These Plant Based Cinnamon Rolls are made with simple ingredients like an easy yeast dough, cinnamon filling, softened vegan butter, and a vegan cream cheese frosting. They are the perfect breakfast for Christmas morning or whenever you have family coming to town who want a delicious vegan cinnamon roll recipe.
The best plant based cinnamon rolls EVER! It’s always been a tradition in my family to make cinnamon rolls on Christmas day.
My Memere, (French grandmother), always made the best cinnamon rolls, (dare I say, better than Cinnabon). I remember making them with her as a little girl, kneading the dough, rolling them out, and letting them rise.
My Memere is actually the reason I got into baking in the first place. She loved it so much and inspired me a little bit every time we baked together.
She always used real whole foods in all her baking and cooking and was so strong from all the kneading and beating she did.
DO NOT BE INTIMIDATED TO MAKE THESE IF YOU’RE NOT A BAKER!!! Follow the recipe exactly, and they should come out flawless.
You have never had a REAL cinnamon roll till you’ve had these plant based cinnamon rolls!
Table of Contents
WHY THESE ARE THE BEST HOMEMADE CINNAMON ROLLS
1. THE COCONUT BROWN SUGAR GLAZE
2. THE CREAMY VEGAN CREAM CHEESE ICING
3. VERY GOOEY
4. MUCH MORE HEALTHY THAN YOUR TRADITIONAL STORE-BOUGHT CINNAMON ROLL
THE INGREDIENTS FOR THE BEST VEGAN CINNAMON ROLLS
You will need the following ingredients listed below to make these delicious cinnamon buns (the exact measurements, nutrition information and full recipe are in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post):
- TRADITIONAL ACTIVE DRY YEAST
- WHITE SUGAR
- ALMOND MILK – any type of plant-based milk should work such as oat milk, soy milk, etc.
- VEGAN BUTTER
- PASTURE-RAISED EGGS (OPTIONAL)
- ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
- BROWN SUGAR – this combined with the cinnamon makes the best cinnamon sugar filling.
- FULL FAT COCONUT MILK
- VEGAN CREAM CHEESE
- POWDERED SUGAR
FOOL-PROOF CINNAMON ROLL INSTRUCTIONS
1. ACTIVATE THE YEAST
Start by warming water on the stove, or simply add lukewarm water from the tap, approximately 115 degrees F. I rarely use a thermometer, I just ensure that the water is warm to the touch.
If the water is too hot, it will kill the yeast. If the water is too cold, it won’t activate the yeast.
In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar into the water. Add both packages of active dry yeast to water (do not mix).
Put the bowl in the oven with light on (without heat) or in another warm place, and let stand until foamy. If it does not foam up, throw it away and start again.
2. BEGIN MAKING THE DOUGH
Add the melted vegan butter to a large mixing bowl. Then add sugar, warm water, warm milk, and salt.
Add eggs, ensuring the mixture is not too hot or the eggs will begin to cook (this step is optional). Then add the yeast mixture.
Begin adding one cup of flour at a time. Once you have added about 5 cups, the mixture may be too tough to mix with a spatula.
Switch to using your hands, and begin kneading the cinnamon roll dough. Knead for approximately 8 minutes, until the dough looks smooth and doesn’t fall through your fingers while holding it.
3. LET DOUGH RISE
Grease a large bowl all around the sides (bowl must be at least 3 times the size of the dough). Put a clean tee towel over the bowl and put in the oven with the oven light on (again, no heat).
Let rise for 1.5-2 hours, until doubled in size.
4. ROLL OUT BALL OF DOUGH
Flour the surface and rolling pin. Cut the dough into 2 equal sections.
Roll out the dough into a thin rectangle (the thickness of the dough should be about 1/4-inch).
Take 1/4 cup vegan butter, and slab it on the dough spreading evenly. Then sprinkle 3/4 cup packed brown sugar evenly over the butter.
Finish by sprinkling 2 tsp cinnamon over the brown sugar.
