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 straightforward, 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-second 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 (you may not add it all). 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 (be careful not to overmix). 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, some of you have tried using gluten-free blends with some success (scan the comments for tips). At this time I haven't tested this recipe gluten-free and can't guarantee the results if substitutions are made.
*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.