How To Replace A Cinnabon

June 20, 2012   53 Comments

Snack Girl reserves black and white photos for foods that trigger people to eat. One of my pals told me that my photo of onion rings made her hungry and ever since then I use black and white.

Cinnabon Makeover

I don't want to promote Cinnabon's famous cinnamon rolls, but I do want to help a struggling reader.

From Catie:

Let me get this out there. I looooooove Cinnabon. I hope you can relate because of your "battle with doughnuts." I work in the mall and it is a struggle to stay healthy when I walk by Cinnabon to my store. The sugary smell is tantalizing and it is hard to resist such a delicious snack! (Or rather dessert!)

I went on their website and I was disappointed that I couldn't find exactly how bad these addicting treats were. I take that as a bad sign. I would like a Cinnabon makeover! Is there anyway frosted cinnamon rolls can be healthier! Please Snack Girl, fellow doughnut lover, can you help me?

Yes! I am a doughnut lover and I used to walk pass a delicious doughnut shop several times a day. I have also worked in a mall so I know the pain that you speak of - wafting smells of baking cookies (Mrs. Fields) bothering you in your store. If things are slow, you get really bored and start dreaming of a perfectly baked confection. I get it.

I was able to find the nutrition information for Catie - and it isn't pretty.

Here are the nutrition facts for a Cinnabon Classic:

880 calories, 36 g fat, 127 g carbohydrates, 59 g sugar, 13 g protein, 2 g fiber, 830 mg sodium, 24 Points+

For a Caramel Pecanbon:

1080 calories, 50 g fat, 147 g carbohydrates, 76 g sugar, 14 g protein, 3 g fiber, 960 mg sodium, 30 Points+

When I found this nutritional information, I just sat at my computer watching the cursor for a while....flashing at me. What can I say? This is just mind blowing.

You would do much better eating a 260 calorie doughnut. My first suggestion is just don't go near the Cinnabon and get a glazed donut instead - and, no, I didn't think I would ever write that a doughnut is a healthier choice. They have those great cake ones dipped in cinnamon sugar - you will be doing yourself a favor by eating one of those instead of a Cinnabon.

I know that Catie wants me to redo a cinnamon roll, but I think I will hold off on that and just offer some easier solutions until I get around to making my own version. I have made cinnamon rolls and they are a treat. I'm not sure that I can come up with a way to make them tasty and healthier.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Buy a container of cinnamon and sniff it while walking by Cinnabon. This may work! You might get all the cinnamon hit you need in your nose and be able to stop yourself from purchasing a bun.
  • Try a slice of wheat toast with the new Cinnamon spread from The Laughing Cow. You might have to sprinkle some sugar on this to make it work because it isn't very sweet - but you will get creamy and cinnamon together which is a good thing.
  • Make cinnamon toast for a snack and bring it with you.

I love cinnamon toast and if you pack it in a Glad container - it might still be fresh enough to hit that Cinnabon spot that is bugging you. When I was a kid, I used to make myself cinnamon toast as an after school snack.

It is just toasted bread, butter, cinnamon and sugar. How can you go wrong? If you use whole wheat toast, you are including a whole grain with the sugar, etc. You will save 752 calories and the cost of a Cinnabon by bringing this with you to work.

Give it a try, Catie, and let me know if it works.

How do you deal with Cinnabon?

The Laughing Cow product was received for review consideration. No other compensation was provided.

Cinnamon Toast Recipe

1.6 from 15 reviews

(serves 1)

Print  Pin


1 slice whole wheat bread
1 teaspoon butter (1/3 of a tablespoon on the stick)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon white granulated sugar


Mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Toast the bread, spread the butter on it, and sprinkle with sugar cinnamon mixture. You will only need 1/2 of the sugar mixture to make your toast taste delicious. Save the rest of it for another Cinnabon attack.

Nutrition Facts

One slice = 128 calories, 4.8 g fat, 18.1 g carbohydrates, 7.9 g sugar, 3.7g protein, 2.0 g fiber, 159 mg sodium, 3 Points+

Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only. See all Snack Girl Recipes

Other posts you might like:


Homemade Apple Raisin and Cinnamon Bran Muffins – A Great Snack!

Today, I am featuring a guest blog post by Kristen of Be Fit With Kristen. Give her a cheer!....


An Awesome Portion Control Trick For Homemade Cookies

So, you like to bake - but you have a problem. Yes, I know that problem well.....

Get Free Email Updates! Yes please!


