Friday, July 25, 2014

Soul Satisfying Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

Last year my family took a road trip from Colorado to San Francisco and down the coast of California. We had some awesome vegan food on that trip and one stop was so freaking delicious that we can't stop thinking about whole year later. The place was Cinnaholic, and it serves the best cinnamon rolls ever. They were the vegan version of Cinnabon, only with a crazy variety of amazing toppings.

I have since been working to perfect a vegan cinnamon roll that is a big gooey mess of goodness to fulfill our constant craving. These are it.

Soul Satisfying Cinnamon Rolls
For your planning:

This recipe involves several steps. You make the dough first and then let it rise for an hour. Next, you make the filling, roll out the dough, and cut it into the rolls. Then it rises again for another hour. Finally, you bake it and make the glaze.

Roll Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups warm water
3 tbsp sugar
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 envelope)
1 cup warm soy milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 1/2 tsp salt
4-5 cups all purpose flour

Filling Ingredients:

1/2 cup vegan margarine (room temperature)
1 cup vegan brown sugar
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp cinnamon
pinch of salt

Glaze Ingredients:

1/2 cup natural powdered sugar
1 tbsp water
1/2 tsp vanilla

This recipe is easily halved. Once you have kneaded the dough and left it to rise once, simply divide the dough and freeze half. When you are ready simply thaw the dough, roll it out, slather on the filling and let it rise one more time before you bake it. Just be sure to halve the glaze and filling as well if you choose to do this.

Roll Directions:

I modified a classic bread dough recipe for these rolls. Start out by proofing the yeast. In a large mixing bowl combine the warm water, sugar and yeast to let it do its thing for about 10 minutes. You want it to get foamy because that means the yeast is good and starting to react. Next, stir in the warm milk (just microwave it for a couple of minutes), oil and salt. Now you start working in the flour by adding one cup at a time and stirring (a large wooden spoon works well for this). After adding about 4 cups of flour the dough should start to pull away from the bowl and clump together to form one big ball.

Turn it out onto a generously floured surface and knead the dough for about 5 minutes. Keep adding more flour when the dough starts to stick or feels too moist. The resulting dough should be smooth and resilient. Put this dough into a large bowl that has been oiled so the dough doesn't stick as it rises. Cover the bowl with a towel so the dough doesn't dry out and set it in a warm spot to rise for about an hour. If you put it in the oven with just the light on, it creates a perfect warm climate for the dough to rise.

Filling Directions:

When your dough has risen, punch it back down and let it rest for a few minutes while you make the filling. If you are reserving half of the dough for another time, this is when you divide it and freeze it. While the dough is resting make the filling. I simply place all the ingredients (margarine, brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon and salt) in a bowl and microwave it for 20 seconds if the margarine is still cold. Then vigorously mix the ingredients with a fork to break up any clumps of sugar.

Next, roll out your dough on a lightly floured surface. I like to roll mine somewhat thin; around 1/8th inch thick. Then spread the filling on the dough and roll it into a log. Use a serrated steak knife to cut the dough into 8 or 16 rolls (depending on if you are making half or not). Place the rolls in a rectangular baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking oil. Cover the rolls and let them rise again for about an hour.

*You can also make 12 larger rolls...cut them thicker and set them next to each other in a 9x13 rectangular glass baking dish.

When the dough has risen again preheat your oven to 375 degrees. When ready, bake the rolls for 25 minutes, until they are just starting to lightly brown. Soon after taking them out of the oven, I like to invert them over a large serving platter so all the gooeyness is on the top and this way they won't stick to the pan.

Glaze Directions:

While the rolls are cooling make your glaze by whisking the powdered sugar and water together with the vanilla. Play with the proportions by adding more water or powdered sugar to get the consistency to your liking.

For 16 rolls. Nutritional information from

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 109 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat
% Daily Value*
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Total Carbohydrates
Dietary Fiber
Vitamin A 5%Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 3%Iron 12%
Nutrition Grade C
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

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