These eggless, dairy-free, vegan cinnamon rolls are the ultimate indulgence at snack time, breakfast, or brunch. With a warm and gooey cinnamon filling nestled inside a pillowy soft dough, every bite is over-the-top delicious!
Serve them plain or slather them with your favourite vegan frosting (suggestions below!). Treat yourself to mouth-watering cinnamon goodness today!
Get ready to devour the most delicious, fluffiest, best vegan cinnamon rolls you've ever had. Everyone will love them and NO ONE will know they're vegan (That's right! No eggs, no milk, and no butter)!
If the thought of making a recipe that contains yeast intimidates you, don't let it. It's very easy and to help, I've included plenty of images and lots of step-by-step guidance to help you each step of the way.
They're 100% worth the time and effort, they're so good, you may just find yourself making them quite often once everyone gets a taste of them. Serve them for a special treat, at breakfast, brunch, or during holidays like Christmas morning, Easter, etc.
Before I tell you everything you need to know, if you love homemade vegan buns, scones, and rolls, be sure to bookmark and try these other recipes:
- vegan pumpkin cinnamon rolls
- vegan apple raisin cinnamon rolls
- vegan hot cross buns
- vegan spelt rolls
- vegan scones
- vegan pumpkin scones
IMPORTANT NOTE: These rolls are not gluten-free and cannot be converted to be gluten-free. If you need cinnamon rolls that are both vegan and gluten-free, make my vegan gluten-free cinnamon rolls.
Ingredients You'll Need
You'll need two groups of ingredients to make these rolls, one for the dough, and the other for the filling. Keep reading for details on the vegan cinnamon roll ingredients and what can and can't be substituted.
Ingredient and Substitution Notes
For the Dough:
All-Purpose Flour - I have only tested this recipe with white all-purpose wheat flour, I have not tested with any others such as whole wheat or spelt. This recipe will not work with gluten-free flour and cannot be converted to be gluten-free.
Dairy-Free Milk - Any type can be used (almond milk, soy milk, oat milk, etc.), just be sure it’s unflavoured and unsweetened.
Sugar - I use organic cane sugar for the dough but white granulated sugar or coconut sugar can also be used. If you use coconut sugar, your cinnamon buns will turn out slightly darker than what you see here in the pictures. Be sure that whichever type you use is vegan since some brands use animal bone char during processing.
I don't recommend making this recipe with any liquid sweeteners like maple syrup or agave. Using a liquid sweetener will change the balance of the dry and wet ingredients and the texture of the dough will not be correct without making other modifications.
Cinnamon - You can't have cinnamon rolls without cinnamon! A little is used in the dough and then more in the filling. Don't leave this essential ingredient out.
Active Dry Yeast - The recipe calls for active dry yeast but you can use instant yeast instead by adding it directly to the dry ingredients rather than proofing it separately and then reducing the rise time by 5-10 minutes. This recipe must have yeast to work properly, don't leave it out.
Vegan Butter - Use unsalted vegan butter that comes in stick form or vegan butter or margarine that comes in a container. If you only have salted vegan butter, omit half of the salt from the recipe. Neutral-flavoured vegetable oil can also be used if you want to make it without vegan butter (just in the dough, not the filling) or you can also make it with melted coconut oil. I have not tried to make this recipe oil-free and I have not tried making it with any oil replacements.
For the Filling
Brown Sugar - I always use light brown sugar in my vegan cinnamon roll filling because I like the flavour it gives but if you don't have any, you can use coconut sugar or even white / cane sugar instead.
Cinnamon - This essential ingredient is also used in the dough, don't skip it.
Softened Vegan Butter - Melted vegan butter is used to make the dough, but for the filling, you'll need your vegan butter to be softened enough so it can be spread. Use either the vegan butter that comes in sticks or vegan butter or margarine that comes in a container. Using melted butter will cause the filling to be too wet and it will leak out during the final proof and while baking. If you don't have vegan butter, you can use softened, not melted, coconut oil instead.
To take your vegan cinnamon buns over the top, try sprinkling a half cup of any of the following on top of the filling mixture before rolling:
- chopped dried fruits
- toasted walnuts or pecans
- mini chocolate chips
How to Make Them
(Note: I’ve outlined the step-by-step on how to make this recipe here, but find the full recipe, ingredients, and directions in the recipe card at the end of this post.)
