Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
Photo Credit/Allyson Kramer
  • Total: 2 hrs 5 mins
  • Prep: 105 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 12 servings

If you are looking for a treat for a breakfast party or brunch, but have a few guests with dietary restrictions on the RSVP list, whip up a delicious vegan cinnamon rolls recipe. This lactose-free baked good will allow you to show off your skills while wowing your friends with a menu item that tastes remarkably similar to its dairy-and-egg-laden counterpart. The substitutes are easy—soymilk or almond milk replaces traditional milk, nondairy margarine makes a great substitute for butter, and vegan cream cheese completes the icing on top. Like most homemade baked products, vegan cinnamon rolls are moderately labor intensive. But if you're skilled in baking yeasted bread, this creation will seem like a walk in the park.


  • 1 cup warm nondairy milk (soymilk or almond milk)
  • 1 packet dry active yeast
  • 2/3 cup nondairy margarine, plus another 1/4 cup for icing
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • Dash of salt
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 tub vegan cream cheese 
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons water

Steps to Make It

The first time you make these delicious rolls, it may seem like a chore. But once you get the hang of it, you'll enjoy whipping up a batch, even when there's no occasion. 

Making the Dough

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Preheat your oven to 400 F.

  3. Warm the soy or almond milk in a small saucepan on the stove.

  4. In a large bowl, mix the yeast with the warm nondairy milk and let the mixture rest for 5 minutes or until frothy.

  5. With a mixer, cream 1/3 cup margarine, sugar, and salt.

  6. Gradually add the yeast mixture and flour and knead, using a dough hook, for 8 minutes. (Alternately, you can knead by hand.)

  7. Form the dough into a ball and place it into a lightly greased bowl. Set the bowl in a warm location in your kitchen to rise for 1 hour.

  8. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 16-by-20-inch rectangle. (The bigger the rectangle, the more layers in your cinnamon rolls.) 

Preparing the Filling and Rolls

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and 1/3 cup margarine until fluffy.

  2. Spread it over the entire surface of the dough in an even layer.

  3. Beginning at one end of the dough, roll it lengthwise, tightly, into a 20-inch long roll. 

  4. Cut the roll into approximately 12 even pieces.

  5. Place each slice into a 9-inch by 13-inch baking pan. Cover the pan loosely with a clean kitchen towel and let the rolls rise for about 30 minutes.

  6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the rolls are dark golden brown on the edges.

Icing the Rolls

  1. Combine the vegan cream cheese, 1/4 cup margarine, confectioner's sugar, vanilla, and water and mix vigorously with a whisk until fluffy. (The consistency of the icing should be similar to thick molasses.)

  2. Remove the rolls from the oven. Immediately flip them over onto a clean sheet to allow the gooey filling to re-coat the rolls.

  3. Let the rolls cool for approximately 10 minutes, and then spread on the icing. Serve warm.