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.
- 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.