Cinnamon Roll Cookies

In my continuing obsession with all those holiday magazines, these cookies come to you courtesty of Paula Deen’s Christmas. This time of year, one of the most important considerations when baking cookies is how they look. Most holiday cookies are to be given away, so they should at least look nice, right? With the cinnamon swirl in these sugar cookies, these are just begging to live on a cookie tray.

These are not quick cookies to whip up. They’re not difficult, but they have to be refrigerated before being baked. Because of that, they do lend themselves to being good make-ahead cookies. I actually made the dough for these late one night and then sliced and baked them the next morning for my co-workers. I should mention here that they were quickly devoured, and I was told more than asked to make more.

One of my least favorite things in baking is rolling out dough. I’m not good at it, never seeming to be able to make anything remotely resembling an actual rectangle. I’m not blessed with patience, so I’m sure that doesn’t help. That being said, I still liked these cookies and would make them again. Be sure to give them 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.

Cinnamon Roll Cookies

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Yield: about 36 cookies


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


Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat 1 & 1/4 cups sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Mix in egg and vanilla.

Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add flour mixture, mixing just until combined. Refrigerate dough for 1 hour.

Place chilled dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll into an 18"x 10" rectangle.

Combine 2 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over cookie dough. Press down gently with hands.

Starting with a long side, roll up dough in jelly-roll fashion. Place seam side down on plastic wrap. Wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with a silicone liner or parchment paper.

Cut dough into 1/2-inch slices. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Cool on pans for 5 minutes. Then, remove cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.


Recipe slightly adapted from Paula Deen Magazine.

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  1. Patricia Scarpin December 13, 2006 Reply

    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. jennifer December 13, 2006 Reply

    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. Brilynn December 13, 2006 Reply

    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. rachel December 13, 2006 Reply

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

  5. Claire December 13, 2006 Reply

    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.

  6. Abby December 13, 2006 Reply

    You’re right. Very pretty.

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

  7. Kristen December 13, 2006 Reply

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

    Claire – thanks for the recipe!

  8. jennifer December 13, 2006 Reply

    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. peabody December 14, 2006 Reply

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

  10. Lauren December 14, 2006 Reply

    Ditto on the holiday baking mags… I just looked through this one again and thought this looked like promising. Thanks for the review – they look wonderful too!

  11. Nicole December 14, 2006 Reply

    These are beautiful Jennifer!

  12. dallimomma December 22, 2006 Reply

    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.

  13. jennifer December 22, 2006 Reply

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

  14. Ivonne December 23, 2006 Reply

    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!

  15. bridget December 28, 2006 Reply

    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!

  16. Hallie November 24, 2008 Reply

    Just made these they were so yummy!

  17. Tara December 7, 2008 Reply

    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!

  18. Memoria January 30, 2009 Reply

    How many cookies does this recipe yield? Thank you.

  19. Nora September 21, 2009 Reply

    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?

  20. jennifer September 21, 2009 Reply

    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.

  21. Nora September 25, 2009 Reply

    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?

  22. ruth November 9, 2014 Reply

    i really would like the cinnamon roll cookie recipe. it does not shwo up on the page…could you email it to me? thanks, Ruth

    • Author
      Jennifer McHenry November 10, 2014 Reply

      Hi, Ruth. I’m sorry the link no longer works. I’ve added the recipe to this page. Enjoy!

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