If you’re a fan of sweet, sticky cinnamon rolls, you’re likely to love cinnamon roll oatmeal.

You can buy pre-made packs or make this delicious, comforting breakfast treat at home. Yet, some versions are especially high in sugar, so it’s best to watch your intake or choose ingredients carefully.

This article tells you everything you need to know about cinnamon roll oatmeal and provides a few recipes.

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Photo Courtesy of Nutritious Delights

Oatmeal tastes bland on its own, which is why most people prefer to flavor it with ingredients like spices, sweeteners, and fruit.

Cinnamon roll oatmeal is a version that tastes similar to freshly baked cinnamon rolls.

Although ingredients vary significantly, most homemade cinnamon roll oatmeal recipes contain rolled oats, some type of sweetener, a creamy add-in like cream cheese or Greek yogurt, and spices like cinnamon.

Some homemade recipes use icing to sweeten the oatmeal, too.

Commercially produced cinnamon roll oatmeal — which is sold in packets and may be served at some restaurants — usually contains oats, sugar, and artificial sweeteners and flavors to mimic the flavor of this delectable baked good.

Summary

Cinnamon roll oatmeal is oatmeal that tastes like a freshly baked cinnamon roll. It’s available in pre-made packets, may be served at some restaurants, and can also be made from scratch.

The nutrient content of cinnamon roll oatmeal varies depending on its ingredients.

For example, recipes that call for sweeteners like icing and brown sugar are much higher in added sugar and overall carbs than made with zero-calorie sweeteners.

Here’s the nutrition breakdown for a 43-gram packet of Quaker Cinnamon Roll Instant Oatmeal (1):

  • Calories: 160
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Fat: 2.5 grams
  • Carbs: 32 grams
  • Sugars: 9 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Calcium: 8% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Iron: 20% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 10% of the DV
  • Thiamine: 36% of the DV
  • Vitamin A: 25% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 18% of the DV

Keep in mind that this nutrition information pertains to a packet of dry, instant oats. Adding ingredients like milk or sweeteners increases the count of calories, carbs, and other nutrients.

Notably, cinnamon roll oatmeal can be prepared in different ways to suit various dietary preferences and tastes.

Instant oats and commercial products

Instant oatmeal, like the product listed above, is usually fortified with with vitamins and minerals like iron, B vitamins, and vitamin A. Thus, it and other fortified breakfast products may cover a large percentage of your daily needs for certain nutrients.

What’s more, oats are naturally a good source of fiber and magnesium.

Most commercially produced cinnamon roll instant oats are high in added sugar and low in protein. However, some products include added protein or are sweetened with zero-calorie sweeteners.

Homemade versions

Homemade cinnamon roll oatmeal varies widely in nutrients. Sweeteners like icing and brown sugar significantly increase the sugar content while cream cheese or Greek yogurt increase protein and fat levels.

Alternatively, using sugar substitutes like monk fruit or stevia minimizes the carb and sugar content, which can be a better choice for those who need to manage their blood sugar levels.

Summary

The nutrients in cinnamon roll oatmeal depend on its ingredients. Most instant products contain added sugar, while homemade versions may be high in added sugar and calories from ingredients like brown sugar, cream cheese, and icing.

Oatmeal, including cinnamon roll oatmeal, can be a healthy choice — depending on what’s used to make it.

Benefits of plain oats

Plain oats provide nutrients like fiber, magnesium, iron, manganese, and zinc. In fact, oats are associated with several health benefits, from lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol to regulating blood sugar levels after meals (2, 3, 4, 5).

Oats also contain viscous fibers, including beta glucan, which supports your gut bacteria and increases the excretion of bile acid and cholesterol. In turn, this may help reduce cholesterol levels (3).

The type of oat matters

One review showed that although whole oats, such as steel cut oats, and thick rolled oats led to a significant reduction in post-meal blood sugar, instant oats didn’t have this effect (4).

This isn’t surprising, as the processing of any grain affects how your body breaks it down. While instant oats break down rapidly, leading to a larger, faster blood sugar response, steel cut and thick oats take more time to digest, leading to a slower rise in blood sugar (4).

Thus, thick or steel cut oats may be a better choice for those who need to manage blood sugar levels.

Nonetheless, oats’ benefits aren’t limited to specific populations. One review found that oat products may help reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and death from all causes (6).

What about toppings?

Certain oatmeal toppings may add more nutritional value.

For example, the cinnamon in cinnamon roll oats has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and may even benefit blood sugar control when eaten in large doses (7).

Dates, which are used in some homemade cinnamon roll oatmeal recipes, are high in fiber and rich in many vitamins and minerals, including potassium and magnesium (8).

Summary

Plain oats may help reduce cholesterol and benefit blood sugar regulation. Still, cinnamon roll oatmeal’s health effects depend largely on the ingredients used.

