Can You Cook Cinnamon Rolls on a Cookie Sheet?  

July 19, 2022
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You Can - But You Might Not Like Your Results

This is one of those questions you may have wondered about but were too embarrassed to voice aloud. There’s nothing to worry about because everyone has been there at some point.

Cooking and baking both are a lot like speaking a language because the learning is never over. That means that each meal you make, or loaf you bake, is a joyful conversation between you and your ingredients. Any time you make a mistake is just an opportunity to learn.

Photo of Cinnamon Rolls on a Cookie Sheet

Spoiler Alert - You Can Use a Cookie Sheet for Cinnamon Rolls - But Keep Reading to See Why You May Not Want to…

So can you cook cinnamon rolls on a cookie sheet? Keep reading to uncover the answer to your question and many others related to it. You’re in for a real treat.

Can You Use a Cookie Sheet for Cinnamon rolls?

Yes, you can use a cookie sheet for baking cinnamon rolls. However, the cinnamon rolls will turn out crisper than if you used a baking dish.

If you prefer them to be softer, keep them close together on the sheet and adjust the baking time or temperature. If you turn down the oven’s temperature, it will be easier to control the dough’s doneness.

Best Pan for Baking Cinnamon Rolls?

What pan is best depends on how you like your cinnamon rolls. It also depends on if you want homemade rolls or if you prefer to enjoy a store-bought Pillsbury cinnamon roll. No judgment either way. Homemade cinnamon rolls can be so time-consuming when compared to canned cinnamon rolls.

Companies like Pillsbury, Cinnabon, or Annies will have a suggested pan in their directions. For example, Pillsbury calls for a round cake pan. Unless you don’t have the specific pan available, it’s better to use what they suggest.

Photo of Packaged Cinnamon Rolls

For Packaged Cinnamon Rolls, Use the Pan Recommended in the Baking Directions

These companies want to make their product as user-friendly as possible, and they know their product best. There will also be less guesswork involved with your baking because they tell you the cooking time.

On the other hand, if you’re making your cinnamon rolls, the best pan to use is probably a 9x9-inch baking pan - this is assuming that you’re making the standard nine rolls and not a dozen or any other amount.

Your baking surface area will always affect your time and temperature. In baking, increasing the surface area exposed to the heat source increases the cooking time. In case it’s not clear, the cooking time is referring to the speed at which it cooks, not the length of time cooking.

That means using the same amount of dough to make a dozen rolls as you do for nine rolls increases the surface area and decreases the baking time.

Is Glass Bakeware Better Than Metal?

There are not many clear-cut answers in the baking world. Again, the answer to this question depends on the details. Glass bakeware has its strengths and weaknesses but so does metal bakeware.

Glass, as an insulator, retains heat better than metal but is slower to warm up. It’s also non-reactive, whereas some metal pans actually react to acidic foods. Glass cookware tends to cook things faster than metal cookware but may also cook some parts too quickly.

A metal pan will heat up quicker than glass because it’s a better conductor. Metal is a better choice for most baked goods because it cooks more evenly. The color and shininess of the metal will affect your cook time, so keep that in mind.

Whether you’re trying to make your rolls in an afternoon or going for overnight cinnamon rolls, the material chosen will make a difference alongside cook parameters.

If you’re in a situation where you have to use glass when you’d rather use metal, you can bake your items at a lower temperature to help avoid premature browning. If you lower the oven temperature by around 25℉, you’ll have much better luck.

What Can I Use if I Don't Have a Baking Tray?

There are plenty of options available if you don’t have a baking tray. You just may need to adjust your cooking time and temperature. If something is oven-safe, you can use it as a baking tray substitute in theory.

Most bakeware and cookware come with symbols on their bottoms that tell if they’re oven safe. You may need to reference the manufacturer’s directions to understand which symbol means what.

Some pans can go in the oven but can only withstand the heat up to a specific temperature.

Muffin Tin

A muffin tin works well as a baking tray substitute for both store-bought and homemade rolls. The holes will still help the dough rise up instead of out. The rolls will need to cook a little longer in a muffin pan than on a pan.