Great post! Now if only I can figure out a nice vegan way to tempt myself out of Auntie Annes(I always have ordered no butter, ever since another vegan friend told me that I could do that :P)

Augh, it's just a bleached flour carb fest, and I need to eat better.

Great idea w/the black/white photos tho! :3

The two Cinnabon stores close to me have closed. That's the way I've dealt with my love of all things Cinnabon. Which is basically cheating, since it's not like I'm walking past the store in the mall anymore.

I'm going to say I'm dealing with it the same way I deal with the carrot cake at my favorite restaurant that is only open during the summer months at the Jersey Shore: I told myself I could have one piece of carrot cake each summer month. So far in June...haven't had any yet! So, if a Cinnabon store opens again near me, I might chose the same way of dealing with it. One every three months? Something like that.

How about apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon sugar?

When I need the sweet cinnamon fix I use 1/2 Lavish flat bread (2 ww pts for the whole piece)sprinkle a small amout of brown sugar blend and cinnamon, spray a little zero fat parkay on top pop it under the broiler until bubble...cut into 1 inch squares with pizza cutter...perfect for me.

Now if they would make the entire world of yummy food black and white it would be easier to resist....but I think a baguette with butter even in sexy black and white would be tough...;)

That is the best plan I've seen. Remember that it isn't the one you eat that kills you, it's the one a day. Eat healthy food 20 times a week knowing that 21 is going to be so bad for you that you need another 20 before you can do it again lol.

Like Melissa, I think the once every long while is OK - I only let my kids get Cinnabon at the airport - and of course I have some (we don't fly very often!) so it may be once a year. I have 2 boys, so we are not big mall-dwellers. But, recently succumbed to Wetzels Pretzels cinnamon pretzel bites at the mall - my son didn't even finish the huge container, but I kept picking at it. But really, the smell is better than the taste... Especially, after the first bite or two. Could you eat a 1/4 and freeze the other sections to reheat?

They make those yummy cinnabon/pretzel/cookie smells so you will want them (obviously!) - what about going the other direction? - some minty gum - eating before you go?

Thanks for sharing the calories, SG, even worse than I imagined!

First of all,
Dear SnackGirl,
I love you.

Now that that's out of my system, I bet it would be good if you took a tbs of creamcheese and mixed in a bit of brownsugar and cinnamon. And I bet it'd work extra well if the cream cheese was whipped first. (you do this by mixing very hard with a fork/whisk or putting it in the mixer for a min, you could make a lot of servings this way to store for later) this would make a great topping for bagels, bread, fruit, etc. And it'd be a lot healthier version of cream cheese frosting :)

Rachel, that sounds delicious! And you could probably use the low fat cream cheese too, if you wanted. I think I would be satisfied with this 90% of the time. And the other 10%, I would be too lazy to drive as far as I have to right now to get a Cinnabon!!

My mom used to make this for me as a kid but I haven't done it in awhile for myself! In lieu of toasting the bread beforehand, we would spread the butter on bread, sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar mixture on it, then toast it in the oven! Essentially the same effect. Great post! :)

I work on a large campus and I pass a Seatle's Best Coffee Shop 5 or 10 times a day, they are always baking muffins, cinnamon buns, cookies, etc. Freshly baked chocolate chip cookies at 2 pm are hard to resist! It doesn't help that they are the size of 4 cookies and I could never eat just half. My husband and I started the Favao Wellness Program and we LOVE it! I've lost 12 pounds and am in pants and dresses that I couldn't wear a few months ago. There is an all natural supplement that is part of the program which maintains blood sugar levels, suppresses your appetite, and gives you a feeling of well being. I have not had a cookie in 10 weeks! They still smell good, but more like a nice candle or perfume, not like I NEED to go eat one of those :0)

Have you tried Holey Donuts? They are amazing and very low in calories. They are pricy so I buy when they are on sale and keep them in the freezer. My son loves these as a treat!…

PS I am not affiliated with this company, just found their products and they are good!

How about a non-fat cinnamon latte. That's what I do and I LOVE them :)

We sprinkle flax seed on our cinnamon toast to add more nutritional value. No change in taste and good for you!!


I just wanted to concur with Charlene about Holey Donuts. They are DELICIOUS but so so pricey. Before I lost my job, they were a staple of my freezer. the cinnimon middles especially. I'm not sure what makes cinnabons so fattening - i would think a baked roll with cinnamon and raw sugar mixed with stevia and a little butter would hit the same spot. I loved Holey Donuts and can't wait until I hear that they've opened a retail store in NYC (so i can buy a few and not pay for shipping!) They seem to have been saying they would do this for years now, so I'm not holding my breath!