While oats and certain added ingredients are nutritious, some versions of cinnamon roll oats are very high in calories and added sugar.

Sugar content

For example, homemade recipes that call for brown sugar or icing to sweeten the dish (and mimic the taste of homemade cinnamon rolls) pack several teaspoons of added sugar per serving.

Even packets of instant cinnamon roll oatmeal may be high in added sugar. This is why it’s important to read labels of sweetened oatmeal products.

Eating sweetened cinnamon roll oatmeal as an occasional treat isn’t harmful, but making it a habit may be.

Diets high in sugar-sweetened foods and drinks, such as sweetened oatmeal products, candy, sweetened cereals, and soda, may increase your risk of several health conditions, including metabolic syndrome and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (9, 10, 11).

Calorie count

Additionally, some cinnamon roll oatmeal recipes are very high in calories from ingredients like cream cheese, icing, and butter.

Regularly consuming more calories than your body needs may eventually lead to increases in body fat or weight (12).

Thus, it’s best to limit your intake of sweetened cinnamon roll oatmeal, as you would any other sweet.

Summary

The sugar and calorie counts of most sweetened cinnamon roll oatmeal products make it best suited for an occasional treat rather than a routine breakfast. That’s because excess calories and sugar may lead to weight gain and certain health conditions.

Although most cinnamon roll oatmeal recipes call for large amounts of sweeteners like icing and high calorie ingredients like cream cheese, a few modifications may make this dish more nutritious.

Here are a few recipes with less added sugar and fewer calories, that still add flavor with moderate or smaller amounts of ingredients like dates, butter, syrup, and sugar.

Instant Pot cinnamon roll oats

This recipe from Nourished by Caroline uses steel cut oats, which take longer to prepare than instant oats. Still, it’s simple to cook if you have an Instant Pot and is sweetened with dates — which offer fiber and other nutrients — instead of sugar.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (160 grams) of steel cut oats
  • 2.5 cups (590 mL) of an unsweetened milk of your choice (such as almond, coconut, or dairy milk)
  • 4 pitted Medjool dates
  • 1 tablespoon (14 grams) of butter or coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon (2 mL) of vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Add the milk, dates, vanilla, and cinnamon to a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour this mixture, plus the oats and butter or coconut oil, into the Instant Pot and stir.
  3. Cook for 7–8 minutes on high pressure using the “manual” mode and the “sealing” setting on the steam release valve.
  4. Once done, turn off the Instant Pot and do a natural pressure release for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, release the remaining steam.
  5. Stir the oats and add more cinnamon and milk if desired.

Overnight cinnamon roll oats

Overnight oats are a simple breakfast that you can make ahead of time in large batches. Here’s a basic recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (80 grams) of rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup (120 mL) of a milk of your choice
  • 1/4 cup (70 grams) of unsweetened Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon (10 grams) of chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) of cinnamon

Instructions

Mix these in a jar or bowl and place them in the fridge to thicken up overnight.

To sweeten this recipe, use maple syrup, monk fruit, or dates. If you choose dates, blend them with the milk before adding to the oat mixture.

Top with a drizzle of Greek yogurt and a bit of maple syrup to mimic the taste of icing.

Healthy cinnamon roll baked oatmeal

This recipe from Nutritious Delights is made with ingredients like mashed banana, oat flour, and flaxseed meal. It’s low in added sugar, gluten-free, and vegan.

Ingredients

  • half of a very ripe banana, mashed
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup (78 grams) of oat flour or blended oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.5 grams) of salt
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) of flax meal
  • 1 tablespoon (12 grams) of cane sugar or any granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) of cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Add the avocado oil, mashed banana, and maple syrup to a small bowl. Pour in the salt, oat flour, flaxseed meal, and baking powder, then mix until a dough forms.
  2. Stir the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Roll out the dough and brush with avocado oil, then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture. After slicing the dough into four strips, use a rolling pin to roll into four separate rolls or combine to make one large roll.
  3. Bake at 350℉ (175℃) for about 10 minutes.
Summary

Try making your own cinnamon roll oatmeal at home using the nutritious recipes above.

Cinnamon roll oatmeal is a tasty breakfast treat that’s sweet and satisfying.

Although most versions are high in added sugar and calories, you can make your own at home using nutritious ingredients like Greek yogurt, dates, and rolled or steel cut oats.

If you’re interested in trying this oatmeal variant, use one of the recipes listed above or search online for another recipe that fits your dietary preferences.

Just one thing

Try this today: Oatmeal is a smart choice for a breakfast on the go. I love making overnight oats the night before a busy morning so I can have an easy, filling breakfast option when I’m short on time.

My favorite overnight oat ingredients are chia seeds, natural peanut butter, and smashed berries.