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Cinnamon Roll Cookies

These Cinnamon Roll Cookies have everything you love about cinnamon rolls, in convenient cookie form! With crispy edges and soft centers, these easy cookies are compulsively eatable.

Line of Cinnamon Roll Cookies on marble slab

Slice-and-Bake Cinnamon Roll Cookies

Okay, well, maybe they don’t have everything you love about cinnamon rolls — there’s no gooey cream cheese frosting or airy spirals of baked dough. But they’re a whole lot easier to make than cinnamon rolls (no yeast!) and they bring crispy sugar cookie goodness to the table, along with cinnamon and pecans. Make these Cinnamon Roll Cookies for a holiday cookie platter and they’re guaranteed to be a hit!

Even though they’re easier than homemade cinnamon rolls, these aren’t quick cookies to whip up. They’re not difficult, but they have to be refrigerated before being baked. Because of this, they do lend themselves to being good make-ahead cookies. I make the dough for these at night, then I slice and bake them the next morning.

Overhead shot of Cinnamon Roll Cookie ingredients

What You’ll Need

This is a classic sugar cookie with a twist, so you’ll need all the standard sugar cookie ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour – Read my explainer on baking flours.
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Granulated sugar
  • Unsalted butter – Take the butter out of the fridge 30 to 45 minutes before you’re ready to begin baking to let it soften.
  • Egg – Place the egg on the countertop with the butter so it can come to room temperature, too.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Pecans
  • Ground cinnamon – Cinnamon is the star of the show, so use a good one! If it’s been sitting in your pantry for a few years, it might not have much flavor left.

How to Make Cinnamon Roll Cookies

Because the dough needs to be chilled, you’ll want to take the refrigeration time into account if you’re making these for a special occasion.

Overhead shot of dry ingredients for cookies in glass bowl with spoon

Mix the dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

Mix the wet ingredients. In another mixing bowl, cream the sugar and butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla.

Sugar cookie dough in glass bowl with spoon

Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly pour in the flour mixture, continuing to beat until just combined. Place the mixing bowl in the refrigerator for an hour.

Rolled out sugar cookie dough

Roll out the dough. After an hour, turn out the chilled dough onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into an 18″x 10″ rectangle.

Make the filling. Combine 2 tablespoons of sugar, pecans, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the cookie dough, pressing down gently with your hands to help it stick.

Rolled up cookie dough before slicing

Roll up the dough. Starting with a long side, roll the dough like a jelly-roll. Place the seam side down on a sheet of plastic wrap, then wrap the dough tightly and return it to the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Cut and bake the cookies. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with a silicone liner or parchment paper. Slice the dough into 1/2-inch rounds and place them on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly browned.

Cool the cookies. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Stack of Cinnamon Roll Cookies with one leaning against them with two bites taken out

Tips for Success

Here are a few tips to make these cookies turn out beautiful!

  • Give them space. Be sure to give your Cinnamon Roll Cookies plenty of room on the baking sheet, because they do spread quite a bit. They’ll be much more holiday-worthy if they don’t run all over each other.
  • Or try a third round of refrigeration. If you find that handling the dough to cut it into slices has warmed it up a bit, you can place the baking sheets with the unbaked cookies in the refrigerator for another hour to firm them up. This will keep them from spreading too much.
  • Roll the dough tightly. This is really important! It prevents gaps and uneven shapes.
Three cinnamon roll cookies on marble slab

Variations

Here are a few ways to switch up this Cinnamon Roll Cookie recipe and make it your own:

How to Store

Whenever you store cookies, you need to make sure they’re completely cooled first. Then, place them in an airtight container or zip-top bag for up to a week at room temperature.

Can These Cookies Be Frozen?

You can also freeze these cookies, either after they’re baked or before. Thaw baked cookies at room temperature; frozen cookie dough should be thawed in the fridge, then baked according to the recipe instructions.

Stack of Cinnamon Roll Cookies with glass milk bottle

Cinnamon Roll Cookies

Yield about 36 cookies
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 37 minutes

Crispy sugar cookies with spirals of cinnamon sugar and pecans.

Stack of cinnamon roll cookies with glass milk bottle in background

Ingredients

  • 1 & 3/4 cups (210g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 & 1/4 cups (250g) granulated sugar + 2 tablespoons (25g) sugar, divided
  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons pecans, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat 1 & 1/4 cups sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg and vanilla.
  3. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until combined. Refrigerate dough for 1 hour.
  4. Place the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll into an 18"x 10" rectangle.
  5. Combine 2 tablespoons sugar, pecans, and cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over the cookie dough. Press down gently with your hands.
  6. Starting with a long side, roll up the dough in jelly-roll fashion. Place seam side down on a sheet of plastic wrap. Wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  7. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone liner or parchment paper.
  8. Cut dough into 1/2-inch slices. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  9. Cool the cookies on the pans for 5 minutes. Then, transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

Recipe slightly adapted from Paula Deen Magazine.

