I make these homemade cinnamon rolls every year for the holidays. Soft, gooey, and easy to make, they're always a hit with family and friends!
When I was growing up, my family always ate cinnamon rolls for breakfast on Christmas morning. They were easy to pop in the oven as my sister and I excitedly unwrapped presents, and they were delicious – gooey, soft, and smothered in sweet cream cheese frosting.
As an adult, my Christmas morning excitement no longer comes from what presents are under the tree. I look forward to sharing a relaxing day with my family, and cinnamon rolls still seem like the perfect way to kick it off.
I make this cinnamon roll recipe every year for the holidays. It’s super easy, and the homemade cinnamon rolls are so much better than any you’d get at the store. Soft and gooey all the way through, they’re jam-packed with brown sugar and cinnamon. A big slather of vanilla glaze adds the perfect sweet finishing touch. Make them for any holiday you celebrate, for a cozy weekend brunch, or whenever you’re craving something sweet!
How to Make Cinnamon Rolls
My cinnamon roll recipe is simple – it calls for straightforward pantry ingredients, and you don’t even have to get out the stand mixer to make it! Here’s how it goes:
First, make the dough. I wanted my cinnamon roll recipe to be dairy-free, so I use coconut oil and almond milk in the dough instead of melted butter and cow’s milk. These cinnamon rolls are every bit as rich and delicious as regular ones, but they’re totally vegan!
After you’ve stirred the dough together, knead it! At this point, the dough will be sticky and springy. Knead it on a lightly floured surface until it becomes smooth. Then, form it into a ball and place it in a large bowl greased with coconut oil. Cover the bowl and set it aside for one hour, until the dough has doubled in size.
Next, it’s time to roll! Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and use a rolling pin to shape it into a large rectangle. This shape doesn’t have to be perfect, but the straighter the edges are, the more uniform your cinnamon rolls will be. Brush the rectangle with coconut oil and cover it with brown sugar and cinnamon, leaving a border around the edges.
Then, roll again! Starting at a short end of the rectangle, roll the dough tightly into a log.
When you’ve rolled up the dough, slice it into 12 even rolls. Place them in a large greased baking pan, cut-side up. Cover the rolls, and set them aside to rise for one more hour.
Finally, bake the cinnamon rolls at 350° for 25-30 minutes, until they’re lightly golden brown. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool for 10 minutes.
While they cool, make the glaze. Like the rolls, the glaze is totally dairy-free! It’s a delectable mix of almond milk, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Slather it on the rolls, serve warm, and enjoy!
Cinnamon Roll Recipe Tips
- Make sure your almond milk is at room temperature. Because I make these cinnamon rolls with melted coconut oil instead of softened butter, it’s crucial that your milk is at room temperature when you’re stirring together the wet ingredients for the dough. If it’s not, the melted coconut oil will solidify. I like to measure the almond milk and pop it in the microwave for 15 seconds before mixing it with the other ingredients.
- Let the dough rise somewhere warm. Yeast responds to warmth, so, for an extra productive rise, stick the dough somewhere warm. We like to put ours on a sunny windowsill!
- Add the glaze when the rolls are still warm, but not hot. If the rolls are too hot when you add the glaze, it will melt. If they’re too cold, it won’t spread and ooze over them. I find that letting them cool for 10 minutes brings them to the perfect temperature. They’ll still be warm when you eat them, and the frosting will soften over them without completely melting.
- Make them ahead! To make these cinnamon rolls ahead of time, follow the recipe from start to finish, stopping before you add the glaze. Allow the rolls to cool completely before freezing them for up to a month. Covered in foil, they reheat perfectly in a 350-degree oven. Add the glaze right before you eat!
More Favorite Brunch Recipes
If you love these homemade cinnamon rolls, try one (or more) of these brunch recipes next!
- Easy Shakshuka
- How to Make a Frittata
- Avocado Toast (5 ways!)
- Healthy Breakfast Casserole
- Cinnamon French Toast Bake
- Classic French Toast
- Banana Pancakes
- Stovetop or Baked Oatmeal
- Classic Mimosas
Or, check out this post for more great brunch recipes or this one for 60+ healthy breakfast ideas!
For more vegan recipes, visit this post for 85 of our favorites!
For the yeast
- ½ cup warm water, 110°
- 1 (¼-ounce) package active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon cane sugar
- ⅓ cup melted coconut oil, plus more for brushing
- ½ cup almond milk, at room temperature
- ⅓ cup cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1½ tablespoons cinnamon
- 1½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 3 to 4 tablespoons almond milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Grease an 8x11 or 9x13-inch baking dish.
- In a small bowl, stir together the water, yeast, and sugar. Set aside for 5 minutes, or until the yeast is foamy.
- Make the dough: In a medium bowl, combine the coconut oil, almond milk, sugar, and salt. Stir in the yeast mixture. Place the flour in a large bowl, then add the wet ingredients and stir until combined. The mixture will be sticky. Use your hands to roughly knead the mixture, then turn it out onto a floured surface. Knead 3 to 4 minutes until smooth, sprinkle with more flour if needed, and form into a ball.
- Brush a large bowl with coconut oil and place the dough inside. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Make the filling: In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon.
- Punch down dough and roll out on a floured surface into a 20x14-inch rectangle. Brush with 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar to within ½ inch of the edges.
- Starting at one of the short 14-inch ends, roll tightly into a log, then slice into 12 rolls. Place the rolls into the baking dish cut-side up, cover, and let rise for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Make the glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons almond milk, and vanilla until smooth. If it’s too thick, add more almond milk.
- Bake the rolls 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly golden on top. Remove and allow to cool for 10 minutes, then drizzle the glaze on top and serve.
Recipe adapted from Oh She Glows.
These cinnamon rolls were so delicious! I made them for my vegan (and non-vegan) family and they were a big success. Thank you so much for this great recipe.
I’m so glad the cinnamon rolls were a hit!
Can I proof in the fridge overnight?
Hi Kjerstine, yep! Let them sit at room temp for an hour before baking.