They will also give you a crustier exterior. It’ll be like you spaced the rolls out on a baking tray. If you prefer softer buns, you can prevent this by checking the rolls about halfway through their bake time. Keeping an eye on their progress will help you pull them out at the right time for you.

Cake Pan

A cake pan is often specifically called for in a cinnamon roll recipe so it’s also a solid option. A round cake pan is preferable if you have one, but a square one will work too. The round cake pans are easier to use because the rolls are round.

You won’t have trouble putting your cinnamon roll dough into a cake pan. They naturally touch a little bit this is perfect for producing soft, moist rolls.

Cast-iron Pan

Cast-iron pans are versatile and very durable. You can’t go wrong by using one. They’re oven-safe and extremely aesthetically pleasing. They aren’t nonstick pans, so you’ll want to be sure to use oil or melted butter to grease the pan.

Photo of Cinnamon Rolls in a Round Cast Iron Pan

Cinnamon Rolls in a Round Cast Iron Pan

If you enjoy baking, it’s a good idea to have a separate cast-iron pan just for baking. That way you can build up the flavor and seasoning without worrying about savory food flavors coming through.

Edge Brownie Pan

An edge brownie pan is a less common pan to have in your kitchen, but if you have it, it’ll work for cinnamon rolls. Its unique shape lets you bake an entire batch of edge-piece brownies. This shape helps the rolls rise and produces crisp sides.

How Do You Prevent Cinnamon Rolls From Sticking to the Pan?

Cinnamon rolls are notoriously sticky. Luckily, there are several ways to prevent them from sticking to the surface of the pan. It helps a lot just to use a non-stick pan. Then you can help reduce the sticking by spraying your pan of choice with non-stick cooking spray before placing your pastries on it.

If you don’t have non-stick cooking spray or prefer to use other products, you can grease the pan with butter or oil. Be aware that some of the flavors of the grease will make their way into the baked goods. That’s not inherently a bad thing since butter is delicious.

Another option is to lay down parchment paper. This is especially helpful if you’re using a metal pan. Cinnamon rolls are more likely to stick to metal than other materials. Parchment paper allows you to save more of the icing as well.

Do Cinnamon Rolls Need to Touch While Baking?

The answer depends on how you like to eat your cinnamon rolls. Normally, cinnamon rolls touch while baking to help them stay moist and to help them rise.

You can space them out on the sheet, but they will turn out dryer and possibly flatter. The dough likes to expand, so if there’s nothing to help it rise upwards, it’ll expand outwards instead.

So, no, your rolls don’t need to touch while baking, but that will change their outcome. There’s nothing wrong with making the cinnamon buns using this method. But you may have to adjust your cooking time to account for this.

Methods of Baking Cinnamon Rolls

You have several baking options for cooking your homemade cinnamon buns. Don’t limit yourself and your baking potential. Do you have all three of these methods available to you? Use one that you never use to bake your cinnamon rolls.

Experiment with the methods, temperature, and cooking time. Find out how those each affect the taste and consistency.


A conventional oven is definitely the most common method. It’s reliable and trustworthy. You know you’ll get consistent cinnamon rolls every time with little effort.

The best way to cook nine rolls is by putting them in an oven that’s been preheated to 350℉ for 20-25 minutes.

Toaster Oven

A toaster oven is another obvious choice for preparing pastries. It’s just like a conventional oven except smaller and faster. If you want there to be even less time before you’re biting into a delicious sticky bun, then use a toaster oven.

A toaster oven will use less energy overall compared to a typical oven. You can preheat the toaster oven to 300℉ and cook the cinnamon rolls for only 12-16 minutes.

Air Fryer

Now, an air fryer is a less obvious baking method option, but still a viable one. The air fryer is even faster than the toaster oven because you don’t have to wait for it to preheat.

It should be fine to turn the air fryer to 350℉ and cook the buns for around ten minutes. You may have to be a little more mindful of which pan you’re using though.

Frank Salvatore

Hey there - I'm Frank Salvatore. I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!

About Me
Frank Salvatore
I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!
Learn More About Me
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