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    24 Comments on “Cinnamon Roll Cookies”

  1. Jennifer, these cookies look so good – the perfect gift!!

    I need to put together small Xmas gifts and I’m decided to use cookies for that – this recipe and the chocolate shortbread are on my mind for that.

    Exchanging cookies is not a tradition here in Brazil, but I’ll start my own tradition this year. lol

    Would you please be so king to tell me if these and the shortbread still taste good (not too soft, I mean) after a few days? I’m planning on making little plastic bags filled with cookies.

    Thanks and sorry for the long comment. ;D

  2. Hi, Patricia! Both cookies should be good for about a week as long as they’re kept in an airtight container. Happy baking and happy holidays!

  3. This is definitely another winner, they look great. And I can’t make rectangles out of dough either, I generally get random shaped blobs…

  4. They look so pretty! Paula Deen does know high fat baking!

  5. Jennifer, I have also made a cinnamon roll cookie. It doesn’t run all over the place and my dad has requested it MULTIPLE times (that means it’s good, he’s quite the cookie monster!)! I don’t know how it compares to Paula’s but here’s the link if you want to check it out.
    http://cookiedoc.blogspot.com/2006/06/rolling-away.html

  6. You’re right. Very pretty.

    But wait. No pecans? Could they be crushed and added with the topping?

  7. Those look really good. I see another cookie baking night in my near future.

    Claire – thanks for the recipe!

  8. Brilynn, that definitely makes me feel better.

    Rachel, I admire Paula for being able to say, “yeah, it’s fattening. so what?” A little bit of that is good for all of us.

    Thanks, Claire! Ours look very similar, although yours are a bit fluffier, maybe.

    Oh, Abby, there are pecans. They’re just in the cinnamon/sugar part. Actually, I thought it could use a few more, but I think that of most desserts.

    Kristen, it’s hard to resist baking, especially this time of year. I have to whittle down my baking wish list several times.

  9. These look fantastic. I too am addicted to holiday magazines but I did not buy the Paula Deen one.

  10. These are beautiful Jennifer!

  11. I mixed these up a few days ago and then chilled for a couple of days due to other craziness. My daughter baked them for me. I think that if she hadn’t placed them 1) so close together so as to make one big cookie, or 2) on both the upper most and lowest racks in the oven and then 3) forgotten to set the timer and 4) gone to wash her hair, they would have been great. The ones that didn’t burn looked and tasted great. I’m going to try again after the holiday. Thanks for the great recipe.

  12. Thanks for the compliments, y’all! Dallimomma, I admire your optimism after all of that. 🙂 Good luck on your second try!

  13. They look wonderful! I can’t believe how many posts I missed while I was away. I’m glad to see that you’ve been baking and having fun. Enjoy the holidays!

  14. i made these on xmas and they were SO good! we added a basic cream cheese frosting to half of the batch – as a former cinnamon roll bakery employee, i highly recommend adding a little frosting!

  15. Just made these they were so yummy!

  16. I made these cookies a few weeks ago, and absolutely loved them! I’m putting them in a Christmas gift paired with cinnamon/clove infused rum. Thanks for the great recipe!

  17. How many cookies does this recipe yield? Thank you.

  18. Do u use powdered sugar or granulated sugar? i used granulated sugar wen i made these. but the problem everytime i make them when i roll it out to put the filling in, whenever i roll its it always breaks or sticks to the counter even when i flour the surface. and i left in the fridge for over an hour….so what am i doing wrong?

  19. Nora, I used granulated sugar. This was some temperamental dough, if I remember correctly. The best advice I can give you is not to over-mix and to try leaving the dough in the refrigerator a bit longer. You don’t want it so cold that it breaks easily, but not so warm that it won’t roll well or tries to stick.

  20. i made the cookies but now after i baked them and i leave them to cool down they becom rock hard even though i cut them out pretty thick so they should be chewy so i am guessing that if i switch to powdered sugar they should be chewy? if not do u know how i could make the cookies chewy?

  21. These were delicious. Made them for my 6 year old nephew’s birthday party because he loves cinnamon rolls. They were a big hit. Will definitely make them again. Your blog is my go to for delicious recipes and once again, this one was spot on.

  22. Thanks for this recipe! I can’t wait to bake them and give them to friends!

    Wishes for tasty dishes,
    Linda

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