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How To Reheat Cinnamon Rolls [I Try 5 Methods]

Most cinnamon roll recipes make between 9 to 12 servings. If you don’t have that many mouths to feed, you may be left in a pickle. You can either over-indulge or be sensible and save them for later.

This article is all about how to keep your cinnamon rolls tasting as fresh as possible, for as long as possible. I have personally experimented with five different reheating methods, to find out what delivers the best tasting, least dry cinnamon roll. These reheating methods include:

In a rush? Here’s the short answer.

What’s the best way to reheat cinnamon rolls? The best way to reheat cinnamon rolls is in the oven. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of water over the cinnamon roll and add either butter or icing. Cover the cinnamon roll in foil and cook at 350°F (180°C) for 10-15 minutes. Adding water prevents the cinnamon rolls from drying out.

A note about my experiment

There’s a lot of confusing and downright rubbish information online when it comes to reheating cinnamon rolls. 

In order to clear up the confusion and save you the grief of ruining one of your precious cinnamon rolls, I decided to personally test every method I could find online. I’ve documented my results below to help you decide what method is best for you.

Each cinnamon roll was reheated and sampled immediately. I’ve based my judgment on the following:

  • Taste
  • Texture (cinnamon rolls have a tendency of drying out and going all hard)
  • Ease of reheating

Reheating cinnamon rolls in the oven

To reheat cinnamon rolls in the oven, preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Next, sprinkle one tablespoon of water on each cinnamon roll. For an extra special treat, lather on extra icing or butter. Cover the cinnamon rolls in foil and reheat in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

How to reheat cinnamon rolls in the oven:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Sprinkle (or spray) approximately 1 tablespoon of water on each cinnamon roll. The water allows the roll to rehydrate while it reheats.
  3. Optional: add additional icing or butter to taste. I personally love cream cheese icing – but feel free to adapt. I find that adding icing before reheating adds additional moisture to the cinnamon roll.
  4. Cover the cinnamon rolls completely with foil. This prevents the tops from burning and prevents moisture from escaping. It’s key to not drying them out.
  5. Place the foil-wrapped cinnamon rolls on a baking tray and reheat in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

Additional butter or icing really helps to revive older buns that have started to go a little stale.

Verdict

The oven is the best way to reheat cinnamon rolls. In my tests, the oven produced the softest and least dry cinnamon rolls out of all of the reheating methods. 

Admittedly, there is a little extra work involved in reheating in the oven, so it loses out on points for convenience, but overall the cinnamon roll tasted nearly as good as new. It’s also worth noting that you can reheat large batches of cinnamon rolls in the oven – something that’s not possible with the other methods.

Reheating cinnamon rolls in the microwave

To reheat a cinnamon roll in the microwave, place it on a microwave-safe plate and cover it with a damp paper towel. Microwave the cinnamon roll on full power, checking in 10-second increments until it’s piping hot. For best results, avoid microwaving more than one cinnamon roll at a time.

There’s mixed information online when it comes to microwaving cinnamon rolls (or any baked good for that matter). Some people recommend using the glass of water trick, and others recommend using a damp paper towel.

I tried both of these methods. The damp paper towel was much better at retaining the moist, soft qualities of the cinnamon roll. Why exactly? It’s hard to know for sure. However, my theory is that with a damp paper towel, you have fewer variables. With a glass of water, there are variables such as how much water, size of glass, etc. You don’t get these with the paper towel.

How to reheat cinnamon rolls in the microwave:

  1. Place a single cinnamon roll on a microwave-safe plate
  2. Optional: add additional icing or butter to taste. Adding icing before microwaving allows it to melt and introduce moisture into the bun.
  3. Dampen a single paper towel and cover the cinnamon roll with it. The paper towel should be fairly wet – but not dripping. This step is crucial for a soft, moist roll.
  4. Microwave on full power in 10-second increments.
  5. Most cinnamon rolls will be fully reheated in 20-30 seconds. Once done, remove the cinnamon roll from the microwave and let it sit for 60 seconds before serving.

Verdict

The microwaved cinnamon roll was perfectly delicious to eat immediately after reheating, but rapidly shrivelled up when left on the counter for more than a few minutes.

The microwave is arguably the most convenient reheating method, so if you’re sure you’ll eat the whole roll immediately, this is a great option. Don’t forget the damp paper towel!

Reheating cinnamon rolls in the air fryer

To reheat cinnamon rolls in the air fryer, lightly sprinkle 1 tablespoon of water on each roll. Next, add any extra icing or butter to your preference. Reheat the cinnamon rolls at 350°F (180°C) for 4 to 6 minutes. Place a sheet of parchment paper under the cinnamon rolls to prevent any mess.

How to reheat cinnamon rolls in an air fryer:

  1. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of water over each cinnamon roll.
  2. Optional: lather on any extra icing or butter to taste.
  3. Optional: place a sheet of parchment paper underneath the cinnamon rolls to catch any residual icing/butter.
  4. Reheat the cinnamon rolls in the air fryer for 4 to 6 minutes.
  5. Serve immediately.

Verdict

You’re either a die-hard air frying fanatic (in which case nothing I say will dissuade you) or not.

I wasn’t overly impressed with the air fryer (as expected), but felt the need to give it a go nonetheless. Why does it seem like the entire internet recommends an air fryer for everything?!

Anyway, the air-fried cinnamon rolls were just a touch too dry for my liking. Even with the additional moisture and extra icing.

