I once drove 2 hours before work at 5:30 in the morning in the pitch black just to get a cinnamon roll at an Amish bakery. That’s how much I love cinnamon rolls, and apparently how unwilling I am to make them myself. Go figure.
Why doesn’t anyone make cinnamon rolls? They’re complicated, difficult and time consuming. That’s why.
But these cinnamon rolls are different:
No complex steps
No difficult methods
Practically fool proof
Just straight forward, fluffy, gooey goodness in cinnamon roll form.
Oh yeah, and they’re vegan. Holy friggin’ delicious.
I was able to keep the ingredients to a minimum by narrowing down what you really need in a cinnamon roll and forgetting the rest. And then I went a step further and tested the true need for “scalding the milk” and letting them rise a second (sometimes third) time.
Turns out? Not necessary. And they turned out JUST AS DELICIOUS as bakery fresh cinnamon rolls. This, my friends, is my new go-to cinnamon roll recipe and it just so happens to require 7 ingredients and one lazy morning’s preparation. Behold, the World’s Easiest Cinnamon Rolls.
When I pulled these beauties out of the oven I was mesmerized. I couldn’t believe how fluffy and perfect they looked despite minimal ingredients and time.
Although a glaze isn’t really necessary or within the 7 ingredient limit, it’s an easy last minute addition that will send them over the top. In other words, highly recommended for pure cinnamon roll bliss.
These rolls are:
In other words, perfection. Hooray for easy cinnamon rolls, finally!
- 1 packet instant (or rapid rise) yeast* (2 1/4 tsp)
- 1 cup (240 ml) unsweetened plain almond milk
- 1/2 cup (112 g) Earth balance (vegan butter), divided
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 cups (408 g) unbleached all purpose flour*
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp (63 g) organic cane sugar, divided*
- In a large sauce pan (or in a bowl in the microwave at 30 sec increments), heat the almond milk and 3 Tbsp Earth Balance until warm and melted, never reaching boiling. Remove from heat and let cool to 110 degrees F (43 C), or the temperature of bath water. It should be warm but not too hot or it will kill the yeast.
- Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl and sprinkle on yeast. Let activate for 10 minutes, then add 1 Tbsp sugar and the salt and stir.
- Next add in flour 1/2 cup (68 g) at a time, stirring as you go. The dough will be sticky. When it is too thick to stir, transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute or so until it forms a loose ball. Rinse your mixing bowl out, coat it with canola or grapeseed oil, and add your dough ball back in. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size (see photo).
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a thin rectangle. Brush with 3 Tbsp melted Earth Balance and top with 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 - 1 Tbsp cinnamon (to taste).
- Starting at one end, tightly roll up the dough and situate seam side down. Then with a serrated knife or a string of floss, cut the dough into 1.5 - 2 inch sections and position in a well-buttered 8x8-inch square or comparable sized round pan (you should have about 10 rolls). Brush with remaining 2 Tbsp Earth Balance (melted) and cover with plastic wrap. Set on top of the oven to let rise again while you preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C).
- Once the oven is hot, bake rolls for 25-30 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes and then serve immediately.
- Optional: Frost with dairy free cream cheese frosting or a simple mixture of 1 cup (112 g) organic powdered sugar and 1-2 Tbsp (15-30 ml) almond milk.
* I have not tried making this recipe gluten free, however, many of you have had success with a blend of spelt flour or whole wheat pastry. But for classic, fluffy cinnamon rolls, I recommend unbleached all purpose.
* I have not tested this recipe with other sweeteners, but it may work! Let me know in the comments if you have success.
* Nutrition information does not include any frosting.