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These Cinnamon Roll Cookies are everything you love about chewy sugar cookies and ooey gooey cinnamon rolls rolled into the perfect cookie! They’re soft, packed with cinnamon flavor, then drizzled with a dairy-free cream cheese icing for the perfect finishing touch. No one would guess these treats are vegan.
A classic cinnamon roll is one of our favorite sweet treats to enjoy during the holiday season and over the years we’ve added plenty of vegan cinnamon roll recipes to the blog. From our Classic Vegan Cinnamon Rolls to our 30-Minute Cinnamon Rolls to our holiday inspired versions (i.e. Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls and Golden Milk Cinnamon Rolls), we’ve really got our bases covered as far as breakfast is concerned.
With cookies being another one of our favorite holiday treats, we figured why not combine the two?! And after some testing, these soft cinnamon roll cookies definitely hit the spot. They’re made with a buttery sugar cookie dough, sweet cinnamon filling, then baked until soft and puffy and drizzled with the best cream cheese frosting. We can’t wait for you to try them!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Flax egg: makes for the perfect binder and egg substitute in this cinnamon roll cookie recipe. Make sure to use ground flaxseed instead of whole flaxseeds. If the flaxseeds aren’t ground, they will not absorb water in the same way and will leave specks of flax in the batter.
- Sugar: For these soft cookies, you’ll need granulated cane sugar (for the dough), light brown sugar (for the filling), and powdered sugar (for the glaze).
- Vegan butter: We enjoy using either Earth Balance or Country Crock Plant Butter. For best results, opt for vegan buttery sticks, not buttery spread. It yields better results in baking.
- Pure vanilla extract: Adds an excellent depth of flavor to the delicious cookies. If you love the flavor of vanilla, feel free to add a small splash to the cream cheese icing to make a simple vanilla glaze.
- All-purpose flour: We like Bob’s Red Mill if you’re looking for a good brand. We unfortunately haven’t tested this recipe with gluten-free or whole wheat flour and cannot recommend it. If you are looking for gluten-free cinnamon roll recipes, you might like this Raw Vegan Cinnamon Rolls recipe. Or check out our Gluten-Free Recipe archives! We have tons of gluten-free desserts on the blog.
- Baking powder: A chemical leavening agent that helps the cooking fluff up. Be sure not to mix this up with baking soda – these two products are not the same and cannot be used interchangeably.
- Plant milk: As needed to moisten the dough and thin out the icing. Depending on the moisture level in your vegan butter, it may not be needed.
- Vegan cream cheese: We typically like to use the store-bought version by Kite Hill for convenience, but if you have the time, give our homemade cream cheese recipe a try! All you need is 3-ingredients!
- Cinnamon: An essential in any cinnamon roll recipe. For the best cinnamon roll flavor, we recommend using a full tablespoon.
- Mixing bowls
- Electric hand mixer or stand mixer
- Spatula or wooden spoon
- Plastic wrap or vegan wax wrap
- Rolling pin
- Sharp knife
- Large baking sheet
- Sheet of parchment paper or silicone baking mat
- Wire rack (for cooling)
- Spoon or piping bag (for icing the cookies)
How to Make Cinnamon Roll Cookies
- Prepare the flax egg. In a small bowl, combine the flaxseed meal and water and set aside for 15 minutes to thicken.
- Mix the dry ingredients together. In a medium bowl, whisk the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt until uniform.
- Cream the butter and sugar. In a separate large bowl, add the softened vegan butter and granulated sugar. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add in the flax egg. Add the prepared flax egg and vanilla extract into the bowl with the creamed butter and sugar and mix until combined.
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Pour the dry mixture into the wet mixture and mix until uniform using a spatula or wooden spoon. If the dough appears dry and crumbly, add 1 tablespoon of plant milk at a time until soft and combined.
- Chill the dough. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Using clean hands, form the dough into a rectangle and wrap the dough in plastic wrap or a vegan wax wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or until chilled.
- Prepare the cinnamon sugar filling. In a small bowl, combined the vegan butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon until the mixture resembles wet sand.
- Roll out the dough. Using a rolling pin or wine bottle, roll the cinnamon roll cookie dough into a large rectangle about 1/4″ thick. Use your hands or a bench scraper to keep the edges of the dough straight and the corners of the dough a 90 degree angle.
- Spread the cinnamon roll filling over the dough, then roll. Do your best to evenly distribute the cinnamon mixture across the entirety of the dough, then starting at the long edge, roll the dough tightly into a cookie dough log. Close the seam with your fingers to prevent the cookies from unrolling. This process is very similar to rolling traditional cinnamon rolls!
- Cut into individual cookies. Using a sharp knife, cut each end off of the log exposing the cinnamon roll spiral on the interior. Cut the cookie dough log into 1/2-inch slices, being careful to keep their round shape. We were able to make 22 cookies.
- Bake. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 11-13 minutes, or until the bottoms of the cookies are golden brown.
- Prepare the icing. While the cinnamon roll cookies cool, prepare the cream cheese glaze. Using a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the softened vegan butter and vegan cream cheese until light and fluffy. Sift in the powdered sugar and mix until combined. Add plant milk until the icing is your desired consistency (we used about 1 tablespoon).
- Drizzle with icing. Once the homemade cinnamon roll cookies have cooled completely on a wire rack, drizzle them with the icing as desired. Enjoy!
Once the icing has hardened on top of the cookies, store leftover cinnamon roll cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. For longer term storage, baked cookies can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
When ready to eat, allow frozen cookies to thaw at room temperature until softened again, then enjoy!
Make Ahead Instructions
There are two options when it comes to freezing the dough. First, you can freeze the dough before rolling out, spreading on the filling, and rolling into a log. To do so, follow the recipe through step 6 then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before resuming recipe step 7.
Secondly, you can freeze the cookie dough after it has been rolled into a log and sliced into individual cookies. To do so, follow the recipe through step 11, spread the cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet then flash freeze the cookies until frozen solid. Once frozen, transfer the cookies to a freezer-safe container or bag and freeze for up to 2 months.
Bake directly from frozen for 2-3 minutes longer than original recipe calls for, or until golden brown on the bottom and drizzle with icing as usual.
- Soften the butter 1 hour ahead of time. It typically takes a stick of butter 1 hour to soften at room temperature. Plan ahead and make sure to soften enough butter for both the cookie dough and the icing. If you’re pressed for time, check out this resource: How to Soften Butter Quickly. Just be careful to not soften it too much – melted butter won’t work well either!
- Roll starting with the long side. It’s really important to make sure the log is rolled the correct direction. Think hot dog, not hamburger. If the dough is rolled starting with the short side, the cookies will be twice as large and will require a very different bake time. The key is to keep the dough log long and thin!
- Avoid over mixing the dough. Nothing’s worse than tough cookies! In order to keep the texture of the cookie soft and light (like a yeasty, fluffy cinnamon roll), mix the dough until just combined. If the dry flour is over-worked, the gluten can become over-activated and the dough will become tough and stringy. Not good!
More Popular Cookie Recipes You May Enjoy:
- Vegan Sugar Cookies – if you love these cinnamon roll cookies, you’ll love these soft, thick sugar cookies!
- Classic Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies – one of our most popular recipes for a reason! These cookies are to die for.
- Vegan Thumbprint Cookies – classic holiday cookies filled with two different types of jam.
- Vegan & Gluten-Free Ginger Molasses Cookies – a well-spiced, soft chewy cookie that’s bursting with flavor.
- Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies – perfectly sweet cookies made with just 10 ingredients.
- No Bake Peanut Butter Cookies – the easiest no bake cookies when you’re short on time and ingredients.
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