Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

Vegan cinnamon rolls recipe

The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  • 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.

Ingredients

  • 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.

    Ingredients for cinnamon rolls
    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  2. Preheat your oven to 400 F.

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

    Warm almond milk
    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  4. In a large bowl, mix the yeast with the warm nondairy milk and let the mixture rest for 5 minutes or until frothy.

    Yeast
    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  5. With a mixer, cream 1/3 cup margarine, sugar, and salt.

    Margarine and sugar
    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  6. Gradually add the yeast mixture and flour and knead, using a dough hook, for 8 minutes. (Alternately, you can knead by hand.)

    Mix dough
    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  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.

    Form dough
    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  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.) 

    Roll dough
    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

Preparing the Filling and Rolls

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

    Ingredients for filling
    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  2. Spread it over the entire surface of the dough in an even layer.

    Spread over dough
    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  3. Beginning at one end of the dough, roll it lengthwise, tightly, into a 20-inch long roll. 

    Roll up dough
    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  4. Cut the roll into approximately 12 even pieces.

    Cut roll
    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  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.

    Rolls on trays
    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the rolls are dark golden brown on the edges.

    Bake rolls
    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

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.)

    Icing
    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  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.

    Baked rolls
    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  3. Let the rolls cool for approximately 10 minutes, and then spread on the icing. Serve warm.

    Let rolls cool
    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii