These vegan cinnamon rolls are super soft and fluffy. No milk, no eggs, no problem! The simple tangzhong starter gives these cinnamon 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!
Why you'll love this recipe
- These vegan cinnamon rolls are large, tender, and warm.
- They're ultra nostalgic and full of gooey cinnamon sugar filling!
- My recipe is totally eggless, perfect for those with food allergies or if you simply forgot a carton at the store.
- Last but not least, they'll fill your kitchen with a delicious, sweet smell.
I have adapted King Arthur Flour's Perfectly Pillowy Cinnamon Rolls recipe to be vegan friendly, dairy free, and egg free. What makes this recipe unique is the use of a tangzhong starter.
What is the tangzhong method?
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. The traditional Chinese bread making technique found its way to Japan where it's widely known as milk bread.
My vegan cinnamon buns are easy to make with simple pantry staples! Here's what you'll need:
- Dairy free milk: Use your favorite non dairy milk, just make sure it's unsweetened and unflavored. The best milk for dairy free cinnamon rolls is lukewarm soy milk, oat milk, or coconut milk.
- All purpose flour: We're using all purpose flour here. I have not tested this recipe using one-for-one gluten free flour.
- Sugar: You'll use granulated sugar for the rolls and brown sugar for the filling. Coconut sugar can be used as a substitute.
- Instant yeast: This is required for these soft and fluffy cinnamon rolls!
- Vegan butter: Any brand of plant based butter will work! I do not recommend using coconut oil as an alternative in this recipe.
- Ground cinnamon: Of course, this is a must for cinnamon rolls!
- Powdered sugar: Make a simple vegan icing with dairy free milk and powdered sugar.
How to make soft cinnamon rolls
Simply whisk together the dairy free 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.
Transfer to the bowl of your stand mixer, then add the remaining cinnamon roll dough ingredients. Mix on low speed until a soft, smooth, and elastic dough forms. This takes 5-10 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for about 90 minutes.
To assemble the rolls, transfer the dough to a lightly greased or floured work surface. Press into a 10"x12" rectangle that's about ½" thick. Sprinkle the filling over the dough and roll into a log.
Slice the dough using floss, a sharp knife, or kitchen scraper into 8 equal pieces and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Leave enough space between each cinnamon roll so they have room to expand. This is different than baking cinnamon rolls in a baking dish. Once again, cover and let the shaped dough rise for 60 minutes.
Bake the cinnamon rolls at 375°F for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Once cooked, remove from the oven, and place on a cooling rack for 15 minutes. Whisk the icing ingredients together, drizzle over the cinnamon rolls, serve, and enjoy immediately.
What to serve with vegan cinnamon rolls
How to store leftovers
Cinnamon rolls are best served immediately. Store leftovers covered or in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
How to reheat cinnamon rolls
If you want to reheat cinnamon rolls, warm them up in the microwave or in an oven preheated to 300°F for about 10 minutes.
Want more vegan breakfast recipes? Try these next:
- Vegan pancakes
- Vegan waffles
- Vegan french toast
- Tofu scramble tater tot casserole
- Vegan chocolate gravy with biscuits
- Air fryer crescent rolls
I hope you enjoy these vegan tangzhong cinnamon rolls as much as we do! They're comforting, decadent, and satisfying.
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 instant yeast (1 packet)
- 4 tablespoons vegan butter softened
- 1 tablespoon vegan 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.