Cinnamon Cookies

5 Min Read

Swirled & Spiced Cinnamon Cookies

Sugar, spice, and everything nice–that’s what cinnamon cookies are made of! With their swirls of buttery, spiced brown sugar goodness, these cookies are gorgeous and oh so tempting. They’re a bit of a cross between a cinnamon roll and a snickerdoodle, and they’re so much fun!

What you’ll love about this recipe:

  • Buttery, not too sweet taste with a subtle tang from cream of tartar.
  • Pillowy-soft, thick texture that melts in your mouth (If you’re looking for something cinnamon-sugared and thin and crispy, see my sand tarts instead!).
  • Gorgeous, brightly flavored cinnamon sugar ripple — makes them the most unique-looking cookie on your Christmas cookie tray!
  • Quick & easy to make with NO chilling required.

I was tempted to add a vanilla glaze on top of these cookies, but it made them a bit too sweet for my taste. It’s still good though, so if you love all things sweet, give it a try!

What You Need

I love these cookies because they are so flavorful without any complicated or fussy ingredients. Here’s what you need:

  • Butter. We’ll start this recipe with softened butter, and then we’ll need some very soft butter for the brown sugar cinnamon ripple. This butter should almost be melty–similar to the butter you need to make a filling for cinnamon rolls, but you don’t want it to be too warm or it will melt the sugar and be too difficult to work with.
  • Egg + egg yolk. Adding an extra egg yolk to the dough makes these cookies super soft and tender. If you don’t want to throw away your egg white, use it to make candied pecans or candied walnuts!
  • Sugar. We’ll use granulated sugar in the cookie dough base and brown sugar in the cinnamon swirl. I like to use light brown sugar, but you could use dark brown sugar if that’s all you have on hand.
  • Cream of tartar. This adds a subtle tang, similar to the tang in snickerdoodles (and also found in my snickerdoodle cake. A funny sounding ingredient, you can read more about cream of tartar and its role in baking in my “What is Cream of Tartar?” post.
  • Salt. This balances the sweetness and rounds out the buttery flavor in these cinnamon cookies. If you happen to use salted butter instead of unsalted, you will need to omit the salt in the recipe.

Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!

How to Make Cinnamon Cookies

  1. Cream the butter and sugar together until combined, then add the eggs and vanilla and stir well.
  2. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then gradually add them to the wet ingredients until everything is combined.
  3. Make the cinnamon sugar swirl: whisk together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add the butter and mix until you have a paste.
  4. Drop the swirl into the dough by large spoonfuls then, carefully, fold it into the dough, mixing until you have a distinct ripple (do not over-mix, or you will lose the ripple! I am very careful when combining the paste and the dough).
  1. Scoop and roll 1 ½ tablespoon portions of dough between your palms, then place 2″ apart on parchment lined baking sheets.
  2. Bake for 10-11 minutes. When finished baking you may notice some very light browning around the edges, but the cookies shouldn’t get too dark or they may be dry. Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheets before enjoying.
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