Easy Dairy Free Cinnamon Rolls
These delicious dairy free cinnamon rolls are fluffy, soft and eggless! Loaded with cinnamon sugar and topped with cream cheese icing, they are sure to be a family favorite.
Nothing beats the aroma of warm cinnamon rolls, fresh out of the oven. Your classic cinnamon rolls include eggs, butter, and milk. However this is a vegan recipe that has the same texture and flavor as the traditional rolls.
These are the best homemade allergen friendly cinnamon rolls you can ask for! Make them for any special occasions such as brunch on Christmas morning along with Star Bread, Christmas Tree Cupcakes and Cranberry Orange Bread
Origins of Cinnamon Rolls
Cinnamon Rolls or Cinnamon buns are believed to have originated in Northern Europe. There are some accounts of the first roll baked in Sweden, dating back to 2000 BCs but these aren’t the same as the ones you find in US.
The Swedish ones have a hint of cardamom and baked in muffin wrappers and are known as “kanelbulle”. In Sweden, they’re commonly served for fika, it is a gathering time that includes a cup of coffee or tea. Sweden even has a National Cinnamon Bun Day!
Why Make Homemade Dairy-Free Cinnamon Rolls When You Could Just Buy Them?
Store bought cinnamon rolls are not usually dairy-free and they almost always contain eggs. Plus you can’t always be sure that there is no cross-contamination – this is especially important if you have severe food allergy.
Cinnamon rolls from scratch can be daunting to many, but if you follow this recipe, you’ll end up with absolutely delicious homemade cinnamon rolls that are also allergen friendly. The homemade cinnamon rolls are so much better than the store bought ones!
Another dairy free dessert you may love are my vegan fall leaf sugar cookies.
What makes this Cinnamon Roll Recipe Vegan?
Like all other recipes in this blog, this cinnamon roll recipe is egg-free. Moreover, I have used almond milk and vegan butter to make these cinnamon rolls . I also used vegan cream cheese to make the cream cheese frosting. The rich and flaky cinnamon rolls are so delicious that no one will notice they are vegan!
Cinnamon Roll Variations
- If you aren’t a fan of cinnamon, you can add nutmeg or chocolate instead or even leave it all together and just add frosting on top.
- Use brown sugar instead of white sugar to give the flavor of caramel rolls.
- You can add raisins, nuts, chocolate chips, or other dried fruit on top of cinnamon sugar before rolling the dough.
- You can make cardamom cinnamon rolls by adding cardamom powder along with cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Make a boozy, bourbon-spiked butterscotch glaze instead of the classic cream cheese frosting to elevate this recipe.
Watch How these vgan, dairy fre cinnamon rolls are made
Ingredients and Alternatives
All Purpose Flour: You can also use bread flour in its place. Both flours gives almost similar taste and texture but you get chewier cinnamon rolls if you use bread flour.
You can also use gluten-free flour to make gluten-free cinnamon rolls, though I haven’t tried it yet!
Yeast: You can use either active dry or instant yeast. Follow the directions exactly as written regardless of which you choose. If using active dry yeast, the rise times will be a little longer.
Almond Milk: To keep this recipe vegan I have used almond milk. Any other plant based milk such as oat or soy milk should also work but I have only tried it with almond milk among the plant based milks available.
You can also substitute it with 2% or 1% milk if you prefer a non-vegan recipe. I wouldn’t recommend using non fat milk.
Butter: I used Earth Balance vegan butter for this recipe but you can use regular butter in its place as well. Butter ensures that the we get a soft and smooth dough.
Cinnamon powder: What is cinnamon roll without cinnamon? Add as much or as little as you like!
Cream cheese: We used vegan cream cheese to make the cream cheese frosting. You can also use regular cream cheese in its place.
Others: Salt, Olive Oil, Sugar, Vanilla extract
How to make the perfect dairy free cinnamon rolls
Make the cinnamon roll dough
Warm milk and add activated yeast to it. The milk shouldn’t be too hot or it will kill the yeast. I highly recommend you use a thermometer. Cool the milk to 110F and then add yeast to it. The yeast will die at around 150F.
Make sure to activate the yeast for 10 min before adding salt, sugar, flour and melted butter. Form the dough.
Knead the dough
Knead the dough for two minutes by hand till it becomes a smooth soft ball. You can also use stand mixer to mix it. Make sure not to over-knead the dough.
Grease the bowl with olive oil and add the dough in it. Coat the dough with a light touch of oil as well.
Wrap the bowl with plastic wrap and set it in a warm spot to let it rise for 1 hour or until it doubles in size. You can preheat the oven to 150 F, switch it off and put the bowl in there to rise.
Roll out the dough
After the first rise, take the dough out of the bowl and place it on a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to a 1/4 inch thick rectangle.
Brush the rolled out dough with melted vegan butter. In a small bowl combine white sugar and cinnamon powder. You can also us brown sugar and cinnamon powder as well.
Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture across your dough, leaving an inch of space by each edge bare. Gently pat the cinnamon sugar into place.
Roll dough and cut it
Starting at one end, tightly roll up the dough to create one long cinnamon roll log (check video to see how). Use floss or a sharp knife to cut the dough into 1.5 – 2 inch pieces and place it in a buttered baking dish
Second Rise and bake
Brush with melted vegan butter and cover with plastic wrap. Set it on top of the oven to rise some more, till the oven is heated to 350F. Bake for 25-30 min or till it is golden brown. Check here for other alternatives to egg wash.
