Cinnamon Roll Cookies

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Soft, thick, and chewy Cinnamon Roll Cookies are topped with a luscious cream cheese frosting and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.

We’re obsessed with cinnamon roll treats; these homemade cinnamon rolls and this cinnamon roll monkey bread are a couple favorite recipes.

 

View of Cinnamon Roll Cookies on a cooling rack.

Cinnamon Roll Cookies

If you love cookies, cinnamon sugar, and homemade cinnamon rolls, these cookies might just be your new favorite treat. They’re irresistibly soft and chewy, bursting with cinnamon flavor, and topped with an indulgently creamy frosting. And did I mention they’ve also got a finishing sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar on top?! 

Cinnamon rolls are a favorite treat in my home; my little boy could eat a bowl of cream cheese frosting by the spoonful if I let him! I’ll take a good cookie over just about any other dessert, so, I can tell you these have been very popular at my home — there is something for everyone! 

Most of the cinnamon roll cookie recipes on the internet are essentially slice and bake cookies; cookie dough is topped with cinnamon sugar and rolled into a log, then sliced, and baked. Truthfully, I’ve always been a bit disappointed by those cookies; they’re a lot of work for a relatively lackluster result.

But after trying a bakery-style cinnamon roll cookie at a small cookie shop near my home, I was inspired to create a different kind of cinnamon roll cookie. Instead of slice and bake cookies, I started with a soft and chewy cinnamon cookie base and added a swirl of cream cheese frosting on top. The cinnamon-sugar sprinkle on top ties it all together beautifully. 

Process shots: Mix butter and sugars; stir until creamy; add egg, yolk and vanilla and mix; sift the dry ingredients together; combine the wet and dry ingredients; roll dough balls in cinnamon sugar; close-up view of a properly formed dough ball.

The base cookie ingredients

  • Butter: Use unsalted to ensure you perfectly control the amount of salt (If you use salted, omit the extra salt addition).
  • White sugar
  • Brown sugar: Use light brown sugar (dark brown adds too much moisture to the cookies)
  • 1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk: The extra yolk adds so much flavor. Use leftover whites in these Spinach and Feta Wraps or add to a bowl of oatmeal in the morning (an egg white is practically indistinguishable and adds protein to your morning oats).
  • Pure vanilla extract: for flavor
  • White all-purpose flour: Make sure to spoon and level this measurement so you’re getting the right amount of flour; there’s more on this in the baking tips.
  • Cornstarch: The cornstarch contributes to the softness of these Cinnamon Roll Cookies.
  • Salt: to intensify all the ingredients’ flavors and balance sweetness
  • Baking soda
  • Cinnamon: We add cinnamon to the dough for a stronger cinnamon flavor.

Process shots: make the frosting by creaming together the butter and cream cheese; add in salt, vanilla and powdered sugar; mix until smooth and creamy.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Set out your butter and cream cheese about an hour before you begin, to get them to room temperature. If these ingredients aren’t at room temperature, they won’t combine very smoothly, and there will be unpleasant cream cheese chunks in the frosting. Here are some tips for how to bring your cream cheese and butter to room temperature quickly.
  • Slowly add in the powdered sugar. Add more or less powdered sugar according to personal taste preferences as well as to how firm you want the frosting on top of these Cinnamon Roll Cookies to be. More sugar will make the frosting sweeter and firmer; less sugar will leave the frosting a bit tangier and softer.
  • Let cookies fully cool. Before frosting the cookies, make sure they are completely cool. Otherwise, the frosting will begin to melt and change consistency.
  • Pipe the frosting on top. To make these cookies look more cinnamon roll-esque, I like to pipe the frosting in a swirl pattern. Use either a plastic bag or a piping bag and cut off the very tip. Holding the cookie in one hand and the frosting bag in the other, swirl the frosting from the inside of the cookie outwards. You can easily cover any piping “blemishes” with the cinnamon sugar topping.
  • Add a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar on top. I like adding a light sprinkle of cinnamon sugar to the tops of the frosted cookies. This makes the cookies pretty, and it also ties all the flavors together nicely. You’ll have some leftover cinnamon sugar from rolling the cookie dough in anyway, so this is the perfect place to use that.