I use a stand mixer to make the dough for this recipe, but you can also knead it by hand.
The first step, one of the most important, is to proof the yeast so your cinnamon rolls will rise and be soft and fluffy.
1. Add the water, yeast and a teaspoon of sugar to the stand mixer bowl. Give it a quick stir.
2. Set aside and allow the mixture to proof until it's foamy.
NOTE: If your yeast doesn't look like picture two after 10 minutes, then either your yeast was expired or the water was not warm enough and you will need to re-do this step before proceeding. See the "Expert Tips for Success" section below for more info.
3. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and 1 cup of flour to the proofed yeast mixture. Stir until combined.
4. Add 2 more cups of flour to the bowl and using the stand mixer dough hook (or your hands), knead. Add additional flour as needed (a range is given in the recipe) until the dough is no longer sticky.
TIP: Depending on the temperature of your kitchen, your dough may take longer than an hour to double in size. The rising time provided is roughly how long it will take to double in a warm kitchen, it's okay if you have to let it rise for a little longer than the time stated.
5. Form the finished dough into a ball and place it into a large oiled bowl, cover it with a towel, and let it rest in a warm spot
6. After it has doubled in size, which will take roughly 1 hour, you can proceed to the next steps.
After the dough has doubled in size, prepare the filling mixture by adding the brown sugar and cinnamon to a small bowl and mix well. Set aside.
7. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 12" x 18" large rectangle. If the dough is stiff or resisting being rolled and shrinking back as you roll it, cover it with a dishcloth and let it rest for 10 before trying again.
8. Spread the softened vegan butter over the surface of the rolled dough. Leave about a 1-inch space at the top edge.
9. Sprinkle the filling mixture onto the dough leaving the same 1-inch space at the top edge.
10. From the bottom (the long end), firmly and slowly roll the dough away from you.
11. Pinch the entire length of the seam to seal and turn the entire roll seam side down.
12. Using a sharp knife, a serrated knife, or unflavored dental floss, slice the dough into 12 even-sized rolls, roughly (1.5 inches each).
13. Place the sliced rolls in a prepared baking dish or baking pan, cover with a kitchen towel and place the pan in a warm place to rest for 30 minutes for the second rise.
14. Once the resting time has passed place the pan into the oven and bake.
15. Remove the rolls from the oven after the baking time has ended and let them sit in the pan to cool, or after 10 minutes, you can remove them from the pan and place them on a cooling rack, if you prefer.
16. After the rolls have cooled and are no longer hot but just slightly warm, you can, and this is optional, top them with a vegan frosting of your choice so they're extra tasty.
Adding Frosting / Icing
Serve them plain or with frosting, it's up to you, no matter what you choose, they will be scrumptious!
My two favourite frostings to pair with these rolls are my vegan cream cheese frosting and vegan buttercream frosting.
If you just want to make a simple vegan vanilla icing for cinnamon rolls similar to a glaze, you can do that, too, you can find a recipe for one in the recipe notes.
TIP: Rather than adding frosting to the entire pan of rolls, you can frost them individually as you're serving them so it gives everyone the option of with or without. It's nice to have the choice!
For Overnight / Make-Ahead Rolls
For rolls that you prepare and then bake the next day, that can be done by placing the rolls in the refrigerator just before the second rise. See the recipe notes for info on how to do it.
Homemade cinnamon rolls are best enjoyed on the day they were made but you can store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days, after that, if there are still a few left, store the container in the refrigerator for another 2 days. It's best to only add icing or frosting just before serving.
Warm up your leftovers in the microwave or oven to soften them before serving, if you'd like.
Freezing Baked Rolls - When the rolls have fully cooled, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. Place the individually, unfrosted wrapped rolls in an airtight container or freezer bag. Don't freeze frosted rolls.
When you're ready to serve them, defrost them at room temperature and then warm them in the microwave or oven. After they have been warmed up, top them with vegan cream cheese icing or buttercream if you'd like. Find full details in the recipe notes.
Freezing Unbaked Rolls - After the rolls have rested for the first time, that is the point where you will freeze them. To do that, wrap and cover the pan as tightly as you can and place it in the freezer.
When you are ready, remove the pan from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator to thaw out overnight. In the morning, remove the pan from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour so the second rise can take place. Bake as directed in the recipe below.
Tips for Success
- Make sure your yeast is fresh. This is the ingredient that makes the rolls rise and get that nice soft texture that a good cinnamon roll needs.
