The famous recipe for vegan cinnamon rolls that can absolutely hold their own against any non-vegan version. People are always asking me for the recipe!
Easy Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
Soft, fluffy, unbelievably gooey and delicious…
Trust me, you will not regret making these… even if you aren’t vegan!
They are the perfect recipe to make any time you have guests staying over, or for potlucks, brunches, birthdays, or simply for Sunday breakfast.
I’ve served them so many times over the years to both vegans and non-vegans, and people always go crazy for them! Plus, they make your entire home smell like IKEA.
As long as you’re good with that (who wouldn’t be good with that?????!!), let’s proceed!
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But Do They Taste “Vegan”?
You can definitely serve these to a crowd without worrying. They’re made with traditional ingredients just like regular cinnamon buns, nothing crazy.
(I see you, Cauliflower Chocolate Cake.)
In fact, many big brands of cinnamon rolls are accidentally vegan already, including Annie’s, Immaculate Baking, and Trader Joes (both their regular and pumpkin rolls are actually vegan!).
Even Pillsbury and Kroger cinnamon rolls don’t contain eggs. The Pillsbury cinnamon rolls are not vegan because they do contain milk products, but their original crescent rolls are vegan and could easily be turned into cinnamon rolls. However, with both hydrogenated oils and food dyes, they’re not exactly healthy.
So I still think it’s better to make your own from scratch. Homemade baked goods taste better anyway!
No Butter, No Eggs, No Corn Syrup
The recipe can also be made without vegan butter or coconut oil.
Low carb recipes are great and all (seriously, this Keto Cheesecake is amazing), but there’s just something about a hot-from-the-oven soft and fluffy homemade cinnamon roll, covered in cream cheese frosting, in all its carb-filled glory.
Don’t worry, these are still much healthier than Cinnabon and yet completely satisfy even the most fervent cinnamon roll cravings!
There’s also no need for a stand mixer or bread machine. While most of my recipes do include gluten free options, I haven’t yet tried these rolls with a gluten free flour such as oat flour, almond flour, or gluten free all purpose (gluten feeds yeast). I would love to know if anyone experiments, and I’m also working on a cinnamon roll recipe without yeast, so hopefully that one will be ready to publish soon.
3 Tricks To Make The Best Cinnamon Rolls
Trick 1: Make the dough super thin
If you can get it just under 1/4-inch thick, that’s perfect. Thinner dough is better because it will rise and expand more than you might think in the oven, and starting with super thin dough ensures you’ll get sweet cinnamon-sugar filling in each and every bite.
Trick 2: Roll them up as tightly as you can
The reason for this is the same as above: it distributes the filling more evenly and prevents large expanses of plain dough in the finished product.
Trick 3: Cut slices before rolling = NO messy filling!
My mom taught me this trick, and it forever changed the way I make cinnamon rolls. Once all the filling is spread on the dough, cut slices before rolling up and you won’t have to worry about filling oozing out.
It seems like such an obvious trick that I’m surprised so many recipes—including my own in the past—still call for rolling the dough first and then cutting with a knife, thread, or floss. This way is so much easier!
Cinnamon Roll Frosting Options
1. Melted coconut butter – add sweetener of choice if desired.
2. Cream Cheese Frosting – either store-bought OR homemade, such as the vegan cream cheese frosting recipe from my Pumpkin Cupcakes post.
3. Easy Glaze: 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar or sugar-free powdered sugar, mixed with 2-4 tbsp milk of choice. Whisk ingredients together to form a glaze. Using a spoon, drizzle evenly over the rolls.
4. For a less-sweet version, feel free to leave them unfrosted, and the healthy cinnamon rolls will have a sweetness similar to a muffin, great for a healthy breakfast. The unfrosted version is especially good if you add raisins and walnuts to the filling.
Overnight Cinnamon Rolls
If you want hot cinnamon rolls first thing in the morning, just assemble the day before, then cover and refrigerate overnight.
The next morning, simply put the pan into the oven and bake 20 minutes. Frost as desired, and serve hot.
Leftovers can be covered and refrigerated 2-3 days or frozen to reheat in the microwave or oven any time you’re craving cinnamon rolls!
Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
Adapted from my Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Vegan Cinnamon Rolls – The BEST Recipe!
- 1 cup milk of choice
- 2 tbsp sweetener of choice
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- 2 1/2 cups flour (see note)
- 2 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup sugar of choice
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 4 tbsp oil, butter spread, or applesauce
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 5 tbsp flour (see note)
- 1/4 cup sugar of choice
- 1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
- optional, 1/2 cup raisins
- 2/3 cup butter spread or applesauce
Notes: The recipe works with regular all purpose, spelt, or whole wheat pastry flour. I haven’t tried others, but be sure to report back if you experiment! For the first 2 tbsp sweetener, you can use sugar, pure maple syrup, agave, etc. – don’t use a sugar-free sub because it will not feed the yeast. The butter/oil version is much more decadent (and still just 230 calories each!), but applesauce or almond butter work if you prefer a healthier-tasting version that’s oil-free.
Warm milk in a bowl (not boiling – 110 F if you have a candy thermometer). Stir in the sweetener, sprinkle yeast on top, and set aside 5 minutes. (If it doesn’t bubble up, either your yeast is no good or milk was too hot or cold.) In a new bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, 1/2 cup sugar, the salt, and 2 tsp cinnamon. Stir oil/butter and vanilla into the milk mixture, then stir into the dry-ingredient bowl to form a dough. If needed (depending on flour used), add more flour until it’s dry enough to form into a ball. Place ball in a greased bowl, cover loosely, and set in a warm place for 1 hour, during which time it should double in size.
After the dough has risen, punch to deflate. Knead with your hands for 5 minutes, adding the 5 tbsp flour as you knead so the dough isn’t sticking to your hands. On a floured surface, roll dough into a very thin rectangle (just under 1/4in). Stir together all remaining ingredients, and spread over the dough. Cut long strips, then roll each up as tightly as possible. Place in a greased 9×13 pan. Loosely cover 30 minutes OR cover and refrigerate overnight. Preheat oven to 325 F. Bake rolls 20 minutes. Serve hot – Frosting options are listed above in this post. If you make them, be sure to leave a review or rate the recipe. I hope you love them!
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(With an oil free option)