Image showing how to pipe a swirl of frosting onto the tops of the Cinnamon Roll Cookies.

Cinnamon Roll Cookie baking tips

  • Measure the flour correctly. If you press a measuring cup into a bag of flour and scoop, you will pack in way too much flour– which will result in an overly cakey cookie with less flavor. To properly measure the flour, spoon the flour into the measuring cup until it’s overfilled. Then use the back of a table knife to level the measuring cup at the top. (Video visual here).
  • Roll tall cookie dough balls. Instead of rolling a perfect ball, I’ve found that rolling the dough so it’s taller and skinnier, yields that perfect thick and chewy center and the crisp edges. Using this technique, the bottom of the cookie “ball” bakes first, which will push out and become the crisp edge. The top of that tall cookie dough ball then becomes the thick and chewy center. Perfect texture every time! 
  • Roll cookie dough balls in cinnamon sugar before chilling. I like to shape the cookie dough balls and then roll them in sugar before chilling the dough. This not only makes rolling the balls easier, it also ensures the dough is coated in the cinnamon sugar (this mixture doesn’t adhere as nicely to chilled cookie dough). Also, chilling after rolling ensures the dough is very cold (not warm from being rolled in your hands) going into the oven, which is important for these cookies.
  • Bake at 325 degrees F (162°C). Most of my cookie recipes bake at 350 degrees F (176°C), but these cookies are best at 325 (162°C). The temperature is an easy thing to miss, but it makes a big difference for the softness of these cookies.
  • Bake Cinnamon Roll Cookies on a Silpat® liner or parchment paper. To help the cookies bake evenly and keep the bottoms from over-browning, I recommend a good baking mat. Parchment paper also works; I do not recommend lining the pan with foil.

QUICK TIP

For a fun flavor variation, replace the cinnamon in the recipe with pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice. This will give you a pumpkin or apple pie-spiced Cinnamon Roll Cookie. The flavors are very subtle, but have fun playing around with spices for different flavors.

Overhead view of Cinnamon Roll Cookies on a cooling rack.

Cinnamon Roll Cookie Storage

Because of the cream cheese frosting, these cookies don’t store well or freeze well once they’re frosted. If you’re going to have extra cookies that won’t be enjoyed same day, I recommend storing the frosting and cookies separately and frosting right before enjoying. The frosting needs to be stored in an airtight container in the fridge, while the cookies do best when stored in an airtight container at room temperature. Allow the frosting to soften/come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before frosting the cookies; it’s very hard right out of the fridge.

While cream cheese frosting doesn’t freeze and thaw as nicely, the unbaked cookie dough freezes beautifully. So, instead of freezing already-baked cookies, freeze the dough! Drop the cookie dough balls on a large sheet pan and freeze until solid. Once solid, transfer the frozen cookie dough balls into an airtight container or bag and freeze for up to 3 months.

To bake: You can bake Cinnamon Roll Cookies straight from the freezer. There is no need to thaw, but you may need to add an extra minute or two onto the baking time. Bake until the edges are lightly browned and the center is still soft.

Leftovers

You’ll likely find you have about 1/2 to 3/4 cup extra cream cheese frosting. I’d rather err on the side of extra than not having enough to frost the cookies generously. If you end up with extra frosting, use it as a fruit dip or spread over sliced strawberries. You could even add it on top of waffles or pancakes for a cheesecake-type breakfast.

You’ll also likely have leftover cinnamon-sugar mixture; again, I find it easier to roll dough and top cookies when I have more of this mixture rather than less. Leftovers stay great in a spice cabinet for months! Use as a fun fruit topping, to dredge waffles in (churro waffles — yum!), etc.

More cookie recipes

FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content.