- Make sure that your water is not too hot and not too cold. It needs to be within the correct temperature range to activate the yeast properly, which is in the 100° F - 110° F (38° C - 43° C) range. If you don't have a thermometer, it should be lukewarm (warm to the touch, but not hot).
- Use only white all-purpose wheat flour for this recipe. It's the only one that I've tested with, so for the same results, don't substitute. This recipe cannot be converted to be gluten-free.
- Measure your flour correctly. Too much flour in this recipe will result in rolls that are tough and hard, and not soft and fluffy. Measuring all ingredients correctly is essential in any baking recipe, this one is no exception, so please read my article about how to measure flour correctly).
- Don't add too much flour. This will make your roll dense and tough instead of fluffy and soft. You'll know that enough flour has been added to the dough when it's no longer sticky and it pulls away from the side of the mixing bowl. If kneading by hand, it will no longer be sticky and will remain in a ball.
- Use room temperature ingredients. Anything too cold or too hot can affect the way the yeast works.
- Don't over-knead the dough or your rolls may turn out tough.
- Make sure to roll the dough from the long side, not the short side. If you roll them from the short side, you will have fewer rolls, they will be too thick, and will not bake properly within the time specified.
- Make sure to place the rolls in a warm, draft-free place to rise. If it's not warm enough, they won't rise properly and if it's too warm they will rise too quickly and have an unpleasant yeast flavour. I like to place them in my oven with the light on. If you have a "proof" setting on your oven, this is the perfect time to use it.
- Don't add your frosting while the rolls are still very hot. If you make buttercream or vegan cream cheese frosting for your rolls, wait until they're warm or fully cooled or they will melt into the rolls and create a mess.
- If you're making these for a special occasion, give the recipe a test run before the big day.
- Read this post from top to bottom before you start. I’ve included a lot of tips and tricks so you get things right. Also, read through the actual recipe before getting started.
- Follow the recipe exactly as it's written for the very best results.
Typically, cinnamon rolls are made with eggs and dairy making them not vegan. To make sure the cinnamon rolls you are making are vegan, look for vegan cinnamon roll recipes (like this one!) and if you are looking to purchase dairy-free and egg-free cinnamon rolls, look for the package to be labelled vegan and read the ingredients very carefully to make sure they are all plant-based.
Yes, you can. After the rolls have fully cooled, wrap them individually and place them in an airtight container. Place the container in the freezer for up to two months. Place them in the refrigerator to defrost overnight and warm them in the microwave for 20-30 seconds or oven at 350°F (177°C) for 5-7 minutes.
No, it cannot, this recipe will not convert without major modifications to multiple ingredients, not just the flour. If you need wheat-free cinnamon rolls, make this recipe: vegan gluten-free cinnamon rolls.
This can happen for a few reasons. It can be caused by your yeast not being fresh or not being activated properly in liquid that was warm enough or another ingredient that was added to the yeast mixture that was too cold. It can also be caused by the dough not sitting in a warm enough spot to rest and rise. Make sure that you place the dough in an area that is warm enough, ideally 75°F - 78°F (24°C - 26°C) [source]. You can also place the bowl holding the dough in the oven with the door closed and the oven light turned on (and the oven off, of course!). Placing it by a sunny window or beside the warm stove would also work.
No, this recipe was developed with yeast as an ingredient and it cannot be left out without making major modifications to the rest of the recipe. The yeast is what makes these rolls rise and become light and fluffy.
If You Make This Recipe...
Please leave me a comment and rating below or you can also post a picture of your vegan cinnamon rolls (or vegan cinnamon scrolls as some call them!) to Instagram and tag me (you can find me here: @delightfuladventures).
If You Like This Recipe...
You may also like these other vegan cinnamon roll recipes:
Easy Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
- 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ cup warm water (100°F – 110°F (38°C – 43°C)
- ¾ cup unsweetened dairy-free milk (warmed to 100°F – 110°F (38°C – 43°C)
- ¼ cup (57g) melted vegan butter (or oil, see note below)
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup (50g) sugar
- 3 ½ - 4 cups (438g - 500g) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons (42g) softened vegan butter
- Line the bottom of a 9" x 13" rectangular baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
Proof the Yeast
- In your stand mixer bowl, add the yeast, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and warm water. Stir and set aside for 10 minutes.
