Raspberry Lemon Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

February 10, 2022

 I guarantee you’ve never had cinnamon rolls quite like these before. My Raspberry Lemon Vegan Cinnamon Rolls are a riff off of one of my most popular recipes – my Real Deal Vegan Cinnamon Rolls – but with a unique twist! These cinnamon rolls are filled with a homemade raspberry-chia jam and are topped with a fluffy lemon cream cheese frosting, for a combination that is truly irresistible. Plus, this recipe is vegan-friendly, dairy-free, and nut-free, so it’s allergen-friendly, too!

One of my most popular recipes of 2021 was, hands-down, my Real Deal Vegan Cinnamon Rolls. Finding a good cinnamon roll recipe that is also vegan tends to be like searching for a needle in a haystack. In other words, it’s almost impossible. But aside from just creating delicious and healthy recipes, part of my job is to make the impossible, possible, which is why I’m so excited to be sharing a riff off that original recipe!

You might be thinking to yourself, “Nicole, raspberry and lemon cinnamon rolls?” and yes, you heard that right. It may seem like a unique combination, but seriously, don’t knock it until you try it. Raspberry and lemon is delightfully refreshing, and when combined with the sweetness of the cinnamon rolls, it’s truly a combination that can’t be beat. Plus, these flavors totally remind me of the springtime, so as we look forward to the end of winter, these cinnamon rolls are getting me excited for warmer days ahead!

But until we can enjoy the warm sunshine, at least we can make a batch of warm cinnamon rolls that TASTE like sunshine. I love enjoying these cinnamon rolls right out of the oven, so that they’re warm, fluffy, and practically melt into my mouth. These cinnamon rolls are perfect any time of day, whether you make them first thing in the morning for breakfast, or after dinner for an indulgent dessert. You truly can’t go wrong with them!

What You Need to Make These Raspberry Lemon Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

This may look like a lot of ingredients, but they are all worth it to get these delicious Raspberry Lemon Cinnamon Rolls. Plus, most of them are pantry staples, so you can easily make this recipe again and again!

  • Non-Dairy Milk: Any non-dairy milk works fine in this recipe. I use almond milk because it’s my favorite and what I usually have on-hand in my fridge, but any milk works well here!
  • Rapid-Rise Yeast: Whether you’re prepping these rolls ahead of time or making them on-the-fly, rapid-rise yeast will be your friend. It’s the key to making these rolls extra fluffy, sans the eggs!
  • Neutral Oil: This will be for coating your bowl to ensure the dough rises! I use olive oil or avocado oil, but any neutral oil works well here.
  • Granulated Sugar: Granulated sugar will help to feed the yeast, so these bad boys can RISE! If you’ve followed my recipes before, then you may know that I try to avoid refined sugar as much as I possibly can. But sometimes, it’s just necessary, like in this recipe!
  • Vegan Butter: Instead of real butter, we’re using vegan butter in this recipe. I personally like the Miyokos brand best. Trader Joe’s also has a great vegan butter that is a comparable (but less expensive) substitute to Miyokos.
  • Salt: A little salt is a “must” in any recipe!
  • Bread Flour: Bread flour is our star ingredient, and plays a key role in getting these rolls to the right consistency. You *can* use AP flour, but bread flour makes these rolls just so much better!
  • Brown Sugar: Brown sugar adds the perfect sweetness to your cinnamon rolls.
  • Cinnamon: After all, you can’t make cinnamon rolls without the cinnamon. Otherwise, they just become rolls!
  • Dairy-Free Cream Cheese: A cream cheese base makes this frosting thick and delicious. I like using the Kite Hill brand here, but any dairy-free cream cheese will do.
  • Powdered Sugar: Powdered sugar is essential for getting that thick, creamy, classic cinnamon roll frosting that we know and love!
  • Vanilla Extract: You didn’t think I was going to go through this entire recipe without including vanilla extract, did you? Vanilla extract shines in any baked good recipe, and is key to achieving the right flavor.
  • Raspberries: You can use fresh or frozen raspberries in this recipe!
  • Chia Seeds: The chia seeds are a necessary ingredient used to thicken the homemade raspberry jam. There is no substitute for the chia seeds.
  • Maple Syrup: You need a touch of maple syrup to sweeten the raspberry-chia jam. However, this is an optional ingredient which you can omit entirely, or substitute for honey.
  • Lemons: I recommend using fresh lemons in this recipe. Concentrated lemon juice is just too strong/acidic!

