As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Making warm and gooey vegan cinnamon rolls doesn’t get much easier than this! This recipe is fairly simple to make and the rolls bake up to be big, fluffy, and bursting with cinnamon sugar. Slathered with vanilla icing on top, they’re the perfect treat for special breakfasts and brunches! 

vegan cinnamon rolls in a white baking pan with vanilla icing on top.
Want to save this recipe?
Enter your email & get this sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get great new recipes from us every week!

Fluffy, Sweet, and Easy Vegan Cinnamon Rolls!

Have you been too intimidated to work with dough to try making your own vegan cinnamon buns? That all stops now! This easy vegan cinnamon rolls recipe is so simple to prepare! No funny ingredients or complicated steps included!

Just like our crescent roll cinnamon rolls, these vegan cinnamon rolls are big, fluffy, and gooey treats that catch everyone’s attention (vegans AND non-vegans). They’re made with baking staples, instant yeast for a quick rise, and a 3-ingredient cinnamon sugar filling. Once they come out of the oven, the gooey buns are slathered with a simple 4-ingredient vanilla icing to make them truly irresistible.

A fresh batch of homemade cinnamon rolls is a must at brunches with friends and family, for fun weekend breakfasts, or during the holidays! The best part is that you can prepare them the night before and bake them fresh the next morning. After all, what’s better than waking up to the smell of sweet cinnamon buns baking in the oven?

Looking for more sweet brunch favorites? Try our vegan baked oatmeal, blueberry pancakes, and vegan waffles!

The Ingredients and Substitutes

ingredients for vegan cinnamon rolls in individual bowls with labels.

Cinnamon Roll Dough

  • Plant-based milk: I used unsweetened soy milk, but any vegan milk should work well.
  • Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar, preferably.
  • Sugar: Granulated white sugar is used to sweeten the dough.
  • Rapid yeast: Use rapid or instant yeast, not active dry yeast. Rapid/instant yeast doesn’t need to be activated first, making these vegan cinnamon buns beginner-friendly.
  • Vegan butter: To help flavor the dough. Coconut oil works as a substitute, but try to use refined coconut oil to skip the coconut flavor.
  • Flour: All-purpose flour is essential!
  • Oil: Use any neutral-flavored oil, like vegetable oil or canola oil.

Cinnamon Sugar

  • Sugar: I like using brown sugar for its caramel-like flavor, but coconut sugar should also work.
  • Cinnamon: Because it simply wouldn’t be a cinnamon bun recipe without the cinnamon!
  • Nutmeg: An optional spice, but it makes the cinnamon sugar filling a touch more warm and cozy.
  • Vegan butter: Melted vegan butter brushed on the rolled-out dough helps the cinnamon sugar stick.

Icing

  • Powdered sugar: No substitutes, please! Just like vegan buttercream, only powdered sugar will work here.
  • Plant-based Milk: I like using plain unsweetened soy milk, but any non-dairy milk will work.
  • Vanilla extract: For flavor.
  • Salt: Just a pinch!

What Could I Add to Vegan Cinnamon Buns?

  • Chopped nuts: Sprinkle chopped pecans or walnuts over the cinnamon sugar filling before rolling the cinnamon rolls for a nice crunch! Don’t forget to save some extras to sprinkle on top, too.
  • Dried fruit: Just like the nuts, you can sprinkle raisins or dried cranberries over the cinnamon sugar for a delightfully chewy texture.
  • Vegan chocolate: For ooey gooey chocolate centers, sprinkle dairy-free chocolate chips or chocolate shavings over the cinnamon sugar before rolling or add 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder to the cinnamon sugar filling. A drizzle of melted vegan chocolate on top of the baked buns would be divine, too.
  • Caramel: Swap the frosting for a generous drizzle of vegan caramel sauce on top of the cinnamon rolls.
  • Pumpkin spice: Substitute 1 tablespoon of the cinnamon with 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice for a festive twist! You could even add a dollop of pumpkin puree to the icing or decorate the buns with our pumpkin spice glaze for vegan pumpkin cinnamon rolls. Yum!
  • Vegan cream cheese frosting: Swap the vanilla icing for vegan cream cheese frosting if you like a thicker, tangier icing on top.

How to Make Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

  • Stir the plant milk and apple cider vinegar together in a heat-proof bowl to make the vegan buttermilk.
vegan milk in a white bowl next to a small jar of apple cider vinegar.
whisking vegan buttermilk in a white bowl.
  • Heat the “buttermilk” mixture in the microwave in 30-second increments until it’s slightly warm to the touch.
  • Stir the white sugar into the vegan buttermilk.
whisking vegan buttermilk in a white bowl.
  • Next, add the yeast.
pouring a packet of yeast into a bowl of vegan buttermilk.
  • Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and let it rest until the mixture is slightly foamy.
whisking yeast into vegan buttermilk in a white bowl.
a white kitchen towel placed on top of a bowl.
  • Slowly stir the melted vegan butter and flour into the buttermilk.

