Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

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Bread, buns, and cinnamon rolls have been the bane of my baking existence ever since I went gluten-free. The struggle I’ve had to find the perfect cinnamon roll is definitely comparable to the multiple mess-ups and failures I’ve had making a vegan cheesecake since I went dairy-free (which was shortly before I cut gluten too). I’ve never been much of a rule follower when it come to baking, and since I turned about 12 I’ve all but ditched measuring cups (sometimes I use them, it depends on my mood). Let’s just say that this bad habit of mine (that I’m working on) doesn’t go very well with the precise art of bread making.

I was working with the whole bread making process back in February, and although the bread I made tasted good, it was always flat and dense. With each bread product I made, from pizza to cinnamon rolls, I got more and more anxious about my dwindling supply of yeast that I’d brought with me from the United States. And then it ran out. Which meant I had to face my fears and go asking around here in Guanajuato until I found yeast… or face not having bread ever again. I wrote about where I found yeast in Guanajuato in this article.

I used cake yeast in this recipe instead of instant yeast, and I found that my results were instantly and dramatically improved from before when I tried to make cinnamon rolls using instant yeast. Of course, if all you have is instant yeast, give it a shot! But, if you can find cake yeast, definitely give it a try in this cinnamon roll recipe.

Cinnamon Rolls


    To proof yeast:
  • 1 TBSP Cake Yeast
  • 2 1/2 TBSP Coconut Sugar
  • A small amount of water
  • 3/4 Cup Non-Dairy Milk
  • 1 TBSP Coconut Oil
    For the dough:
  • 1 3/4 Cups Flour Mix (that includes xanthan gum)
  • 1/2 Cup Almond or Oat Flour
  • 2 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder OR 1 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda + 3/4 - 1 Tsp Vinegar
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 3/4 Tsp Sea Salt
  • 2-3 TBSP Coconut Sugar (This is optional; it makes the dough sweeter, and can be done to taste)
  • 4 TBSP Coconut Oil
    For the cinnamon filling:
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
  • 1/3-1/2 Cup Coconut Sugar
  • 1-2 TBSP Honey
  • 2-3 TBSP Ground Cinnamon


    Preparing the Yeast:
  1. Start by getting the yeast proofing. Put the yeast and sugar into a bowl and mash them together, then add about 1/2 tsp water to the mix to loosen it up until it dissolves. Then, let the yeast proof for 10-15 minutes.
  2. After the 10-15 minutes is up, add the 3/4 cup warmed non-dairy milk (about the temperature of a very warm bath) to the mix along with the 1 TBSP of coconut oil and then mix gently. The yeast is now ready.
    Making the Dough:
  1. Mix together all the dry ingredients and vinegar in a mixing bowl, then add the coconut oil. I find it's easiest to incorporate the coconut oil when it's melted, but ultimately it's up to you. If the coconut oil isn't melted, I recommend using a fork to make sure that it gets thoroughly incorporated.
  2. Add in the yeast mixture and combine well. The dough should be the consistency of cookie dough when finished; it should not be crumbly. If necessary, more non-dairy milk can be added, but I haven't needed any in any of the batches I've made.
  3. Roll out the dough on parchment paper. I've found that a long rectangle gets the best results with this dough, rather than trying to spread it out both directions. A double batch may be used to make larger cinnamon rolls.
  4. Mix together all ingredients for the cinnamon filling, then evenly spread the filling over the dough. Try to avoid getting the mixture too close to the top edge of the rectangle to avoid spillage after rolling.
  5. Carefully and slowly roll the dough from the bottom edge. I've experience some tears in the dough in places where the dough is thinner while rolling the dough, so try to not spread the dough too thin and be aware. If a tear does happen, don't stress, just try to gently push it back together (it's not a catastrophe, it sometimes adds to the cinnamony goodness!).
  6. Cut the roll into approximately 12 rolls and place in a parchment-lined 8x12 pan.
  7. Place the baking pan with the rolls in the oven at a low temperature for 20-30 minutes to let the rolls rise.
  8. Bake the rolls for 20-30 minutes; less time produces a more gooey cinnamon roll while more time produces a more crumbly cinnamon roll.
  9. Let cool and enjoy!
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