A Note About the Raspberry-Chia Jam

As I mentioned earlier, this recipe utilizes a homemade raspberry chia jam, which is not only delicious, but also game-changing. Plus, it’s super easy to make, which is even better! 

That said, if you’d rather skip homemade jam and purchase store bought, that is okay too! Just make sure that you have 1- 1 1/2 cups jam! My word of advice when looking for store-bought is to make sure you purchase one with a low sugar content. You don’t need sugar overload, as the cinnamon rolls are sweet on their own.

To make this jam, follow these steps:

  1. Place a small sauce pan on the stove. Add the raspberries, maple syrup (optional), and chia seeds.
  2. Turn on heat to low, and mix everything together, mashing the raspberries to your liking (I like leaving some chunky pieces for texture).
  3. Continue stirring for approximately 5 minutes, then remove from heat and let sit for 5 more minutes to thicken.

How to Make These Real Deal Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat your non-dairy milk for about 25-30 seconds, until it is lukewarm, NOT hot. If it is hot, let the milk cool until it is just lukewarm. You can also opt to heat your milk on the stove, just pay close attention to the temperature. If it’s any hotter than lukewarm, it will kill the yeast, which is definitely not wanted!
  2. Next, add the warm milk to the bowl of a stand mixer, alongside the yeast and the sugar. Give them a good stir, and let them sit for about 10-12 minutes, until you start to see little bubbles appear in the surface.
  3. One you see the bubbles, add the melted butter and salt, followed by the bread flour, one cup at a time. Use the mixing attachment to incorporate the flour fully until a dough forms.
  4. Once the dough begins pulling away from the edge of the bowl, remove the mixing attachment and use the hook attachment to knead the dough for about 4-5 minutes. The dough should be a big soft ball, but not sticky. If it is sticky, add another 1/4 cup flour until it softens up.
  5. Next, take a medium-sized bowl and coat it well in a neutral oil (I use avocado oil). Transfer the ball of dough into the oil and cover it with a moistened towel or plastic wrap. Let it sit for one hour, until the dough rises and doubles in size.
  6. While the dough is rising, prepare the raspberry-chia jam and set aside!
  7. Once the dough has risen, place it on a floured surface and roll it into one large rectangle, about 15×9 inches. Be gentle with the dough, so it doesn’t break. Spread the softened butter on top of the dough, followed by the brown sugar, cinnamon, and raspberry-chia jam.
  8. Roll the dough tightly into a log, placing the seam side down, on your surface. Then, carefully slice the log into 9-10 pinwheels, about 1 1 1/2 inches in width. You can do this with a very sharp knife, but I recommend using floss!
  9. Next, grease a 9×13 baking dish well, with your neutral oil.
  10. Lay your pinwheels out on your baking dish, giving them room to spread out.
  11. Then, cover them with a moistened towel again (or plastic wrap) for another 20 minutes, so that they rise again.
  12. While you are waiting, preheat your oven to 350 F.
  13. Once the oven has heated and the dough has risen, bake your cinnamon rolls for 20-25 minutes. Peek inside the oven around the 20 minute mark, and if they are getting too brown, just cover with foil for the last 5 minutes of baking.
  14. While the cinnamon rolls are baking, prepare the frosting by simply using your stand mixer (or hand mixer) to beat together the cream cheese, softened vegan butter, lemon juice, lemon zest, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract.
  15. Once the cinnamon rolls come out of the oven, allow to cool fully and then frost them with your frosting. ENJOY!

