A homemade cinnamon roll recipe for the cookie dough lovers out there! These cookie dough cinnamon rolls are soft and fluffy brown sugar brioche dough rolls filled with gooey balls of homemade edible chocolate chip cookie dough and cinnamon sugar. Topped with a quick vanilla frosting and more dollops of cookie dough.
Why You'll Love These Rolls
- Loaded with cookie dough - these rolls are packed full of edible chocolate chip cookie dough bites, leaving gooey dollops of dough in every bite.
- Brown sugar brioche - my classic soft and buttery brioche cinnamon roll dough made with added brown sugar to compliment the cookie dough flavours.
- Cinnamon sugar - well, you can't have a cinnamon roll without cinnamon! The cinnamon sugar butter layer in these cookie dough rolls has a mix of both white and brown sugar, echoing the flavours of classic chocolate chip cookie dough.
- Did I mention the cookie dough - to top off the rolls, there's a quick vanilla drizzle and even more balls of edible chocolate chip cookie dough.
Ingredient Notes for the Cookie Dough
To make these cookie dough bites, you'll need:
- Butter - unsalted butter, softened at room temperature. You can also opt for salted butter here, but if doing so, you may want to omit the added salt in the cookie dough recipe.
- Brown sugar - I like to use light brown sugar, firmly packed for measurements. You can also opt for dark brown sugar here, but the molasses flavours will be more intense and you may find it overpowering.
- Sugar - granulated sugar or caster sugar work well here. Just like classic chocolate chip cookies, this dough has a combination of white sugar and brown sugar.
- Vanilla extract - vanilla is an important ingredient in cookie dough, accentuating the flavours and complimenting the chocolate chips.
- Heat treated flour - to make edible cookie dough, you not only need to omit the eggs, but also heat treat the flour. I discuss the process for heat treating the flour in my recipe for Edible Cookie Dough Cones.
- Salt - just a pinch of salt. If you're using a salted butter, this ingredient may not be needed. It is generally best to work with unsalted butter and add salt separately because you are then able to control the amount of salt in your recipe more consistently. Different brands of butter can lead to uncertain saltiness.
- Milk - I usually use full fat or whole milk in my baking, but you can use 2% or semi-skimmed here too. A touch of milk will go a long way towards bringing the dough together in creamy little bites.
- Chocolate chips - for these cookie dough bites, you'll want to aim for a small chocolate chip or a mini chip. The flavour is really up to you! I'm a dark chocolate fan, but you can also use milk chocolate here if that's your preferred type.
How to Make Edible Cookie Dough Bites
- Beat together the sugars with the butter until well creamed.
- Add the vanilla and then the salt and heat treated flour. You may want to sift your heat treated flour if it has become particularly lumpy during the process of heat treating.
- You'll now be left with a grainy mixture. Add the milk and beat to combine. Test the consistency with a spoon or your fingers to see if you're happy with the edible dough. You can add more milk at this stage if you want it creamier.
- Once the dough is at a consistency you are happy with, add the chocolate chips and stir through to combine, just like you would for a typical chocolate chip cookie.
- Now, you're ready to make the bites - take small dollops (I used a ¼ teaspoon measure) and roll these individually into small balls with your palms.
- Place the balls on a plastic wrap lined tray and freeze them for use in your cinnamon rolls. For the rolls, they need to be well chilled, so should ideally be frozen overnight.
Tips for Cookie Dough
- Avoid over-adding milk. You want a stiff dough here and not something that is too sticky to roll into little balls. Any extra milk should be added very sparingly.
- You can make smaller or larger cookie dough bites depending on preference. For the sake of adding to your cinnamon rolls, these need to be quite small, otherwise they will not be manageable in the rolling process. The ¼ teaspoon measure makes a good small bite size and produces enough balls to distribute across the dough nicely.
- It is best to prepare the cookie dough balls the day before you intend to add them to your dough. This allows them time to freeze thoroughly, which will help them to keep a gooier consistency when adding to the rolls.
