It's the best time of the year because Cookie Season is finally here! So get ready to make these VEGAN CINNAMON ROLL COOKIES for every holiday party, cookie swap, or as a gift for friends. I promise you these will be better than any standard vegan sugar cookie you've tried before!
How to make vegan cinnamon roll cookies
I originally got the idea to make these cinnamon swirl cookies from one of my favorite dessert bloggers who made a similar recipe for her blog at Sally's Baking Addiction. After seeing her recipe, I knew I needed a vegan version of these beautiful vegan sugar cookies for Christmas. Here are a few key tips & tricks to make these cookies:
Use cold butter for the dough and take the time to really whip it until creamed!
This leads to a really great texture in the dough because it helps incorporate air into the batter. Plus, it gives the dough some of the crucial structure vegan baked goods need because of the lack of eggs. Please note that these cookies will not work with warm or melted butter!
Do not freeze or chill the cookie dough prior to rolling it out.
Freezing the dough prior to rolling it out leads to cracked cookie dough that will likely fall apart when you roll the dough. I made this mistake the first time I recipe tested these cookies. As you can imagine it was a big, delicious mess (that I don't recommend repeating!).
If you don't have a great surface for rolling out these cookies, stick the dough between two sheets of parchment paper then use a rolling pin to roll out the dough. This prevents any sticking and will make sure you don't have a dough that is too dry with extra flour.
I followed this same process to make my Vegan Pumpkin Charcoal Pinwheel Cookies and recommend checking out that post for some more detailed process shots. While rolling the cinnamon sugar cookie dough out on a well-floured surface works, this method is definitely easier!
DO freeze your dough before slicing the cookies
Once you've rolled the cinnamon roll cookie dough into a large log, you'll want to freeze the dough for about 10 minutes or refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.
Doing this step helps the cookies maintain their shape when cutting. It also helps the cookie maintain those perfect swirls and not spread too much while baking. Once the dough has frozen, slice into evenly sized cookies and add to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Use only cinnamon and brown sugar for the filling
I tried to incorporate adding melted vegan butter into the cinnamon swirl filling like in a traditional cinnamon roll, but found it warmed my dough too much and made it incredibly hard to roll into a log.
Luckily, using only brown sugar and cinnamon in the filling adds plenty of flavor for that cinnamon roll taste!
What Do Cinnamon Roll Cookies Taste Like?
The end result is a cookie that is the consistency of a vegan shortbread cookie on the outside, with soft sugary swirls in the center. Like a vegan cinnamon roll in cookie form!
Don't forget the vanilla icing!
As a final step, you will drizzle on some vanilla bean glaze to really give these cookies the full cinnamon bun look and taste.
After putting the glaze on the vegan cinnamon cookies, make sure to let the glaze set at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or in the fridge for about 10 minutes to harden before serving or storing the cookies.
I hope you enjoy every bite of these Vegan Cinnamon Roll Cookies. I've brought these vegan cinnamon bun cookies to all different types of holiday celebrations and they are always a hit!
More vegan holiday cookie recipes you will love:
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Vegan Cinnamon Roll Cookies
- 1 ⅔ cup all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt reduce to ¼ teaspoon if using salted butter
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup cold vegan butter * I prefer Miyokos or Earth Balance
- ½ cup organic cane sugar
- 1 flax egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 6 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- ½-1 cup powdered sugar use more for a thicker glaze
- 1 Tablespoon almond milk
- Begin by sifting together your flour, salt, and baking powder in a mixing bowl and set aside.
- In a separate mixing bowl add your cold vegan butter and sugar and use a standing/electric mixer to whip until the butter is creamed (about 2-5 minutes). Once creamed, add in your flax egg and vanilla bean paste and mix to combine.
- Next, gradually add your sifted dry ingredients to the standing mixer and mix until a thick cookie dough is formed.
- Before removing the cookie dough from the mixing bowl to roll out, generously flour your rolling surface and rolling pin so the dough does not stick to the surface. If you don't have a great surface to roll the dough out on, place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper to roll out. Gather the dough into a ball, place it on the floured surface, and roll it into a ½" thick rectangle. Make sure not to roll the dough too thin else it will not hold while you are rolling up the filling.
- In a small bowl mix together your brown sugar and cinnamon from the filling ingredients. Take the filling and sprinkle evenly over the dough. Then, roll the dough from the longer end into a long log very slowly, tucking the filling in as you go so that there are no air pockets. You don't want gaps of air between the dough as they will cause your cookies to spread and lose their shape while baking. If the dough cracks at all while you roll it up, lightly press it back together so it holds and continue rolling.
- Lay parchment paper on top of a large baking tray and place the rolled up cookie log on top. Place the tray with the log in the freezer for at least 10 minutes to solidify before cutting.
- After 10-20 minutes, remove the dough from the freezer and preheat the oven to 350F. Cut the dough into 18 even slices that are about 1 inch wide.
- Lay the slices onto the same baking tray covered in parchment paper, making sure to leave space between each cookie. Bake for 12-14 minutes until firm and very lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet about 5 minutes. Then, move to a cooling rack to cool completely before icing.
- While the cookies are cooling, make the icing by combining the powdered sugar, vanilla bean paste/extract, and almond milk in a small bowl. Whisk until a smooth, but thick, glaze has formed. Drizzle over the cooled cookies and let sit 20-30 minutes at room temperature to harden the frosting. Enjoy!
- Baked cookies are best enjoyed within 5 days, but can keep in the freezer 1-2 months
- Recipe lightly adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction Cinnamon Roll Cookies.