Add frosting and serve!
Beat softened vegan butter and vegan cream cheese together in a small bowl. Add powdered sugar and vanilla extract to it and whip till you get a fairly thick but spreadable frosting.
I recommend adding the cream cheese frosting while your cinnamon rolls are still slightly warm but not too hot. This way the frosting will melt a little and be easier to spread.
Storage and Make Ahead Options
These cinnamon rolls are best enjoyed right out of the oven. Having said that, if you do have some leftovers, cover cinnamon rolls tightly with plastic wrap and store them at room temperature for 2-3 days or store them for a week in airtight container or bag in the refrigerator.
We strongly recommend reheating them in the oven for 10 minutes or microwave a cinnamon roll for 45 seconds to get them back to their “fresh out of the oven” gooey goodness.
You can also store them for 2-3 months in the freezer. It is best to freeze cinnamon rolls before adding the frosting. Make sure to store them in freezer bags after removing the all the air from it.
When you are ready to have these cinnamon rolls, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight. Next morning, heat them for 5-10 min or until warm in a pre-heated oven at 325F. Then glaze and serve.
Tips to get the perfect dairy free Cinnamon Rolls
- The almond milk and butter mix should not reach a boil. The milk is heated to melt the butter and mix into it.
- While adding yeast, the milk + butter mix should be around 110 F as this is the optimum temperature for the yeast to bloom. It is crucial that the mix should not be too hot as yeast dies at a temperature of around 140 F and your dough will not rise.
- If your yeast doesn’t get a frothy texture to it, you likely have an inactive packet and you should start over.
- Use a weighing scale to avoid over-measuring or under measuring the flour. Too much flour will result in a dry rolls and too little flour will not give the rolls the structure they need to rise.
- If you don’t have a weighing scale, fluff the flour in the container then scoop into your measuring cup with a spoon and level off.
- Make sure not to roll out the dough too thin or you will have trouble slicing the dough.
- For cutting the rolled out dough to individual rolls, I would strongly recommend using flavorless dental floss. You could try using a knife but you run the risk of squishing the rolls.
- Don’t overwork the dough or your rolls may turn out tough.
Homemade Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
- 1 tbsp Cinnamon powder
- 1/4 cup Granulated sugar
- 3 tbsp Vegan Butter
- 3 tbsp Vegan butter Softened at room temperature
- 1/2 cup Cream cheese Use either dairy or non-dairy
- 1 cup Powdered sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- In a large sauce pan, heat the milk and butter till the butter is melted. Make sure it does not get to a boil.
- Move the mix to a bowl and let it cool to 110 F. This is the optimum temperature for the yeast to activate. If its too hot, the yeast will die at around 140 F.
- Once cooled, add in the yeast and mix it. Leave it to activate for 10 minutes.
- Once activated, add the sugar , salt and half of the dough and mix continuously.
- Add the rest of the flour and keep mixing. The dough will be sticky and this is normal.
- Once the dough gets too stiff and thick to mix in the bowl, take it out and put it on a lightly floured clean surface. Knead for around 2 minutes or until the dough becomes a smooth soft ball. Do not over-knead the dough.
- Grease the bowl with olive oil and add the dough back in. Coat the dough with a light touch of oil as well.
- Wrap the bowl with plastic wrap and set it in a warm place to let it rise for 1 hour or until it doubles in size. Ideally you could preheat the oven to 150 F, switch it off and put the bowl in there to rise.
- Take the dough out of the bowl and place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll it out to a 1/4 inch thick rectangle.
- Brush with melted vegan butter and top with sugar and cinnamon.
- Starting at one end, tightly roll up the dough.
- With a string of floss, cut the dough into 1.5 – 2 inch pieces and place it in a buttered baking pan.
- Brush with meltefd vegan butter and cover with plastic wrap.
- Set it on top of the oven to rise some more while pre-heating the oven to 350F.
- Bakeat 350F for 25-30 min.
- Cool for a few min. Serve warm with cream cheese frosting
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Beat softened vegan butter and cream cheese (with or without dairy) together.
- Add powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, Mix with a spatula and beat again to mix well.
- Next add pure vanilla extract and whip for few 30s. The frosting should be fairly thick but still spreadable.
Commonly Asked Questions
Can you use coconut oil instead of vegan butter?
Using coconut oil instead of vegan butter might be ok but it will change its flavor and the texture may not be as soft and fluffy as the cinnamon rolls made from vegan butter.
Can this recipe be made without yeast?
No. This recipe requires yeast to get soft, fluffy cinnamon rolls.
Are cinnamon rolls healthy?
Cinnamon rolls in general are an indulgent dessert and although these delicious cinnamon rolls are dairy-free and egg-free., they are by no means “healthy”. However this recipe has less saturated fat as it uses almond milk and vegan butter instead of regular milk and butter.
Can I make these cinnamon rolls lower in sugar?
Absolutely! You can use monk fruit sweetener instead of white sugar. It is natural zero calorie sweetener. You can check out this post to see other zero calorie sweetener options. You can also use coconut sugar to completely ensure that this is a vegan recipe if you are particular about that!
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Hi! Akshita & Midhun here! Welcome to our blog where we show simple yet awesome recipes for your cravings. Akshita being allergic to egg, we are committed to providing egg-free recipes along with some vegan friendly options. Read more about us here!
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