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!

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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103 Comments on "Cinnamon Roll Cookie Bars"

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Angie | Big Bear

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

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


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

Belinda @themoonblushbaker

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


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

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

Sarah S.
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

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


Making these NOW!!! 🙂

Janine |

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

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


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


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

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

Connie R.

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


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


Just saw your answer, so just the dry mix?


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


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


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

Annie @ Annie

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

Jamie @lifelovelemons

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


That is brilliant!!!!

Carla @ Carlas Confections

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

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)

These are seriously so genius!!! Wowza!!


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


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

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

Fun! These sound so good!

Stephanie @ Back for Seconds
Stephanie @ Back for Seconds

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! 🙂


those sound addictive!
I miss carbs!


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


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

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


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.

Kari@Loaves n Dishes

Sooo much easier than cinnamon rolls. Yummo!

Nancy @ gottagetbaked

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

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

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

I’d totally eat that for breakfast.

Jennifer | Bake or Break

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


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


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

Oh man, that looks so good!

Shiloh Barkley

I love this idea!!

Mimi @ Culinary Couture

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


I’m obsessed with these now!!!

Erin @ Making Memories

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

natalie @ wee eats

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