I have been wanting to attempt a recipe like this for a while. Who doesn't like cinnamon rolls? The warm gooeyness that each bite gives you will make any bad day into a good one. So, can you make the all time favorite treat vegan? I am here to tell you that the answer is a definite YES.
I have to be an honest and admit I haven't made any type of cinnamon rolls before so I can't really compare the baking process of this recipe to a non-vegan version. However, by adapting a recipe from Minimalist Baker, I at least know the foundation of this recipe can be relied on, even if I did make several adjustments to the original recipe.
For the frosting, I ventured away from the typical white stuff you find on a cinnamon roll. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't dare tell you to give up your creamy frosting. However, I couldn't stop day dreaming about the Maple Syrup I made for the Saffron Rolls a few weeks ago so I decided to try it with this recipe. The verdict? It is still amazing and goes perfectly with the cinnamon rolls! Warning - this could turn into a sticky affair.
If you make these, be honest and share what you thought about vegan cinnamon rolls. For those that can't have dairy, this is a wonderful option to still have cinnamon rolls. Whether you have a dairy intolerance or not, I would love to get your opinion!
For the Cinnamon Rolls:
1 cup soy milk
5 tbsp vegan butter, divided ( I use Earth Balance)
1 packet of instant yeast or 2 1/4 tsp
3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 Tbsp of maple syrup (can replace with your favorite sweetener)
1/4 tsp of salt
2.5 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 cup almond flour*
oil for coating
1 Tbsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of nutmeg
*this is optional, if you omit the almond flour, add an extra 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
For the Vanilla Maple Syrup "frosting":
In a small saucepan, add the soy milk and 3Tbsp of butter on medium to low heat, until butter has melted. Don't let it boil!
Once butter has melted, set pan aside and let cool until temperature reaches 110 degrees F. It should be still warm, but cool enough to touch.
After it has cooled, add the mixture to a large bowl and sprinkle yeast on top. Let it activate for 10 minutes.
Next add 1/2 Tbsp of maple syrup and salt to the bowl.
Then, add the flour (and almond meal if using) 1/2 cup at a time, stirring as you go. The dough should be sticky at this point. Cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for about 1 hour, or when it has doubled in size.
After it has doubled, roll the dough out into rectangular form on a lightly floured surface. Melt 2 Tbsp of butter and brush dough with about half of the butter. Use your judgement here. You don't want the dough to be swimming in butter, just a nice coat so you may use less than 1 Tbsp!
Top it with cinnamon, nutmeg, and 2 Tbsp of sugar.
Starting at one end, tightly roll up the dough and place the seam side down. With a serrated knife ( or floss!), cut the dough into 2 inch sections. You should get about 10 rolls. Place the rolls in a butteredd oven proof pan. 8x8in would probably fit all the rolls.
Brush the rolls with the remaining melted butter and cover with plastic wrap. Place on top of oven to rise again while preheating the oven to 350 degrees F.
Once the oven is preheated, place the rolls in there for 25-30 minutes or until slightly golden brown.
Let cool for few minutes and then serve immediately.
If you want to add the maple syrup, follow the instructions below while the rolls are baking!
Crush the cardamom seeds and remove the outer pods. Lightly crush the seeds. With a knife, slit the vanilla bean lengthwise and with the tip of the knife, scrape out the seeds.
In a small pot, add the maple syrup, butter, cardamom and vanilla seeds over medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes, whisking occasionally, until butter has melted and syrup has thickened. Reduce the heat to avoid scorching it. Set aside and keep warm.
Once the buns are baked, use a pastry brush to coat them evenly with the syrup. Let them cool before serving.
These rolls are probably less sweet than what you may be used to so if you are looking for a sweeter treat, add an extra TBSP of sugar. I won't tell anyone :)