Gently mix in 1 cup of flour at a time until it’s just incorporated into the buttermilk. The dough will be very flaky and broken apart by the time all the flour is incorporated.

pouring melted butter into a white wet mixture in a white bowl.
pouring flour into the wet mixture for vegan cinnamon roll dough.
  • Knead the dough with your hands until you have a smooth ball.
using a white spatula to stir vegan cinnamon roll dough in a large white bowl.
a ball of dough in a white bowl.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl.
  • Pour the oil into the empty bowl.
pouring oil into a large white bowl.
  • Place the dough back in the oiled bowl and cover it with a damp kitchen towel.
  • Let the dough rest until it’s doubled in size.

The time it takes for your dough to rise will depend on the temperature of your kitchen. My dough took about 1 hour to double in size, but yours could take less time or even longer (around 1 ½ to 2 hours) depending on your environment.

a ball of dough on top of oil in a large white bowl.
risen dough in a large white bowl.
  • Meanwhile, make the cinnamon sugar by stirring the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a small bowl.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and roll it out into a rectangle. 

The dough rectangle should be about ¼ inch thick and 20 inches long by 12 inches wide.

using a wooden rolling pin to roll out cinnamon roll dough.
  • Brush the melted vegan butter onto the dough rectangle.
  • Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over top.
melted butter in a white bowl next to a pastry brush.
holding a bowl of cinnamon sugar above rolled-out cinnamon roll dough.
  • Roll the dough into a log shape.

Keep in mind that the dough might stick to the surface. If it is stuck, gently use a spatula to scrape and lift the dough. 

Work little by little to slowly achieve an even and tight roll. Rolling too fast will yield loose cinnamon rolls.

using a metal bench scraper to roll cinnamon roll dough.
a log of cinnamon roll dough.
  • Slice the log into 9 cinnamon rolls.
close up on a knife slicing a cinnamon roll from a log of dough.
  • Place the rolls in a prepared baking dish, making sure they aren’t touching each other. Then cover the dish with plastic and set aside. Let the rolls rise for 10 minutes.

Make sure the rolls are NOT touching when you first add them to the baking pan. If they’re still not touching after the 10-minute rise, continue to let them rise in a warm place.

placing unbaked cinnamon rolls in a white baking dish.
unbaked cinnamon rolls in a baking dish covered with plastic.
  • Remove the plastic from the baking pan and bake the cinnamon rolls until they’re puffy and lightly golden brown.
  • Meanwhile, make the frosting by whisking the powdered sugar, plant milk, and vanilla extract together in a medium bowl.
ingredients for vanilla icing in glass bowls and jars.
whisking vanilla icing in a large glass bowl.
  • Take the baked cinnamon buns out of the oven. Then, let them cool for 10 minutes before spreading the frosting on top. Serve and enjoy!
baked vegan cinnamon rolls in a white baking dish.
drizzling vanilla icing over vegan cinnamon rolls.

FAQs

Are cinnamon rolls vegan?

The classic cinnamon roll recipe and Pillsbury cinnamon rolls are not vegan-friendly because they’re made with dairy and eggs. Luckily, these are easy to substitute for vegan alternatives, making it easy to make vegan cinnamon rolls from scratch.

Can this recipe be made without oil?

We wouldn’t recommend omitting the vegan butter and oil from the recipe. Together, the oil and vegan butter make the cinnamon rolls moist, while the melted vegan butter helps the cinnamon sugar stick to the dough.

Can the cinnamon rolls be made gluten-free?

Unfortunately, we haven’t tested gluten-free vegan cinnamon rolls yet!

Pro Recipe Tips

  • A tight roll is key: This keeps your cinnamon rolls from falling apart when baked.
  • To avoid squishing the dough, use a very sharp chef’s knife to cut the rolls.
  • For the easiest cleanup, place a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil on the bottom rack of your oven. It will catch any vegan butter that may spill out of the pan.
  • Decorate and serve them warm: Decorate the rolls with the icing after letting them cool for 10 minutes. Plate ‘em up and pass them around to everyone at breakfast or brunch while they’re still warm!
using a metal spoon to lift baked vegan cinnamon rolls out of a white baking pan.

Storage Instructions

Place the frosted cinnamon rolls in an airtight container and store them at room temperature for up to 3 days. We don’t recommend storing them in the fridge because it dries them out quickly.

Make ahead option

To prepare the vegan cinnamon rolls the night before baking, make the recipe up until you place the cut cinnamon rolls in the baking dish. Cover the dish with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store it in the fridge overnight.

The next morning, set the baking dish on the kitchen counter for 1 hour so the rolls can come down to room temperature and rise a little more. Bake the cinnamon rolls in a 375ºF oven for about 20 minutes or until they’re golden brown. Decorate with icing and serve warm!

To freeze the cinnamon rolls before baking, repeat the step above but place the baking dish in the freezer instead of the fridge. Let the rolls thaw in the fridge or on the counter before baking as normal.

cinnamon rolls in a large glass bowl with a lid on the side labelled "vegan cinnamon rolls".

More Vegan Brunch Recipes

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

5 from 70 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Rest and Rise: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings: 9 rolls
Making warm and gooey vegan cinnamon rolls doesn’t get much easier than this! This recipe is fairly simple to make and the rolls bake up to be big, fluffy, and bursting with cinnamon sugar. Slathered with vanilla icing on top, they’re the perfect treat for special breakfasts and brunches! 

