These Easy Vegan Cinnamon Rolls come together in a little over an hour, are made with easy to find ingredients and taste like HEAVEN. They're light and fluffy, filled with cinnamon sugar and topped with the most delicious maple glaze.
I've decided that cinnamon rolls are a recipe for happiness. They’re the perfect holiday brunch tagalong, they’re warm and fluffy and a great excuse to enjoy comfort food first thing in the morning.
Plus, this recipe is topped with a maple glaze that is to die for! If you have a vegan friend or family member, these easy vegan cinnamon rolls are the perfect addition to any holiday brunch.
Oh, and if you're looking for items to pair with these rolls, try my healthy caramel sauce, cinnamon sesame milk or my sweet potato brownies (brownies for breakfast should be a "thing", right?).
- They're light and fluffy, aka the BEST texture
- They're filled with plenty of cinnamon sugar
- The maple glaze seals the deal--it's a game-changer!
Yeast - Dry active yeast; I haven't tested these with instant yeast
Brown sugar - Can sub cane sugar
Flour - I've only tested this with all purpose flour, but if you use another flour and it works, feel free to leave a comment so others can try it out!
Milk - The recipe calls for almond milk, but any dairy free milk will work
How to make vegan cinnamon rolls
Step 1: Activate the yeast. Start by mixing the active dry yeast, sugar and water together and letting the yeast activate, which takes about 10 minutes. You'll know it's good to go when it's foamy on top.
Step 2: Heat the milk and butter. Heat them up until the butter has melted, but make sure the mixture doesn't come anywhere close to a boil. You want the butter and milk to be warm, not hot.
Step 3: Knead the dough. Add flour and salt to a large bowl, then pour in the butter/milk/yeast mixture, using your hands to knead the dough for 2-3 minutes. The dough should be sticky, but not too sticky; The more you knead it, the less sticky it'll be.
Step 4: Let the dough rise. Once everything is combined and you've kneaded the dough, transfer it to a greased bowl (preferably a glass bowl--see "tips" section below). The dough should take about 1 hour to rise, and ideally you want it to double in size.
Step 5: Roll the dough. Don't roll the dough out too thin. I've learned that it helps to roll the dough out to an 8"x12" rectangle. Once the dough is rolled into a rectangle, use a knife to trim the edges so that it's a perfect rectangle. Then, add the filling and roll it up into a long, skinny roll.
Step 6: Let the dough rise, again. Letting the cinnamon rolls rise a second time is what will make them light and fluffy. If you're really in a hurry, you can skip this step, but I truly believe it makes a difference in the overall texture of the rolls.
Tips and FAQs
Tip: If you have trouble getting the dough to rise at room temperature (I always do!), heat your oven to 200°, then turn it off and place the covered cinnamon rolls in the oven and allow the dough to rise in the oven for an hour. I usually just lay a towel on top of the bowl.
--> If this works for the first rise, then you can do it again for the second rise. Simply place the cake pan with the uncooked cinnamon rolls in the oven, cover with a towel, then allow them to rise for 20 minutes or so.
Tip: You can use floss to cut the dough, but I personally preferred to use a really sharp knife covered in flour. That way, the knife doesn't stick to the dough. If you know how to cut cinnamon rolls with floss and prefer it that way, then just do that instead.
Help! The dough didn't rise
I'm sorry this happened! From my experience, this usually happens when I'm using old/expired yeast.
How long will these last?
They should stay fresh for up to 3 days if stored in a container at room temperature. However, they taste the most fresh if consumed within 24 hours.
More vegan breakfast recipes
If you make this recipe, I'd LOVE if you could leave a comment and star rating below! And, if you loved these rolls, be sure to try my chocolate espresso cinnamon rolls.
Easy Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
- 1 packet 2 ¼ teaspoon dry active yeast
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- ¼ cup warm water
- 6 tablespoon dairy free butter I used Earth Balance
- 1 ¼ cup almond milk
- 3 ¼ cups all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
For the filling:
- 2 tablespoon dairy free butter melted
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup brown sugar
For the glaze:
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-3 tablespoon almond milk
- Combine yeast and sugar in a bowl and then slowly pour in warm water while stirring everything together at the same time. Allow 10 minutes for the mixture to sit and the yeast to activate.
