The World’s Easiest Cinnamon Rolls

Easy Cinnamon Rolls | simple | #vegan | minimalistbaker

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.

How to Proof Cinnamon Rolls

Why doesn’t anyone make cinnamon rolls? They’re complicated, difficult and time consuming. That’s why.

But these cinnamon rolls are different:

7 ingredients
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.

7 Ingredient Cinnamon Rolls!

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.

7 Ingredient Cinnamon Rolls!!7 Ingredient Cinnamon Rolls | via Minimalist Baker

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.

Vegan Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing! 7 Ingredients only | minimalistbaker.com7 Ingredient Vegan Cinnamon Rolls! via minimalistbaker.com

These rolls are:

Fluffy
Soft
Sweet
Tender
Cinnamon-y
Easy
Satisfying

In other words, perfection. Hooray for easy cinnamon rolls, finally!

EASY 7 Ingredient Cinnamon Rolls | minimalistbaker.com7 Ingredient Vegan Cinnamon Rolls | minimalistbaker.com

4.8 from 94 reviews
The World's Easiest Cinnamon Rolls
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Easy cinnamon rolls with just 7 ingredients and no complicated steps. Just proof, roll out and bake! Plus, they're vegan and SO delicious, fluffy and gooey!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 1 packet instant yeast
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup Earth balance (vegan butter), divided
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp sugar, divided
Instructions
  1. 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, or the temperature of bath water. It should be warm but not too hot or it will kill the yeast.
  2. 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.
  3. Next add in flour 1/2 cup 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).
  4. 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 - 1Tbsp cinnamon.
  5. 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 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Optional: Frost with dairy free cream cheese frosting or a simple mixture of powdered sugar and almond milk.
Notes
* TIP: Make sure to use non-dairy milk for this recipe, otherwise the protein in dairy milk may kill the yeast if not scalded.
* Nutrition does not include any frosting.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 roll Calories: 243 Fat: 9 g Saturated fat: 3 g Carbohydrates: 34 g Sugar: 5 g Sodium: 174 mg Fiber: 1.4 g Protein: 4.2 g

 

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Comments

  1. says

    This recipe calls for 1 packet of instant yeast, but I have a package of it equaling 1 pound. Can you tell me what that 1 packet would measure out to? I’m really looking forward to making this, and I’m attempting it with gluten free flour too!

    • Eleri says

      Did you end up making these with gluten free flour? I really want to try but I’m nervous about which flours/ all purpose blend to use! If you made them, may I ask how you made them gluten free, and how they turned out? Thanks!

    • Nicole says

      Just make sure you are using baking yeast, not nutritional yeast. I don’t think baking yeast comes in 1 pound packages.

  2. Hannah says

    I absolutely love cinnamon rolls! Since I’m too lazy to make them myself, I always buy store brought cinnamon rolls :) It looks like I’ll have this recipe soon, just wondering, do we really have to use almond milk? Can you just use soya milk or low fat milk? Will it make a big difference? Thanks!

  3. Natalie says

    This recipe is seriously life changing, I’m going to be making these all the time now. THANK YOU!

  4. Alison says

    I found this recipe (and blog) on Pinterest, and wahoo! These rolls were great! In case anyone finds this useful, I made these with 100% whole wheat flour (sifted to get some of the extra bran out), coconut milk, and dairy butter. Personally, I like my cinnamon rolls ooey gooey, and the whole wheat dough could have taken twice the swirl filling, but I didn’t think of it at the time. When I get more AP flour, I’ll be making these again probably 50/50 AP/WW or 75/25 AP/WW because CINNAMON ROLL DECADENCE. I’ll also try coconut oil instead of butter. Once the rolls were set up in their pan, I put them in the fridge overnight and they came out wonderfully.

  5. K. Rayne says

    These are fabulous. Though I did not use vegan products, they turned out amazing. This recipe gave me my best cinnamon rolls yet. These rolls were good fresh out of the oven as well as the next day.
    This is my go-to recipe for cinnamon rolls now.
    Many thanks!

