Super soft and delicious vegan cinnamon rolls can be made in 1 hour! Loaded with cinnamon sugar gooey goodness and topped with heavenly cream cheese icing. You won’t believe how big and fluffy they are!
These are the BEST EVER vegan cinnamon rolls! They are so soft, fluffy and moist. No one would ever guess they’re vegan.
You can make them in about an hour from start to finish, or prep them the night before and pop them in the oven in the morning. I love overnight rolls for lazy weekend or holiday mornings.
Homemade cinnamon rolls taste 1000% better than those store bought rolls in a tube. Plus they will make your home smell incredible! In the fall, you may also enjoy these Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls. Or Strawberry Rolls in the spring!
What makes these Vegan Cinnamon Rolls so special?
- They can be ready to devour in about an hour
- Easy to follow instructions
- Big and fluffy, with only 20 minutes of dough rising!
- Super soft, with the best ooey-gooey cinnamon sugar center
- Topped with a delicious & simple cream cheese frosting OR simple glaze
Ingredients needed (with substitutions)
- Plant milk – I usually use unsweetened soy, but I’ve used oat milk, almond milk and cashew milk. They all work well. Try to use unsweetened or your rolls will be too sweet.
- Granulated sugar – To ensure vegan, buy organic sugar.
- Quick rise yeast (instant yeast) – This is why we can make cinnamon rolls in no time at all! If you only have regular active yeast, it will work, but the dough will need longer to rise.
- Vegan butter – Helps the dough be rich, moist and soft + we use it in the filling. You can use coconut oil, softened, if needed. Any brand you like is fine, I love Miyoko’s but Earth Balance or Country Crock work as well.
- All purpose flour – You can substitute a gluten free all purpose flour if needed. I like King Arthur’s Measure for Measure Flour.
- Brown sugar – For the filling.
- Cinnamon – Of course!
- Vegan cream cheese – For the simple cream cheese icing. I usually use Tofutti or Violife. If you can’t find vegan cream cheese, make the simple icing instead (recipe in card, scroll down).
- Powdered sugar – Sweetens and thickens the icing.
- Vanilla – For flavor.
If you’ve ever made cinnamon rolls before, you know it’s usually quite the long process. There is a lot of rising, usually in two steps. First, you need to let the ball of dough rise for an hour or more. Then after you roll and cut the cinnamon rolls, you have to let them rise again. That equals a very long time before you can eat a delicious cinnamon roll.
I have found a way to have way less preparation time, but still get the result of amazingly fluffy and big cinnamon rolls!
How do you make vegan cinnamon rolls?
This is an overview with photos of the process. For the complete, printable recipe, scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom.
In a large bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer), add warmed milk, sugar and quick cooking yeast. Let it sit for 5 minutes, until it gets a bit foamy. This is how you know your yeast is fresh and working.
Add the melted vegan butter, salt and flour, and mix (I used a stand mixer with dough attachment).
Add 1/3 cup more flour at a time, as needed. The dough should still be slightly sticky and soft. You don’t want it to get too dry, or your rolls will be dry.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead for 3-4 minutes, until a smooth ball of dough is formed (if using a stand mixer, simply mix with the dough hook for about 2 minutes).
Place the dough back in the bowl, cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes. It should nearly double in size. WHAT I DO: I preheat the oven to 170 degrees F, then once heated turn it off, place the bowl inside and leave the door cracked.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Next, roll the dough into a large rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Spread the softened vegan butter on top of the rolled dough, leaving an inch around the edges. Sprinkle with brown sugar, then cinnamon.
Starting with the long end closest to you, roll up into a tight log.
Cut off the ends with no filling, then slice into 12 rolls.
Place the rolls in a 9 by 13 inch casserole dish or (2) 9 inch pie pans.
Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the rolls are golden brown and the centers are cooked through. They will also rise more in the oven, and get really big and fluffy!
Frequently asked questions
- Can I make overnight cinnamon rolls? Yes. Simply follow the instructions up until the point where you have sliced them and placed them in a baking dish. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, take them out of the refrigerator and let them sit for about an hour. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and bake for 20-30 minutes until done.