Reheating cinnamon rolls on a George Foreman grill

To reheat cinnamon rolls on a George Foreman grill, gently place the cinnamon rolls in the preheated grill and cook for 2 minutes on each side. Where possible, aim to reheat the cinnamon rolls without the icing, as it can burn and turn into a hard sticky mess. Once reheated, apply any extra icing.

How to reheat cinnamon rolls in a George Foreman grill:

  1. Preheat your chosen cooking device for 5 minutes. I mention “George Foreman Grills” as this is what I tested the method on, but sandwich toasters and generic panini presses work in the same way.
  2. Gently place your (ideally*) un-iced cinnamon roll(s) on the grill.
  3. Reheat the cinnamon rolls for 2 minutes on each side.
  4. Once piping hot, remove from your cooking device and let cool.
  5. Optional: add additional icing or butter to taste.

I tested this method with already iced cinnamon rolls which led to the sugar in the icing hardening and being incredibly unpleasant to eat. Think super-sticky gloop that your dentist would shudder at.

Verdict

I do not recommend reheating your cinnamon rolls in a sandwich toaster/George Foreman/waffle machine etc.

This is yet another method that seems to have surfaced online out of thin air (I’m looking at you, random Quora user). Admittedly, I did only try this method with already-iced cinnamon rolls.

As you can see from my photograph, the sugar in the icing crystallised and turned into a hard, horrible gloop.

If you have an oven or microwave handy – stick with those. You’ll thank me later.

How to store cinnamon rolls

Cinnamon rolls can be kept at room temperature for up to 48 hours. Store the cinnamon rolls in an airtight container to prevent them from drying out. For longer-term storage, cinnamon rolls can be frozen in a heavy-duty freezer bag, where they’ll last up to 1 month. Avoid refrigerating.

Make sure the rolls are completely cool before you store them, because any condensation in their container will render them soggy. I always line my container with a paper towel to help get rid of any excess moisture.

For best results, individually wrap each roll. This will ensure as little air as possible reaches them.

While you can technically refrigerate the cinnamon rolls, I advise against it if you don’t have to. They tend to go quite tough after being in the fridge for a few hours.

If your cinnamon rolls have cream cheese frosting on, the storage requirements are a little different. I discuss this in more detail further down the page.

Freezing cooked cinnamon rolls

To freeze already-baked cinnamon rolls, first, ensure that they’re fully cool. Next, individually wrap each cinnamon roll in plastic wrap. Place the wrapped cinnamon rolls into a labeled airtight freezer bag. Remove any excess air and freeze for up to one month.

The best way to remove air from a freezer bag is to use a straw. Close the bag except for a little hole where you can stick a straw in. Suck until all the air’s gone then pull the straw out and seal the bag as quickly as possible.

How to reheat Cinnabon cinnamon rolls

The best way to reheat Cinnabon cinnamon rolls is in the microwave. First, ensure the Cinnabon cinnamon roll has fully thawed. Next, place it on a microwave-safe plate and heat on full power for 15-20 seconds. Increase the reheating time by 4-6 seconds for each additional roll. Serve immediately.

How to reheat Pillsbury cinnamon rolls

The best way to reheat Pillsbury cinnamon rolls is in the microwave. Place the Pillsbury cinnamon roll on a microwave-safe plate and heat on full power for 20-25 seconds. Increase the reheating time by 6-8 seconds for each additional roll. Add any additional leftover icing and serve immediately.

Can cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing be left out?

Cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing can be left at room temperature for a maximum of 2 hours. The USDA recommends that any food (including cinnamon rolls) containing cream cheese be refrigerated or frozen for preservation.

Despite the high sugar content in cream cheese frosting, it is still important to follow food safety best practices.

If you have accidentally left your cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting at room temperature overnight, it’s best to dispose of them.

As the saying goes ‘If in doubt, throw it out’.

Tips to keep cinnamon rolls moist and stop them from drying out

  • Ensure the storage container is airtight, air is the enemy. For best results, individually wrap the cinnamon rolls tightly in plastic wrap.
  • Eat within 24 hours of baking for best results. If storing for longer, freeze the cinnamon rolls to retain the most moisture.
  • Covering the cinnamon rolls with foil when reheating in the oven helps to retain moisture and prevents the cinnamon rolls from drying out.
  • When reheating, sprinkle on a tablespoon or two of water on each cinnamon roll.
  • If the cinnamon rolls are already a little dry and stale, lathering on extra icing and/or butter works wonders at masking the stale texture.

The BEST Way To Reheat Cinnamon Rolls

Most cinnamon roll recipes make between 9 to 12 servings. If you don’t have that many mouths to feed, you may be left in a pickle. You can either over-indulge or be sensible and save them for later.
This recipe is all about reheating your cinnamon rolls to keep them (nearly) as moist and fresh as the first time they came out the oven.
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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Snack
Cuisine Danish
Servings 1 person
Calories 436 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 1 portion cinnamon rolls
  • 1 sprinkle water
  • 1 tbsp icing or butter (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • Sprinkle (or spray) approximately 1 tablespoon of water on each cinnamon roll. The water allows the roll to rehydrate while it reheats.
  • Optional: add additional icing or butter to taste. I personally love cream cheese icing – but feel free to adapt. I find that adding icing before reheating adds additional moisture to the cinnamon roll.
  • Cover the cinnamon rolls completely with foil. This prevents the tops from burning and prevents moisture from escaping. It’s key to not drying them out.
  • Place the foil-wrapped cinnamon rolls on a baking tray and reheat in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

Nutrition

Serving: 100gCalories: 436kcal
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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