Cinnamon Roll Cookies

Not just a cinnamon roll. Not just cinnamon cookies. These, my friends, are Cinnamon Roll Cookies! Let’s pause and relish the idea.

Cinnamon Roll Cookies

Why? …you may ask. Why not leave things be and let a spice cookie be a spice cookie and a cinnamon roll be a cinnamon roll?

Well for starters, I’m an overachiever. (Haven’t you noticed?)

Second, cinnamon cookies and spice cookies are generally not that visually appealing.

Third, cinnamon rolls take all day to make.

Fourth, cinnamon rolls do not fit in your pocket.

…I knew you’d see it my way sooner or later.

Cinnamon Swirl Cookies

Cinnamon Roll Cookies, however, are perfect for lunchbox treats and your holiday cookie exchange. They look as good and they smell, and taste EVEN BETTER.

There are two secret ingredients that takes these little beauties to the next level.

First, cream cheese because:

  • The cream cheese gives the cookies a light and tangy flavor with a tender texture.
  • It makes the chilled dough easier to roll out.
  • It helps the cookies to stand up a little–like cinnamon rolls!

Second, dry active yeast because it gives the cookies that underlying flavor that makes cinnamon rolls so irresistible. The goal here is to include the yeasty essence without activating it. So mix the yeast with cool vanilla prior to adding it to the dough. As long as it’s not warm, it will infuse with the vanilla, but shouldn’t foam and cause the cookie dough to rise more than needed.

  Cinnamon Spice Cookies

Make a batch and bake half the cookies now and wrap the other roll for later. You can slice and bake homemade Cinnamon Roll Cookies in minutes whenever you need them!

More Fabulous Cookies:

Chai Latte Cookies

Salted Dulce de Leche and Nutella Thumbprints

Potato Chip Cookies with Chocolate Drizzle

Chocolate Pretzel Cookies ~ Smitten Kitchen

Cranberry Pumpkin Ricotta Cookies ~ Family Fresh Cooking

Snickers Bar Cookies ~ Recipe Girl

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies ~ Steamy Kitchen

Cinnamon Roll Cookies

Yield: 64-72 cookies

Prep Time:1 hour

Cook Time:10 minutes

Did you make this recipe?   Leave a review »


2 ½ sticks unsalted butter, softened (1 ¼ cups)
4 ounces softened cream cheese
3 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
1 teaspoon dry active yeast
1 cup granulated sugar
3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup brown sugar
1 ½ tablespoons cinnamon
3 tablespoons whole milk
1 cup powdered sugar


Mix 2 tsp. vanilla extract with 1 tsp. of dry active yeast.

Cream the butter, cream cheese, vanilla with yeast, and granulated sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy—2-3 minutes.

Turn the mixer on low. Add the salt, then slowly add the flour. Scrape the bowl and mix until well combined.

Press the dough into a flat disk. Wrap and refrigerate the dough for (at least) 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl.

Cut the dough in half and leave one half in the fridge while working with the first half.

Flour a piece of wax paper and roll the dough into a 7 X 18 inch rectangle that is approximately ¼ inch thick.

Sprinkle half the cinnamon sugar over the dough leaving 1 1/2 inches bare along the long edge. Starting on the cinnamon covered side, carefully roll the dough tightly toward the bare edge. You may want to cut the dough into two sections to make the rolling easier. *At this point, you can place the rolls back in the fridge and save for weeks if needed.

Press the seam firmly, then cut the roll into 1/3-1/2 inch slices and lay on parchment paper lined cookie sheets.

Repeat with the remaining dough and cinnamon sugar.

Bake for 9-12 minutes. Cool completely. Then whisk the powdered sugar, milk and remaining vanilla extract together in a small bowl. Dip the face of each cookie into the glaze and set on a rack to dry.

All images and text ©

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92 comments on “Cinnamon Roll Cookies

  1. Pingback: My Favorite Holiday Cookie Recipes

  2. rivkaposted December 26, 2014 at 3:23 pm Reply

    When baking, how do you tell when cookies are done?

  3. Cherylposted December 22, 2014 at 7:42 pm Reply

    I’ve been looking for a pretty cinnamon cookie to add to my holiday cookie collection, and this looks like the one! I’m going to give it a try tomorrow. I think I might add some orange zest to the glaze… hoping they look as lovely as yours! Thanks for the inspiration : )

  4. Pingback: 10 Christmas Cookie Recipes

  5. Samposted December 7, 2013 at 10:24 pm Reply

    I have been looking for a good cinnamon roll cookie recipe for a while and I really thought I had found it this time since your instructions were so simple! The dough looked great, I let it sit for around 45 minutes until it was pretty stiff, rolled it out and put the sugar in, it was all perfect. I tried cutting it right away and the dough crumbled. I decided to throw it in the fridge for a bit thinking that it was too warm and cooling down may help… that didn’t work, it crumbled even quicker when I cut into it. I let it set for 15 minutes, then 30 then 45. I had two logs so I tried leaving one out and letting it get warm again before cutting and still all of the rolls crumbled.

    They smell amazing but the end product was a disaster. Maybe, after reading this, you could make some suggestions on where I may have gone off the beaten path? Any help would be welcome!! I still baked the crumbled dough and it was pretty good, I just wish that the shape would have held.

    Let me know your thoughts! Thanks :)

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  7. Pingback: FAVORITE DESSERTS FOR THE CINNAMON LOVER | Best Friends For Frosting

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  9. Ericaposted December 10, 2012 at 6:58 pm Reply

    The recipe sounded great, but after giving it a try I found that my dough completely fell apart when I tried to roll it up. :o( So I ended up turning them into little cinnamon balls, still very tasty though.

    • Christineposted January 11, 2013 at 12:09 pm Reply

      Erica – I am sorry that happened but so glad it did. I had the same problem. The flavor, however, was awesome! I am guessing I either had too much flour or the dough was too cold?

  10. Pingback: Cinnamon Roll Cookies | Crafts: Unknown Knowledge |

  11. Lindsayposted November 15, 2012 at 12:20 pm Reply

    You hit the nail on the head! I have yet to make cinnamon rolls because of the time factor with the yeast. Yet I LOVE anything cinnamon and sugary. I have to try these – they sound amazing!

  12. Pingback: 100 Sweet Fall Treats: A Recipe Round Up on — Family Fresh Cooking

  13. marlaposted September 16, 2012 at 7:38 am Reply

    LOVE these!! Linked back to this fab recipe in my latest fall round-up :)

  14. Christinaposted March 31, 2012 at 11:56 am Reply

    would it ruin them if i made these with 2% milk and not whole milk?

  15. Mollyposted January 7, 2012 at 9:15 pm Reply

    Wow, these look absolutely delicious! Thanks for the idea…and the Sugar Rush!

  16. Sandyposted December 14, 2011 at 10:21 am Reply

    Made these last night! SUCCESS and everybody at work loved them! Gone within an hour! The dough was alittle tricky to roll by itself, but the waxed paper helped without making a mess. Guaranteed to be an annual Christmas cookie! :-)

    • Sommerposted December 19, 2011 at 9:41 am Reply

      I’m so glad you enjoyed them! :)

  17. Michelleposted December 11, 2011 at 9:42 am Reply

    Thanks for checking out MichDish! These cookies were definitely the hit of the cookie exchange party! What’s your trick to getting them to look so pretty?

  18. Pingback: Cinnamon Roll Cookies | Mich Dish

  19. Sheliposted December 2, 2011 at 2:43 pm Reply

    When I saw these I knew I had to make them. I just finished frosting them an they are sooo yummy! My icing is a bit thicker but they look as good as they taste, Tonight is my Bunco holiday ornament game, can not wait to hear the ohh’s and awwhh’s when the group taste these! Thanks for posting this recipe

  20. christina17posted November 21, 2011 at 10:54 am Reply

    Made these over the weekend and they are as delicious as they are cute. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  21. Bethposted November 14, 2011 at 7:19 am Reply

    What adorable little cookies! Looks like it makes a big batch, though. I’d definitely have to find someone to share them with!

  22. Emily @ Life on Foodposted November 13, 2011 at 6:21 pm Reply

    Since I am totally in love with cinnamon rolls I cannot help but want one of these cookies. Great idea!

