Easy Cinnamon Swirl Sugar Cookies
Where do I even start with these heavenly cookies?! There’s the chewy cookie itself, the cinnamon brown sugar filling swirled inside, plus the rich and silky cream cheese frosting on top! Please make these. You’ll love yourself for it. Not only because these cookies taste amazing, but also because they’ll be the most popular cookie on your Christmas tray! YAY! 😃
The icing itself is more than enough to make you swoon. It tastes just like the Cinnabon icing, only you can whip it up yourself in minutes! In fact, this recipe actually makes a little extra frosting. Let’s face it – not all of it will make it onto the cookies anyway! 😉
What You’ll Need
From the cookie dough to the cinnamon filling to the cream cheese frosting, all 3 components of these cinnamon roll cookies are composed of kitchen staples. Here’s the roster!
For the Sugar Cookies
- All-Purpose Flour: Be sure to use the spoon and level method when measuring your flour to avoid packing it into the measuring cup and using too much.
- Baking Powder: Not baking soda.
- Salt: This flavor-enhancer is a must-have for sugar cookie dough!
- Butter: One stick, softened.
- Sugar: You’ll need one cup of sugar for these cookies.
- Egg: Large.
- Pure Vanilla Extract: For that classic sugar cookie flavor!
For the Cinnamon Sugar Filling
- Butter: Softened.
- Ground Cinnamon: To taste – I use a little less, as my husband prefers a lighter cinnamon flavor.
- Light Brown Sugar: This sweetens up the filling and adds some nice texture.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- Cream Cheese: You’ll need half a block, or 4 ounces.
- Butter: One stick.
- Powdered Sugar: Butter and powdered sugar are the base of every great frosting recipe.
- Pure Vanilla Extract: For sweetness and flavor.
- Lemon Extract: To enhance the icing’s tanginess!
How to Make Cinnamon Roll Sugar Cookies
Once you see how quick and easy these are, you’ll never make regular sugar cookies again! It just takes a little over an hour to chill the dough.
Make the Cookie Dough
- Combine Dry Ingredients: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
- Beat Butter & Sugar: In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, for about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add Egg & Vanilla: Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
- Add Dry Ingredient Mixture: Pour in the flour mixture and beat until you have a smooth dough.
- Flatten & Chill: Flatten the dough into a disc and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate it for 30 minutes.
- Roll Out Dough: Take out a large piece of aluminum foil and flour it. Take the dough out of the fridge and place it on top of the foil. Roll it out into a rectangle, about 1/4-inch thick. This thickness paves the way for the perfect ratio of sugar cookies to cinnamon roll filling!
Make the Filling and Roll it Up
- Add Butter, Cinnamon & Sugar to Dough: Using your hands, spread the butter over the entire dough. Sprinkle it with cinnamon, then with light brown sugar.
- Roll: Holding onto the corners of the foil that are closest to you, begin to roll the dough away from you. Work slowly, rolling to the end of the foil.
- Freeze: Wrap the rolled cookie dough in the foil and place it in the freezer for 45 minutes.
Make the Icing
- Beat Cream Cheese & Butter: Place the cream cheese and the butter in a mixing bowl. Beat until creamy.
- Slowly Add Powdered Sugar: Gradually add in the powdered sugar; beat until smooth, about 4 minutes.
- Add Extracts: Pour in the vanilla extract and the lemon extract; continue to mix until well incorporated.
Bake and Assemble
- Heat Oven & Cut Cookies: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Take out the cookie dough, unwrap it, and cut the cookies off the roll, about 1/4-inch thick.
- Bake: Place the cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake them for 8-10 minutes, or until they begin to brown around the edges.
- Let Cool: Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- Enjoy! Once cooled, frost your cookies with the cream cheese icing and serve.
Tips for Success
In order to make sure your cinnamon roll cookies come out as yummy as possible, check out these tips and tricks!
- Short on Time? If you don’t want to spend time making your own cookie dough, go ahead and use your favorite store-bought brand. But the sugar cookies made using this recipe are bound to be tastier!
- Don’t Skimp on the Chill Time: Chilling the dough may require some patience, but it’s important for the success of this recipe. The initial chill time prepares the dough to be rolled nicely and the freeze time makes for easy cookie cutting.
- Roll Carefully: Work slowly when you use the tin foil to roll up the cookie dough with the cinnamon sugar. Make sure you’re rolling it tightly and evenly.
- Let the Cookies Cool Completely: Don’t frost your cookies until they’ve reached room temperature! Otherwise, you could end up with a melty icing mess.
How to Store Cinnamon Roll Cookies
- Keep these cookies stored in an airtight container on the counter. They will stay fresh for up to 4 days.
- If you’d like to store them for a couple extra days, feel free to transfer them to the fridge and bring them to room temperature before enjoying.
Can I Freeze Cookies?
- Yes! These cookies are freezer-friendly for up to 3 months. Keep them in a freezer-safe container with or without the frosting.
- If they’re iced and you’re stacking cookies on top of each other, put sheets of parchment paper between the layers.
- Thaw cookies overnight in the fridge; bring them to room temperature before serving.
Cinnamon Roll Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
For the Sugar Cookies
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Cinnamon Roll Filling
- 1 tablespoon butter, softened
- 1 to 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon (I use 1 tablespoon because my family prefers less cinnamon)
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
For the Cream Cheese Icing
- 4 ounces cream cheese,
- 8 tablespoons butter
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon lemon extract
For the Cookies
- In a medium-sized bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
- Pour in the flour mixture and beat until you have a smooth dough.
- Flatten the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Take out a large piece of aluminum foil and flour it.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and place it on top of the foil.
- Roll it out into a rectangle, about 1/4-inch thick.
For the Filling
- Using your hands, spread the butter over the entire dough; sprinkle with cinnamon; sprinkle with light brown sugar.
Roll into a Log
- Holding onto the corners of the foil, those closest to you, begin to roll the dough away from you. Work slowly.
- Roll to the end of the foil.
- Wrap the rolled cookie dough in the foil and place it in the freezer for 45 minutes
For the Icing
- Place the cream cheese and the butter in a mixing bowl.
- Beat until creamy.
- Gradually add in the powdered sugar; beat until smooth, about 4 minutes.
- Pour in the vanilla extract and lemon extract; continue to mix until well incorporated.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Take out the cookie dough, unwrap it, and cut the cookies off the roll, about 1/4-inch thick.
- Place the cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they begin to brown around the edges.
- Remove from oven and let cookies cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- Once cooled, frost with icing.
- Frosted cookies will keep several days in an airtight container.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.
More Desserts to Try
Want more family favorite desserts to make at home? These are sure to impress everyone at the table.