Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
Published Mar 09, 2022, Updated Nov 07, 2022
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These soft and gooey vegan cinnamon rolls are topped with an easy, creamy glaze and always a hit. Perfect for the holidays or weekend brunch.
I’m all about a good brunch spread and cinnamon rolls (aka cinnamon buns) are one of my favorite breakfast items to indulge in for holidays. After sharing my vegan pumpkin cinnamon rolls I’ve been asked multiple times for a vegan cinnamon roll recipe without the pumpkin so that’s where the idea for this recipe started. I also have a traditional version for fluffy cinnamon rolls that uses egg and butter or gluten-free cinnamon rolls if you’re interested!
Yes, it’s quite indulgent for an EBF breakfast recipe, but I promise they’re worth it.
For vegan cinnamon rolls, we’re skipping the eggs, using vegan butter instead of real butter and almond milk instead of cow’s milk. These swaps are so easy and don’t change the flavor of the recipe at all. They taste just as good as the real deal cinnamon rolls made with dairy and eggs – trust me!
Why You’ll Love These Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
- They taste just like regular cinnamon rolls, but are dairy-free + vegan!
- This recipe is pretty straight forward and easy to follow – don’t let the yeast dough intimidate you, the steps are pretty straight-forward!
- Made with just 9 simple ingredients!
- They’re perfect for a weekend brunch and holidays.
Here’s What You Need
- active dry yeast – I used Fleischmann’s Original ActiveDry Yeast, but any brand of active dry yeast will work! Just make sure it’s active dry yeast instead of instant yeast.
- unsweetened almond milk – we’re mixing the yeast into warm almond milk until it dissolves. You want to make sure your milk is warm, but not hot (around 105°–115°F) otherwise it could kill off the yeast! You can use store-bought or make your own almond milk at home. I haven’t tried different milks, but I would imagine that oat milk, coconut milk, soy milk or any milk or choice would work as a substitute. Just make sure you use unsweetened milk otherwise your rolls might turn out too sweet!
- all-purpose flour – all-purpose flour works great for this vegan cinnamon roll recipe, but you can also use bread flour for a lighter texture. I haven’t tried using whole wheat flour or a gluten-free version so I’m not sure how they’d turn out. If you decide to experiment, let me know in the comments below.
- cane sugar – just 2 Tablespoons that’s mixed into the dough. This helps to activate the yeast. Granulated sugar will also work here.
- salt – to bring all the flavors together.
- vegan butter – for the dough and cinnamon sugar filling. I used Miyoko’s cultured vegan butter, but any vegan butter should work just fine! You can use coconut oil instead of the vegan butter, but it won’t result in the same flavor or fluffy texture.
- brown sugar – we’re mixing this with cinnamon for the cinnamon sugar filling.
- ground cinnamon – can’t have cinnamon rolls without lots of cinnamon!
- glaze – almond milk and confectioners’ sugar or powdered sugar.
How to Make Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
While these cinnamon rolls aren’t hard to make, they do take a little bit of attention and time, so just make sure you have enough time set aside for this process! But don’t be intimidated, once you have the steps down cinnamon rolls are actually quite simple to make!
Combine yeast and milk: Stir yeast into warm almond milk until dissolved. Let stand for 10 minutes.
Make dough: In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add flour, salt and sugar. Mix to combine. With mixer running at low speed, add melted butter and yeast mixture. Increase speed to medium-low, and mix 2 minutes until dough starts to form.
Switch to the dough hook attachment and knead the dough in the stand mixer at medium-low speed for about 5 minutes, or until dough is smooth. Increase speed to medium and mix for about 2 minutes. Kneading is done when dough makes a slapping sound as it hits the side of the bowl. Dough temperature should be close to 90°F. Your dough shouldn’t be sticky, but if it is add a little more flour, starting with 1 Tablespoon at a time.
Let dough rise: Once combined, place dough in an oiled large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rise 1-2 hours, or until doubled in volume. Time will depend on how warm your house is.
Make filling and prepare pan: While dough is rising make filling and prepare pan. In a mixing bowl stir together brown sugar and cinnamon. Grease 13 x 9-inch baking pan or round 9.5-inch pie pan with vegan butter or cooking spray (I used coconut oil cooking spray).
Roll out dough: After your dough has doubled in size, it’s time to roll it out! Add dough to a floured surface and use a rolling pin to roll dough into 14 x 12-inch rectangle.