  6. Laura says

    Hi, I want to try these out tomorrow and was wondering if I could make the dough mixture tonight to allow to rise then maybe store in the fridge after the hour until the morning then finish making them.
    Should that be fine? or should I store it a different way?
    Thank you in advance!:) can’t wait to try them! I’m super excited!! haha

    • Katie says

      Hey there, I put mine in the fridge the night before baking and let them rise about thirty minutes while the oven was preheating. They turned out beautifully! However, I was short on time and next time I would let them rise a little longer, maybe an hour.

  7. Jerri says

    You should put an asterisk up with the Almond Milk on the ingredients list. I made the mistake of using dairy milk and after reading the baking instructions I noticed your note. I could have easily scalded the milk but didn’t know I had to. My rolls ate headed for the oven although not as doubled in size as I would have liked. Thanks for the recipe.

    • Dana Shultz says

      It doesn’t work that simply with cinnamon rolls. They’re a little more tricky to make GF. I would honestly recommend checking out a GF-specialty blog for their recipe OR just giving it a shot! If you do, let me know how it goes!

    • Dana Shultz says

      You can freeze them BEFORE baking. And then thaw slightly and then bake until fluffy and golden brown.

  8. sandyVienna says

    since i am vegan, i am treating my boyfriend a lot with fresh bakery. we really love your recipes a lot, today i will make the cinnamon roles and bake them fresh for breakfast tomorrow.

    • sandyVienna says

      guess what, we got visitors late at night and so i baked the prepared rolls already midnight – everybody was amazed with them. so i made another pan of them for today’s breakfast; and yes, they are gone also already… thank you so much for the quick and easy recipe how to show off my baking skills :)

  9. Cmdr Sweetpotato says

    I had good results, and I liked the way they turned out, but I have one suggestion: although you mention that the Earth Balance is divided, and then detail it in the methods, it would be more consistent to list those measurements in the ingredient list as you do with the sugar. I am mostly to blame for this, but I did roll out of bed and start baking, adding ALL the Earth Balance into the dough at once. I read the recipe through when I found it, and again when I started baking, but my early morning addled brain could not conceive of how much fat was going in all at once. Yes, my innate inner-baker was raising an eyebrow, but the rest of my brain was too asleep to really think it through.
    Just a suggestion.

  10. Lali H says

    I love Love LOVE this recipe! Absolutely delicious!! Made them a second time this morning and added cranberries. Yummm!

  11. Ramah says

    I absolutely love cinnamon rolls but have always been intimidated by the process. I made these last night with my 8 yr olds help and they were fantastic. Thank you so much for the recipe.

  12. Sharon says

    I made these today and they are so easy to make.. if I can manage it anyone can! They are delicious and I can’t wait to try all your vegan recipes. Thank you for showing me that there are LOADS of nice things I can enjoy on a vegan diet!

  13. says

    Your recipe seems very delicious. I wonder if i can replace almond milk with soymilk.. Have you tried this combination? Also,can i use bread flour instead of all purpose flour?

    • Miranda says

      I used original coconut milk and they turned out fluffy and great. Typically, when i’m baking sweets, i only pay slight attention to the milk i add and it always turns out about the same with only a slight change in taste. Of course, if you’re baking something that won’t taste good with vanilla, you don’t want vanilla flavored milk… so within reason you can use whatever milk you have. Just pay attention to how sweet it is. :)

  14. Annie says

    What is the recipe for the frosting! I don’t know what concentrations of almond milk and sugar to use! thanks! :)

    • Dana Shultz says

      I think I used about 1.5 cups powdered sugar, 1 Tbsp melted vegan butter and a splash almond milk. Add more powdered sugar to thicken and more almond milk to thin. Hope that helps!

  15. Thea says

    Heyyyyy! I freakin LOVE this recipe!!!!! BUT, I just learned that I am gluten intolerant and I was wondering if there is any way to make it gluten free? Like substitute the flour for something else? Any recommendations?

    P.S. You guys are AWESOME!

  16. Mark says

    It used to be that scalding milk was necessary to kill bacteria that might affect the yeast activity and to alter a protein in the milk that played havoc with the gluten structure in bread. However, pasteurization has protected us from harmful bacteria and has altered the proteins, so scalding milk is no longer necessary.