- They can be made even further in advance and will last frozen for up to 3 months.
Ingredient Notes for the Rolls
To make these rolls, you'll need a brown sugar brioche dough, sugar cinnamon filling and of course your prepared cookie dough balls.
For the Dough
- Milk - full fat or whole milk, warmed to 104°F (40C) in order to activate the yeast.
- Dry active yeast - the warmed milk will activate this prior to adding to your dough. If it fails to become foamy during the activation stage, then something is wrong with the yeast and you will want to start over to avoid disappointment at a later stage in the recipe.
- Brown sugar - light brown sugar, firmly packed. This will be divided with a teaspoon being added to the milk and the rest going straight to the dough. Unlike my other brioche based cinnamon roll recipes, like my Biscoff Cinnamon Rolls or my Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Rolls, this recipe uses brown sugar instead of granulated sugar in the dough. This adds a touch of molassesy richness and compliments the cookie dough flavours.
- Flour - all purpose or plain flour. A bit of all purpose flour makes these rolls super soft.
- Bread flour - using some bread flour, sometimes called strong flour, will help the gluten develop in these rolls and make the dough come together better.
- Eggs - large eggs, ideally at room temperature. One egg will be divided into white a yolk with the white added to the dough and the yolk reserved for an egg wash prior to baking.
- Butter - unsalted butter, softened at room temperature and chopped into small pieces. A good quality butter is key to making an enriched brioche dough. You can substitute with salted butter, but this will add saltiness to your overall recipe.
For the Filling
- Butter - more unsalted butter, softened at room temperature.
- Sugar - granulated sugar or caster sugar.
- Brown sugar - light brown sugar, firmly packed measurements.
- Ground cinnamon
- Edible cookie dough bites - these should be made in advance and kept in the freezer until use in the dough.
How to Make Cookie Dough Cinnamon Rolls
To make these rolls, you'll need to start with the dough. The process follows the same basic steps as my other brioche rolls. The key difference here is that the recipe uses brown sugar instead of white granulated sugar.
For a more detailed step by step guide as well as useful tips on making the dough, see my Brioche Cinnamon Rolls.
Let's pick things up after the first proof, which is a slow refrigerator proof, ideally overnight.
- In a bowl, mix together your softened butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and cinnamon until you have a spreadable spiced sugar butter.
- Remove your dough from the refrigerator and place on a well floured work surface.
- Roll the dough out until it is a large rectangle about 12" wide by 15" long.
- Spread your butter mixture over the surface leaving a small gap around the edges.
- Remove your cookie dough bites from the freezer and sprinkle these over top, reserving a small handful for serving.
- Roll the dough up from bottom to top into a tight log. This will be a bit lumpy from the cookie dough balls stuffed inside.
- Use flavorless dental floss or a thin kitchen twine to trim the ends of the dough log and then divide into 9 rolls.
- Place these in a parchment lined square baking pan and cover with a clean kitchen towel to proof at room temperature for about 2 hours.
- After your second proof, preheat the oven to 350°F and make a quick egg wash by beating your reserved yolk with a splash of milk.
- Brush the egg wash over the rolls and bake in the centre of the preheated oven for about 30 minutes until risen and golden.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes while preparing the frosting.
I've topped my cookie dough cinnamon rolls with a quick vanilla icing drizzle and the leftover cookie dough bites.
All you'll need is:
- Powdered sugar - sometimes called confectioners sugar or icing sugar. This usually doesn't need sifted for a frosting like this, but if you're is particularly lumpy, you may wish to sift to remove hardened clumps before trying to stir smooth.
- Vanilla extract - a little vanilla here gives just enough hint of flavour to compliment the rest of the roll.
- Milk - I like to use full fat or whole milk, but 2% or semi-skimmed will work in the frosting too. You can adjust the consistency of the frosting by adding more or less milk. The amount called for in this recipe should give you a good drizzling consistency, but if you'd like it to be runnier, add a little extra milk a half teaspoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency.
