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Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

This Vegan Cinnamon Rolls recipe is a quick and delicious take on classic cinnamon rolls…ooey, gooey, and packed with flavor!

Cinnamon rolls with icing on a plate with marble background

Cinnamon rolls are one of those foods that can pass as both breakfast and dessert! And any recipe like that is always my favorite. People may judge you for eating cinnamon cake for breakfast, but nobody is going to judge you for eating a cinnamon roll, though they’re kind of the same thing! Isn’t it funny how different foods get different reputations?

Regardless of what you like to eat for breakfast, whether you’re a hearty, savory, cheesy breakfast eater or one with an undeniable sweet tooth, these vegan cinnamon rolls are going to blow you away. They’re a delicious vegan recipe that’s sure to become a regular in your breakfast rotation. 

Cooked cinnamon rolls with icing

Ingredients for these cinnamon rolls

Making homemade cinnamon rolls may sound difficult, but it’s actually quite easy. Only 8 ingredients are required, and most of them are commonly used in standard baking recipes. My point is, you probably already have many of these ingredients lying around (so like, you should definitely make it).

  • Almond Milk: We’ll be using almond milk for both the dough and the icing. I recommend the unsweetened kind in either plain or vanilla.
  • Margarine: Margarine will be used to soften the dough.
  • Sugar: Just a dash of sugar (1 tbsp) is the perfect amount to give this yeast dough some major volume.
  • Instant Yeast: Instant yeast will be used to help make the rolls rise properly.
  • Flour: I’ll be using 3 cups of regular, all-purpose flour in the dough.
  • Cinnamon: 2 tbsp of cinnamon gives these rolls the perfect flavor! Feel free to add a little extra if you’d like, or throw in your other favorite spices (like cloves and/or nutmeg).
  • Brown Sugar: Brown sugar is so delicious when used as part of the vegan cinnamon roll filling.
  • Powdered Sugar: A bit of powdered sugar (mixed with almond milk) makes the perfect vegan icing! 
Baked cinnamon rolls in a baking dish on a marble background

How to make vegan cinnamon rolls

Step 1: Proof the yeast
Begin by heating the almond milk, 3 tbsp of margarine, and sugar in a saucepan until lukewarm (not hot!). You can also heat in the microwave in 30 second intervals. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and then sprinkle in the yeast. Allow the yeast to activate for about 10 minutes, then mix in ½ teaspoon of salt.

Step 2: Mix in the flour
Next, add the flour and stir. The dough will start to become difficult to mix with a spoon and will eventually form a loose ball. Transfer the dough ball onto a lightly floured surface.

Dough in a metal bowl with a wooden spoon

Step 3: Knead the dough
Knead the dough by hand for about 8 minutes, or with the bread hook of a standing mixer for 5. Add additional flour a tablespoon at a time if the dough is really sticking to the surface. The dough is finished when it’s smooth.

Kneaded dough in a metal bowl

Step 4: Let the dough rise
Next, let the dough rise by placing it in a lightly greased bowl and covering it with plastic wrap. Set in a warm place and let rise for 1-2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size. (Pro-tip: turn your oven on for a few minutes, just to warm it up, then turn it off. Set your rising dough in the warm (not hot) oven for a much faster rise time!

Risen yeast dough in a metal bowl

Step 5: Make the filling
Right before rolling out the dough, melt the remaining margarine. In a separate bowl, mix the cinnamon, brown sugar, and ¼ teaspoon of salt.

Step 6: Roll the dough
Next, roll the dough into a rectangle on a floured piece of parchment paper. It should be about 10 x 14 inches. Brush the dough with 3 tbsp of the melted margarine and sprinkle evenly with the filling. Gently and tightly roll the 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 – see photo below). If needed, seal the seam with a touch of water.

Easy way to roll cinnamon rolls on parchment paper

Step 7: Cut the rolls
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.

Cutting cinnamon rolls with floss on a marble background

Step 8: Bake the dough
Place the rolls in a greased or parchment-lined baking tin. Brush the tops with remaining 2 tablespoons of melted margarine. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the rolls to rest for 30 minutes while the oven preheats to 350°F (176°C). Remove the plastic and bake for about 25 minutes, or until lightly golden.

Raw cut cinnamon rolls on marble

Step 9: Ice the rolls
Finally, mix the sugar and almond milk, adding more or less almond milk to your taste and desired consistency. Pour over the hot cinnamon rolls.

Cinnamon roll pro tips

These pointers will help make your vegan cinnamon roll cooking process as easy as ever! 