I just toast a whole grain english muffin, then top it with butter, cinnamon and honey. Delicious!

What about substituting Truvia or Splenda for the sugar making it even healthier??

Hey, I am so with Catie on this. I LOVE's my biggest weakness. I used to eat two of the huge Entemann's (sp?) cinnamon buns every Sat and Sun morning when I first moved into my apartment. I gained 30 lbs. I didn't realize how fatty they really were. If you are lazy like me and you need a cinnamon fix (and I'm not sure how healthy this is but...) the Pepperidge Farm cinnamon swirl bread is delicious on its own or toasted. It gives that over-the-top cinnamon taste and I think it has a lot less calories. I also agree with the lady who posted about the non-fat cinnamon latte. I love the non-fat, no-whip Cinnamon Dulche latte at Starbucks. It also works to curb the cinnamon craving. You can get it iced as well. It's a little pricey, but it does satisfy that cinnamon craving, and you can sip it for a while.

Michelle I like your idea about the apple slices with cinnamom sugar.


I like Vietnamese cinnamon because it has a very robust flavor. I sprinkle that and a little sugar on a slice of toasted Ezekiel cinnamon bread with some whipped cream cheese or greek yogurt. It's creamy, warm, cinnamon and sweet.

Holey Donuts did have a retail downtown NYC but it closed pretty quickly.

UUUggghhhh!! Now I want Cinnamon Rolls!!!

I can't get over the calories in Cinnabon, it's crazy!!!

I love cinnamon rolls. I never eat them though because they are so bad for you. Land O' Lakes has come out with a spreadable butter in a cinnamon sugar flavor. I have that at home to "occasionally" spread on toast. However, since I started WW I never eat toast, so it's just sitting there.

Charlene, I googled the Favao diet and everything is paid ads.... couldn't find any legitimate reviews. How did you find some? Always looking for a good plan that's healthy but not just carrot sticks, cabbage, and whole wheat.... (gluten free in this house)


Favao is available through distributors, it is a Xango Product Line. I actually discovered that I was gluten intolerant through the program, because I knew what I was eating and when instead just going with the flow each day, I saw a pattern with certain foods that were bothering me. All of the supplements are gluten-free and I make adjustments to the recipes substituting gf bread, crackers, or cereal for regular ones. I posted a link, but it was deleted from the line of comments - not sure how to let you know how to get in touch with me, just look for a Xango distributor. Good Luck

For Catie and those who have to walk by Cinnabon while at work in a mall or other public place - keeping a stash of cinnamon melba toast on hand might do the trick. Not gooey, but the carb/cinnamon combo might keep your cravings at bay when you don't have access to a toaster as many suggested above.

After trying my first Cinnabon about 100 years ago I decided that they really were not very good. I do not find those mall smells enticing at all. I trained myself to think of their offerings as "non food". I envisioned a Cinnabon as a frisbee and a Mrs. Fields as a piece of Playdough.I guess I'm a little crazy but it works!

I actually don't like Cinnabon. The rolls are too big and too sweet, and I don't care for cream cheese frosting.

I do, however, like the Pillsbury cinnamon rolls in the cardboard tubes with buttercream icing. We only buy them on sale every couple of months or so though.

I know how to make them myself, but my kitchen is itty bitty and there is never room in my fridge to do the overnight rise, lol.

I think knowing the calorie count of these cinnaBOMBS is enough to keep most of us from indulging. That said, if you can't live without it, buy one and share it with three friends...

Making a non-fat plaid greek yogurt and pumpkin pie (or apple pie) spice mix is delicious! I use it as a spread on toast, but you could use it on just about anything...

Great post! Thanks for making the photo B&W. I'm also glad there's no "smell-o-vision," because I think that in airports, Cinnabon must have fans to spread the scent around! I love Cinnabon but haven't had one in years -- doesn't mean I don't long for them occasionally, though! These are great suggestions.

MANY years ago, back in the early 1980's when I was going to W.W. meetings, someone shared a simple recipe we called "Not So Danish Danish." Take a piece of bread (back then there only seemed to be white bread handy), spread it with a quarter cup of fat free cottage cheese that had one-half tsp fake sweetener mixed in, sprinkle it with ground cinnamon, broil in toaster oven till slightly bubbly/brown. Eat with knife and fork. It was far removed from a Danish pastry, but often satisfied the craving. This was supposed to be a breakfast meal. I don't recall the point value.