  17. D says

    I really want to make these! But I was wondering if I could replace the sugar with xylitol or stevia. Or could I just omit the sugar entirely?

  18. Kelly says

    I tried these today after not having cinnamon rolls for 6 months due to my little one being dairy free….that were simply amazing and I’m loving the other recipes on your site. I am not a vegan, so for them to taste good to me…they must be amazing!!!

  19. Molly says

    If making for the next day, do I allow them to rise a little more before putting them in the fridge as you do while preheating the oven? Or should I put them in the fridge after covering with plastic wrap and then do the second slight rise the next morning? Girls weekend in a few weeks and thinking of bringing these. Thank you!

  20. Suzy says

    you’ve put down the wrong temperature for the oven. its supposed to be 350 fahrenheit not degrees. If it was degrees, it would have been a lower number. messed up my cinnamon roll, what a waste of ingredients.

    • Dana Shultz says

      Suzy! Sorry, for the confusion. I shouldn’t have assumed everyone knew it was in Fahrenheit. In addition for future reference, every recipe on our site that mentions an oven temperature will be in Fahrenheit, as we live in the U.S. Hope that helps!

    • GrammarPolice says

      Suzy, you don’t make any sense. It’s degrees whether it’s F or C… And if you’re anywhere outside the US, I doubt your oven goes to 350 degrees Celsius! (That would be 662 degrees F!!!)

  21. says

    These were good. I did make a few changes though…just to see if they would have more flavor. I added 1t. of vanilla to the dough, used Brown sugar mixed with cinnamon instead of white in the middle, and added 1t. of maple flavoring to the powdered sugar glaze for the top. Oh, I also added some chopped walnuts to the top. They were a success…my kids and husband devoured them. This was my first time making them from scratch…they were easier than baking cookies, or banana bread! Good recipe!

  22. Rachel says

    These were wonderful! My non-vegan grandma even said they tasted like the cinnamon rolls her mom used to make, which is a HUGE compliment! Thank you :)

  23. Ashley says

    Hi! Maybe I missed something, but I think it would be nice to add the hour of rising time to the total cook time you have listed. At first I thought I would have cinnamon rolls within an hour, but then saw I needed to factor in another hour of rising time. These babies seem worth the wait, though–thanks for the recipe!

  24. Bernadette says

    Dear Dana,

    I just wanted to say thank you so much for sharing. I just made two batches of these in one day and they are truly SO simple and SO delicious. I definitely foresee these cinnamon rolls bringing my family together at the kitchen table on birthdays, weekends, and holiday mornings where we will undoubtedly exchange laughter and love. I hope you know the wonderful memories you create!

    Bernadette

    • Dana Shultz says

      Ah, thanks Bernadette! Thanks SO much for sharing. So glad you and your family and friends are enjoying the rolls so much. Cheers!

  25. Max says

    Tried making them with regular sweat cream butter and whole milk. They turned out great but a little dry on the outsides. Next time I will try adding a little more milk and use about 1/4 cup less flour. And maybe just a touch more sugar and cinnamon than I had used. Amazing recipe though!

  26. BJ Swanson says

    I live in a remote part of Tanzania, Africa where ingredients for such things as cinnamon rolls can be a problem to get your hands on. I have just tried your recipe, and they turned out amazingly well! Thank you for this simple recipe…it will definitely be going in my recipe book. Absolutely delicious……a real winner!

      • Rosie says

        I also WW (pastry) flour, but unfortunately my cinnamon rolls did not turn out so well. I had dough “issues”. I’ve made cinnamon rolls many times using pre-made WW dough from Whole Foods and they have that wonderful soft doughy cinnabon-y consistency (no almond milk or butter added to the dough). These were pretty dense and dry – definitely not “fluffy”. :(

        • Dana Shultz says

          Hm, not sure what exactly went wrong in that case. Next time, if you’re up for it, try mixing all purpose, whole wheat pastry and maybe even a little spelt (which is supposedly better for you) for a better texture. Hope that helps, Rosie!

  27. Aimee says

    thanks for the recipe! I cant wait to make them tonight. Im a baker but have always been scared of these! BTW, the complaints make me laugh. Thanks for offering up a great recipe that is FREE to the public. No complaints from me!!!!

