Real Deal Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

November 19, 2021

Just like the name suggests, my Real Deal Vegan Cinnamon Rolls are, in fact, the real deal. They’re sweet, they’re fluffy, and with that gooey cinnamon-y filling? They are absolutely to DIE for. Not to mention, that dreamy, creamy frosting we’re toping these bad boys with makes them practically melt in your mouth. Run to your kitchen and go make these ASAP, because these cinnamon rolls are absolutely PERFECT.

Since I’m a sane person, it should come as no surprise that I absolutely LOVE a Cinnabon. But more often than not, a Cinnabon doesn’t love me back. While all of the dairy, butter, and sugar sure do make them taste good, they can wreck havoc on my stomach and leave me feeling bloated, lethargic, and not good.

So, I knew I needed to create a healthier version, and dare I say, this version is even BETTER than Cinnabon’s! The texture is light and fluffy, thanks to a not-so-secret ingredient (which we’ll talk about later), and did I mention, they’re also vegan-friendly?! YUP, it’s true: you can have fluffy, delicious cinnamon rolls, sans any animal-derived ingredients. I made this recipe with my vegan friends in mind, to show you just how delicious eating plant-based can be!

But Nicole, How Do You Get Them So Fluffy?!

I know, I know: how the heck can these cinnamon rolls be SO fluffy without any eggs or dairy?! The answer lies in our not-so-secret ingredient: bread flour!

Bread flour is different from your traditional all-purpose (or AP, for those in the “know”) flour, because it contains high levels of protein. That protein then helps the gluten develop in a way that gives these rolls their nice, fluffy texture!

While you can absolutely use AP flour in this recipe, I highly, highly recommend using the bread flour. AP flour will NOT yield the same level of fluffiness, and will make your cinnamon rolls a little bit denser!

What You Need to Make These Real Deal Vegan Cinnamon Rolls:

  • Non-Dairy Milk: Any non-dairy milk works fine here! I like almond milk, but pick your favorite; they all work!
  • Rapid-Rise Yeast: Because we most likely won’t be prepping these ahead of time, rapid-rise yeast will be your best friend in this recipe.
  • Neutral Oil: This will be for coating your bowl to ensure the dough rises! I use olive oil, but any neutral oil works well here.
  • Granulated Sugar: Granulated sugar will help to feed the yeast, so these bad boys can RISE!
  • Vegan Butter: Instead of real butter, we’re using vegan butter in this recipe. I personally like the Miyokos brand best!
  • Salt: A little salt is always a must!
  • Bread Flour: Like I mentioned earlier, bread flour is our star ingredient. 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? 😉

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. 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 and cinnamon.
  7. 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!
  8. Next, grease a 9×13 baking dish well, with your neutral oil.
  9. Lay your pinwheels out on your baking dish, giving them room to spread out.
  10. Then, cover them with a moistened towel again (or plastic wrap) for another 20 minutes, so that they rise again.
  11. While you are waiting, preheat your oven to 350 F.
  12. 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.
  13. 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, and vanilla extract.
  14. Once the cinnamon rolls come out of the oven, allow to cool fully and then frost them with your frosting. ENJOY!

How to Prepare Your Real Deal Cinnamon Rolls Overnight

If you want to prepare your rolls ahead of time, so they’re nice and fresh to bake in the morning (we LOVE a warm breakfast treat!) then just follow these simple steps while you’re preparing them:

Once you lay your pinwheels on the baking dish and wrap them in the towel or plastic wrap, set them in the fridge, rather than leaving them out. Then, in the morning, take them out of the fridge and, without uncovering them, let them rise at room-temperature on the counter for 45-60 minutes. Then, follow the baking instructions above. Easy peasy!

How to Freeze Your Real Deal Cinnamon Rolls

I get it: life happens, and sometimes you just want to have these Real Deal Cinnamon Rolls ready for you anytime of day, so that you always have a delicious treat on-hand!

If you want to freeze your cinnamon rolls before baking, once you place your pinwheels on the baking sheet, cover them in plastic wrap and place them in the freezer. Or, line a freezer-safe container with parchment, and then place your pinwheels inside, putting a thin layer of parchment between them so they don’t freeze together. Once you’re ready to bake them, let them thaw in the fridge overnight, and then place them in a warm spot for an hour so they can rise. Then, bake as instructed.

If you want to freeze your cinnamon rolls after baking, follow the same instructions as above, except when you’re ready to eat them, you can skip the defrost in the fridge and instead let them defrost at room temperature. Then, bake according to instructions. If you believe you are going to freeze the rolls while making them, I highly recommend NOT frosting them and, instead, storing the frosting in a separate airtight container. When you’re ready to eat them, let the frosting come to room temperature as needed, and then frost your freshly-baked rolls!

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

Real Deal Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

Author: Nicole Modic of @KALEJUNKIE

Prep Time 35 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Print It Pin It
Just like the name suggests, my Real Deal Vegan Cinnamon Rolls are, in fact, the real deal. They're sweet, they're fluffy, and with that gooey cinnamon-y filling? They are absolutely to DIE for. Not to mention, that dreamy, creamy frosting we're toping these bad boys with makes them practically melt in your mouth. Run to your kitchen and go make these ASAP, because these cinnamon rolls are absolutely PERFECT.

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 Frosting:

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

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.
  • 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 and cinnamon.
  • 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, and vanilla extract.
  • Once the cinnamon rolls come out of the oven, allow to cool fully and then frost them with your frosting. ENJOY!

Did you make this recipe?

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in your posts and I’ll re-share!

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