Recipe Review

This Brilliant Twist on Cinnamon Rolls Is So Good I Don’t Even Know Where to Begin

published Apr 26, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Ariel Knutson

There is nothing more luxurious to me than a breakfast pastry. Scrambled eggs and bacon might provide necessary protein, and overnight oats are fiber-packed and filling. But a breakfast pastry? That’s how to chose joy first thing in the morning.

One of my favorite morning treats has always been a cinnamon roll (and believe me, I have strong opinions about them). So when I saw this recipe for cookies and cream rolls from Kate Wood that used King Arthur Baking Company’s famous dough base, it felt like destiny. Kitchn’s Studio Food Editor Jesse Szewczyk tried the KA cinnamon rolls back in January and raved about them, and I hadn’t gotten around to trying the recipe myself. Also, I love Oreos, and I think cookies and cream is a top-five ice cream flavor, so this mash-up was clearly made for me. Here’s what happened when I tried it at home!

Get the recipe: Cookies and Cream Rolls from Wood and Spoon

Credit: Ariel Knutson

How to Make Cookies and Cream Rolls

Many cinnamon roll recipes are a two-day saga, but this recipe is designed to be made in a few hours (but don’t be fooled, it’s still a project).

To start, you’ll briefly cook a small amount of bread flour and milk in a saucepan until it forms a paste. This method is called tangzhong, which is a Japanese technique that makes the rolls moist for days. Transfer the paste to your mixing bowl and add more milk, bread flour, salt, sugar, instant yeast, and butter. Mix the dough in your stand mixer (or by hand or in a bread machine), cover with plastic wrap, and let rise.

Credit: Ariel Knutson

In the meantime, make the filling. Melt some butter, and crumb-ify some chocolate sandwich cookies in your food processor. Then, shape the dough into a rectangle, brush with melted butter, top with cookie crumbs, and roll into a cylinder. Cut the cylinder into eight equal pieces with the help of some dental floss (yes, really). Place the rolls 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined sheet pan, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise again.

Bake the rolls at 375°F for 14 to 18 minutes, or until an instant thermometer reads 190°F. Make the icing (butter, vanilla extract, salt, powdered sugar, milk), ice the rolls, and serve immediately.

Credit: Ariel Knutson

My Honest Review of Kate Wood’s Cookies and Cream Rolls

Maybe it was because it was Friday afternoon. Or maybe it was because I was listening to the Mortal Kombat theme song on repeat for too long. But my mind sort of broke when I bit into these rolls. How do I even begin to describe them? They are both deeply familiar, and somehow elusive. It tasted like an Oreo? But with dough? An Ore-DOUGH? Maybe the best way I can describe it is an un-fried Oreo. Whatever it is, it’s freaking delicious.

I was impressed by how fast this recipe came together (especially when compared to other cinnamon roll recipes). As promised, the roll itself was soft and slightly chewy. The recipe was on the verge of being too sweet and too rich, but it managed to play inside the lines. And while I’m normally on Team Cream Cheese Frosting, I love how this simple icing melted and encased the rolls.

What I enjoy about this recipe the most, however, is how smart it made me feel. It’s packed with so many tips and tricks (and most of that brilliance comes from the original King Arthur recipe.) I knew some of them already, but I’m going to list them all out to honor the ingenious nature of this recipe.

  • Use bread flour and the tangzhong technique to ensure the rolls are soft for days.
  • Use dental floss to cut rolls so they don’t get squished down.
  • Use an instant thermometer to make sure your rolls don’t overbake.
  • Tuck the tail of the roll into the bottom so that it doesn’t spiral out when baked.
  • Play around with other ingredients besides cinnamon and sugar! (This recipe is proof.)

This recipe didn’t dethrone my favorite cinnamon roll recipe of all time (I missed the goo and the supreme pillow-y-ness), but I will absolutely use this for special brunch-y occasions.

Credit: Ariel Knutson

4 Tips for Making Cookies and Cream Rolls

  1. Follow all the tips: Don’t skip any of the tips that the recipe suggests. Use that floss and bust out your instant thermometer. You won’t regret it.
  2. Play around with size: I personally love a big roll, but it’s certainly not necessary. Feel free to cut the rolls into smaller sizes based on preference.
  3. Change up your pan (If you want): The only thing I might change about this recipe is the suggested pan. The recipe asks you to use a sheet pan and have the rolls spaced two inches apart, but I love the cozy look of rolls in a baking pan all squished together. According to King Arthur, this method also results in a more tender roll.
  4. Freeze your extras: I normally make cinnamon rolls when I have lots of mouths to feed, but this time it was just me and my boyfriend. The rolls were a little intense for me to eat four (or eight) of them in a few days, so I decided to freeze a few of them pre-icing, as the recipe suggests.

Have you made these cookie and cream rolls from Kate Wood? Let us know in the comments.