Cinnamon Roll Cookie Bars

Cinnamon Roll Cookie Bars ~ Starts with a Cake Mix and is topped with delicious cream cheese frosting!

I have a confession.

I have never made homemade cinnamon rolls.


Like ever.

I am all about popping that can of Grands on a Saturday morning, but the homemade kind with yeast?  Yeah no.


Does that make me a fraud?

Here’s my reasoning…I would rather sit and think about how to successfully stuff a cookie WITH a cinnamon roll than how to make the yeasty bits work in the dough.

I am sure it’s easy, and I’m sure you guys will email me recipes to your “no fail” cinnamon rolls, or send me links to the “EASIEST CINNAMON ROLLS EVER”, but I’ll tell you what’s no fail…it’s called popping open a can and baking for 15 minutes.


I know it’s kinda opposite for me, because I’m all about letting your cookie dough sit overnight and really how annoying is THAT?  But all the yeasty rising and waiting or proofing or whatever you call it bugs me.  Much like making pudding.

I never claimed to make sense.


So instead of making Cinnamon Rolls, let me do me and make Cinnamon Roll Cookie Bars.

Because it makes sense.

Cinnamon Roll Cookie Bars ~ Starts with a Cake Mix and is topped with delicious cream cheese frosting!

These guys start with a cake mix and a box of pudding.  You they’re gonna be good. photo IMG_0947_zps329fa09b.jpgLiterally dump all your ingredients into a bowl and stir.

 photo IMG_0958_zps241f0d86.jpgYou’re gonna need to load up on cinnamon.  Two whole tablespoons.  Don’t be scared.

 photo IMG_0964_zpsb0cded29.jpgSpread your batter into a greased pan and bake.

Seriously, how easy is that?

 photo IMG_0966_zpsefd9f285.jpgThey’ll look like this when they are done…

 photo IMG_0971_zps64992c9e.jpg

While they’re cooling go ahead and make your frosting.

I enjoy my cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting.  Duh. photo IMG_0973_zps0405dad4.jpgPlop that frosting on top of your cooled bars…

 photo IMG_0976_zps5bcb1a28.jpg

And spread it around evenly. photo IMG_0979_zps9967fcc7.jpg

I topped mine with some cinnamon sugar.  I got this handy little grinder from Trader Joe’s, but it’s just as easy to make your own and sprinkle it all up on there.

 photo PicMonkeyCollage_zpsccfd3061.jpgI mean…

Cinnamon Roll Cookie Bars ~ Starts with a Cake Mix and is topped with delicious cream cheese frosting!

Take THAT yeast!Cinnamon Roll Cookie Bars ~ Starts with a Cake Mix and is topped with delicious cream cheese frosting!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Cinnamon Roll Cookie Bars
  • 1 (15.25 oz) box Vanilla Cake Mix
  • 1 (4 serving) box Cook and Serve Vanilla Pudding
  • ¾ cup butter, melted
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 (8 oz) block cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¼ cup butter, room temperature
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • *optional ~ Cinnamon Sugar to garnish
  • 3 Tbsp sugar + 1 tsp cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Spray 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray, set aside.
  3. In large bowl combine all ingredients for the bars. Stir until there are no lumps.
  4. Spread into prepared baking dish and bake 20-25 minutes until edges are golden.
  5. Let cool completely before frosting.
  1. In mixing bowl beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Slowly add the powdered sugar and continue beating for 1-2 minutes until smooth and creamy.
  2. Spread on cooled bars.
  3. If desired sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top for garnish
  4. Cut into squares when ready to serve.
Store chilled because of the frosting.


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111 Comments on "Cinnamon Roll Cookie Bars"


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Angie | Big Bear
June 12, 2013 12:38 pm

Now that would be loved in our house… um since they’re “cinnamon rolls” I can have them for breakfast right? haha

Julianne @ Beyond Frosting
June 12, 2013 12:42 pm

Oh my gosh, these look so easy to make and delicious! I love the boxed cake mix, it makes everything so much easier!