Prepare the Dough
- After the yeast has proofed, add the warm milk, melted vegan butter, salt, ground cinnamon, sugar and 1 cup of flour to the bowl. Mix with a spoon to combine.
- Put the stand mixer bowl in place, add 2 more cups of flour and using the dough hook, allow the mixer to knead.
- The dough will be sticky, add the remaining flour gradually, ¼ cup at a time, as needed. Let the mixer knead the dough until enough flour has been added, about 4 minutes (the dough will no longer be sticky and will pull away clean from the sides of the mixing bowl when it's ready). Form the finished dough into a ball. (If kneading by hand, you'll know it's ready when it's no longer sticky, it's smooth, and springs back when pressed lightly.)
- Remove the dough ball from the mixer bowl and place it in a different clean, oiled bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel, and let it rest in a warm spot until it has doubled in size, roughly 1 hour. (If your oven has the proof setting, you can use it here.)
- After the hour has passed, punch the dough down and let it sit for a few minutes while you prepare the pan and filling.
Prepare the Filling
- In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and the cinnamon. Set aside.
Prepare the Rolls
- Lightly flour your work surface and roll your dough into a rectangle that is approximately 12" x 18". If the dough is stiff, resisting being rolled, and shrinking back as you roll it, cover it with a dishcloth and let it rest for 10 minutes before trying again.
- Spread the softened vegan butter over the surface of the rolled dough, leaving about a 1-inch space at the top edge.
- Sprinkle the filling mixture onto the dough leaving the same 1-inch space at the top edge.
- From the long side, firmly and slowly roll the dough away from you, ensuring it is tight as can be. Pinch the entire length of the seam to seal and turn the entire roll seam side down.
- Using a sharp knife, slice the dough into 12 even-sized rolls and place them in the prepared pan. It's OK if they're close together, but leave space around each one, don't overcrowd.
- Cover with a kitchen towel and place in a warm area to rest for 30 minutes. (If your oven has the proof setting, you can use it here.)
- Just before the resting time has passed, preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
- Once the resting time has passed and the oven is ready, place the pan into the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a cooling rack.
Add Frosting (Optional)
- When the rolls are warm and no longer hot, frost them with vegan cream cheese frosting, vegan buttercream frosting, or a simple icing glaze (recipe in the notes below), if desired. If you aren't going to serve all of them at the same time, add the frosting only to the rolls that will be served right away.
- Please read all of the information, tips, and FAQ info above and the info below before making this recipe.
- This recipe will NOT convert to gluten-free. If you would like to make vegan gluten-free rolls, make my vegan gluten-free cinnamon rolls.
- I use my stand mixer to knead the dough, if you don't have a stand mixer, knead by hand.
- Depending on the temperature of your kitchen, your dough may take longer than an hour to double in size. The rising time provided is roughly how long it will take to double in a warm kitchen, it's okay if you have to let it rise for a little longer than the time stated.
- If you would prefer to use oil rather than vegan butter for the dough, use a neutral flavoured oil (¼ cup / 60ml) instead and if you would prefer to use oil for the filling, use softened, not melted, coconut oil (2 tablespoons / 26g).
- If you don't want to make the cream cheese frosting or buttercream frosting, you can make a quick icing glaze by mixing 1 cup of icing sugar with ½ teaspoon of vanilla and non-dairy milk (add 1 tablespoon of the milk to start, mix, then continue adding very small amounts of milk at a time until it reaches the desired consistency). Add glaze just before serving.
- To Make Ahead: After you slice the rolls and place them in the pan, cover the pan with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, take the pan out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for 45 minutes, then start back up at the baking step.
- To Store Leftovers: After they have cooled, place them in an airtight container for up to four days. Warm up in the microwave for 20 seconds or in the oven at 350°F (177°C) for 5-7 minutes. Add the icing or frosting to the warm rolls just before serving.
- To Freeze: Freeze unfrosted rolls by wrapping each one individually and storing them in an airtight container for up to two months. Defrost at room temperature, warm them up and then add frosting when you’re ready to serve them.
- Nutrition info is based on 1 roll without frosting and the recipe prepared as written. Nutrition info is only to be used as a rough guide. Click to learn how nutrition info is calculated on this website.
- This post was updated in April 2023 to provide step-by-step images and more helpful info.
- Recipe adapted from the Cinnamon Rolls recipe found in Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s book, "Vegan Brunch."