I hope you guys love this recipe! If you make it, be sure to leave a comment below and let me know what you think! And if you post to Instagram, I repost your remakes on my IG stories! xx

Raspberry Lemon Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

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Nicole Modic
Prep Time 35 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
SERVES 12 Rolls
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 I guarantee you've never had cinnamon rolls quite like these before. My Raspberry Lemon Vegan Cinnamon Rolls are a riff off of one of my most popular recipes - my Real Deal Vegan Cinnamon Rolls - but with a unique twist! These tender, "spicy" cinnamon rolls that you know and love are filled with a homemade raspberry jam and are topped with a fluffy lemon buttercream, for a combination that is truly irresistible. Plus, this recipe is vegan-friendly, dairy-free, and nut-free, so it's allergen-friendly, too!

Ingredients

For the Dough:

  • 1 1/4 Cups Non-Dairy Milk
  • 1 Packet Rapid-Rise Yeast this should be approximately 2 1/4 teaspoons (I use Fleischmann’s brand)
  • 3 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup + 1 Tablespoon Vegan Butter melted and cooled
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 3 1/4 Cups Bread Flour

For the Filling:

  • 1/3 Cup Vegan Butter softened
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Cinnamon

For the Raspberry-Chia Jam

  • 1 cup Raspberries fresh or frozen
  • 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
  • 3 Tablespoons Chia Seeds

For the Frosting:

  • 4 Ounces Dairy-Free Cream Cheese softened
  • 4 Tablespoons Vegan Butter softened
  • 1 1/4 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 2 Teaspoons Lemon Zest

Instructions

  • In a microwave-safe bowl, heat your non-dairy milk for about 25-30 seconds, until it is lukewarm, NOT hot. If it is hot, let the milk cool until it is just lukewarm. You can also opt to heat your milk on the stove, just pay close attention to the temperature. If it’s any hotter than lukewarm, it will kill the yeast, which is definitely not wanted!
  • Next, add the warm milk to the bowl of a stand mixer, alongside the yeast and the sugar. Give them a good stir, and let them sit for about 10-12 minutes, until you start to see little bubbles appear in the surface.
  • One you see the bubbles, add the melted butter and salt, followed by the bread flour, one cup at a time. Use the mixing attachment to incorporate the flour fully until a dough forms.
  • Once the dough begins pulling away from the edge of the bowl, remove the mixing attachment and use the hook attachment to knead the dough for about 4-5 minutes. The dough should be a big soft ball, but not sticky. If it is sticky, add another 1/4 cup flour until it softens up.
  • Next, take a medium-sized bowl and coat it well in a neutral oil (I use avocado oil). Transfer the ball of dough into the oil and cover it with a moistened towel or plastic wrap. Let it sit for one hour, until the dough rises and doubles in size.
  • While dough is rising, prepare the raspberry-chia jam. Simply place a small sauce pan on the stove. Add the raspberries, maple syrup, and chia seeds. Turn on heat to low, and mix everything together, mashing the raspberries to your liking. Continue stirring for approximately 5 minutes, then remove from heat and let sit for 5 more minutes to thicken.
  • Once the dough has risen, place it on a floured surface and roll it into one large rectangle, about 15×9 inches. Be gentle with the dough, so it doesn’t break.
  • Spread the softened butter on top of the dough, followed by the brown sugar, cinnamon, and raspberry-chia jam.
  • Roll the dough tightly into a log, placing the seam side down, on your surface. Then, carefully slice the log into 9-10 pinwheels, about 1 1 1/2 inches in width. You can do this with a very sharp knife, but I recommend using floss!
  • Next, grease a 9×13 baking dish well, with your neutral oil.
  • Lay your pinwheels out on your baking dish, giving them room to spread out.
  • Then, cover them with a moistened towel again (or plastic wrap) for another 20 minutes, so that they rise again.
  • While you are waiting, preheat your oven to 350 F.
  • Once the oven has heated and the dough has risen, bake your cinnamon rolls for 20-25 minutes. Peek inside the oven around the 20 minute mark, and if they are getting too brown, just cover with foil for the last 5 minutes of baking.
  • While the cinnamon rolls are baking, prepare the frosting by simply using your stand mixer (or hand mixer) to beat together the cream cheese, softened vegan butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest. Taste it and if you want a stronger lemon taste, just add more lemon juice and/or zest.
  • Once the cinnamon rolls come out of the oven, allow to cool fully and then frost them with your frosting. ENJOY!

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