Cinnamon roll cookies taste just like a cinnamon roll, in cookie form. Perfectly sugar cookies spiced with cinnamon sugar filling, these will keep all cinnamon lovers happy.
- Sweet, full of cinnamon and buttery.
- Easy to make but prep ahead for chilling time.
- Pick your texture! Thick and soft or thin and crisp is all in your control.
- These are perfect for gifting!
These slice and bake cinnamon swirl cookies are very easy and look gorgeous wrapped up or in glass jars for a gift. Unlike cinnamon rolls, you don’t need to worry about working with yeast or rising time or kneading so you can get your cinnamon roll fix much quicker, thank you.
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Ingredients you’ll need
Jump to the recipe for full ingredients and instructions.
- Butter: You’ll want unsalted butter for these cookies.
- Sugar: Two types of sugar here – white for the cookie dough and brown for the cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Egg: Just one egg to help add richness and binding to the cookie dough.
- Vanilla extract: Use pure vanilla extract for the best flavour (vanilla essence is a synthetic flavouring).
- Flour: Just plain flour / all-purpose flour.
- Baking powder: There is just enough baking powder to make these cookies fluffy without making them spread out of shape.
- Ground cinnamon: And the star of the show is ground cinnamon. There’s lots for a deliciously comforting and cosy flavour.
How to make cinnamon roll cookies (step-by-step)
This cinnamon roll cookie recipe is fairly easy to make though you will need to make sure you plan ahead for the chilling time. The dough may crack as you roll them up but don’t worry, it’s very forgiving and still very easy to patch it up and get perfect results. While I use a stand mixer, you could use an electric beater or even make the dough by hand (though it will require some elbow grease).
Jump to the recipe for full ingredients and instructions.
- Make the sugar cookie dough: Start by creaming together butter and sugar, followed by egg and vanilla (photo 1). Finally, add in the dry ingredients (photo 2) and beat until it comes together into a sticky dough.
- Chill the dough: For the first chilling stage, place the dough onto some plastic wrap (photo 3), work it into a smooth rectangle about 1 inch thick, then wrap it up (photo 4) and chill for 45 minutes in the fridge.
- Shape the cookie dough: Now, gently and gradually roll the dough out on a floured surface to a large rectangle about 4mm / ⅙ inch thick (photo 5). Spread over melted butter (photo 7) and scatter over the cinnamon sugar mix (photo 8). Cut the dough into two squares – it’s just easier to roll up – then carefully roll each of the squares up into a log (photo 9).
- Chill #2: Wrap each of the logs in some plastic wrap, twisting the ends like a candy wrapper (photo 10) to help keep them perfectly round. Place them in the freezer for 45 minutes until firm.
- Slice and bake: Now, simply slice up the cookie dough logs with a sharp knife (photo 11), place the cookies on a baking tray (photo 12) and bake until done. See my notes in the tips and tricks section for the cookie thickness and baking time.
Tips and tricks
- Cracks: Because of the very nature of sugar cookie dough, it might (aka probably will) crack here and there as you roll it into logs – don’t worry, this is totally fine. The dough is very forgiving so you can just use your fingers to patch up any cracks and keep gently rolling.
- Take your time rolling it up: Because the dough is delicate, make sure you’re gentle when you’re rolling up the dough and use an offset spatula or bench scraper to help you lift and smooth it as you go.
- Level out the cinnamon sugar: Make sure to run your hand over the cinnamon sugar once you’ve scattered it on, just to even it out all over otherwise you may end up with parts of your swirl that have a clump of cinnamon and parts that have nothing and it won’t have an even swirl.
- Cookie thickness: I tend to slice my cookies about 4-5mm (⅙ inch) thick but you can make them slightly thicker – up to 6-7mm (¼ inch). The thicker you slice the cookies the softer and more chewy they’ll be. If you slice them more thinly, they may still be soft in the centre (depending on the baking time) or they can also be made nice and crisp.
- Baking time: The baking time will also affect the texture of the cookie. A shorter bake time will result in softer cookies while a few minutes longer will give you a crisp cookie.
- How to cut the cookies: If the dough has been in the freezer for an extended period, let it sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before slicing. If you try to slice while the dough is too hard, your cookies may crack and break apart as you slice them. Again, not the end of the world as you can gently press them back together quite easily.