Ingredients 

Dough:

  • 1 cup unsweetened plain soy milk
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 2 ¼ teaspoon (1 packet) of rapid yeast
  • ½ cup of plant-based butter, melted
  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons of neutral oil

Filling:

  • ¼ cup of packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of cinnamon or more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons of plant-based butter, melted

Icing:

  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of plain soymilk
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions 

  • In a medium microwave safe bowl, add the plant milk and apple cider. Mix well until it begins to thicken like buttermilk. Place the bowl in the microwave and heat up the mixture in 30 seconds increments until lightly warm to touch. Do not overheat or it will kill the yeast that will be added. If you have a food thermometer, it should be about 110 degrees F. Once the buttermilk is warm, add the sugar and mix well. Then add the rapid yeast and mix well. Cover with a warm damp kitchen towel and let it rest for 5 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, add the buttermilk mixture and slowly add and mix the flour 1 cup at a time. Gently mix well until all ingredients are fully incorporated, but do not overmix. The dough will be very flaky and broken apart. Using your hands, start knitting the dough until it becomes one dough ball (do not over knead).
  • Remove the dough from the bowl and add two teaspoons of neutral oil to the bowl. Using your hands oil the bowl really well. Place the dough ball back in the oiled bowl and cover with a warm damp towel or plastic wrap. Place the bowl in a warm area and let it sit for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
  • While the dough is rising, in a small bowl, add the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Using your fingers or a fork, massage the sugar and spices until the sugar becomes sandy. Set aside.
  • Prep a 8×8 deep baking dish and oil it really well. Set aside.
  • Once the dough has doubled in size, lightly flour a large surface on which you will be able to use a knife on. Roll the dough into a rectangle about ¼ inch thick. My rectangle was about 20 inches long by 12 inches wide.
  • In a small microwave safe bowl, melt the vegan butter for the filling and have the brown sugar and spices mixture ready next to you.
  • Using a brush, start evenly brushing the melted vegan butter on the dough. Once you have used all of the vegan butter, evenly distribute the sugar spices mixture.
  • To roll the dough, start very gently lifting the sides (lengthwise). If it is not stuck, start tightly but gently rolling and tucking the dough. If it stuck, very gently using a spatula, scrape the dough from the surface as your roll. Work little by little and slowly to achieve an evenly tight roll. If you try to roll it fast, it will be too loose.
  • Once the dough is rolled up, measure up and divide the dough into 9 rolls. Mine came to about 2 inches. Once you know where to cut to achieve even rolls, using a sharp knife or string floss, cut one roll and immediately place it on the prepared baking dish. Then cut another one and place it on the baking dish leaving about half and inch in between the other rolls. Repeat the process until you end up with 9 rolls in the baking dish. They should not be touching each other.
  • Cover the baking pan with plastic wrap and allow it to sit in a warm place for 10 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • By this time, the rolls should have risen and are now touching each other and there should not be any space between them. If they are still not touching each other, let them keep rising in a warm place.
  • Place a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil in the bottom row of your oven to catch the butter that will spill when baking. This will make the cleaning process easier.
  • Remove and discard the plastic from the baking pan. Place the baking pan in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until the rolls are all evenly lightly golden brown.
  • While the rolls are baking, make the frosting. In a medium bowl add the powdered sugar, plant milk, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Whisk until the sugar is fully dissolved. Set aside.
  • Once the rolls are ready, remove them from the oven and place them on a cooling rack. Allow them to cool for 10 minutes and frost them.

Notes

  • A tight roll is key: This keeps your cinnamon rolls from falling apart when baked.
  • To avoid squishing the dough, use a very sharp chef’s knife to cut the rolls.
  • For the easiest cleanup, place a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil on the bottom rack of your oven. It will catch any vegan butter that may spill out of the pan.
  • Decorate and serve them warm: Decorate the rolls with the icing after letting them cool for 10 minutes. Plate ‘em up and pass them around to everyone at breakfast or brunch while they’re still warm!

Nutrition

Calories: 323kcalCarbohydrates: 55gProtein: 10gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.003gSodium: 82mgPotassium: 111mgFiber: 4gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 121IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 106mgIron: 3mg

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Additional Info

Author: Toni Okamoto
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Method: Oven
Diet: Vegan
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedOnABudget! 🙂
About

Toni Okamoto

“They say you are what you eat, so I strive to be healthy.
My goal in life is not to be rich or wealthy,
‘Cause true wealth comes from good health and wise ways…
we got to start taking better care of ourselves ” – Dead Prez

More about Toni Okamoto
5 from 70 votes (61 ratings without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I have been looking for a good vegan cinnamon roll recipe to make with limited success. These were it! I made a couple changes, I used oil in the dough instead of butter and in the filling I used maple syrup, applesauce and cinnamon. Rave comments from the vegans, flexitarian and the one who doesn’t try any vegan recipe (couldn’t resist the smell).

      1. We at plant-based on a budget haven’t tried out a GF version yet to this recipe so can’t guarantee the results. Please let us know if you end up giving it a try! 🙂