- While waiting, melt the butter and milk together over stovetop on medium heat, stirring pretty consistently until the butter has melted. Be careful--you don't want it to be too hot or come anywhere close to a boil. Once butter has melted, set aside.
- In a large bowl, stir flour and salt together. Next, combine butter mixture with yeast mixture and stir; then, add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and use your hands to knead the dough for approximately 3 minutes.
- Line a separate large bowl with a small amount of coconut oil and then place the dough in the bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and let sit for 1 hour, allowing the dough to rise and double in size. Alternatively, if your dough doesn't seem to be rising at room temperature, you can heat your oven to 200°, turn it off, and place the covered bowl (I used an oven-safe glass bowl) in the oven until the dough has doubled in size, approximately 1 hour.
- While waiting, you can make the filling, which doesn't take long.
- Melt butter and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine cinnamon and brown sugar and set aside. Other things you can do while waiting for the dough to rise include but are not limited to: walking your dog, catching up on emails, watching TV, sitting on Instagram--the possibilities are endless, and the time goes by faster than you'd think!
- Once the hour has gone by and your dough has risen, preheat the oven to 350°. Next, add ¼ cup flour to your dough and stir, which will help make the dough less sticky and easier to roll. Then, flour a baking mat and place the dough on the mat. Use a rolling pin to roll it out into a rectangle, approximately 9"x14", trimming the edges if needed. You want the rectangle to be big enough but you don't want the dough to be too thin. Otherwise, you'll have a difficult time rolling it.
- Next, brush melted butter overtop of dough, leaving a 1" border around the edges. Next, spoon the cinnamon sugar mixture over top of butter and spread it evenly over the dough. Last, tightly roll up the dough long-ways.
- Use a sharp knife (it helps to carefully flour the knife so it doesn't stick to the dough) to cut dough into 1.5" rolls, and then place the rolls into a large baking dish OR (what I did) was placed them into two greased 10" cake pans, cut side down.
- Place a towel over the rolls and allow them to rise at room temperature for 30 minutes. I originally skipped this step, but after a lot of practice, I've found that it really does help in making your rolls nice and fluffy!
- Once the rolls have doubled in size (or at least gotten significantly larger) brush rolls with a little more melted butter and then bake them for approximately 20 minutes.
- While they're baking, make the glaze by combining all ingredients in a bowl and stirring with an electric mixer.
- Remove rolls from oven, wait 5 minutes or so, and then drizzle glaze overtop.
UPDATE NOTE: This post was originally published in December 2016. It was updated with new text and photos in September 2020.
Dough didn’t rise! I bought the yeast yesterday so I know it wasn’t old. Used warm water to activate. I spent all morning trying to perfect these. The kids were excited too, all to not turn out. Decided I was going to roll anyway even with it not rising and the dough was too sticky even with flour to roll. Guess I’ll have to tweak the recipe or find a different one.
Hi Kelli -- I'm sorry that happened! Cinnamon rolls can be tricky. Making sure the water is the correct temperature (not too hot) is important, waiting for the yeast to activate fully before incorporating it, and letting the dough rise in a warm place (I always put mine in my oven -- I turn it to 200°, then turn it OFF and place the covered bowl in there, which helps the dough rise) are all things to keep in mind.
Made these for gardening club and they are the most DELICIOUS cinnamon roll I've baked and I've made a few!!
Light, fluffy and just delicious.. I did use strong white bread flour in place of plain flour as I find them a lot fluffier but my preference and vanilla oat milk. The frosting I always tend to make more runny so that it all soaks into the buns to keep them moist for longer.
My go to now for buns and the face they're vegan is just a bonus!
I will be trying these with lotus biscoff next time for the ultimate vegan treat!
