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 these eggless & dairy-free cinnamon swirl cookies will be a hit for every Holiday celebration.
*Recipe orignally shared December 2018 & updated December 2021*
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 cinnamon roll sugar cookies!
This recipe is slightly adapted from my Vegan Funfetti Cookies, except we're making these cookies more like a shortbread so they don't spread while baking. In fact, they end up tasting JUST like my Vegan Cinnamon Rolls in cookie form!
How to make vegan cinnamon roll cookies
First, cream the butter and sugar
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 cinnamon pinwheel cookies will not work with warm or melted butter!
Add remaining ingredients & mix
First, add the flax egg and vanilla bean paste and mix them into the creamed butter and sugar.
Then, add in the dry ingredients including the flour, salt, and baking powder. I did use a little baking powder in this recipe to give the cookies a tiny lift compared to my Cranberry Pinwheel Cookies where I omitted it completely.
Once all the ingredients are in, mix into a thick cinnamon roll cookie dough.
Roll out the dough
Please- Do NOT freeze or chill the cinnamon 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!).
My favorite way to roll out the sugar cookie dough is to place it 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 Vegan Cranberry Orange Cookies too! While rolling the cinnamon sugar cookie dough out on a well-floured surface works, this method is definitely easier!
Add the cinnamon sugar filling
This is really just a mix of brown sugar and ground cinnamon. Mix it together in a small bowl and then spread it evenly over the dough.
P.S- I did try to incorporate melted vegan butter into the cinnamon swirl filling like in a traditional cinnamon roll. However, I found it warmed my dough too much and made it incredibly hard to roll into a log.
Roll into log
This step can be a little challenging, so hopefully, these process shots help you out!
First, add the cinnamon sugar filling to the rolled-out dough and spread it evenly to coat the dough. Then, use the parchment paper to gently roll the cookie dough into a log. It's really similar to how you would make my Vegan Cinnamon Rolls, except the dough is a little more delicate to work with.
The key is to make sure to tightly roll the dough as you go. Leaving air pockets will lead to cookies that spread while baking.
Freeze the dough, then slice
Once you've rolled the cinnamon roll sugar 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, use a very sharp knife to slice into 16 evenly sized cookies.
Add to tray & bake
Take those perfectly sliced cinnamon sugar cookies and add them to a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Then bake for 12-14 minutes until cooked through.
Let cool completely & add glaze
Once the vegan cinnamon cookies are done baking, remove the tray from the oven and let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes.
They will still be a little soft right out of the oven, so letting them cool on the baking sheet helps the cookies firm up & stay together. Then, move them to a wire rack to cool completely before adding any glaze.
To make the glaze, just add powdered sugar, oat milk. and vanilla bean paste to a small bowl and whisk together until a thick glaze forms. You actually want the glaze to be pretty thick!
After putting the glaze on these eggless cinnamon cookies, make sure to let them sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or in the fridge for about 10 minutes so the glaze can harden.
Then, serve & enjoy these perfect vegan cinnamon sugar cookies!
FAQ & Tips:
These cookies have the consistency of a vegan shortbread cookie on the outside, with soft sugary swirls in the center. They honestly taste just like a vegan cinnamon roll in cookie form!
Definitely! Just use a 1:1 GF flour mix like Bob's Red Mill or King Arthur. Unfortunately, you cannot substitute other flour alternatives such as oat flour, coconut flour, or almond flour for this recipe.
Yes! They won't be quite as sweet (and it will slightly change the color of the cookie dough) but you can substitute coconut sugar or maple sugar for the white sugar and brown sugar in this recipe. Just make sure to use granulated sugar.
Cookies can be stored in a closed container at room temperature for 2-3 days, in the fridge for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 2 months. If freezing, just defrost the cookies at room temperature for around 1 hour before serving.
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. Enjoy!
More vegan holiday cookie recipes you will love:
If you loved this recipe, please leave a 5-star review on the recipe card. I always appreciate your feedback and support! You can also follow along on my Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Pinterest or sign up for our newsletter!
Vegan Cinnamon Roll Cookies
- 1 ⅔ cup all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup room temperature vegan butter * I prefer Miyokos or Earth Balance
- ½ cup organic cane sugar
- 1 flax egg 1 Tablespoon (8 grams) ground flaxseed mixed with 3 Tablespoons water, left to sit 5 minutes
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 6 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 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!
- Cookies can be stored in a closed container at room temperature for 2-3 days, in the fridge for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
- If freezing, just defrost the cookies at room temperature for around 1 hour before serving.
- To make refined sugar-free swap the brown sugar and cane sugar for any granulated sugar like coconut sugar or maple sugar.
- To make gluten-free swap with a GF all-purpose baking flour. Other flour alternatives like almond, coconut, etc will not work in this recipe as a 1:1 substitute.
- Recipe lightly adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction Cinnamon Roll Cookies.