Cinnamon Roll Cookies

0 from 0 votes
Soft, thick, and chewy Cinnamon Roll Cookies are topped with a luscious cream cheese frosting and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.
Print Recipe

Cinnamon Roll Cookies

0 from 0 votes
Soft, thick, and chewy Cinnamon Roll Cookies are topped with a luscious cream cheese frosting and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword cinnamon roll cookies
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 9 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 49 minutes
Servings 31 cookies

Ingredients

Cookies

  • 16 tablespoons (1 cup; 227g) unsalted butter, melted and completely cooled
  • 2/3 cup (135g) white granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup (120g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (375g) white, all purpose flour (See Note 1)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Cinnamon Sugar Coating

  • 1/2 cup (108g) white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Frosting

  • 8 ounces full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or use 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract)
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3-1/2 cups (385g) powdered sugar

Instructions

  • WET INGREDIENTS: Place the butter in a large bowl and melt in the microwave. Set the bowl aside to cool to room temperature. If the butter/bowl is warm or hot, it will melt the sugars and cause greasy cookies. Once completely cool, add in the white sugar and brown sugar. Whisk together briskly until creamy. Add in 1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk (reserve the whites for a separate recipe or discard) and the vanilla extract. Whisk until just combined and smooth.
  • DRY INGREDIENTS: In another bowl, stir together the flour, cornstarch, salt, baking soda, and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Whisk together.
  • DOUGH: Add all of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and, using a strong wooden spoon, mix until JUST combined. Do not over mix the dough. Roll balls of dough that are 1 and 1/2 tablespoons in size. Roll the balls tall instead of wide (see pictures in post; See Note 2). In a small bowl, stir together the white sugar and cinnamon. Roll the balls of dough generously into the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Reserve the rest of the cinnamon-sugar mixture for later.
  • CHILL DOUGH: Place dough balls on a parchment or Silpat-lined sheet pan or plate and chill for 1 hour.
  • BAKE: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (162°C) Place 6 cookies at a time on a parchment or Silpat-lined sheet pan (they need a good amount of room) and bake straight from the fridge for 9-11 minutes. Gently remove from the oven so they don't deflate, let stand on cookie sheet for 5 minutes and then gently remove to a cooling rack.
  • FROSTING: Meanwhile, prepare the frosting. In a large bowl, beat the room-temperature butter and cream cheese until completely smooth. mix in the vanilla and salt. Add in the powdered sugar and then beat until the frosting is smooth (it will seem like you need more liquid, but just keep beating; it will come together!
  • FROST COOKIES: Transfer the frosting to a plastic bag or piping bag and cut off the tip. Frost each cooled cookie by piping the frosting in a swirl on top. Sprinkle tops of the cookies with leftover cinnamon sugar mixture.

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: If you press a measuring cup into a bag of flour and scoop, you will pack in way too much flour, resulting in the wrong texture of cookie. To properly measure the flour, use a spoon to spoon the flour into the measuring cup until its overfilled. Then use the back of a table knife to level the measuring cup at the top. (Video visual here).
Note 2: Instead of rolling a perfectly round ball, roll the dough so it’s taller and skinnier. When the cookies bake you’ll get that perfect thick and chewy center and the crisp edges. Using this technique, the bottom of the cookie ball bakes first, which will push out and become the crisp edge. The top of that tall cookie dough ball then becomes the thick and chewy center. Perfect texture every time! 

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.

More Recipes You'll Love

Carmelitas

45 mins

Carmelitas

Click the Bookmark Icon to Add to Your Favories

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

1 hrs 29 mins

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Click the Bookmark Icon to Add to Your Favories

Healthy Breakfast Cookies

18 mins

Healthy Breakfast Cookies

Click the Bookmark Icon to Add to Your Favories

Lemon Curd Cookies

25 hrs 33 mins

Lemon Curd Cookies

Click the Bookmark Icon to Add to Your Favories

FREE BONUS

FREE BONUS

EASY MEAL SECRETS:
How to Make Mealtime Hassle Free!

5 secrets to easy, fast and delicious dinners.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Leave a Comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




6 Comments

  1. You never cease to amaze me with your delicious treats!!! My family would flip over these cinnamon roll cookies and request them every day if I made them!

Never Miss a Recipe

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.