June 12, 2013 1:02 pm

I relate to the yeast thing. No matter how good a recipe looks, if it involves yeasting something, I’m out.

Belinda @themoonblushbaker
June 12, 2013 1:07 pm

I love this! easy cinnamon rolls in an instant! Just right for a lazy night bake.

June 12, 2013 1:09 pm

Beautiful cookie bars!! Love the cinnamon sugar on top! Will be making these ASAP!! 🙂

Colleen @ What

I feel like all my comments to your posts start with, “Oh my goodness” or “Wow.” And this one is no different. Wow, oh my goodness, these look amaaaazing! I am always game for anything that involves cinnamon sugar….

Holiday Baker Man
June 12, 2013 1:43 pm

Well these are just evil. Do you have a scratch recipe?

Sarah S.
January 14, 2014 9:32 am
I’m glad I’m not the only one who wants this. I know boxed mixes are helpful for some people and they do make things a bit quicker/easier I guess, but I prefer to make things from scratch. The time I might save from not having to mix up 3 ingredients on my own does not cover for the fact that I’m also putting in loads of preservatives and artificial additives I’d rather not have. I found this as a sub for the boxed cake mix, but it’s yellow, not vanilla. But I feel it would be just the same in… Read more »
Rachel @ Baked by Rachel
June 12, 2013 1:50 pm

Oh my …. !! these would disappear in my house.

June 12, 2013 2:08 pm

Making these NOW!!! 🙂

Janine |
June 12, 2013 2:12 pm

You are not alone… I have never made homemade cinnamon rolls either. Between you and me, I have no desire to. I like Pillsbury just fine! But cinnamon roll cookie bars, now that sounds right up my alley!

Megan @ Our Pinteresting Family
June 12, 2013 2:18 pm

I like your idea of how to make cinnamon rolls…way easier. 🙂 These bars sound delicious!

June 12, 2013 2:19 pm

Hello, gorgeous. Come home to me. I will be nice to you and eat you quick so it will hurt less.

June 12, 2013 2:23 pm

My son will absolutely LOVE these! He loves cinnamon, actually he uses that same cinnamon and sugar grinder you were using from Trader Joes (love TJ’s btw) on his toast, strawberries and cereal! Yum!

Sarah @ The Chef Next Door
June 12, 2013 2:26 pm

These look seriously amazing and so easy! Definitely making these soon.

Connie R.
Connie R.
June 12, 2013 2:27 pm

Looks great but what type of vanilla pudding, instant or cook and serve? Probably instant but It makes a difference. Thanks.

June 12, 2013 2:37 pm

Please tell me if you used instant pudding, they look awesome!

June 12, 2013 2:39 pm

Just saw your answer, so just the dry mix?

June 12, 2013 2:42 pm

I didn’t think that I could be so excited by dessert that doesn’t involve chocolate! These sound incredible!

June 12, 2013 2:56 pm

I so am making!!!!! Where did you find the my*t*fine pudding????

June 12, 2013 3:15 pm

These look beautiful! Just wondering, how would you describe the flavor and texture of the cookie bars?

Annie @ Annie
June 12, 2013 3:25 pm

I totally avoid yeast recipes too. I’m just too lazy! These are my kind of bars.

Jamie @lifelovelemons
June 12, 2013 4:03 pm

You definitely showed yeast who’s boss here. Love it.

June 12, 2013 4:09 pm

That is brilliant!!!!

Carla @ Carlas Confections
June 12, 2013 4:38 pm

Um…. I need this in my face NOW

Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking

You are kidding me right now… This is the stuff dreams are made of, Shelly! Amazing recipe!

Lindsay @ Life, Love and Sugar
June 12, 2013 5:08 pm

haha, you are too funny! I’m with you though – I’ve yet to make homemade cinnamon rolls. The idea of all the yeast waiting hasn’t appealed enough yet. Waiting for cookies though? Totally! Lol. These bars look awesome and sound super tasty!

Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes)
June 12, 2013 5:20 pm

These are seriously so genius!!! Wowza!!

June 12, 2013 5:25 pm

These look delish! I have to see if they are as good as cinnamon rolls 🙂

June 12, 2013 5:39 pm

I have never made homemade cinnamon rolls because I’m afraid of using yeast. These look wonderful!! Thank you!!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
June 12, 2013 6:10 pm

Fun! These sound so good!

Stephanie @ Back for Seconds
Stephanie @ Back for Seconds
June 12, 2013 7:18 pm

You sure showed yeast! Wow, these look killer! I am kind of obsessed with cinnamon rolls and these are giving me big time cravings. I will be making these for sure. Pinning! 🙂

June 12, 2013 7:36 pm

those sound addictive!
I miss carbs!

June 12, 2013 8:28 pm

oh, these are beyond incredible.
love, love, love…
love them!

June 12, 2013 10:06 pm

Seriously! You have got to be joking! These are incredible and would be gone in like a minute around here! Need to make them ASAP!

Sommer @ ASpicyPerspective
June 12, 2013 10:38 pm

Ummm, you’re brilliant. That’s pretty much it. (These look amazing!) 🙂

June 12, 2013 10:42 pm

I just made these to take to work for team snack. I snuck a taste to make sure they weren’t poisonous….HOLY COW, these are amazing!!! I subbed dark brown sugar and browned my butter before adding it both to the cookie batter and cream cheese. These really are so delicious! Thanks for a creative spin on dessert for breakfast.

Nancy @ gottagetbaked
June 13, 2013 12:51 am

I only recently made cinnamon rolls for the first time and it’s an epic undertaking. You need to set aside an entire weekend – all that waiting and rolling and cutting and more waiting. They’re delicious but I love me a Grands cinnamon roll too. I’m totally on board with these cookies – the taste of a cinnamon roll in less time and in delicious cookie form? Brilliant!

Renee @ Awesome on $20
June 13, 2013 1:02 am

Dealing with yeast is taxing. I only do it on special occasions. There’s too many variables and chances for things to go wrong. My mom used to make homemade cinnamon rolls with bisquik, and they were amazing. The top sort of forms a crust, so there’s a contrast of textures between the soft gooey bottom, and the biscuity burnt sugar top. It was the best.

Jenni @ Traveler in the Kitchen
September 30, 2013 11:44 pm

Yes indeed, yeast is only for special occasions. I think I used it last year. Once. To make cinnamon rolls in fact.

Jill @ Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons

This is such a great idea! Never have time to make cinnamon rolls, but definitely have time for these!!:)

Katrina @ In Katrina
June 13, 2013 8:54 am

I’d totally eat that for breakfast.

Jennifer | Bake or Break
June 13, 2013 10:18 am

Now, that’s the kind of cinnamon-roll-making I can get behind!

June 13, 2013 10:21 am

Didn’t have vanilla pudding, so using chocolate cook n serve. Can’t wait to taste em.

June 13, 2013 10:41 am

I shy away from making cinnamon rolls also since they just never seem to work for my mornings. But instead of popping them from a can I just…don’t make them. Sad. I need these bars to fill up that hole in my life.

Heather @ Snookie
June 13, 2013 11:37 am

Oh man, that looks so good!

Shiloh Barkley
June 13, 2013 12:37 pm

I love this idea!!

Mimi @ Culinary Couture
June 13, 2013 1:36 pm

Definitely feeling these bars. I’m alllll about cinnamon-roll flavored things! I once made a cinnamon roll pie. It was glorius.

June 13, 2013 2:50 pm

I’m obsessed with these now!!!

Erin @ Making Memories
June 13, 2013 10:04 pm

OH MAN! These are now on the top of my to make list. They look amazing!

natalie @ wee eats
June 13, 2013 10:26 pm

Every time I go to Trader Joes, I talk myself out of buying that cinnamon sugar grinder………. I don’t think I will be successful on my next attempt