I love these vegan cinnamon rolls – they have soft, moist and gooey texture that melts in your mouth with the sweet, caramely and buttery cinnamon sugar and creamy vegan cream cheese frosting. They are relatively easy to make and most importantly, super delicious. They are perfect for breakfast or a special sweet treat.
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I remember the very first time I had a cinnamon roll. It was from Cinnabon, and I was over 20 at that time. I know, what kind of 20 years can be spent without even one single cinnamon roll!
And at the first bite, it literally blew my mind. It was so, super delicious. The soft, gooey, moist, splendid texture of bread and the sweet caramely cinnamon sugar with the creamiest icing cream melting together in my mouth… What could possibly be more indulgent than this? Not too many things for sure.
For so long I didn’t have any cinnamon rolls at all because all the cinnamon rolls I could find in literally anywhere had eggs and dairy in them. And I can tell you, life without cinnamon rolls is a little sad. That’s why I had to create these vegan cinnamon rolls that give me the same amazingness of that first cinnamon roll!
I have to tell you though, I had a multiple fails until I got this recipe right. But failure doesn’t mean you can’t make it, it only means you can improve it! The very first recipe test I just followed my intuition and went with whatever ingredients I came up with and the result was well, not good enough to make it into a recipe. It turned out too gooey, too sloppy and too cinnamony.
And I had the second try, this time having in my mind not to make it too gooey with less cinnamon. It came out firmer, but it lost the moist gooeyness altogether. But I thought the second one was better than the first one, so I had my boyfriend taste it. And he said something I never expected.
“I like this but I liked the first ones too, if you think this is too firm then undercook them.”
My jaw dropped. I never had an idea to undercook or that anyone could ever like the first batch. If there is anything that this cinnamon roll recipe has taught me, is that one person’s perfect doesn’t always apply to everyone else, and you can be as creative as undercooking something on purpose to create something good.
How to make these vegan cinnamon rolls
By now you probably know how much I love cinnamon rolls. Honestly they are one of the best baking goods and anyone who first thought of the recipe is genius.
As popular as it is, it’s also a little tricky to bake cinnamon rolls. I think many bakers can agree on this one. So here are some of the tips to make these sweet, moist, gooey and delicious vegan cinnamon rolls.
For the dough
Use warm soy milk, but not too hot
We are using soy milk in this recipe and unlike baking cakes, it needs to be warm to activate the yeast. 36-38 Celsius is ideal, but if you don’t have a thermometer feel the temperature of the soy milk over a glass container, if it feels comfortably warm it’s most likely good for the yeast, because human body temperature is around 36 Celsius.
If it feels slightly cold, it won’t activate the yeast and that the dough won’t grow as much. And if it’s too hot, it kills the yeast which will also result in dough no raising. Yeast is a living thing so this part is quite crucial and a little hard to find the right temperature, but you will get better at it as you try so keep going!
Add in some sugar for the yeast
As I said earlier, yeast is a living thing and they like to be fed. They feed on sugar and starch, and they produce carbon dioxide when they feed, thus making the bread dough raise and fluffy in the raising process.
So why not give our yeast something to eat? Sugar! 2 table spoons of sugar will do the trick and make it easier for the bread dough to rise, as well as giving nice subtle sweetness to the dough.
Melted vegan butter in the dough
Most of the time when I bake breads, I add a kind of fat/oil in the dough. It makes the dough smooth and moist in the final product when baked.
I added melted vegan butter in the dough for this vegan cinnamon rolls to give it a nice buttery flavour and make it soft and moist when they are baked. I highly recommend to use vegan butter for this recipe as I love the butteriness in cinnamon rolls, but you can also substitute with the same amount of vegetable oil if you prefer.
For the vegan cream cheese frosting
To make vegan cream cheese frosting, I used cashew nuts to make these vegan cinnamon rolls extra creamy, moist, gooey and delicious. It really makes huge difference to just simple icing on them.
Soak your cashew nuts in hot water for at least 30 mins before blending with other ingredients for the cashew cream cheese frosting. It makes it much easier to blend. You can also soak the in water over night as well if you have time.
Alternatively, you can also drizzle on simple icing. Just mix 1 cup of icing sugar and 2 table spoons of non dairy milk.
What kind of bread flour should I use for these vegan cinnamon rolls?
I use strong white bread flour for these vegan cinnamon rolls. It’s most common to use for any bread recipe, it has high protein content(gluten) and it gives firm yet soft bread texture.
You can also use wholemeal bread flour too if you want to go more wholesome. However, in my experience wholewheat flour is more difficult to raise and the texture of the final product is slightly different. I prefer to use white bread flour for this recipe but wholemeal works too!
Can I use vegetable oil instead of vegan butter for these vegan cinnamon rolls?
Yes you can! I encourage you to use vegan butter over vegetable oil because vegan butter gives nice and buttery flavour and soft and moist texture to the vegan cinnamon rolls. But if you prefer you can substitute the same amount of vegetable oil in this recipe too. The texture and flavour of the final product will be slightly flatter but otherwise they would taste as delicious.