5. ROLLING UP CINNAMON ROLLS
Starting at the long end, roll the dough up as tight as possible. Once it is tight, pinch the ends so the rolls stay together.
For bigger cinnamon rolls, like seen below, cut into 2.5 inch pieces and for smaller cut into 1.5” pieces. You can also use dental floss for this step to tie around the vegan cinnamon buns and make the perfect slices.
I use a tape measure for this step as well so make sure they are even as possible and typically use a very sharp serrated knife. Follow these same steps with the other half of the remaining dough.
6. LET RISE AGAIN
Grease a few baking dishes. For the bigger buns I use one round baking cake pan, and one 9 x 13 baking dish.
Leave lots of room in between the buns (as seen here) as they will rise a lot. Cover with tee towel or paper towel and put back into the oven for a second rise with oven light on.
Let them rise again for 60 minutes. They will double or triple in size again.
7. MAKE THE GLAZE AND CREAM CHEESE ICING
In a medium-size bowl, whisk the full-fat coconut milk, brown sugar, and cinnamon, then set aside. In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the vegan cream cheese and vegan butter.
Add in the icing sugar and vanilla. Put frosting in the refrigerator till the cinnamon buns are cooked.
8. BAKE THEM BABIES!
Preheat oven to 350F. Pour the coconut milk glaze mixture evenly over the cinnamon rolls.
Uncovered, bake the cinnamon rolls for 18-20 minutes. If you like them gooier, like me, bake them for 18 minutes in the preheated oven.
9. INVERT, ICE AND INHALE!
Let cool in the pan for 3 minutes, then invert onto a serving platter. Scrape remaining filling from the pan onto the rolls.
Lather on the cream cheese icing, then force your friends to try them. This was an all-day baking affair and you should be BRAGGING about these plant based cinnamon rolls.
HEALTHY CINNAMON ROLLS SUBSTITUTIONS
I used almond milk for the bread dough, but any non-dairy milk will work. As for the glaze, I highly recommend using full fat coconut milk.
My grandmothers’ original recipe called for thick whipping cream, so I knew it was important that the non-dairy milk was thick and creamy.
You can substitute whole wheat flour for all-purpose flour if you desire. That is the only other flour I have ever tested, so I would not recommend using any other type.
You can also substitute the white sugar with coconut sugar or cane sugar.
Be careful when purchasing yeast. This recipe is much quicker and easier when using quick-rise yeast, rather than traditional yeast.
It will take much longer for the dough to rise if you use traditional. If your yeast doesn’t bubble or foam, make sure you restart!
Your water may have been too hot and would have killed the yeast. Or too cold which would have not activated the yeast.
I’d also check your yeast packages for the expiry date, to ensure they have not gone bad.
HOW TO STORE LEFTOVER CINNAMON ROLLS
These plant based cinnamon rolls do not have a great self life. They stay good at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the fridge for up to 5 days.
You can also store them in the freezer for up to 2 months by wrapping them in plastic wrap and putting them in an airtight container. Warm them in the microwave when ready to serve, keeping in mind they will not be as good as fresh from the oven.
OTHER DELICIOUS HOLIDAY SWEET TREAT RECIPES
- No Bake Peanut Butter Balls (5 Ingredients)
- 30 Easy Christmas Cookie Recipes With Few Ingredients
- Christmas Chocolate Peppermint Truffles
- Heart Shaped Jam Thumbprint Cookies
- Gluten Free Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Easy Christmas Sugar Cookie Fudge (5 Ingredients)
FOR YEAST MIXTURE
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water
- 2 packages traditional active dry yeast
- 2 tsp sugar
FOR CINNAMON ROLL DOUGH
- 1/4 cup vegan butter, melted
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1 cup almond milk, hot
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 pasture raised eggs, beaten
- 5 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup vegan butter
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
- 4 tsp cinnamon
FOR CINNAMON ROLL GLAZE
- 1 cup full fat coconut milk, if you're not vegan you can also use heavy whipping cream
- 1.5 cups brown sugar, packed
- 1 tsp cinnamon
FOR CREAM CHEESE FROSTING (OPTIONAL)
- 1/2 8 oz block vegan cream cheese, I used Tofutti
- 1/4 cup vegan butter
- 3 cups icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
MAKING THE YEAST MIXTURE
- Start by getting lukewarm water from the tap, approx 115 degrees F. I rarely use a thermometer, but this step will ensure you do not kill your yeast from the water being too hot, or not activating the yeast from the water being too cold.