- Cookie dough bites - the reserved edible cookie dough pieces that you held back from the filling of the rolls. These should be at room temperature by the time you are topping your rolls, which will give them a soft texture.
Simply stir together the powdered sugar, vanilla and milk until you have a smooth glaze. This should be a bit runny, so that it can be drizzled over the warm rolls.
Once added to the rolls, top it all off with the remaining cookie dough bites.
- Freezing the cookie dough bites thoroughly (overnight) will make them easier to handle and add to the dough.
- As with my other bread recipes using dry active yeast, be sure that this is active and has developed a foamy topping on the warm milk before adding to the flour. If after about 10 minutes the yeast isn't foamy, then something has gone wrong - either the milk was too cold or too hot, or the yeast packet may have expired. It is advisable to restart at this stage rather than risk the yeast being dead.
- The amount of sugar in the dough may make this seem stickier than some of my other brioche recipes. Don't worry - it should still come together in a similar way with the same amount of kneading. If you are particularly concerned, you can add an extra tablespoon or two of bread flour, but try to avoid the impulse to dry the dough out.
- When cutting the dough with your floss, you may find that the balls of frozen cookie dough are more difficult to slice (especially if some of your balls are larger). Don't worry, simply re-add any cookie dough bites to the rolls if they fall out or become dislodged.
Want to make this recipe for cookie dough filled cinnamon rolls your own? Try some of these alternatives.
- Different chocolate or morsels in the cookie dough - you can use any type of chocolate you like in your edible cookie dough bites. The key for success is to use mini morsels wherever possible or finely chopped solid chocolate. This is because you'll need to make these into quite small little dough balls in order to use in the rolls. If the chips are too big, this will be more difficult.
- Change the frosting - this recipe calls for a vanilla icing drizzle. If you want to cover the entire roll in a thicker vanilla frosting, simply double the icing recipe. Or if you're looking for. something a bit more indulgent, try a chocolate ganache, similar to the one I use in my Chocolate Cherry Cinnamon Rolls. You can also use a cream cheese frosting, like in my classic Brioche Cinnamon Rolls.
- Add sprinkles - want to give these a bit of a touch of colour? Try adding sprinkles to the cookie dough and on top of the final product when serving.
Just like my other cinnamon rolls, I highly recommend eating these fresh and still warm. They'll be gooey and doughy and you'll get the best of both warm cookie dough and cinnamon roll worlds.
You can eat leftovers for a couple of days if kept well wrapped at room temperature. The edible dough pieces added to the top for decoration in serving should be kept in the refrigerator separate to the rolls. For best results these should be left out of the refrigerator for about 15 minutes before serving to let them become creamy soft.
I would not recommend freezing cinnamon rolls filled with cookie dough. This is because it is not advisable to refreeze anything that has been previously frozen. You'll be working with cookie dough bites that you will have frozen prior to baking. Therefore, it is not best practice to then refreeze these in the baked rolls.
I've not tested this recipe with dairy free alternatives. If you have a good dairy free milk and butter substitute that you trust in your baking, then these should work well here, providing that you are able to activate the yeast at the start of the recipe.
Are you a cookie dough lover? Try one of my edible cookie dough recipes:
- Oatmeal Cookie Dough
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cones
- Peanut Butter Cookie Dough
- Gingerbread Cookie Dough
- Sugar Cookie Dough
Cookie Dough Cinnamon Rolls
- stand mixer fitted with a dough hook
- 8" square baking tray
Ingredients for the Edible Cookie Dough
- ½ cup heat treated flour (see note)
- ¼ cup unsalted butter softened at room temperature
- ¼ cup light brown sugar firmly packed
- 2 tablespoon granulated sugar or caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon full fat milk or whole milk
- 2 oz mini chocolate chips dark or milk chocolate
Ingredients for the Brown Sugar Brioche Dough
- ¼ cup full fat milk or whole milk, warmed to 104°F (40C)
- 2¼ teaspoon dry active yeast
- 2 tablespoon light brown sugar firmly packed measurements
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup all purpose flour or plain flour
- ¾ cup bread flour
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened at room temperature and cut into small cubes
Ingredients for the Filling
- 6 tablespoon unsalted butter softened at room temperature
- ¼ cup light brown sugar firmly packed
- 2 tablespoon granulated sugar or caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- edible cookie dough pieces (recipe included here)
Ingredients for the Frosting
- ½ cup powdered sugar sifted if particularly lumpy
- 2 teaspoon full fat milk or whole milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions for Edible Cookie Dough
- Begin by beating together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Then add the vanilla beating to combine.
