These cinnamon roll cookies have crispy edges and a tender swirl of a buttery, cinnamon-sugar mixture. They resemble cinnamon rolls and are the perfect slice and bake cookie. Top the cookies with a cream cheese glaze for an extra pop of cinnamon roll flavor!
I am always looking for a fun, tasty new cookie to help fill up my cookie trays at Christmas. I like to make cookies that people have never tried before. This makes my cookie trays something that people look forward to all year- they just never know what to expect!
This cinnamon roll cookie recipe is pretty detailed so you are sure to be able to make them perfectly! Let’s take a look at these tasty little cinnamon bun cookies and then get started baking!
How to Make Cinnamon Roll Cookies
To make cinnamon roll cookies, you need to make three main things: the cookie dough, the filling, and the glaze. All of these components are easy to make, you just need to take it one step at a time! The first step is to make the cookie dough. Here is how you put it together:
- Beat the butter and sugars until creamy.
- Add the egg, vanilla, and cream cheese extract.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix to form a soft dough
- Roll the dough into a rectangle between sheets of parchment or waxed paper
- Chill the dough
While your cinnamon roll cookie dough is chilling, you can get started on the filling for the cookies. This step is even easier! All you need to do is mix together all the filling ingredients. You will have a soft, sweet cinnamony mix that tastes exactly like a true cinnamon bun.
You can also make the glaze while your cookie dough chills. To make the glaze, follow these steps:
- Blend the cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and milk together
- Add a little more milk if you'd like a thinner glaze
- Add more powdered sugar for a thicker, frosting like glaze
Set the glaze aside as you will not need it until your cookies have baked.
Take the chilled cookie dough out of the fridge and spread the filling across the dough. Next, roll the cookies up lengthwise into a tight log. Cover the log of cookie dough with the parchment paper and place it back in the fridge until firm. I like to leave it in the fridge overnight, but 3 hours should work.
After the dough is chilled, gently cut the log into slices, revealing the beautiful spiral of the cinnamon roll.
Place the slices on the cookie sheet and bake until the edges begin to turn a pretty golden brown. Once the cookies are cooled, you can dip the tops into the glaze and then enjoy!
The perfect cinnamon bun cookies are ready to eat! Sure, this cinnamon roll cookie recipe takes a few steps but none of them are hard and the end result is amazing!
How to Store Homemade Cinnamon Roll Cookies
Once you have made a batch of cinnamon roll cookies, you should store them in an airtight container.
If you have already put the glaze on the cookies, it is best to store them in the fridge as the glaze has cream cheese.
If the cookies are un-iced, they can be kept at room temperature. Either way, they should be sealed from the air in a container with a lid.
How to Freeze Cinnamon Roll Cookies
There are two ways to freeze cinnamon roll cookies. Both methods of freezing will work well and help keep your cookies tasty and fresh.
Cookie Dough- The best way to freeze these cookies is to make the recipe to the point where you roll the cookie dough and filling into a log. Once you have the rolled log, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and freeze it for up to three months. When you are ready to make cookies, simply slice and bake! They will be just as delicious as if you made the cookies fresh.
Baked Cookies- You can also choose to freeze the cinnamon roll cookies after they have been baked. It is best to freeze them un-iced so that the icing doesn’t get ruined in the freezer and make your cookies look messy. The cookies will also last longer when frozen without the glaze, keeping for about 2 months. Either freezer method will work great and help preserve your delicious cinnamon bun cookies!
Cream Cheese Glaze
You may be wondering about the cream cheese glaze that we use in this cinnamon roll cookie recipe. Most cookie glazes and frostings are made with just butter, powdered sugar and milk. However, ours has that tasty extra ingredient- cream cheese!
We love adding the cream cheese as it has a delicious, tangy taste. It's also what many famous cinnamon roll recipes use. There is nothing quite as mouth-watering as a cream cheese iced cinnamon bun.