This is such a kind comment -- I'm happy this recipe has become a favorite!
WOW! This is the first time I made this recipe and seriously impressed by how BIG and fluffy they were! Usually I make recipes that make the dough very dense, but these are airy and just WONDERFUL! they look like show-stopper! 🙂
I'm so happy you liked them!
Thank you for the recipe Erin!!!! It was a hit with our family! It’s become a Xmas tradition of me baking them!
Wooohoooo!! It's my xmas tradition as well 🙂 So happy the family enjoyed the rolls.
Super late to the party here, but my dough rose nicely etc...but was almost impossible to work with even with extra flour. Not sure if I need to adjust for high altitude (over 6000 feet above here) but rolling was impossible. The dough wasn’t too thin, it just sort of oozed everywhere. Less water next time? Less oat milk? Who knows
Brenda Maciel says
These look so delicious. But mines didn't even come out the ways as planned. It was very sticky didnt even rise with the hour and then put them inthe over like you said and that trick didn't even work so I dont know what happened. I Google it and it said I may have got some bad yeast. Well im hoping if looked the direction to the tee.. I'm gonna try again. Any advice of what happend .
I'm sorry that happened! I've definitely had it happen before too, and it's almost always because I'm using older yeast (not even expired necessarily, but yeast that's been sitting in my pantry for a few months). I'd try using fresh yeast next time and hopefully that does the trick!
Hi! This originally happened to me too the first time I tried to follow this recipe. However, I was looking into it and I believe I used water that was too warm to activate the yeast and actually ended up killing it! I found out that it’s best to make sure the warm water that you use to mix the sugar and yeast is between 100°-105°F
I actually just finished making them (my second attempt) and I used a thermometer to test the water and they came out perfectly this time! Hope this helps! 🙂
Thank you for this thoughtful response! You're correct -- the water needs to be warm, but you don't want it to be too hot and using a thermometer can be extremely helpful.
Daniel Z says
You should open a bakeshop!!!
Hi are these made with almond flour, the recipe says all purpose but the picture under has almond flour? Thanks!
They're made with all purpose flour!
THESE. WERE. SO. GOOD!! Best vegan cinnamon rolls I've ever had!
Paula Schmidt says
These were so fluffy. I ate two right out of the oven!
I'm so glad you liked them -- thanks for the comment!
Hannah A. says
I want to make these...but in mini form! Do you have any recommendations for baking time if I make them miniature?
I was inspired to make cinnamon rolls for christmas morning and this recipe turned out great!
To answer some of the previous folks who wanted to know how pre-making and chilling would turn out: it turns out pretty okay. After the rolls were panned I covered them in plastic wrap and put them in the fridge; while in there they puffed up a little overnight and some of the butter-cinnamon melted out and pooled around the bases (yum). I took them out in the morning and put them in the oven, which had been slightly warmed, with a tea towel. I figure checking on them after half an hour and they should be back to rising properly. (however if this doesn't work then next time I may try letting them rise completely before fridging them.)
Some recipe adjustments I made were: using rapid rise instead of active yeast, and using a stand mixer for the mixing/kneading. By doing so, I added the yeast into the dry mix instead of blooming it with the wet, and I heated the wet ingredients in the microwave to 118F, which turned out to be perfect. I also used silk unsweetened original almondmilk and earth balance no-soy buttery spread.
Also, tip: when rolling the dough out, if the height of your rectangle is larger than your width, you get less rolls but more layers; opposite, more rolls but less layers. Good to know for future pans, I goofed on the math and made too many smalls.
I was wondering if anyone had tried making the dough in a bread machine, my usual method, and then shaping the rolls and letting them rise again?
These were so easy and amazing! Made them for my daughter before going off to college this morning. She's never had vegan cinnamon buns before and loved them!
These were great! I added chocolate chips and sliced almonds to the filling, and topped with some extra chocolate. Made for a delicious dessert!
Hi, was wondering if you could put the butter amount as ounces as well, since I can't convert tbsp of butter to metric accurately