- Add the heat treated flour and beat until you have a grainy mixture. Then add the milk and beat for this to come together.
- Finally add your chocolate chips and stir through with a spatula.
- Line a freezer safe plate or small tray with plastic wrap. Then, using a small spoon or a ¼ teaspoon measure begin scooping small bits of dough and rolling these into little balls with the palms of your hands. Place these on the lined tray and then store in the freezer until ready for use. These should be made the day before they are to be added to the dough or further in advance (you can make them while you're kneading the brioche).
Instructions for the Brioche
- Sprinkle your yeast and a teaspoon of your brown sugar into your warmed milk and set aside for 10 minutes to allow it to activate.
- Meanwhile, place the flours, remaining brown sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Give it a quick stir.
- Once the yeast has become foamy, add this to the flour, immediately followed by two whole eggs and 1 egg white. Reserve the remaining egg yolk to make an egg wash before baking.
- Turn the mixer onto a low setting and knead for 15 minutes, stopping occasionally at the beginning to ensure all of the flour is being incorporated.
- After 15 minutes, your dough should have come together and be starting to pull itself from the sides of the mixing bowl. Do note that it will still be a wet and sticky dough.
- Slowly add the butter a few pieces at a time, while the mixer continues to knead on a low speed.
- Once all of the butter is added, knead for a further 15 minutes until the dough has come together again and is showing signs of pulling itself from the sides of the bowl. This will stay a very wet dough, so don't worry if it is still sticking to the sides and bottom and is very tacky to the touch.
- Scrape the dough into a greased mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator to proof for about 8 hours, or overnight - it should double in size.
Instructions for Filling
- After your dough is finished its first proof, take this out of the refrigerator and turn it out onto a well floured work surface.
- Roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 12" wide by 15" long.
- In a bowl, mix together the softened butter with the brown sugar, granulated sugar and cinnamon until you have a spiced sugar butter spread.
- Use an offset spatula or table knife to spread this over your dough, leaving about an inch gap around the edges.
- Remove your cookie dough balls from the freezer. Reserve a small handful of these (about 10-15 small dough balls). Sprinkle the rest over the cinnamon spread, ensuring that you have a good range of coverage across the width of your dough.
- Roll the dough up from the bottom to the top in a tight log. (see note)
- Use flavorless dental floss of a thin kitchen twine to trim the unfilled ends off of your dough log. Then divide the dough into nine rolls and place these in your parchment lined baking pan. Cover this with a clean kitchen towel and proof at room temperature for about 2 hours until doubled in size.
Instructions for Baking and Frosting
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175C/155C Fan) and make an egg wash using the reserved egg yolk and a splash of milk. Beat these together and brush the wash over your rolls.
- Bake the rolls in the centre of the preheated oven for about 30 minutes until risen and golden.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes while you prepare the frosting.
- In a bowl, mix together the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until you have a smooth, slightly runny icing.
- Drizzle this over top of the rolls and then add the reserved cookie dough bites.
- Oven method: spread your flour on a baking sheet (I like to line mine with parchment or aluminium foil) and bake in a 350°F (175C/155C Fan) for 15 minutes stirring halfway through.
- Microwave method: add the flour to a microwave safe bowl and heat on high in 1o-15 second bursts for about 90 seconds, until the flour is well heated.
- The goal in either method is for the flour to reach a high temperature - it should be about 165°F (or 75C) and warm throughout.
- Let the flour cool down before adding to the edible cookie dough.