Dairy Free Cinnamon Rolls

Dairy Free Cinnamon Rolls
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We live in Portland, therefore, we eat food. Kids might stop some people from going out, but not us. In a day where etiquette is in extinction and manners are few, we are packing our bags and blazing a trail. Some call us crazy and we’re definitely getting used to the stares, but we are determined to teach our children how to respect new environments and that food will always be a part of our families.

... because we have so much self control we ordered nearly one of everything.

Dairy Free Cinnamon Rolls

In our quest to find good food, we needed to take into consideration that when one kid has a severe dairy allergy it is just plain mean to put him in front of a glass window of sugary goodness only to break his heart when he can’t have any. After a little bit of research we came across a small vegan bakery, tucked away in SouthEast Portland, named Sweet Pea, where sugary goodness is abundant and dairy is absent. A dairy allergen’s (or vegan foodie lover’s) dream. And because we have so much self control we ordered nearly one of everything. At the top of our favorites list was the vegan cinnamon roll. Gooey, rich and warm. Everything you want in a breakfast desert. We didn’t even miss the butter, almost. If a trip to Portland isn’t in your near future, fear not, gooey, dairy free cinnamon rolls can be made in your oven with this recipe adapted from the Pioneer Woman.

Dairy Free Cinnamon Rolls
Dairy Free Cinnamon Rolls

Dairy Free Cinnamon Rolls

Serves 20


2 cups vanilla soy milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 package active dry yeast
4 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 heaping tsp baking powder
1/2 scant tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt


1 cup melted Earth Balance*, plus more as needed
2 tbsp ground cinnamon for sprinkling
1 cup sugar, plus more as needed

Maple Icing

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup vanilla soy milk
3 tbsp Earth Balance*, melted
2 tbsp strongly brewed coffee
dash of salt
1 1/2 tsp maple flavoring or maple extract


  1. Heat the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat; do not allow the mixture to boil. Set aside and cool. When mixture has cooled to 100-110 degrees fahrenheit sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit on the milk for 2 minutes.
  2. Add 4 cups of the flour. Stir until just combined, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and set aside in a relatively warm place for an hour.
  3. Remove the towel and add the baking powder, baking soda, salt and remaining ½ cup of flour. Stir thoroughly to combine.
    *use the dough right away, or place in a mixing bowl and refrigerate for up to 3 days, punching down the dough if it rises to the top of the bowl.
  4. Remove the dough from the pan. On a floured baking surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 30 x 10 inches.
  5. Pour ½ cup of the melted butter over the surface of the dough. Use your fingers to spread the butter evenly. Generously sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar over the butter.
  6. Beginning at the end farthest from you, roll the rectangle tightly toward you. Use both hands and work slowly, being carful to keep the roll tight. Don’t worry if the filling oozes as you work. When you reach the end, pinch the seam together. On a cutting board, using a sharp knife, make 1 ½-inch slices. 20-25 rolls.
  7. Pour a couple of tablespoons of melted butter into the desired pie pans or baking dishes and swirl to coat. Place the sliced rolls in the pans, being careful not to over crowd.
  8. Preheat oven to 375° F. Cover pans with a kitchen towel and set aside to rise on the countertop for at least 20 minutes before baking. Remove the towel and bake for 13 to 17 minutes, until golden brown. Don’t let the rolls get overly brown.
  9. In a large bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla soy milk, earth balance, coffee and salt. Splash in the maple flavoring. Whisk until very smooth.
  10. Taste and add in more maple, sugar, butter or milk as needed until the icing reaches the desired consistency. The icing should be thick but still pourable. After the rolls are finished baking, and still warm, generously drizzle icing over the top. Be sure to get it all around the edges and over the top. As they sit, the rolls will absorb so of the icing’s moisture and flavor. Wait a few minutes before serving.

    *Earth Balance is a non dairy (vegan) butter alternative

*Adapted from The Pioneer Woman