Also make sure to use neutral flavoured vegetable oil such as canola oil. Some vegetable oils like olive oil will add strong flavour and will not be as good as using neutral vegetable oil or vegan butter.
Can I use regular yeast instead of instant yeast for these vegan cinnamon rolls?
Yes, if you prefer to use regular yeast instead of instant yeast you can use it too. Follow the instruction on the package of the yeast you are using, which probably involves activating in a warm water first, and add in to the flour with other ingredients as instructed in this recipe.
Using regular yeast may take longer to make these vegan cinnamon rolls as it needs time to activate in warm water. If the dough is slightly sticky due to the increase of water content in the yeast, add a little more flour to the dough until it’s soft and firm.
Can I use regular white sugar instead of brown sugar for these vegan cinnamon rolls?
Yes, absolutely. I like brown sugar because of the richness and wholesomeness of it, but you can also substitute it with regular white dugar or caster sugar. It will be as delicious as brown sugar.
Can I freeze these vegan cinnamon rolls for later?
Yes you can! You can freeze these vegan cinnamon rolls 2 ways. The first method is you freeze them after baking them. Bake the vegan cinnamon rolls, let them cool completely, put them in an airtight container and keep in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. When serving take them out and heat up in a microwave until soft and slightly hot and drizzle the vegan cream cheese frosting.
The second method is freezing them before baking them. After you roll up the dough and cut into cinnamon rolls, just before the second raise, put them in an airtight container and freeze them in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. When baking take them out of the freezer and let them defrost at room temperature until soft, place in a baking tin, cover them with a dump cloth for the second raise and bake them in the oven as instructed in the recipe. Let cool slightly and drizzle on the vegan cream cheese frosting.
Can these vegan cinnamon rolls be gluten-free?
I have not yet tried making gluten-free version of these vegan cinnamon rolls. I think that a combination of rice flour and some starch would make good flour to try for gluten-free version. I will update you when I create gluten-free version of this vegan cinnamon roll recipe!
How long can I keep these vegan cinnamon rolls for?
At room temperature these vegan cinnamon rolls can last 2-3 days without losing its quality of taste and texture. Make sure to put them in an airtight container so that nothing will come in contact with them. You can also keep them in the fredge for the same amount of time.
To keep them longer, put them in an airtight container and store them in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. There are 2 ways to freeze these vegan cinnamon rolls, you can find how above in the “Can I freeze these vegan cinnamon rolls?” section.
You will LOVE these vegan cinnamon rolls because they are:
– soft, moist and gooey
– sweet and carmely
– egg free
– dairy free
– great breakfast
Want more recipes like this?
Try my other delicious bread/dessert recipes you might enjoy!
- Chocolate chip banana bread – vegan and oil-free
- Apple crumble bars – vegan and GF option
- Waffles – vegan
- Tomato rosemary focaccia bread – vegan
- Raspberry muffins – vegan
- Simple blueberry muffins – vegan
Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
What you need:
For the dough
- 2 & 1/2 cups (350g) bread flour
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp instant yeast
- 1/2 cup (125ml) melted vegan butter
- 3/4 cup (200ml) warm soy milk
- 1/4 cup (55g) soft vegan butter for spreading
For the cinnamon sugar
For the cream cheese frosting
- 1 cup (125g) cashew nuts, soaked overnight or 30 mins+ in hot water
- 2/3 cup (65g) powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp soy milk
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- A few drops of vanilla extract
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, instant yeast and sugar and stir well with a whisker.
- Add in the melted vegan butter and warm soy milk and combine well with a large wooden spoon.
- Transfer onto a floured surface Knead gently with your hand for about 3-5 mins.
- Make one ball with the dough and put it back in the large bowl. Cover it with a damp cloth and let it raise for about 1 hour or until it’s double in size.
- Once the dough is double in size, take it out onto a floured surface. Roll it into a 1 cm thick rectangle shape.
- Mix the cinnamon sugar ingredients together to make cinnamon sugar. Spread the soft vegan butter on the dough and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over.
- Roll the dough into one long stick of dough. Have the longer sides horizontally and the shorter sides vertically to you and roll up carefully.
- Cut them into 3 cm wide with a sharp knife.
- Place them in a baking tin with small space next to each other so they have room to raise.
- Let them raise for about 10 mins.
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (374°F)
- Bake for 20 mins until the top is golden.
- While they are in the oven, let’s make the vegan cream cheese frosting! In a food processor, mix all the ingredients for the cream cheese frosting until very smooth and thick. Set aside.
- Once the cinnamon rolls are baked, let them cool slightly and frost them with the vegan cream cheese frosting.
Please leave a comment and rate this recipe in the comment section below if you like these vegan cinnamon rolls! Let me know and tag me @thechestnutbakery on Instagram too. Thank you for making my recipe, friends!
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Useful kitchen tools for this recipe
Glass baking tin
I use a large glass baking tin like the one on the left.
It’s very useful and versatile when baking, you can use for this vegan cinnamon roll recipe as well as apple crumble, lasagna etc..