  23. Alaiyo Kiasiposted November 13, 2011 at 4:26 pm Reply

    You’ve just hit a nerve. These cookies are gorgeous, and I can practically spell the cinnamon. I’m putting these on my holiday-cookie-bake list. I love your bright, beautiful blog–and the photos are wonderful.

    Keep sending me your posts via StumbleUpon. I’m loving every minute!

  24. Monetposted November 12, 2011 at 11:15 am Reply

    Wow! What a great new cookie idea! I would love to add these to my holiday rotation. Thank you for sharing such an inspired treat! I hope you are having a lovely weekend :-)

  25. Allyposted November 12, 2011 at 8:18 am Reply

    Wow… these are absolutely incredible looking. I LOVE cinnamon & I love how these cookies are even iced. Fantastic recipe!!

  26. Aimeeposted November 10, 2011 at 12:22 pm Reply

    These were really hard to roll out. I put them in the frig for 30min. but I am wondering if they needed to be in longer because the dough was not real stiff. Is that what my problem is? The dough is really good. I am baking a batch right now even though they do not look as cute as your picture. I can’t wait to taste one.

    • Sommerposted November 10, 2011 at 1:06 pm Reply

      Hi Aimee,

      Sorry you had trouble! I’m guessing the dough needed to be in your fridge a little longer. The chill time does seem to vary based on the fridge used and the shape of the dough when you place it in the fridge. Thin wide disks take less time–I’ll put a note above. I hope you enjoy them!

      • Aimeeposted November 11, 2011 at 1:28 pm

        Thank you. The ones that I did bake (not very pretty) but they were wonderful. My kids really love them.
        I will try this recipe again with a little more frig. time.

  27. Crystal Sawyerposted November 9, 2011 at 9:24 pm Reply

    Oh these look so good!! I was needing an idea for simple dessert for our tailgate party this weekend!!
    I FOUND IT!!! Thank you!! Can’t wait to try them!

  28. Nisrineposted November 9, 2011 at 7:42 pm Reply

    Your cinnamon rolls are beautiful, Sommer and you make them sound so easy.

  29. Magic of Spiceposted November 9, 2011 at 6:31 pm Reply

    Oh wow! These are just heavenly and so darn adorable :)

  30. vianneyposted November 9, 2011 at 4:14 pm Reply

    These are awesome, so tru roll take ALLL day to make..and anything that fits into my pockret is a winner, lol!!

  31. Regina Wposted November 9, 2011 at 1:14 pm Reply

    I tried making cinnamon rolls and it was a disaster… my kitchen. The rolls were decent but not worth all the time I put into them. My brother-in-law can make awesome cinnamon rolls. I need to visit them more often :)

  32. Steve @ HPDposted November 9, 2011 at 10:09 am Reply

    cinnamon has been scientifically proven to be the most powerful aroma in the world. it both picks you up and relaxes you, makes you more alert without getting jittery, and makes everyone, from every culture, feel better about where they are. cheers!

  33. dvanthielposted November 9, 2011 at 8:40 am Reply

    These are heavenly! I live in a country where pre-packaged cinnamon rolls and sugar cookies do not exist… I’m so happy to have this recipe!

  34. Kiri W.posted November 9, 2011 at 8:56 am Reply

    These loo to die for! I can sort of imagine them dissolve in my mouth in a perfect crumble :)

  35. [email protected]posted November 9, 2011 at 7:55 am Reply

    These are wonderful! I love any way to take cinnamon rolls and turn them into other things. What a great holiday idea these would be too! Great post!

  36. GourmetGetawaysposted November 9, 2011 at 6:25 am Reply

    These look gorgeous, and I do agree, cinnamon rolls are not usually so visually appealing. I can’t wait to make these cookies (plus have a spare roll in the freezer) :)

  37. Ashley @ Wishes & Dishesposted November 8, 2011 at 11:57 pm Reply

    Found you via Foodbuzz top 9! Love your blog and these cookies look amazing!

  38. Jen at The Three Little Pigletsposted November 8, 2011 at 10:38 pm Reply

    Totally seeing it your way! So cute!

