How many calories is a big Texas cinnamon roll?

Cinnamon rolls are a beloved breakfast and snack food, especially in the state of Texas. Their sweet dough, cinnamon sugar filling, and decadent icing make them an irresistible treat for many. However, with their rich ingredients, cinnamon rolls can also pack a powerful caloric punch. This leads many cinnamon roll lovers to wonder: how many calories are actually in a Texas-sized cinnamon roll?

What is a Texas cinnamon roll?

Cinnamon rolls originated in Sweden but became popular across the United States in the 20th century. The Texas version of the cinnamon roll is known for being much larger than average. A typical cinnamon roll may be 2-3 inches wide, while a Texas cinnamon roll is around 4-6 inches or more.

Some key features of Texas cinnamon rolls:

  • Very large in diameter, sometimes as big as a dinner plate
  • Made with a sweet, yeast-risen dough
  • Rolled up with a cinnamon sugar filling
  • Topped with thick, rich cream cheese icing
  • Often topped with extra sugar and nuts

Well-known purveyors of Texas cinnamon rolls include the Blue Bonnet Bakery in Marble Falls, the Ellen’s Southern Kitchen in Dallas, and Memo’s Pancake House in San Antonio. Their giant cinnamon rolls have developed cult followings across the state.

Calorie count of a typical cinnamon roll

Before estimating the calorie count of a Texas cinnamon roll, it’s helpful to know the calorie content of a standard cinnamon roll.

According to the USDA, a commercially prepared cinnamon roll (around 2 1⁄2” wide) contains approximately:

  • Calories: 320
  • Total fat: 13g
  • Carbohydrates: 46g
  • Protein: 4g

So a typical modest-sized cinnamon roll packs over 300 calories. When you consider the size difference, it’s clear a Texas cinnamon roll will contain significantly more calories.

Factors affecting cinnamon roll calories

Several factors influence the calorie content in a cinnamon roll:

Ingredient quality

Higher fat, higher sugar ingredients like butter, whole eggs, and refined flour will add more calories than leaner ingredients like low-fat dairy, egg whites, and whole wheat flour. Icing made with cream cheese tends to have more calories than icing made with milk or powdered sugar.

Portion size

Since Texas cinnamon rolls have a much greater diameter and weight than regular cinnamon rolls, their calorie count increases accordingly. More dough, filling, and icing equals more calories.

Cooking method

Cinnamon rolls cooked in oil or swimming in butter tend have higher fat and calorie contents. Baked rolls have fewer calories, while deep-fried cinnamon rolls can become calorie bombs.


Toppings like sugary glazes, frosting, nuts, chocolate chips, and cream cheese add even more calories to an already-decadent treat. Keeping add-ons light helps reduce calories.

Calorie estimate for a Texas cinnamon roll

Considering these factors, a rough estimate of the calorie count in a Texas-sized cinnamon roll would be:

Around 700-1200 calories

A smaller Texas cinnamon roll, around 4 inches across, likely contains 700-900 calories. Giant varieties 6 inches or more can easily provide over 1000 calories in one roll.

For comparison, here are the calories in other popular foods:

  • Big Mac: 540 calories
  • Starbucks blueberry muffin: 460 calories
  • Chicken Caesar salad: 800 calories
  • Chipotle burrito: 1000 calories

A Texas cinnamon roll often exceeds these common meals and treats in its calorie count. The cinnamon rolls at Ellen’s Stardust Diner in Dallas are advertised to contain around 2,000 calories each!

Nutrition breakdown

Here is an approximate nutritional breakdown for a large, 5-inch Texas cinnamon roll:

Calories: 920

  • Total fat: 36g
  • Saturated fat: 18g
  • Trans fat: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 125mg
  • Sodium: 340mg
  • Carbohydrates: 128g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugars: 60g
  • Protein: 13g

As you can see, almost all the calories come from carbohydrates and fat. The high sugar and saturated fat contents are of particular concern for health.

Ways to lighten up a Texas cinnamon roll

If you want to enjoy a Texas-sized cinnamon roll but avoid all those calories, there are some tricks to lightening it up:

  • Order a “mini” or single serving size
  • Skip the rich icing
  • Ask for less/no butter in the dough
  • Choose a baked, not fried, cinnamon roll
  • Split with a friend
  • Opt forreduced sugar and fat options, if available
  • Enjoy it as an occasional treat, not an everyday food

Portion control is key with such a high-calorie bakery item. Balance out the splurge with more physical activity for the day.

Healthier homemade cinnamon roll options

Baking cinnamon rolls at home allows you to better control the ingredients and nutrition. Some ideas for lighter rolls:

  • Use whole wheat or oat flour instead of refined white flour
  • Replace some butter with unsweetened applesauce
  • Use 1 egg white and 1 whole egg instead of 2 whole eggs
  • Add milk or Greek yogurt instead of cream cheese in the icing
  • Top with fresh fruit instead of icing
  • Fill with a tbsp of jam rather than heavy cinnamon sugar

Experiment to create a healthier cinnamon roll that still provides joy and satisfaction.

The bottom line

A Texas-sized cinnamon roll can easily pack over 1000 calories – sometimes way more. All that dough, butter, sugar, and icing adds up fast, even though it melts in your mouth. An average 5-inch Texas cinnamon roll likely has around 900-1000 calories. Lighter versions or mini-sizes clock in around 700 calories.

While an occasional indulgence in a special cinnamon roll is fine for most people, these high-calorie treats shouldn’t become an everyday habit. Using lighter ingredients, asking for smaller sizes, or splitting with others can help manage calories while still allowing an occasional cinnamon roll treat. Homemade versions provide even more chance to lighten up this decadent food.

In moderation, cinnamon rolls can be part of an overall balanced diet – even if you like them Texas-sized. Just be sure to account for their hefty calorie load.

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