- Can I freeze them? Yes, you have a few options for freezing. You can freeze them after baking and frosting, after baking before frosting, or unbaked in the pan before rising. If freezing unbaked slices in the pan, let the rolls thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then let them come to room temperature for 30-60 minutes on the counter before baking.
- What can I use instead of cream cheese frosting? I’ve also included a recipe for a simple powdered sugar icing. Or cover them in caramel and add chopped pecans!
- Should the rolls be touching in the pan? Actually, no, not much at least. Leave some space between the rolls. This will allow them to expand and get big and fluffy in the oven.
The best way to cut cinnamon rolls
I usually just use a big sharp knife to cut the rolls. Some people like to use unflavored plain dental floss! It works well and prevents smushing the soft dough.
To use floss, grab a long piece, pull it tight and get it under the roll of dough. Pull the ends tight to cut the roll.
How to store vegan cinnamon rolls
The rolls are going to be best right after baking, when fresh and warm. Leftover rolls will keep for 2-3 days, covered at room temperature.
You can also freeze leftover rolls. I like to rewarm them in the microwave before serving.
Want more special sweet breakfast recipes?
1 Hour Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
FOR THE DOUGH
FOR THE FILLING
- 6 tablespoons softened vegan butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
CREAM CHEESE ICING
- 8 ounces vegan cream cheese | I like Trader Joe's or Kite Hill
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
MAKE THE DOUGH
- Warm the soy milk in the microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Make sure it is warm, like bathwater, not too hot or it will kill the yeast.
- In a large bowl, add the warm soy milk, sugar and yeast. Let it sit for 5 minutes. The yeast should get a bit foamy on top.
- To the yeast mixture, add the melted vegan butter, salt and 4 1/2 cups of flour. Stir with a large spoon until the mixture comes together. Add additional flour, 1/3 cup at a time, as needed until the mixtures pulls away from the sides of the bowl. It should still be soft and slightly sticky.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 3-4 minutes, until you have a fairly smooth ball of dough. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover with a towel and let it rise in a warm place for 20 minutes. Here's what I do: Turn the oven to 170 degrees F. Once heated, turn it off, place the covered bowl inside the oven, and leave the oven door cracked.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
ASSEMBLE THE CINNAMON ROLLS
- Sprinkle a clean counter or pastry mat with flour. Punch the dough down, and use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick. Sprinkle more flour on top while rolling to prevent sticking.
- Spread the 6 tablespoons softened vegan butter over the rolled dough, leaving an inch around the edges. Sprinkle the brown sugar, then the cinnamon on top of the butter.
- Starting with the long end closest to you, roll the dough into a tight log. Place seam side down. Using a serrated knife, cut off the two ends. Then slice into 12 rolls. Place the rolls in a 9 by 13 inch casserole dish, or (2) 9-inch pie pans.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the rolls are lightly golden brown and the centers are cooked through.
- While the rolls are baking, make the icing. In a medium bowl, add the vegan cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla. Using a hand mixer (or stand mixer), beat until smooth and creamy.
- If you would rather have a simple icing, whisk together 1 cup powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons soy milk and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, until smooth and creamy.
- Allow the rolls to cool for 10 minutes before drizzling with the icing. Serve and enjoy!
- May substitute oat, cashew or almond milk for the soy milk if needed. Try to use a creamy milk because this makes the dough richer.
- You may substitute coconut oil for the vegan butter if needed, but I prefer the taste of the vegan butter here.
- Gluten free: Try a quality gluten free all purpose flour, such as King Arthur’s Measure for Measure.
- FOR OVERNIGHT PREP: Follow the instructions until you have cut, uncooked cinnamon rolls in the baking dish. At this point, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, remove from the refrigerator and allow to sit for an hour. Then, simply preheat the oven to 375 degrees and bake for 20-30 minutes until done.
- Leftover rolls will keep for 2-3 days covered at room temperature.
- Freezing: You can freeze the rolls before baking or after baking. If freezing unbaked slices in the pan, let the rolls thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then let them come to room temperature for 30-60 minutes on the counter before baking.
This recipe was originally published in May 2019 and has been updated with improved photos and more helpful information.