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Is anyone else a huge fan of Cinnabon?  You know, that fantastically delicious, yet diabolically tempting baked goods store in the mall that smells like a cinnamon paradise?  Their cinnamon buns are like heaven, in baked-good form.  Fresh, warm dough, swirled with cinnamon and cascading with sweet cream cheese frosting.  As much as I truly adore Cinnabon, it’s just not feasible to eat it as much as I’d like to (sadly, a Classic Cinnabon roll has a whopping 730 calories…not exactly a girl’s best friend).  So I did what I do best and remade it into a healthy (or at least much healthier!) oatmeal breakfast (or lunch/dinner/dessert, if you so choose).  If you’re a fan of cinnamon buns, give these oats a try…now when I pass the Cinnabon store I can walk by happily (still inhaling deeply, of course), knowing that my Cinnamon Bun Oats can be whipped up in a flash at home.



Cinnamon Bun Oats


(Yield:  1 serving)



¼ c steel cut oats

½ medium banana, thinly sliced

¾ c water

Dash salt

Dash cinnamon


Cinnamon-Brown Sugar Roasted Nuts:

2 TB coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans

1 tsp brown sugar

1 tsp water

½ tsp butter

Pinch cinnamon

Pinch salt


Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 oz Neufchatel cheese, at room temperature

1 TB milk

¼ tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tsp brown sugar


For the nuts:  In a small pan, heat the brown sugar, water, butter, cinnamon, and salt over medium-high heat until it bubbles.  Add the nuts and stir to coat the nuts with the sugar mixture.  Cook for 3-5 minutes until the liquid is mostly gone and the nuts are completely coated.  Spread in a single layer on wax paper and allow to cool to room temperature.


For the frosting:  Whisk together all ingredients.


For the oats:  In a small pan, combine all ingredients and heat on medium-low heat for about 12 minutes (stirring frequently with a whisk) or until it reaches your desired consistency. 


Top the oats with the frosting and nuts.


Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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  1. Thanks so much for your response! Sounds silly I know but I have one more question, do you use light brown sugar or dark? I’m sorry if my questions have obvious answers, I am just now really enjoying starting to enjoy cooking now that I have a little boy and just want everything to be perfect! So I appreciate all your time and great recipes, tonight we are having your Blue Cheese Mac!! Can’t wait to make it!
    Shopping list and Messy plates,

    1. Michelle, Don’t feel bad about asking questions, it’s really my pleasure to answer them! I use light brown sugar, but that’s only a taste preference (dark brown is slightly more bitter because it has a little more molasses in it). Hope you enjoy the cinnamon bun oats (they’re my favorite!) and the blue cheese mac! :) Please feel free to let me know if you have any other questions, and you are always welcome to send me an email ([email protected]) if you prefer. Have a wonderful day! Faith

  2. This sounds amazing! But I have a question, do you use salted or unsalted butter?

    1. Michelle, I’m so glad you like the recipe! I use unsalted butter because it tends to be fresher, and that way I can control how much salt goes into the recipe. If you only have salted butter on hand, that will work just fine though. Hope you enjoy it! :)

  3. if i didn’t care about my health, appearance, or bank account, i’d totally have a cinnabon cinnamon bun every single day–i LOVE those things. since i do care, however, i think this is a great alternative. nicely done and depicted! :)

  4. This is absolute genius! A perfect weekend splurge breakfast for me . . . without going too far overboard. I wish I had time to make them today for lunch, in fact!

  5. That looks very yummy!
    I have to say, I have never tried Cinnabon and I guess I’ll never know what I am not missing because this recipe is so much better!

  6. Oh yes…that taunting aroma of Cinnabon! It kills me every time! Your oats sound delicious I will have to try it out!

  7. What a great idea. Each time I walk by a Cinnabon I am hypnotized by the smell and all I want is to eat one right then and there, but I can never give in. This seems like the perfect way to bring the flavors of Cinnabon home, in a healthier (but still somewhat decadent) way.

  8. How I got over Cinnabon…..with my new favorite. Next time you stroll by the “kurtosh” bakery at Topanga Mall, stop. You won’t be sorry! YUM! I will definitely be giving your Cinnabon oats a try…looks luscious!

  9. My goodness just the mention of cinnabon made my mouth drool a little bit. This looks like a great way to get that same sweet taste with many, many fewer calories. Thanks for the post! Looks great

  10. oat is a very healthy breakfast! i shud try this definetely. love the idea faith. :)

  11. Brilliant idea Faith! :) Eeek 730 calories! That’s half a daily calorie allowance for someone my height! I think this is a much better idea ;)

  12. What a fantastic idea for oats. Sounds delicious!

  13. This looks amazing! Can I please have a bowl:) I’m totally with you about Cinnabon…delicious but not good for you at all! I will be making this when my craving checks in:)

  14. I love cinnabon! But I’m glad I don’t live near one anymore! Not so good for my waist-line. These oats are absolutely divine! Your a genius!

  15. i need! drool. that’s literally i can say to this!

  16. I love oats but I am sort of too lazy to cook them. My husband is the expert though. So next time he is here, I will make the nuts while he does all the whisking ;)

  17. Natasha - 5 Star Foodie says:

    I love this! Especially topped with Cinnamon-Brown Sugar Roasted Nuts!

  18. Such an original! It looks delicious….

    And yeah, cinnabon sreally smell too good for the sake of human’s weight.

  19. I love this bowl of oats!

    The Cinnabon store at our mall closed down. I was sad, yet relieved at the same time!!

  20. OK my boyfriend is going to be in HEAVEN! He can’t walk in the mall without mentioning Cinnabon at least 100 times!

  21. I have sworn off Cinnabon but they are so tasty! Love your lightened substitute. Thank you!

  22. Heavenly Housewife says:

    Okay, you are officially killing me. I have to start my diet already!

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