Dairy Free Cinnamon Rolls

Dairy Free Cinnamon Rolls
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Dairy Free Cinnamon Rolls

These Dairy Free Cinnamon Rolls are so delicious you would never know they were vegan. They are tender and gooey with a thick maple glaze that even the most ardent dairy fan will be won over by.

I can’t tell you how many times I had cinnamon rolls on the weekends during my childhood. It was something I looked forward to and I love the memories I have of my mom making them and serving them fresh from the oven. Wanting to recreate that nostalgia for my own children, I purposed early on that homemade cinnamon rolls would become a staple in our home, as well.

I thought that dream was short lived when we discovered early on that my son is highly allergic to the dairy proteins casein and whey. What does that mean? Well, for one it means that classic cinnamon rolls would be a no go. 

Fortunately, years before having children I learned to cater to friend food allergies. And so, with a little testing and a little tweaking, I was able to take my favorite cinnamon roll recipe (adapted from, The Pioneer Woman) and make it something my whole family good enjoy. 

I’m excited to share this recipe for the most delicious, rich, and flaky vegan cinnamon rolls you never knew existed. 

How do you make homemade cinnamon rolls?

If you’ve never made homemade cinnamon rolls before let me reassure you, it really isn’t all that difficult and definately something that even the most novice of bakers can accomplish. 

First you will want to make the dough and let it rise for an hour. 

  • Almond milk, oil and sugar get heated in a saucepan then cooled to 110°F. 
  • Yeast gets added for a few minutes. 
  • Then flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Next, prepare the rolls:

  • Roll out the dough.
  • Drizzle it with Earth Balance
  • Sprinkle it with cinnamon and sugar, yum!
  • Slice and nestle into a baking dish. 

While your Cinnamon Rolls bake, you’ll want to prepare the Maple Icing:

  • Powdered sugar, almond milk, Earth Balance, salt and maple flavoring! 
  • Stir until silky smooth.
  • Generously pour on top of warm rolls! 

Not too difficult, you see? 

Dairy Free Cinnamon Rolls
Dairy Free Cinnamon Rolls

Are cinnamon rolls healthy?

I think it’s safe to say that we all know the answer to that question is a big fat NO. However, these vegan cinnamon rolls use almond milk and butter substitute in place of milk and butter, so they are significantly lower in fat and, most importantly, friendly to those in your life who may have food sensitivities.

What makes this a vegan cinnamon roll recipe?

Cinnamon roll dough is already free of eggs, but most recipes do call for milk and generous amounts of butter. By swapping those out for dairy free substitutes the results are surprisingly just as delicious as your traditional cinnamon roll dough. Trust me, I love butter, but I don’t miss in one bit in these cinnamon rolls. The almond milk is indistinguishable and the butter substitute is the perfect canvas for all that cinnamon sugary goodness.

Why make homemade dairy free cinnamon rolls when you could just buy them? 

Although Annie’s and Trader Joe’s brand make great versions of store bought dairy free cinnamon rolls, I always prefer to make mine homemade. There’s just something extra special about the tender, flaky, gooeyness that comes from a homemade cinnamon roll that you don’t get with the store bought version.  

This recipe for dairy free cinnamon rolls beat every store bought cinnamon roll I’ve ever had hands down. 

What can you add to cinnamon rolls? 

The short answer? Just about anything you want. Once you’ve mastered the dough, feel free to have some fun with these cinnamon rolls. We like adding bits of crushed candied walnuts into ours, or even on occasion toasted coconut. 

Below are some additional ideas of flavor combinations that work wonderfully with this cinnamon roll recipe. 

Cardamom Rolls with Almond Glaze: Sub out butter for Earth Balance and Cow’s milk for Almond, Soy or Coconut milk.

Coffee Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Cream Cheese Icing: Sub out butter for Earth Balance, Cow’s milk for Almond, Soy or Coconut milk and cream cheese for a Dairy Free Cream Cheese

Eggnog Pull Apart Bread: Sub out butter for Earth Balance and Eggnog for Dairy Free Eggnog!


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

Dairy Free Cinnamon Rolls

How long do cinnamon rolls last? 

Honestly, I’m not really sure this is something you need to worry about. Chances are these babies will be gone long before they’ve had a chance to go bad. In fact, I think they get even better on days 2 and 3 as all those flavors soak in even more.

If you make these Dairy Free Cinnamon Rolls, we’d love to hear about it! Be sure to snap a photo, add it to your Instagram feed or stories and tag @themodernproper and #themodernproper if you do. Also, feel free to leave a comment on the post and tell your friends where you discovered the recipe! 

Dairy Free Cinnamon Rolls

Serves 20

Dough

2 cups vanilla almond or 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

Fillling

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 almond or soy milk
3 tbsp Earth Balance*, melted
2 tbsp strongly brewed coffee
dash of salt
1 1/2 tsp maple flavoring or maple extract

Method

  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