  • Faster Rise: To help your dough rise faster, heat your oven for just a few minutes to get it warm. Turn it off, then set the dough inside the oven. The warm (but not hot!) temperature will help the cinnamon roll dough rise more quickly.
  • Add Spices: You can 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 the frozen rolls onto a baking sheet, cover, and set in the fridge overnight. In the morning, place the rolls on the counter for 30 minutes while the oven preheats, then bake as instructed above (I did this as Christmas gifts this year, and they were a hit!). 
Cinnamon rolls with icing on a plate with marble background

Try these cinnamon rolls too!

If you liked these cinnamon rolls, you’ll want to try some of my other cinnamon roll variations as well.

Cinnamon rolls with icing on a plate with marble background

Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

These Vegan Cinnamon Rolls are a quick and delicious take on classic cinnamon rolls…ooey, gooey, and packed with flavor!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Baked Goods, Breakfasts
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cinnamon rolls, homemade cinnamon rolls, how to. make cinnamon rolls, vegan cinnamon rolls
Diet: Dairy-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Occasion: Birthdays, Christmas, Easter
Time: 60 minutes or more
Prep: 1 hr 30 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 1 hr 55 mins
Servings: 12 rolls
Calories: 255kcal
Author: Sarah Bond
5 from 1 vote

INGREDIENTS

Rolls
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk plain or vanilla, 236 mL
  • 8 Tbsp margarine divided, or butter, 112 g
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 packet instant yeast 7g
  • ¾ tsp salt divided
  • 3 cups flour 360 g
  • 2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup brown sugar 100 g
Icing
  • 1 cup powdered sugar 115 g
  • 1-2 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk plain or vanilla, 15 to 30 mL

INSTRUCTIONS

  • 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.

NOTES

  • *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!)

NUTRITION

Serving: 1roll | Calories: 255kcal | Carbohydrates: 42.1g | Protein: 3.7g | Fat: 8.2g | Saturated Fat: 1.3g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 254mg | Potassium: 78mg | Fiber: 1.6g | Sugar: 16.8g | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 2mg
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A photo from when I originally published these vegan cinnamon rolls!

Hi, I’m Sarah!

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  1. Meg @ Noming thru Life says:

    Oh look at those beautiful cinnamon rolls. My oh my. Aren’t they beauties!?!?!

    1. Sarah says:

      Thanks, Meg! Besides the enormous sugar rush I get from em, I think them being so pretty while being just about fool-proof is probably why I love them so much 🙂

  2. Nelleke says:

    Hi!
    They’re in the oven know.. Curious to see how they will turn out. Im in Italy at the moment and instant yeast is hard to get so i hope i got the right stuff and the right amount.
    I was wondering if you would consider a plugin to transfer to a metric system. Im from the Netherlands myself and have lived in the States so i really appreciate you Dutch/US combo ;), but you must know by living in NL measutements are annoying to transfer while cooking or just before shopping.

    Thanks for your lovely recipes, i live by your roasted chick peas

    1. Sarah says:

      Hey Nelleke! I will definitely look into a plugin for that, and if need be I’ll just start converting recipe myself. Including metric measurements has been on my to-do list for a while, what with me moving to the Netherlands (!!!!) soon and all. And if it means less time between now and you eating cinnamon rolls, then good golly I better get on it! Thanks so much for the suggestion and enjoy your cinnamon rolls (and Italy!)

  3. Yuli says:

    I’m just thinking, how are you claiming that this recipe is vegan when you are including yeast in it. If you didn’t know yeast are living organisms and they die in the process of making breads, pastries, cinnamon bread and etc.
    There for I’m asking you isn’t it hypercritical of you to claim that you are infact being very good to the environment and not distorting living creatures even if you eat yeast?
    Just a thought.

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Yuli, I think you’re confused about a few things.
      1. Veganism is the practice of not consuming animal products, that is, organisms from the animal kingdom. Yeast, like mushrooms, is from the fungi kingdom. It is not sentient or self-animate. There are not little yeast-a-beasts down there being used and killed, but rather a fungus that converts sugars to gasses and thus leavens these delicious vegan cinnamon rolls.
      2. The term “organism” is not exclusive to the animal kingdom. Plants are living organisms. Do you eat those? The only diet that one could possibly follow based on your standards would be fruitarian (only consuming what naturally falls from the plant, without killing the plant). This is neither a fruitarian recipe nor blog.

  4. Carolyn says:

    Sarah, thank you for your wonderful recipe. I’m looking forward to making the cinnamon rolls for Valentine’s Day later this week. I need to make them GF and DF. I presume using almond flour will not be a problem. Any comments? Will definitely be using your website more often.

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Carolyn! I haven’t tried this recipe with almond flour, but I don’t think it would puff up quite the same as with all-purpose flour. You might try out this recipe, which has been tested for GF and vegan. Enjoy! 😀

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