Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
These Vegan Cinnamon Rolls are a quick and delicious take on classic cinnamon rolls…ooey, gooey, and packed with flavor!
My boyfriend and I met almost a year ago, both while traveling, and both with no intentions of entering into the dreaded long distance relationship. But the world has a funny way of working and so here we are, him in Holland, me in Texas, far-too familiar with FaceTime and dinners for one but still loving every second.
Now I really like cooking, but that’s not to say I’m a natural. He, however, is a natural. When we’re together the kitchen is constantly alive with cooking and tasting and learning.
And of all the meals we make, breakfast is always my favorite. I mean breakfast has always held a special place in my heart, but when we make breakfast together, it’s like perfect harmony… a symphony! We emerge from sleepiness as he works on the ham & cheese toasties and I on cutting up fruit, both fully awake by the time our plates are full and ready for eating. It’s a peaceful meal and I love it. So this is a post about a few of those breakfasts.
But first!! Isn’t this the coolest thing you’ve ever laid your eyes on?! For a birthday present, the boyfriend-cheese-man bought me this early 1900s plate folding camera. Everything appears to be working, just need to find a good darkroom!
What comes to mind if you’re thinking of good American breakfast food? Well for him it’s one simple word…DENNY’S. We visited Denny’s two times more than I’m proud to say (so twice) while he was here, but the boy loves Denny’s so I can’t be the denier of the Grand Slam. But after reevaluating our spending and waistlines, we realized we could probably make pancakes just as good at home. The problem I always encounter, though, is making pancakes that have crisp sides, which make it hard to fully saturate them with syrup.
The perfection of Denny’s lies in their ability to create an all-around soft pancake that soaks up syrup like a sponge. So we decided to go old-fashion, leaving the Bisquick in the cabinet and making them from scratch. We adopted a recipe from Silk, and ended up with a recipe containing 1 cup flour, 1 Tbsp sugar, 2 tsp baking powder, ½ tsp salt, 1 cup vanilla almond milk, 2 Tbsp melted butter, and 1 egg. Mix the dries, mix the wets, then slowly mix the wets into the dries. We cooked them over a low-medium heat, flipping when bubbles had formed on top. I’m still not sure what the trick was, perhaps just taking the time to make them from scratch, but these were (to say in Denny’s terms) a Grand Slam.
Our last breakfast came at the height of my sugar-tooth frenzy, so I insisted upon cinnamon rolls. I loosely based these cinnamon rolls off of a recipe by Minimalist Baker, a really great vegan-ish blog that strives to create delicious recipes with as few steps and ingredients as possible. I basically just really love them. Anywho, you can find my modified recipe below (modified from this recipe).
So that’s breakfast when the boyfriend is in town. Sometimes healthy, sometimes not, but always my favorite.
Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk plain or vanilla
- 8 Tbsp margarine divided, or butter
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 packet instant yeast 7g
- ¾ tsp salt divided
- 3 cups flour
- 2 Tbsp cinnamon
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1-2 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk plain or vanilla
- Proof yeast: Heat almond milk, 3 Tbsp of the margarine, and sugar in a saucepan until lukewarm (not hot!), or heat in microwave in 30 second intervals. Transfer to a large mixing bowl then sprinkle in yeast. Allow yeast to activate for about 10 minutes, then mix in ½ teaspoon of salt.
- Mix in flour: Add flour and stir. The dough will start to become difficult to mix with a spoon and eventually form a loose ball. Transfer the dough ball onto a lightly floured surface.
- Knead: Knead by hand (8 minutes) or with the bread hook of a standing mixer (5 minutes), adding additional flour a tablespoon at a time if dough is really sticking to the surface. Dough is finished when smooth.
- Rise: Place dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set in a warm place* and let rise for 1 to 2 hours, or until dough has doubled in size.
- Filling: Right before rolling out dough, melt remaining margarine. In a separate bowl, mix cinnamon, brown sugar, and ¼ teaspoon of salt.**
- Roll: On a floured piece of parchment paper, roll dough into a rectangle, about 10 x 14 inches. Brush dough with 3 tablespoons of the melted margarine and sprinkle evenly with the filling. Gently and tightly roll dough from the widest edge of the rectangle (it's easiest to simply lift the parchment paper to roll the dough into an even cylinder). If needed, seal the seam with a touch of water.
- Cut: To cut the rolls, a string of floss works best. Work a string of floss under the rolls. Cross your hands in opposite directions over the roll to make a clean cut. Each should be about 1 inch wide.***
- Bake: Place rolls in a greased or parchment-lined baking tin. Brush tops with remaining 2 tablespoons of melted margarine. Cover with plastic wrap and allow rolls to rest for 30 minutes while oven preheats to 350°F (176°C). Remove plastic and bake for about 25 minutes, until lightly golden.
- Ice: Mix together sugar and almond milk, adding more or less almond milk to your taste and desired consistency. Pour over hot cinnamon rolls.
- *Faster Rise: To help you dough rise faster, heat your oven for just a few minutes to get it warm. Turn it off then set dough inside the oven. The warm (but not hot!) temperature will help the cinnamon roll dough rise more quickly!
- **More Spices: You can also add a pinch of ground nutmeg and cloves for a depth of flavor!
- ***Freeze Dough: After cutting the rolls, you can freeze them on a baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer-safe container. To thaw, transfer frozen rolls onto a baking sheet, cover, and set in the fridge overnight. In the morning, place rolls on the counter for 30 minutes, while oven preheats, then bake as instructed above (I did this as Christmas gifts this year and they were a hit!)
Hi, I’m Sarah!
Showing you how to make easy vegetarian recipes, one ingredient at a time.