Oh, cinnamon rolls, banana bread. How have I not joined you before?
Let me set right this injustice, join your little hands, if you will, so you can forevermore be united in holy sweet baked good matrimony.
Dramatic? Over the top? I think not (Rhonda).
After having such success with my 7-Ingredient World’s Easiest Vegan Cinnamon Rolls, I knew more experimenting was to be done.
You guys have been loving on my first recipe. It’s been one of our most popular to date! And because I love banana bread so much, this recipe was bound to happen sooner or later.
The banana bread infusion happens in two ways: 1) banana purée in the dough, and 2) banana slices and walnuts in the centers. The result is an amazingly moist, banana-bread like cinnamon roll just begging to be frosted (and that, we must do).
BONUS: This recipe is seriously simple! Just 1 bowl and 9 ingredients (10, including the glaze). Plus, there’s only one true rise and no fancy methods required. Just pure, easy, simple cinnamon roll goodness that takes about 2 hours total.
This means you could wake up around 9, make these little gems, and be enjoying them by brunch. Huzzah!
Oh man, these are not to be missed! They’re:
Slightly crisp on the outside
Infused with banana bread flavor
& Surprisingly simple
Make these rolls for a special weekend breakfast or brunch, or on a Sunday to enjoy throughout the week (that’s a good week). And if you take these rolls to work, I can almost guarantee you’ll be the queen (or king) of the office. That’s right, so many friend requests, so little time.
If you do try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment or take a picture and tag it @minimalistbaker on Instagram! We absolutely love seeing what you guys cook up. Cheers and happy baking!
1-Bowl Banana Bread Cinnamon Rolls
- 1 cup unsweetened plain almond milk
- 3 Tbsp vegan butter (such as Earth Balance)
- 1 packet instant/fast-acting yeast (1 packet yields ~2 1/4 tsp)
- 1 Tbsp cane sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
- 2 ¾ – 3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (I used a ratio of 2/3 unbleached all-purpose, 1/3 whole-wheat pastry)
- 1/4 cup vegan butter
- 1/3 cup cane sugar
- 1/2 – 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- ~20 very thin banana slices (1/2 cup yields ~20 slices)
- 1/3 cup raw walnuts or pecans (optional // crushed // plus more for topping)
- 1 Tbsp vegan butter
- 1 Tbsp sugar (cane or brown)
FROSTING optional (choose one)
- Dairy-free cream cheese frosting
- Powdered sugar glaze (see notes)
- DOUGH: In a large mixing bowl, heat the almond milk and vegan butter in the microwave in 30 sec increments (or heat over medium heat in a large sauce pan), until warm and melted (never reaching boiling). Let cool to 110 degrees (43 C) – the temperature of bath water. It should be warm but not too hot or it will kill the yeast. (If you used a saucepan to heat the milk, transfer to a large mixing bowl now.)
- Sprinkle on yeast and let activate for 10 minutes. Then add sugar and salt and stir. Next, add in mashed ripe banana and stir. Add 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, adding flour as needed, until it forms a loose but still springy ball. Only use as much flour as it will take.
- Rinse out your mixing bowl, coat it with avocado or olive oil, and add your dough ball back in seam side down. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size (see photo) – mine only took 40 minutes.
- FILLING: On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a long rectangle ~1/4 inch thick (the dough should measure roughly 12 x 20 inches). Brush with melted vegan butter and top with cane sugar (I used a little brown sugar mixed in with the cane sugar) and 1/2 – 1 Tbsp cinnamon (up to preference // amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Then add banana slices so it's easy to roll, and walnuts.
- Slowly and tightly roll up the dough and situate seam side down. With a serrated knife or a string of floss, cut the dough into 1 1/2 – 2 inch sections and position in a well-buttered 8×8 square or comparable sized round pan (you should have about 10 rolls as original recipe is written).
- TOPPING: Brush with melted vegan butter and sprinkle with sugar (brown or cane) and remaining walnuts.
- Cover with plastic wrap and 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 28-35 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes, then serve warm.
- Optional: Frost with dairy-free cream cheese frosting or a simple dairy-free glaze (recipe below).
- Cinnamon rolls should keep covered at room temp for up to a few days, though best when fresh. You can freeze at the stage where the dough is cut into cinnamon rolls and placed in a pan. Cover well and freeze in a pan, then let thaw for at least 6 hours before baking. Cover and set on top of the oven while preheating to help rise. Bake as instructed.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without glaze.
*Adapted from my World’s Easiest Cinnamon Rolls.