Spread cinnamon sugar mixture: Spread softened vegan butter on the dough with fingers or a knife then sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture over butter. Starting at the top, roll the dough toward you into a large log, moving back and forth down the line of dough (in a “typewriter” motion) and always rolling toward you. Roll it tightly as you go so the rolls will be nice and neat.
Cut rolls: When it’s all rolled, pinch the seam closed and turn the roll over so that the seam is facing down. Using a serrated knife cut roll crosswise into 12 1-inch-thick pieces and place in prepared baking dish.
Let rolls rise: Cover, and let rise in warm place 45 minutes, or until doubled in size.
Bake: Once rolls have doubled in size bake for 20-25 minutes in a preheated oven, or until golden in color and cooked through and no longer doughy. I pulled mine at the 22-minute mark!
Make glaze: While cinnamon rolls are cooling make glaze by whisking together almond milk and confectioners’ sugar in a mixing bowl until combined and smooth.
Serve: Spread glaze over warm cinnamon rolls and serve.
Frequently Asked Questions
Instant yeast should work just fine in this recipe, but I haven’t tested it. It won’t need to be dissolved in the warm milk and can be mixed directly into your dry ingredients. If you use instant yeast your dough might also rise faster, so just keep an eye on them!
Totally! I like the simple glaze on these rolls, but feel free to change up the glaze/frosting if you prefer! I do have a cream cheese frosting that would be delicious spread over these rolls. To make it vegan, just swap the regular cream cheese with vegan cream cheese and Greek yogurt with vegan yogurt.
First, make sure you’re letting your dough rise in a warm location in your house. But if you’re in a rush and want your dough to rise faster there are a few things you can do to try and speed up the process. If you have a bread proofing option on your oven you can turn that on and place your dough in the oven covered. Another option is to wet a kitchen towel with hot water, ring it out and then place it over the plastic wrap. This will add more warmth to the dough and help it to rise faster.
Yes! You can either freeze the cinnamon rolls after baking and frosting, after baking but unfrosted or before baking. If you freeze them before baking just make sure you pull them from the freezer the night before you want to bake them to thaw in the fridge. Once thawed, let them rise then bake.
I haven’t tried it, but I would imagine using a gluten-free all-purpose flour would work just fine! If you try it, let me know in the comments below!
I usually use a serrated knife when cutting the rolls, but any big sharp knife will work. You just want to be careful to not smush the dough. Some people will use dental floss to cut the rolls!
How to Prep These Cinnamon Rolls in Advance (Overnight Method)
If you want to prep these cinnamon rolls the night before, follow the instructions through step 9 (placing the cinnamon rolls into the prepared baking dish), then cover and refrigerate overnight. The next morning pull the pan from the fridge and let the rolls rise in a warm place for about 1-2 hours or until the rolls have doubled in size, then bake as directed.
What to Serve with Cinnamon Rolls
I am already dreaming up an epic spread for Christmas morning or Easter brunch to pair with these cinnamon rolls. Here’s what I’m thinking would pair well with them:
- Spinach Quiche – I love pairing sweet and savory for brunch and this dairy-free spinach quiche is one of my favorites for brunch.
- Fruit Salad – Fruit is always a good brunch option. I love this simple mixed berry fruit salad.
- Pumpkin Spice Latte – Definitely have to serve cinnamon rolls with some sort of coffee to sip on and this pumpkin spice latte is so delicious! If you’re looking for a chilled option, this cold brew coffee would be perfect.
- Mimosas – To round out this special brunch, I would serve these cinnamon rolls with mimosas (or just orange juice while pregnant)! I also have a peach bellini recipe if that’s more your thing!
How to Store
If you have leftovers, these cinnamon rolls can be stored covered at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the fridge covered for 4-5 days. For longer storage, you can also freeze leftover cinnamon rolls. I’ve found it’s best to freeze them without the glaze and add that once you’ve reheated them. When ready to enjoy, thaw the cinnamon rolls and heat in the microwave or toaster oven until warm.
Popular Breakfast Recipes to Try
- Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
- Vegan Coffee Cake
- Easy Baked Oatmeal
- Vegan Banana Bread
- Dairy-Free Spinach Quiche
- Baked Egg Muffins
- Pumpkin Coffee Cake
Be sure to check out all the breakfast recipes as well as all the vegan recipes on EBF!
Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
- 1 0.25-oz pkg active dry yeast
- 1 ¼ cups warm almond milk, around 105°–115°F
- 3 cups all purpose flour, plus more for rolling dough
- 2 Tablespoons cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 Tablespoons melted vegan butter, plus more for greasing
Cinnamon Sugar Filling
- ⅔ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 ½ Tablespoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup vegan butter, softened
- 2 Tablespoons almond milk
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- Heat milk in a saucepan or in the microwave (about 40-50 seconds) until warm, but not hot (around 105°–115°F). Stir active yeast into warm almond milk until dissolved. Let stand for 10 minutes.
- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add flour, sugar and salt. Mix to combine. With mixer running at low speed, add melted butter and yeast mixture. Increase speed to medium-low, and mix 2 minutes until dough starts to form.
- Switch to the dough hook attachment and knead the dough in the stand mixer at medium-low speed for about 5 minutes, or until dough is smooth. Increase speed to medium and mix for about 2 minutes. Kneading is done when dough makes a slapping sound as it hits the side of the bowl. Dough temperature should be close to 90°F. Your dough shouldn’t be sticky, but if it is add a little more flour, starting with 1 Tablespoon at a time.
- Once combined, place dough in an oiled mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise 1-2 hours, or until doubled in volume. Time will depend on how warm your house is.
- While dough is rising, make cinnamon sugar filling by stirring together brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Grease 13 x 9-inch baking pan or round 9.5-inch pie pan with vegan butter or cooking spray (I used coconut oil cooking spray).
- Once dough has doubled in size, sprinkle extra flour on your surface and rolling pin and roll dough into 14 x 12-inch rectangle.
- Spread softened vegan butter on the dough with fingers or a knife then sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture over butter.
- Starting at the top, roll the dough toward you into a large log, moving back and forth down the line of dough (in a “typewriter” motion) and always rolling toward you. Roll it tightly as you go so the rolls will be nice and neat.
- When it’s all rolled, pinch the seam closed and turn the roll over so that the seam is facing down. Using a serrated knife or large sharp knife, cut roll crosswise into 12 1-inch-thick pieces and place on prepared baking pan.
- Cover, and let rise in warm place 45 minutes, or until doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake cinnamon rolls for 20-25 minutes, or until golden in color and cooked through and no longer doughy. I pulled mine at the 22 minute mark.
- While cinnamon rolls are cooling make glaze by whisking together almond milk and confectioners’ sugar in a mixing bowl until combined and smooth.
- Spread glaze over warm cinnamon rolls and serve.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Will gluten free flour work for this recipe?
Hi, Susan. I haven’t tried using gluten-free flour, so I’m not sure how they’d turn out. I would try using a 1:1 flour, like Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour. If you decide to experiment, let me know how they turn out!
These were absolutely delicious!!! My first time making cinnamon buns and I am thrilled with how delicious they are. I baked for a full 25 if not more. I also added extra icing because why not? Next time I may try gluten free…
Yay! I’m so happy to hear these cinnamon rolls worked out well for you, Caleigh! Thanks for making them and coming back to leave a review, I really appreciate it. 🙂
so good! very hard to find good vegan desserts, but the steps were very simple. will make again!
Yay! I’m glad you’re loving this recipe, Andrea! Thanks for sharing 🙂
highly recommended 🙂 i was very excited after trying these !! the dough worked like a charm and they were the best rolls i’ve ever made. will definitely be coming back to this recipe again and again.
Woo! So glad these vegan cinnamon rolls were a success for you, Emily! Thank you for making them and coming back to leave a review, I so appreciate it.
I was looking for a homemade cinnamon roll recipe to try and found this sweet be. My husband, kids and grandkids loved them! I will be trying the other cinnamon roll recipes later. This is definitely a recipe that I will be keeping. They are sweet but not too sweet, just perfect and easy to make. I even froze some for later 🙂
Woo! So glad your family enjoyed these cinnamon rolls, Keli! Thank you for sharing your review, I really appreciate it.
so good! it’s hard to find good vegan desserts, and the steps for this recipe were so simple. will make again!
What kind of vegan butter can I use that is not salty?
Miyoko’s European Style Cultured Unsalted Vegan Butter is a great option!