  28. Brian Dallas says

    Maybe you can clarify. In your recipe, it calls for 30 minutes of prep time, but it takes an hour for the dough to rise? Shouldn’t that be included in your time? It makes it pretty deceiving.

    • Dana Shultz says

      Brian, that’s a good point. I usually only count prep time as ‘hands on’ prep, but I’ll note that in the recipe. Thanks!

  29. Jayne says

    I tried this recipe today and they came out AWFUL. I didn’t have any Earth Balance so I used coconut oil. Maybe this was my first mistake? When I started adding the flour, it seemed like the recipe called for TOO MUCH flour. My dough was very dry and flaky. I added a little more almond milk, but it didn’t help all that much. Also, I used a gluten-free flour… perhaps my second mistake… because I can not eat all-purpose (it has malted barley in it- at least the stuff we have in the house does. And I have allergies!). I followed the directions exactly and when I pulled these babies out of the oven, they were swimming in a sea of oil… like all the moisture drained out of them and pooled at the bottom of the dish. The rolls themselves are super-dense and hard. They are dry and flavorless. Icing can’t save them. :( I may try this recipe again, but with a different type of flour… and maybe less flour. I have yet to have any success at vegan baking. Everything I’ve tried to make (bread, cupcakes, cake….) all comes out very dense, yet somehow undercooked. It doesn’t seem to matter what type of flour I use. I’m wondering if there’s something wrong with my oven, if I’m doing something fundamentally wrong, of if my expectations of delicious vegan baked goods are too high. :(

    • Dana Shultz says

      Yeah, making all those substitutions is definitely where you went wrong. Sorry, but next time try and stay closer to the recipe for a better result.

    • Lisa says

      I made these today and they were the best ever! I hate to say it but something’s you can’t make gluten free. This is one of them. I used organic milk and organic butter and let me tell you they were delicious. Sorry. Best part is the no kneading. I have more elaborate recipes calling for French method but these are too easy. Try them anyway for your family I am sure if you can’t enjoy at least you can please others.

  30. Carla says

    I’m a first-time baker who just tried these and they’re delicious. I wouldn’t describe them as fluffy though–and I didn’t use all 3 cups of flour as I found that to be too much for the suggested liquid amount (I used what I had in my fridge, 2% milk, and scalded it). The dough was very pliable but not sticky. Perhaps that’s why they weren’t fluffy? This is my first baked good ever so I’m definitely learning. Thanks very much for this simple, easy to follow recipe. I’ll continue to use the site for recipe ideas.

  31. Vanessa says

    I made these to bring in to work for morning tea, I was a bit hesitant that they wouldn’t get eaten because they all know I’m vegan and accurately assumed that the cinnamon rolls would be vegan, but I’m guessing by the almost empty container (and the people dropping by my desk to say how good they are and asking for the recipe) that they are a hit! So happy, Thank you for yet another fabulous, easy recipe.

  32. Kiki says

    Made them today and didn’t even had time to take the picture as they were eaten so quickly! Been waiting to post a question but then from one of the comments I understood that I’ve made a mistake myself! I was so preoccupied about replacing Earth Balance (we don’t have it here and I didn’t want to use a random hydrogenated margerine) that I didn’t notice that it was divided. I’ve replaced it with half a cup of coconut oil and applesauce and the dough same out so liquidy and sticky that while kneading I had to add a lot more flour. Despite that, they came out great, very breadlike, with a nice crust and soft inside. So I don’t know if the reason for stickiness was my use of applesauce or just the fact that I’ve added to much of it, but I’ll definitely make them again!

  33. ninabean says

    Well I spent the last hour trying to get the yeast to activate. 1st attemp followed directions using coconut oil.. Maybe the mixture was too hot and killed the yeast. 2nd attempt followed directions using coconut oil. Very careful that the milk wasn’t too hot. Still didn’t activate. This time I’m heating milk alone …. Will let you know.

    • ninabean says

      Well that was a fail . not sure what went wrong. I’m out of yeast now so my babies are not going to wake up to warm cinnamon rolls for breakfast.

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