I do agree that just knowing the calories (or the WW points, for someone like me on WW) is enough to keep me from indulging. Love all the ideas, though! Will definitely try some.

My mom used to make cinnamon toast for me for breakfast when I was little sometimes. I loved it and still do! Brings me back to those times!

Try This!! 1/3 cup plain oatmeal with cinammon, 1 tsp butter, 1 tbsp sugar

My biggest suggestion is to invest in some really good cinnamon. I use Vietnamese cinnamon and it's stronger than what we can get in the grocery store. That and a wee bit of sugar or brown sugar on toast or a roll will make a big impression on your cinnamon needs! I like the Laughing Cow idea. I think I'll try that. It would almost melt into an "icing" of sorts. Love reading your posts. Thanks for the cinnamon ideas and the black and white photo.

Hi Lisa, This is great post. I put apple, split by quarter in microwave with cinnamon and it smaells wonderful plus, reminds me of baked appleswhen I was a kid.

This is horrifying - but what a post! Like all, sensible and practical. Thanks!

This probably isn't as healthy as some suggestions but I toast a cinnamon raisin Thomas Bagel thin and then spread about 1/2 tbl spoon of Land O Lakes cinnamon sugar butter spread. It's only 70 cal per tablespoon so I have about 35 cal which is enough on the already cinnamony (?)raisiny (?) bagel

My suggestion: Trader Joe's Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Rolls (which aren't actually sweet, more like a bagel) with 230 calories, 2 g fat, 48 g carb, 7 g protein. Add either laughing cow or reduced fat cream cheese in the middle after you slice it in half--sprinkle cinnamon sugar and heat it up slightly and it's heavenly. AND it stays with you... the whole wheat is conducive to it taking longer to digest.

Also you can have considerably more cinnamon mixed with your sugar than in the above recipe. My husband and I usually do a 1 to 4 cinnamon to sugar ratio rather than the 1 to 12 in Lisa's recipe.

It's not the rolls. It's the frosting we love.

I also work in a mall - thankfully, on the other side of mine from our Cinnbon. But every now and then, someone walks past with one of them in their hand, and it . . . it smells so. good.

So I made myself a drink instead.

See, I work in a tea shop, and I sort of pride myself on being able to duplicate any sweet taste with our teas. It took a few tries, but I managed to make a drink that tasted enough like a cinnamon roll to stave off the craving.

In short, maybe try a flavored coffee (not a Frap, or anything like that!) with some vanilla soy or almond milk. A drink will get you the taste for (hopefully) fewer calories and fat.

Hi Lisa,

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Snack Girl, you're becoming my best friend in my head. I often struggle with finding ways to satisfy my sweet tooth and maintain my waistline. It's especially important to find a balance since I'm diabetic. I didn't know about the laughing cow cinnamoon cream. I'm adding it to my grocery list. Thank you! ;-)

I make my own now and then ... that way I can control what goes in them and what size they are. I have a great recipe that doesn't use lashings of butter, and I tinkered with the cinnamon/butter coating until I got a balance of flavor without too much heft. I don't make them often - they're still a treat - but they're wonderful when I do!

What is the Favao Wellness Program?

Try making sourdough whole wheat cinnamon rolls. They require some work but the sourdough gives it a nice tang. Make them a smaller size, skip the icing, and you actually have a decent breakfast!

Wow just the difference in calories is unbelievable. I think will grab a couple of Cinnabon boxes to put these in to put my mind at ease.. No more Cinnabon for us! Poo

I make them myself - a whole wheat roll recipe and butter/sugar/cinnamon (way less than the commercial ones!)

a substitute for sugar can be blend a cinnamon/figs/date spread and ad some water to soften it up

From Betty Rawker, with my own changes:
1 cup coconut, unsweetened, shredded
1/3 cup almond, ground
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 (or less) tsp cinnamon
4 dates
1 Tbsp honey

Combine in food processor and form into little balls. If serving 6, I believe this would be 8 WW p+

A work in progress, and definitely a treat...but nutrient dense ingredients. : )

Sorry, but I prefer to look at color pictures of desserts....hate black & white pictures of anything....can you please make them color ?

How about limiting Cinnabon. Stop there once a week and take that tasty confection. Back to your work place and share with three of your coworkers. Another option is to cut it in fourths and eat one and put the other three in the freezer for next week. You still get to have a treat but not the excess. Plus if you freeze some for later you will be saving money too!

Add a comment:


(required, never published)

© 2024