7 Alternative Ways To Cook Cinnamon Rolls Without An Oven

If you are not in the mood to make dough from scratch, then store-bought, ready-to-bake cinnamon rolls like Pillsbury, Annies, or Jus-Rol are an absolutely perfect solution. Once you have managed to pop open the can, all you need is a hot oven, and in 15 minutes, fluffy and soft cinnamony buns are ready to be enjoyed. 

But what if you don’t have an oven at hand? Don’t worry; your dream of eating freshly made cinnamon rolls can still come true. All you need is a little bit of creativity.

Here is how to cook Pillsbury cinnamon rolls without an oven:

1. Microwaved Cinnamon Rolls

microwaved cinnamon rolls

Although I am not a big fan of microwaves, the fact is that is is the best allies for very quick and efficient cooking. It turns out that this useful little appliance is also the key to getting a perfectly-cooked Pillsbury cinnamon roll within one minute. 

Well, maybe not perfectly cooked but cooked and really fast nevertheless.

Microwaves are not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing, so the cooking time of your cinnamon roll will depend on the settings, speed, and temperature range. On average, Pillsbury cinnamon rolls on a medium-high setting cook within 30 seconds, but it can extend up to two minutes. 

Subsequently, you need to find the perfect sweet spot for your microwave oven, and the best way to do so is through a batch test. 

Coat your chosen recipient with cooking spray, oil, or butter. Place the Pcinnamon roll inside and begin cooking it at the medium-high setting for 20 seconds at a time until you figure out the perfect spot. 

Remember that microwaved cinnamon rolls are rater soft and fluffy and not golden brown as the oven-baked ones.

2. Air Fryer Cinnamon Rolls

air fryer cinnamon rolls

Cooking your cinnamon rolls in an air fryer (a small countertop kitchen appliance that uses convection to circulate hot air) has all the benefits of using an oven with the convenience of the microwave. The result? A picture-perfect cinnamon roll in less than 10 minutes. 

This cooking method is the best option even if you have a perfectly functional oven.

Air fryers essentially function as a small convection oven. It can reach high temperatures much faster and therefore cook your food in less time than a regular oven, without preheating extensively. 

All you need to do is lightly coat the surface of your air fryer basket with a cooking spray or parchment paper, guaranteeing the rolls won’t get stuck. Once the rolls are inside, set the temperature to 350°F (180°C) and cook for about 7-10 minutes, or until done.

They’ll be indistinguishable from regular oven-baked rolls! Coat them with the icing and enjoy.

Check Out Also: More Air Fryer Baking Recipes.

3. Deep Fried Cinnamon Rolls

deep fried cinnamon rolls

Delicious and decadent, deep-fried or shallow fried cinnamon buns may not be the world’s healthiest option, but they are exquisite, easy to make and add an extra crunch that is simply impossible to resist. 

This method is similar to cooking doughnuts, but it might take just a few minutes longer.

All you need is a frying pan, shallow pot or skillet, some cooking oil, and your trusty stovetop. Pour about one inch or two centimeters of oil into the pot of frying pan, and heat it up. 

Once the oil is hot hot hot to fizzle, carefully dip the cinnamon rolls in, and place as many rolls as you can. Make sure to cook each side for a few minutes until they get a golden brown color and remove from heat.

After they cool down, coat them with some sprinkled powdered sugar for a final touch. 

4. Campfire Cinnamon Rolls

campfire cinnamon rolls

There are two main methods for preparing cinnamon rolls in the campfire. First is the classic campfire skillet method, and then the “cinnamon rolls on a stick” approach.

For the former technique, all you have to do is coat your skillet with butter, oil, or nonstick spray and then put the cinnamon rolls on top, setting them to cook over the campfire. Keep them for 10 to 15 minutes, turning them frequently so that both sides cook evenly and reach a golden brown color. 

The second method is a bit more hands-on. Take the Pillsbury cinnamon roll from the package, slowly unroll it from itself, and wrap it length-wise around your skewer or stick—as if it were a snake. This ensures it cooks faster and more evenly.

Place the skewer or stick close to the fire yet without direct contact, and wait 10-15 minutes for it to turn golden brown.

5. Waffle Maker Cinnamon Rolls

waffle maker cinnamon rolls

Elevate your cinnamon rolls and waffles to the next level—by combining both, of course! All you need is a pack of ready-to-bake cinnamon rolls, a waffle maker, and the desire to delight your tastebuds.

Coat your waffle maker with a cooking spray, then set it to heat. Once it has reached the set temperature, grab one of the cinnamon rolls and gently press it down, then place it in the center of the waffle maker and close the lid. 

Your cinnamon roll waffle should be ready within five minutes, but the exact time depends on your waffle maker. Make sure to check the cooking progress constantly, and remove from the waffle press as soon as the waffles turn golden brown. 

It’s quick, easy, and delicious making it an ideal breakfast or brunch option for the family. You might want to give it a try even if you have access to an oven. It could just become your favorite cooking method.

6. Fried Cinnamon Rolls

alternative ways to cook cinnamon rolls

Simple, efficient, fast, and delicious—your nonstick griddle or frying pan might become your favorite new ally when preparing Pillsbury cinnamon rolls. 

The process lasts five minutes at most. Set your griddle or frying pan over medium-high heat or, if electric, preheat to 350°F (180°C) as you open your cinnamon roll packages. Set each delicious treat on top of the surface, being careful to rotate them so that each side gets an equal cooking time.

It is kind of like cooking and flipping a thick burger patty, but on the lower heat as you don’t want the dough to burn outside and still be raw in the middle.

You want to look for the cinnamon rolls to stop having a doughy consistency and turn into a firmer texture, particularly at the center. Likewise, the color has to be that delightful shade of toasted brown with caramelized sugar, which usually happens within five minutes.

At that point, all you have to do is remove it from the heat and let it cool. 

7. Stovetop Baked Cinnamon Rolls

alternative ways to cook cinnamon rolls on the stove

If you want to imitate the style of a regular oven-baked cinnamon roll without any additional device or appliance, then this method is for you. It would be best to have a large pot, a trivet, and aluminum foil.

Grab a large pot—one big enough to fit the trivet or steamer rack inside. Covert the trivet with aluminum foil and place it inside the pot and set it on the stovetop over low heat for 15 minutes with the lid on.

A quick reminder not to fill the pot with water or anything else—the goal is to mimic the oven’s heat without any steam.

After the 15 minutes, once the pot has warmed up, place the cinnamon rolls inside the pot on the aluminum foil on top of the trivet. Cover with the lid and let it cook on medium-to-low heat for at least half an hour, until golden brown. Make sure to keep the lid on so you won’t let the heat out.

Also, don’t burn yourself as the pot, the lid and the steaming rack will be hot.

Read Also: 7 Best Healthy Cinnamon Roasted Almonds Recipes.

In Conclusion

There are many alternative ways to cook cinnamon rolls without an oven. You can use a microwave, air fryer, stovetop, or even a waffle maker. So don’t let NOT having an oven stop you from enjoying this finger-licking sweet dough filled with a cinnamon-sugar filling, even if it is not exactly shaped like a roll.

About Jen Evansy

Nutritionist, researcher, avid home cook, and writer interested in everything nutrition and food-related. Striving to inform, encourage, and inspire all the readers to make healthy and informed choices when it comes to cooking, food, diet, and nutrition.