  39. Missyposted November 8, 2011 at 5:59 pm Reply

    Can you be in love with a cookie? I think I am……this is awesome!!

  40. Heleneposted November 8, 2011 at 10:30 am Reply

    I’ve never seen them before. They are so adorable.

  41. Rachel @ Not Rachael Rayposted November 8, 2011 at 10:26 am Reply

    I love these! They are so cute and oh my goodness I bet they taste amazing.

  42. Roxana GreenGirlposted November 8, 2011 at 9:29 am Reply

    These would fit perfectly in my pocket! Great idea Sommer!

  43. Roxana GreenGirlposted November 8, 2011 at 9:28 am Reply

    These would fit perfectly in my pocket! Great idea Sommer!

  44. Kitaposted November 8, 2011 at 7:27 am Reply

    You had me at fitting these little cookies in my pocket. Cinnamon rolls on the go? Yes please!

  45. naomiposted November 7, 2011 at 11:47 pm Reply

    These look wonderful- and Im with you, I love cinnamon roll cookies!

  46. Angie's Recipesposted November 7, 2011 at 11:33 pm Reply

    Those cookies would disappear very fast in our house!

  47. Christineposted November 7, 2011 at 10:41 pm Reply

    This looks great. Good for the holidays.

  48. MyKidsEatSquidposted November 7, 2011 at 8:41 pm Reply

    I always feel so guilty eating a whole cinnamon roll, but to make it into a cookie instead–perfect. Thanks for posting.

  49. Dmarieposted November 7, 2011 at 8:27 pm Reply

    I am determined to bake more Christmas cookies this year. looks like this recipe needs to be the first on the list! thanks, Spicy!!

  50. [email protected]posted November 7, 2011 at 8:26 pm Reply

    I love cinnamon rolls. They are an addiction that causes me real problems around the Holidays. I am going to have to give these a try because, surely, small bite sized cookies are less dangerous! Thanks for the great idea!

  51. [email protected] My Sweet Toothposted November 7, 2011 at 7:41 pm Reply

    Oh I wish I had one of these right now with a cup of tea!

  52. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchenposted November 7, 2011 at 7:13 pm Reply

    I do love cinnamon rolls but I’ll take your cookie version over one any day!

  53. [email protected]posted November 7, 2011 at 5:20 pm Reply

    These are adorable!! I’m so adding these to my Christmas cookie list!

  54. carolinaheartstringsposted November 7, 2011 at 6:15 pm Reply

    Those look so delicious. My mouth is watering looking at the picture. Come visit us. We have a terrific pumpkin cheesecake today.

  55. Mi Vida en un Dulceposted November 7, 2011 at 5:05 pm Reply

    Those cookies are so perfect, look at the color, that white touch make them irresistible, this is something I have t try at home. Thanks for sharing.

  56. Carolynposted November 7, 2011 at 4:52 pm Reply

    Love these! They look so good, I am considering making them for my local cookie swap!

  57. Cookin' Canuckposted November 7, 2011 at 4:46 pm Reply

    You have me convinced. I can practically taste these gorgeous little morsels.

  58. Shannonposted November 7, 2011 at 4:33 pm Reply

    Oh my!! These look fabulous. I am definitely adding these to my holiday baking list. I can’t wait to try them!

  59. jaclynposted November 7, 2011 at 4:25 pm Reply

    deeeeeelicious. and so cute, too!

  60. Rachel @ Bakeritaposted November 7, 2011 at 4:10 pm Reply

    How cute!
    I’ve made cookies similar to this with Nutella insides, but I love the cinnamon roll variation!

  61. Feast on the Cheapposted November 7, 2011 at 3:48 pm Reply

    These look heavenly! What a fabulous fall treat (or anytime, really)

  62. Cassieposted November 7, 2011 at 3:44 pm Reply

    Totally on board with cinnamon rolls fitting in my pocket. These are awesome!

  63. Grubarazzi (@Grubarazzi)posted November 7, 2011 at 3:26 pm Reply

    I’ve done died and gone to heaven.