So, why not use the same glaze on the cookies! I liked a thick drizzle on top of my cookies so I used a thicker glaze, but a thinner glaze would be perfect to coat the entire top of the cookie like a cinnamon roll.
Tips for Making Cinnamon Roll Cookies
We have a few tips and tricks that we have found to be very helpful when making this cinnamon roll cookie recipe. Hopefully these pointers will help you make perfect, delicious cookies too!
Chilling- Chilling the cookie dough is essential to the recipe. Once you make the dough, you will find that it is very soft. Chilling the dough will help it get more firm and easier to roll.
If you try to roll it without first chilling, it will be a sticky mess. Be sure that you follow the instructions regarding chilling the dough (both times) and you will find the cookies are much, much easier to make!
Rolling- Rolling the dough between parchment paper is the easiest way to make sure the dough is flat, even, and doesn’t stick to the rolling pin or the table. Once again, it is easiest to roll chilled dough. Be sure to dust the dough with flour well before placing it between the paper and rolling so that the dough can easily slip and stretch within the paper.
Making Ahead- These cookies are a great make-ahead recipe. You can make the entire cookie dough and filling log in advance and freeze it. You can also mix the glaze ahead of time and store it in the fridge until you are ready to dip your cookies. Pretty much every component of the cookies can be made early and then pulled out when you are ready to bake fresh, tasty cinnamon roll cookies. Planning ahead is always a good idea!
Hopefully, by now, you are dying to make this incredible cinnamon roll cookie recipe. Be sure to include some of the cookies on your next holiday cookie platter or even give them as gifts. You can also just have a batch on hand, ready to make whenever you need a cinnamony fix.
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Cinnamon Roll Cookies
- 4 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk add up to 4 tablespoons
- Add the butter, granulated sugar, and powdered sugar to a large mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer, beat on medium until creamed.
- Add in the egg, vanilla extract, and cream cheese extract. Beat until the egg is incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, add in the flour, baking powder, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk to combine.
- Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and beat until the flour is incorporated and the dough comes together.
- Place the dough between two pieces of parchment paper or wax paper and roll out into a 9 ½ x 13-inch rectangle and with a ¼ inch thickness.
- Slide a cookie sheet under the parchment paper/wax paper and transfer the dough to the fridge to chill for 15 to 20 minutes until firm.
- While the dough is chilling, work on the filling.
- Add the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Add in the melted butter and stir until the butter is evenly distributed.
- Once the dough is firm, peel the top piece of parchment paper off.
- Carefully spread the filling on top of the dough using an offset spatula. Make sure to spread the filling to all of the edges.
- Begin rolling from the dough up like a cinnamon roll from the long side. Be sure to tightly roll it and if the dough is sticking, use the parchment paper/wax paper to roll the dough and gently pull the paper away as you go.
- Once the dough is rolled up, roll it back and forth to help get rid of any gaps in the cinnamon roll cookies.
- Roll the dough back up in the parchment paper/wax paper and place back in the fridge to chill and firm up for at least 3 hours but overnight is best.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Unwrap the cookie dough and slice the cookies ½ inch thickness using a sharp knife.
- Place the cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet.
- Place the cookies in the oven and bake for 13 to 16 minutes until the edges are golden brown.
- Let the cookies cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- While the cookies are cooling, prepare the glaze. If you add the glaze right away, the cookies will need refrigerated so I recommend adding it just before serving.
- Once the cookies are completely cooled and ready to be served, place them on wax paper.
- Add the cream cheese to a medium bowl. Beat with a hand mixer until creamed.
- Add in the vanilla extract, powdered sugar, and milk. Beat until smooth. Add up to 3 additional tablespoons of milk for a thinner consistency glaze.
- Either dip the tops of the cookies in the glaze if it’s thin or add the glaze in a sandwich bag and cut a small hole in the corner of the bag for a thick glaze. With even pressure, pipe lines on top of the cookies.
- If you added glaze, store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. The cookies will be hard.
- If you skipped the glaze, store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 5 days.
(Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.)