I cut my cinnamon roll cookie dough to about 4mm (⅙ inch) and bake for 11 minutes. This results in cookies that are crisp and golden around the edge with a little softness in the centre. The thickness remains around 4mm (⅙ inch) after baking.
While I was creating these, I was toying with so may other wonderful ways to flavour them. Imagine some lemon sugar or orange sugar inside simply by rubbing zest through white sugar before scattering it over. Delicious!
You could also add an icing. I haven’t since I created these after being given a similar uniced cookie with my coffee at our local breakfast spot. If you want to add icing, simply mix ½ cup of icing sugar (powdered sugar) with ½ – 1 teaspoon of milk and feel free to add in a pinch of cinnamon too.
These are the perfect make ahead cookie. Being a slice and bake cookie, the dough lasts beautifully in the freezer for a few months. The cookies themselves can also be frozen for 2-3 months.
It’s necessary to chill the dough for this cinnamon roll cookies recipe to make it easier to work with.
Yield and storage
This recipe makes up to 64 cinnamon roll cookies (plus a few end off cut cookies). The number of cookies you’ll get from one batch will depend on how thick you slice your cookies.
Freezing the dough: Once the logs of dough are wrapped, they can be frozen for up to 3 months (I would put them into an airtight container if doing this). Let them sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before slicing so they don’t crack as you slice them.
This allows you to just bake as many cookies as you want at a time!
Storing the baked cookies: The baked cookies will keep quite well at room temperature for 5-6 days (the crisper they were when baked, the longer they will keep). You can also freeze the baked cookies for up to 3 months.
Did you try this recipe for cinnamon roll cookies?
Leaving a rating and comment below the recipe is so helpful!
FOR THE COOKIES
- 225 g unsalted butter, softened (1 cup / 2 sticks)
- 1 cup granulated white sugar (200g / 7oz)
- 1 large egg, room temp
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 325 g plain flour (all-purp flour) (2 ½ cups)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
FOR THE FILLING
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (4 teaspoons notes)
- ¼ cup light brown sugar (50g / 1.8oz)
For best results, always weigh ingredients where a weight is provided
- Stand mixer with paddle attachment recommended but not absolutely necessary. Beat the butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes on med-high until lightened and fluffy. Scrape down the sides a couple of times during the process.
- Add the egg and vanilla and beat to combine.
- In a small bowl whisk together the flour and baking powder until well combined, then add to the butter mix. Beat on low, until all incorporated.
- Take the sticky dough out of the mixer and tip onto a piece of plastic wrap. It’s meant to be sticky, so don’t be tempted to add more flour. Shape the cookie dough into a rectangle, 1 inch thick, then wrap in the plastic wrap. Chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.
- Dust a clean work surface with flour. Remove the wrap from the dough and place it onto the work surface, then lightly dust the top with flour.
- IMPORTANT NOTE: This dough will form cracks along the way. Don’t worry, it’s a very forgiving dough. Roll it out gently and roll it up carefully with the aid of an offset spatula, carefully mending cracks as you go. They’ll turn out perfectly.
- Slowly roll the cookie dough out to a rectangle ¼ inch thick gently moving it every so often so that it doesn’t stick. Don’t worry if it breaks here and there, just press the cracks back together.
- Spread the melted butter all over the dough with and offset spatula or your hands. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl, then scatter that all over the top. Use your hand to even it out all over.
- Cut the dough down the middle so you have two squares – this just makes it easier to roll up. Trim the edge closest to you so it’s straight.
- Seal the seam with your fingers then place the log onto a piece of plastic wrap. Roll it up, twisting the ends like a candy wrapper. Repeat with the second piece of dough so you have two logs, then freeze for 45-60 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan) / 350F. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
- Place the cookie slices onto the prepared baking sheet about 1 ½ inches apart.
- Bake 9-10 minutes for cookies soft in the centre or 10-12 minutes and until the edges are golden for cookies that are crisp. Turn the tray at the halfway point for even browning. Leave them for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool.
- Please take a moment to leave a comment & rating. It's appreciated and so helpful.
- Tablespoons: I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (equal to 4 teaspoons). Check yours before measuring.
- Thickness: The thickness you cut the slices will go part of the way to determining the final texture of your cookies. Thinner cookies will bake up crisper than thicker cookies.
- Bake time: The other factor in the texture of the cookies is how long you cook them. 9-10 minutes and before they’re turning golden will give you cookies that are soft in the centre. 10-12 minutes and turning golden on the edges will result in cookies that are crisp.
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