  64. Krista {Budget Gourmet Mom}posted November 7, 2011 at 3:19 pm Reply

    These look so good! It’s funny that you shared these. I’m working on some right now but they’ll be a bit different. Gotta see if they turn out…fingers crossed! If they don’t I know where to find one that will. ;)

  65. RavieNomNomsposted November 7, 2011 at 3:16 pm Reply

    Those are so cute!! What a yummy cookie. My mom makes something similar to this around Christmas time, but just a little different. I think I will have to try these out!

  66. Erinposted November 7, 2011 at 2:39 pm Reply

    Love these! And you’re totally right, they fit in your pocket where the rolls don’t, obviously that makes them more appealing!

  67. Sneh | Cook Republicposted November 7, 2011 at 2:35 pm Reply

    mmmmm sweet! literally and figuratively! I love the look of these. Beautiful photos too!

  68. jennifurlaposted November 7, 2011 at 1:21 pm Reply

    These are adorable and my favorite blog post of the day.

  69. [email protected]posted November 7, 2011 at 12:13 pm Reply

    These do look delicious, I love all things cinnamony-so I know these would disappear fast at our house. Very creative and delicious-great post!

  70. Tricia @ Saving room for dessertposted November 7, 2011 at 11:32 am Reply

    Yup I could pause over a plate of this puppies! Yum. I bet they smell as good as they look. Thanks a lot Sommer!

  71. Island Vittlesposted November 7, 2011 at 11:10 am Reply

    Such an innovative recipe — and they look amazing — Christmas baking, here we come! Theresa

  72. Gwen @SimplyHealthyFamilyposted November 7, 2011 at 10:44 am Reply

    How perfect! I think I’ll make a few of these treats for my holiday baking.

  73. SweetSugarBelleposted November 7, 2011 at 10:33 am Reply

    These look WONDERFUL!

  74. Apron Appealposted November 7, 2011 at 10:25 am Reply

    Oh yes, I could go for one o these. Me and cinnamon rolls like each other…A LOT.

  75. Lacyposted November 7, 2011 at 9:51 am Reply

    Awesome idea, love love love cinnamon rolls & who wouldn’t love it in cookie form. YUM!!

  76. Squash Blossom Babiesposted November 7, 2011 at 9:50 am Reply

    These are so cute!

  77. The Mom Chef ~ Taking on Magazines One Recipe at a Timeposted November 7, 2011 at 9:39 am Reply

    Heck, I was sold by the picture. No further sales needed on my end. We’re having a cookie exchange in our neighborhood so this might just make it to the table. They look heavenly.

  78. Jeanetteposted November 7, 2011 at 9:21 am Reply

    What an interesting idea, adding yeast to get the cinnamon roll yeasty taste without activating it. You are so clever!

  79. Bev Weidnerposted November 7, 2011 at 8:59 am Reply

    I want to pet these cookies and give them a paci.

  80. Mariaposted November 7, 2011 at 8:57 am Reply

    Love these cookies!

  81. Jessica | Oh Cakeposted November 7, 2011 at 8:56 am Reply

    These are lovely and look delicious. As much as I love cinnamon rolls you’re right – I’m much more likely to make cookies!

  82. Leslieposted November 7, 2011 at 8:52 am Reply

    Oh my gracious! I .MUST.MAKE .THESE

  83. Kimberly (Badger Girl)posted November 7, 2011 at 8:08 am Reply

    Wow, these are just beautiful! I can’t wait to try these. Thanks for such a detailed post and recipe.

  84. Curtposted November 7, 2011 at 8:02 am Reply

    How delicious these look! So nice and soft looking. I love cinnamon!

  85. Rosaposted November 7, 2011 at 8:01 am Reply

    Those mus taste divine!



  86. Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.posted November 7, 2011 at 8:01 am Reply

    These look SO good! Great for the holidays

  87. My German the Rockiesposted November 7, 2011 at 7:28 am Reply

    You are right, cinnamon rolls take all day. I like to eat them, too, but don’t always have the time. Your cookies are the perfect short cut. Great recipe!

  88. Jessica @ How Sweetposted November 7, 2011 at 6:04 am Reply

    Love these! They are just so cute.