific brand you are using. Adjustments to cooking time and temperature may be necessary to achieve the desired doneness.


Air fryers are versatile appliances that can be used not only for frying but also for baking a variety of foods, including cinnamon rolls. Their unique technology distributes heat evenly, resulting in perfectly cooked and delicious treats. By following the simple steps outlined in this article, you can easily bake cinnamon rolls in an air fryer and enjoy the benefits of convenience, efficiency, and evenly cooked results. Experiment with different brands and variations of cinnamon rolls to find your favorite combination and enjoy homemade, air-fried cinnamon goodness.


Can I make cinnamon rolls in an air fryer?

Yes, air fryers are great for cooking cinnamon rolls. They provide even heat distribution and result in perfectly baked rolls every time.

Do I need to use cooking oil when baking cinnamon rolls in an air fryer?

No, air fryers require little to no cooking oil. Their design and hot air circulation provide a crispy and delicious exterior without the need for excessive oil.

How long does it take to cook cinnamon rolls in an air fryer?

Cooking time can vary depending on the brand and size of the cinnamon rolls. Generally, it takes about 12 minutes at 320°F, but you can adjust the time based on your desired doneness.

Can I use homemade cinnamon roll dough in an air fryer?

Yes, you can use homemade cinnamon roll dough in an air fryer. Make sure the dough is properly prepared and follow the same cooking instructions as you would for store-bought refrigerated cinnamon rolls.

Do I need to preheat the air fryer before cooking cinnamon rolls?

It is not necessary to preheat the air fryer when cooking Cinnamon Rolls. The circulation of hot air in the fryer ensures that the rolls cook evenly from the start of the cooking process.

Can I use parchment paper when baking cinnamon rolls in an air fryer?

While you can use parchment paper to line the fryer basket, it can block the hot air flow from underneath. Alternatively, you can coat the basket directly with regular cooking oil using a brush to prevent sticking. The choice depends on your personal preference and how you intend to use the fryer.