Cream Cheese & Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Rolls

As I spent the day in the kitchen baking this past Saturday, I decided that I really wanted to make a batch of cinnamon rolls to add to the freezer. The thought of being able to warm up a cinnamon roll to have with a cup of coffee after an early morning nursing session sounded heavenly to me. But when I started gathering up the ingredients, I realized I was out of eggs. I needed eggs to make my favorite cinnamon rolls! (I learned my lesson in proper preparation and avoiding spur of the moments decisions…at least for one day.)

So I started dreaming up other variations to see what I could come up with. I first thought of my friend Toni’s recipe for No Rise Cinnamon Rolls. They are delicious and we love them for a quick breakfast, but my post-nursing daydream definitely revolved around a cinnamon roll with a more pastry feel to it. Then I thought of our family’s beloved Chocolate Chip Breakfast Biscuits. Great stuff, but again, I faced the same issue as with the No Rise Cinnamon Rolls.

Then it hit me – cream cheese was the key. Doesn’t cream cheese give almost any baked good a pastry-like taste or texture? So, I quickly devised a scheme that combined those two great recipes and held them together with a little cream cheese.

And the verdict? Well, let me just tell you what happened when my husband tried one. First, he insisted that he had to try two, just to make sure. Then, he said that cream cheese gave the dough the texture of a regular cinnamon roll, so it was like cheating, but in a good way. I am ALL about cheating in a good way!

Cream Cheese & Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Rolls

  • 2 c. flour
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 2 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/2 c. butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1 T. cinnamon
  • 1/2 – 1 c. chocolate chips

1. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter until crumbly. Stir in the milk and vanilla until combined. Knead by hand for about 30 seconds, just to work all the dough together. If the dough is sticky, add a bit more flour. Divide the dough in half.

2. In a small bowl, stir together the cream cheese, brown sugar and cinnamon until well combined.

3. On a floured surface, roll out one half of the dough into a rectangle until it is about 1/4″ thick. Spread half of the cream cheese mixture onto the dough.ย Sprinkle half of the chocolate chips on top of the cream cheese.

5. Roll the dough up tightly jelly-roll style. Cut log into about 10 evenly sized pieces and place on a cookie sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until lightly golden brown on top.

6. Repeat process with second half of the dough and fillings.

We all thought these turned out sweet enough and tasty enough to not need any frosting or glaze, but feel free to add some if you’d like.

This post is being linked to Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed With Grace.

25 thoughts on “Cream Cheese & Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Rolls

    1. Hi Valerie,

      I did freeze about a dozen. I froze them in plastic freezer bags after they were baked and cooled. To reheat, I’ve just warmed them in the microwave from frozen for about 20-30 seconds.

  1. I love doing that – taking a recipe and finding creative ways to change it. I’m vegan so I have to do that a lot and after awhile it becomes habit. I have made some mistakes though. Like the time I decided to try orange marmalade in our potato salad. It sounded like such an interesting idea. And it wasn’t too bad the first day, but by day two? The orange flavor really settled in and was overwhelming. But cream cheese in cinnamon rolls? That sounds like a perfect combination. I bet these are delicious!

  2. If I had some chocolate chips in the house, I’d get up and make some of these RIGHT NOW.

    As it is, I’ll have to make sure I grab some next time I run to the store. I’m getting tired of oatmeal for breakfast. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. I made up a big batch of breakfast burritos on Saturday, enough to last through the week in case the hubby liked them, which he has eaten them two days in a row!!!! I was just wondering what I could double up on this Saturday to make it through another week… oh can’t wait to try these out, I might not be able to wait till Saturday!!!!

  4. I have a bag of toffee chips left over from heaven knows when….I think they have cinnamon rolls in their future.

  5. Just made these using 1/2 regular AP flour and 1/2 white whole wheat flour. Used 3/4 cup brown sugar and dark chocolate chips.


  6. Weird question for you :)–I made some whoopie pies & have about 1/2 of my cream cheese frosting left (8oz. cream cheese, 5 T. butter, 2.5 C. powdered sugar was the original recipe), do you think I could use that instead of the cream cheese/brown sugar in these?


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  8. I just made a batch of these. I did half the batch with chocolate chips and the other half with pecans. Both are extremely delicious! This recipe is definitely going into the favorite pile

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