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These ‘Lazy’ Cinnamon Rolls in a Mug Are Made in the Microwave — In 10 Minutes

A darn good cinnamon roll in 10 minutes or less.


A warm, gooey cinnamon roll is a gift from the dessert gods. But while making this sweet treat from scratch is great therapy — meditatively kneading and rolling the dough to create perfect swirls — it takes more time than most of us have. (Dough made with yeast must rise twice to achieve a soft, pillowy texture, which translates to at least a couple of hours.) There is, however, a time-saving alternative: “lazy” cinnamon roles in a mug that you bake in the microwave. Yes, the microwave! No yeast or lengthy rise times required. In fact, they take less than 10 minutes to make. Read on for smart baking hacks and the easiest cinnamon roll recipe you’ve ever seen.

How To Make a Cinnamon Roll in a Mug

This 4-Minute Mug Cinnamon Roll recipe from uses pancake mix in the dough. Why? Because pancake mix contains baking soda and/or powder, both of which are leavening agents that help your microwave cinnamon rolls rise. Pancake mix also gives them a moist, fluffy texture. Their sweetness comes from pantry staples like brown sugar and milk.



  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon


  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 ½ cups pancake mix
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • Non-stick cooking spray, for greasing
  • 2 teaspoons water


  • 6 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk


  • Prep: 6 mins
  • Cook: 4 mins 
  • Total time: 10 mins
  • Yield: 2 servings 
  1. For filling: In small bowl, combine melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
  2. For dough: In medium bowl, whisk together egg, vanilla, sugar, and milk until combined. Add pancake mix and stir with rubber spatula until mostly incorporated.
  3. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead briefly until mostly smooth. Roll dough to 8-by-6-inch rectangle.
  4. Spread filling over dough. Starting with long edge, tightly roll the dough into a log. Cut in half crosswise.
  5. Grease 2 (12-ounce) mugs with non-stick spray. Place one cinnamon roll in each mug with cut side facing up. Spoon one teaspoon water into each mug. Working one at time, microwave cinnamon rolls on medium power one minute and 45 seconds. Let cool for one minute.
  6. Make icing: In small bowl, stir powdered sugar and milk until smooth.
  7. Drizzle icing over cinnamon rolls. Serve and enjoy.

My Taste Test

The sweet smell of my cinnamon rolls baking in the microwave made waiting for them — even if only for two minutes — feel like forever. I say this to highlight the fact that even though these “cook” in the microwave, they emit the same mouthwatering aroma that fills your home when baked in the oven. For my test, I doubled the recipe’s filling measurements to give the cinnamon rolls a more intensely sweet and spiced flavor. These rolls have a slightly denser texture than their yeast-based counterparts — but that didn’t affect their flavor. They were rich, full, and utterly delectable.

This recipe is both straightforward and tasty — and because they’re so easy to make, they give oven-baked cinnamon rolls a run for their money. Thus we’ll be adding this recipe to our “lazy” dessert hall of fame, alongside “Lazy” Blueberry Cookies, “Lazy Air Fryer Cinnamon Rolls, “Lazy” Pumpkin Donuts, “Lazy” Peach Cobbler, “Lazy” Banana Pudding Parfaits and “Lazy” Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake.

My test of cinnamon rolls in a mug
Alexandria Brooks

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