- In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar into the water. Add both packages of active dry yeast to water (do not mix). Put the bowl onto a thick dish towel or in the oven with the light on (without heat). Must be in a warm place to let stand to get foamy. If it doesn't foam up, throw away and start again.
MAKING THE CINNAMON ROLL DOUGH
- Add the vegan butter to a large mixing bowl. Then add the sugar, warm water, warm almond milk, and salt.
- Once mixture has cooled, add the eggs (you do not want to cook the eggs in too hot of liquid). Then add the yeast mixture.
- Begin adding one cup of flour at a time. Once you have added about 4.5-5 cups, the mixture will be too tough to mix with a spatula. Switch to using your hands and begin kneading the dough for approx 8 minutes, until the dough looks smooth and doesn't fall through your fingers while holding it.
- Grease a large bowl all around the sides (bowl must be 3 times the size of the dough). Put a clean tee towel over the bowl and put in the oven with the oven light on (again, no heat). Let rise for 1.5-2 hours or until doubled in size.
ROLL IT OUT
- Flour the surface and rolling pin. Cut the dough into 2 equal sections. Roll out the dough into a thin rectangle (approx 1/2 inch thick).
- Take 1/4 cup vegan butter and add evenly to rolled dough. Sprinkle the 3/4 cup packed brown sugar evenly over the butter, then finish with 2 tsp cinnamon.
- Starting at the long end, roll the dough up. Once it's tight, pinch the ends so the rolls stay together. For bigger cinnamon rolls, cut into 2.5 inch pieces and for smaller cut into 1.5 inch pieces. You can use dental floss or a very sharp serrated knife. Follow same steps for other half of remaining dough.
- Grease a few baking dishes. For bigger buns I use round baking cake pans or 9 x 13 baking dishes. Leave lots of room between the buns as they rise again. Cover with tee towel and put back in the oven for a second rise with light on and heat off. They may take 45-60 minutes and will double in size again.
MAKE THE GLAZE AND CREAM CHEESE ICING
- In a medium size bowl, whisk the full fat coconut milk, brown sugar and cinnamon then set aside. This mixture will continue to thicken as it sits. In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the vegan cream cheese and vegan butter. Add in icing sugar and vanilla. Put frosting in the refrigerator till the cinnamon buns are cooked.
BAKE THE BUNS
- Preheat oven to 350F. Pour the coconut milk glaze mixture evenly over the cinnamon rolls. Uncovered, bake for 18-20 minutes.
- Let cool in the pan for 3 minutes, then invert onto a serving platter or large plate. Scrape remaining filling from the pan onto the rolls. Lather on the cream cheese icing, and enjoy! Pro tip - brag about these babies because they were an all day affair!
Serving Size:1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 447Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 140mgCarbohydrates: 75gFiber: 1gSugar: 49gProtein: 5g
The nutrition information provided is calculated based on industry-standard software and should be used as a general guide only. The information may vary depending on ingredient substitutions, cooking techniques, and individual serving sizes. It is the responsibility of the reader to ensure the accuracy and appropriateness of the nutritional information provided. Always consult a qualified healthcare provider for personalized medical or nutritional advice.
I love to bake, cook, exercise, and document all of the above. Nutrition is not low fat. It is not low calorie. It’s not feeling deprived or being hungry all the time. It’s nourishing your body with real, whole foods so that you are consistently satisfied and energized to live your life to the fullest! Read more…