Truly the best vegan cinnamon rolls you will ever have. These sweet rolls are fluffy, big, and perfect! Filled to the brim with a cinnamon sugar filling and topped with a simple vanilla bean glaze soaking into every single bite you take. This indulgent treat is perfect for any occasion, any time of year.
This easy cinnamon roll recipe requires no stand mixer and can be done all by hand. I actually suggest working with he dough by hand because it is so soft and comes together from kneading in a very short amount of time.
Ingredients for Best Ever Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
The ingredients are simple and most of you likely have most of them in your kitchen! These cinnamon rolls require a little bit of patience, so I suggest not straying from the recipe, but if you do, please leave a comment and let me know what you did! Here is what you will need to make this vegan cinnamon roll recipe:
- Bread Flour; read about why below! I strongly suggest using only bread flour and not subbing for all purpose.
- Instant or Quick Rise Yeast; you can certainly use active dry, but for a quicker rise, I suggest instant yeast.
- Milk; I recommend unsweetened plain almond milk, but just about any non-dairy (or dairy) milk will work great here. Be sure your milk is just warm enough for the yeast and sugar to bloom together and not too hot that the yeast will die.
- Granulated Sugar
- Vegan Butter; My preference is Miyokos Vegan Butter. I have achieved the greatest results using this brand, not to mention it is delicious. Of course, use what you prefer and regular butter works fab here too! The butter is used in the dough, the filling, and the icing.
- Dark Brown Sugar; Dark brown sugar gives you a deep molasses flavor that is just hard to beat.
- Powdered Sugar
- Vanilla Bean, Vanilla Bean Paste, or extract; Use what you have, but I prefer vanilla bean paste for maximum vanilla bean flavor!
Type of flour to use
The trick to keeping these rolls incredibly fluffy and soft is bread flour. If you're familiar with my Best Ever Soft Sandwich Bread recipe, then you will know I love and prefer using bread flour to create a light and fluffy dough. We need a higher protein flour to be able to develop enough gluten to give the dough a light and elastic texture, ensuring you end up with fluffy rolls.
Tips for Making The Best Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
Room Temperature Butter. Make sure to use room temperature butter in the filling. You may have seen some recipes call for melted butter, but this leads to the filling seeping out before the rolls even bake.
Don't overheat your milk. If you milk is scalding hot, let it cool before adding the sugar and yeast. You are looking for bath water warm, between 105-115 degrees F. If you don't have a thermometer, dip your finger in the milk. It should feel warm, but not hot, just like bath water!
Flour your work surface well. This isn't an overly sticky dough, but to get a smooth dough, make sure both your surface and rolling pin are floured well.
Cinnamon sugar mixture should be rubbed really well into the softened butter. This ensures it is well combined.
Use bread flour! Bread flour makes all the difference in these vegan cinnamon rolls. You will achieve a soft dough and the fluffiest rolls you have ever eaten.
Make Ahead Cinnamon Roll Option
Of course there is a make ahead option! Once you complete the second rise, place the tightly wrapped baking dish in the fridge overnight. I suggest using plastic wrap. The next day, remove the baking dish from the fridge and let the cinnamon rolls rise in the oven with the light on for 30 minutes. Once finished rising, remove the dish from the oven and preheat the oven to 350F. Remove the plastic wrap and bake as directed in the instructions. These can be prepped up to one day ahead of baking.
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for more sweet vegan recipes, check out the following:
- Vegan Olive Oil Chocolate Cake
- Fluffy Vegan Pancakes with Miso Maple Roasted Strawberries
- Baked Vegan Donuts with Coconut Butter Beet Glaze
- Vegan Caramel Pear Upside Down Cake
Best Ever Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
Cinnamon Roll Dough
- ½ cup 125 ml almond milk
- 1 teaspoon 5 g granulated sugar
- 1 packet 8 g quick-rise instant dry yeast
- 2 ½ cups plus 3 tablespoons 408g bread flour, plus more for kneading
- ⅓ cup 67 g vegan butter
- ½ cup 125 mL unsweetened non-dairy milk
- ⅓ cup 82 g granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon 6 g sea salt
Cinnamon Sugar Filling
- ⅔ cup 147 g brown sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons 10 g cinnamon
- ¼ cup 50 g vegan butter softened
Vanilla Bean Icing
- 2 cups 260 g powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 tbsp. 14 g melted vegan butter
- 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste or extract
- 2 tbsp. 1 oz non-dairy milk, add a little more until you reach your preferred consistency
- Grease a 9x9 or 9x13 casserole dish and set aside.
- For the dough: In a small bowl, add the warm almond milk. It should feel like bath water, approx. 105-115F). Stir in the granulated sugar until mostly dissolved and then stir in the yeast until dissolved. Set aside for 8 minutes to allow the yeast to activate and bloom. It will look foamy when it's ready.
- Add bread flour to large mixing bowl.
- Melt ⅓ cup butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove the pot from the burner and stir in the almond milk, ⅓ cup sugar, and salt. Allow the mixture to come down in temperature until lukewarm, again like bath water. Once cooled down, stir in the yeast mixture until combined.
- Pour the yeast mixture over the bread flour and stir with a wooden spoon, incorporating all of the dry flour.
- Using your hands, knead the dough into a shaggy dough and then turn it out onto a floured surface.
- Knead the dough for 4 minutes until it is no longer sticky and becomes smooth and elastic. Sprinkle on flour as needed while kneading.
- Lightly oil the same mixing bowl (dirty is fine, no need to wash) and shape the dough into a ball. Flip the dough around so it gets lightly coated in oil.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a large towel and let it rise in a warm place for 60 minutes. I like to place the bowl in the oven with the oven light on during this rise time.
- After the first rise, flour your work surface and rolling pin and flip your dough out onto your work surface. Roll the dough into a large 14x9 inch rectangle.
- In a small bowl mix together your brown sugar and cinnamon.
- Spread the softened vegan butter all over your dough, leaving a ¼" margin at the edge of the dough. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture all over the butter and rub it into the butter.
- Tightly roll the dough up, starting from the short side. Gently pinch the seams closed and place it seam side down.
- You may want to cut off the tail ends since they won't be as coated in the cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Cut your rolls into 1-inch pieces and place in prepared baking dish. Cover with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let them rise for 45 minutes in a warm place.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Place risen cinnamon rolls into oven and bake for 23-25 minutes, just until lightly golden brown on the edges, Allow them to cool for 10 minutes before icing.
- Make the vanilla bean icing. Sift powdered sugar in a large bowl. Then add the vanilla bean paste and melted butter. Whisk in 1 tablespoon of milk at a time until you've reached your desired consistency, Spread over cinnamon rolls and serve immediately. Place the powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Stir in milk 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture has a thick, yogurt-like consistency.