These vegan cinnamon rolls are super soft and fluffy. No milk, no eggs, no problem! The simple tangzhong starter gives these buns the perfect chewy texture we all know and love.
Cinnamon rolls are one of my favorite sweet breakfast treats! They're perfect for weekend brunch, valentine's day, easter, christmas morning, or really any holiday or celebration.
While these vegan cinnamon rolls require some patience, the recipe is easy to follow. You might even learn a new yeast bread technique!
How to Make Soft Cinnamon Rolls
I have adapted King Arthur Flour's Perfectly Pillowy Cinnamon Rolls recipe to be vegan-friendly, dairy-free, and egg-free. This recipe has been honored as their 2021 Recipe of the Year, and for good reason! What makes this recipe unique is the use of a tangzhong starter.
What's tangzhong? Popularized across Asia by Chinese cookbook author Yvonne Chen, the tangzhong method starts by cooking a small amount of the flour and liquid before adding it to the remaining ingredients.
Simply whisk together the non-dairy milk and flour in a small saucepan until there are no lumps. Warm over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until thickened. It takes just 3 minutes and completely transforms the dough!
The end result makes the dough able to retain liquid, so the cinnamon rolls will be easier to work with, plus the baked treats will be softer, more moist, fluffier, and best of all – have a longer shelf life.
Easy Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
Now that we've covered the tangzhong, let's chat about the ingredients needed for our dough, filling, and icing! Here's what you'll need:
- Dairy-free milk
- All-purpose flour
- Granulated sugar
- Instant yeast
- Plant-based butter
- Brown sugar
- Ground cinnamon
- Powdered sugar
FAQ and Substitutions
When do you ice the cinnamon rolls? Wait for rolls to cool before icing them. You should ice the cinnamon rolls just before serving.
How do you store cinnamon rolls? Store cooled and unfrosted cinnamon rolls lightly wrapped in plastic or in an airtight container at room temperature.
How do you warm up leftovers? Either warm up leftover cinnamon rolls in the microwave or at 300°F for about 10 minutes. Once warm, spread icing on top.
What kind of dairy-free milk do you use? I typically alternate between almond milk and soy milk. For the pictured cinnamon rolls, I actually used macadamia nut milk!
Can these be made gluten-free? I have not tested this recipe using one-for-one gluten-free flour. If you try it, please let me know how they turn out.
Can I use coconut oil instead of vegan butter? I have not tried this substitution yet! I would assume the cinnamon rolls would turn out beautifully and possibly even softer and squishier if you use coconut oil.
Want more vegan recipes? Check these out next:
- Tofu Scramble Tater Tot Casserole
- Baked Banana Bread Donuts
- Homemade Bagel Recipe
- Coconut Oil Vegan Brownies
- Plant-Based Breakfast Hash
- Easy Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes
- Vegan Mocha Bundt Cake
- Salted Caramel Cupcakes
- Peppermint Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
I hope you enjoy these plant-based cinnamon rolls as much as we do! They're comforting, decadent, and satisfying. If you give them a try, please share a photo with me over on Instagram.
Vegan Cinnamon Rolls (Tangzhong Method)
- ½ cup dairy-free milk
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ⅔ cup dairy-free milk
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 ¼ teaspoons (1 packet) instant yeast
- 4 tablespoons plant-based butter softened
- 1 tablespoon plant-based butter melted
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons dairy-free milk
- To make the tangzhong, combine both ingredients in a small saucepan, and whisk until there are no lumps. Place over medium heat and cook until thickened. This should only take a couple minutes until a paste-like mixture forms. Remove from heat then transfer to the bowl of your stand mixer.
- To make the dough, add all of the ingredients to the mixing bowl. Mix on low speed using the dough hook attachment until smooth and elastic. This will take about 5-10 minutes.
- Shape the dough into a ball, grease the bowl, and cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Let the dough rise until puffy, about 90 minutes.
- To make the filling, whisk all of the ingredients together in a small bowl until combined, then set aside.
- To assemble the rolls, transfer dough to a lightly greased work surface, and press into a 10” x 12” rectangle that’s about ½” thick. Sprinkle the filling over the dough and roll into a log.
- Score the dough into 8 equal pieces and cut the dough at the score marks. Place the rolls onto a prepared baking sheet, leaving at least 2” between each one and away from the edges. To prevent the rolls from coming undone, tuck the ends underneath the rolls. Cover the rolls with lightly greased plastic wrap and let rise for about 60 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and position a rack in the top third of the oven. Bake the cinnamon rolls for 15-18 minutes, until light golden brown. Once baked, remove from oven and place on a cooling rack for 15 minutes.
- To make the icing, combine powdered sugar with dairy-free milk, and whisk until smooth. Add more liquid to make it a looser consistency. Ice the cinnamon rolls and serve immediately.
Suggested equipment to make these cinnamon rolls:
PS: Happy Veganuary! Check out these tasty vegan recipes from my friends:
- Vegan BLT’s with Tempeh Bacon by The Baking Fairy
- 7 Spice Shiitake Mushroom Soup by PlantCrush
- Cranberry Coffee Cake by This Wife Cooks
- Creamy Vegan Spiced Carrot Soup by Chickpea & Herb
- Easy Vegan Mac & Cheese with Broccoli by Simple And Savory
- Favorite Pumpkin Quinoa Waffles with Pecans by Melissa Traub
- Instant Pot Dal Soup by Palatable Pastime
- Hara Bhara Kebab by Food Trails
- Raspberry Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal Muffins by Return to the Kitchen
- Roasted Banana Almond Butter Breakfast Cookies by Shockingly Delicious
- Sweet Potato Patties by Flavours Treat
- Tofu Benedict with Vegan Hollandaise by Upbeet Kitchen
- Vegan Chickpea Shawarma in the Air Fryer by Kate’s Recipe Box
- Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches by My Kitchen Stories
- Vegan Lemon Poppyseed Muffins by Messy Vegan Baker
- White Bean Dip with Homemade Pita Chips by Blogghetti
- Breakfast Cookies by Cook with 5 Kids