Cinnamon Rolls

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!

Cinnamon rolls

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!

Cinnamon roll recipe

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!

Mixing dough in a large bowl Dough in a large bowl

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.

How to make cinnamon rolls

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.

Homemade cinnamon roll recipe Rolling dough with cinnamon and sugar

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!

Best cinnamon roll recipe

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!

Homemade cinnamon rolls

More Favorite Brunch Recipes

If you love these homemade cinnamon rolls, try one (or more) of these brunch recipes next!

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!

Cinnamon rolls

Cinnamon Rolls

rate this recipe:
4.99 from 137 votes
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Rising time: 2 hrs
Serves 12
These soft, gooey homemade cinnamon rolls are perfect for the holidays or any weekend brunch!

Ingredients

For the yeast

  • ½ cup warm water, 110°
  • 1 (¼-ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon cane sugar

Dough

  • cup melted coconut oil, plus more for brushing
  • ½ cup almond milk, at room temperature
  • cup cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading

Filling

  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • tablespoons cinnamon

Glaze

  • cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons almond milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • 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.

150 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Pam
    10.26.2021

    Can I use oat milk instead of almond?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.26.2021

      that should be fine!

  2. DI
    10.16.2021

    I used 1c of soy milk and 3 Tbs of butter and the ratio seemed about right. Did you use all purpose flour?

  3. Kelli
    10.09.2021

    I also used almond milk. We had Silk here at my house so I used it instead of Almond Breeze. I didn’t think that it would matter as long as it was almond milk. Is there a difference in the milks?

  4. Kelli
    10.09.2021

    I have tried this recipe twice and the dough is more like a thick cake batter. I don’t know what I am doing wrong. Do you have any suggestions? I am using gluten free all purpose flour as my husband can’t have wheat, eggs, or dairy. This recipe looked great with wonderful reviews. Please help!

    • Kelli
      10.09.2021

      I also used almond milk. We had Silk here at my house so I used it instead of Almond Breeze. I didn’t think that would matter. Is there a difference in the milks?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.09.2021

      Hi Kelli, the flour is the issue, the recipe is made for regular flour and GF flour isn’t a 1:1 swap. I recommend searching specifically for a gluten free cinnamon roll recipe for best results.

  5. Bb1915
    09.20.2021

    Can you make the roll and store the dough to bake at a later time, like the next day? Or is this a recipe that requires you to bake immediately and you can only store the final baked rolls?

    • nicki
      10.26.2021

      i’m wondering the same! would like to make these christmas eve but then bake the next morning. is that possible? thank you!

    • Jen
      11.03.2021

      Absolutely! I make cinnamon rolls ahead all the time. You would prepare the dough, let it rise first time, assemble and cut the rolls, then cover and let it proof a 2nd time in the fridge overnight. Take it out the next morning and let it rise again to room temp, about 1 hr. Then pop in the oven to bake!

  6. Bri
    08.28.2021

    5 stars
    These were so much fun to make! Such a great idea for a lazy Sunday at home. So delish and a great new vegan recipe for my repertoire. Would recommend to anyone and will definitely be making these again!
    (P.S. my non-vegan boyfriend approves!)

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.28.2021

      I’m so glad you loved them!

  7. Jess
    08.12.2021

    5 stars
    This is better than the normal cinnamon rolls that I’ve made before! Decided to try this recipe out because I am out of eggs. Baked the rolls in a muffin tin, so they’re a lot easier to pack individually and share with friends. Give it a 10/10!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.13.2021

      Hi Jess, I’m so glad you loved them!

  8. Carmen
    05.11.2021

    5 stars
    Mom made it! Super bomb!

  9. Lil
    05.02.2021

    5 stars
    Delicious! My husband said they’re the best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever made and was surprised there was no butter.

  10. Shelley Lynn
    05.01.2021

    5 stars
    I added a little nutmeg to my cinnamon rolls. It adds so much flavor

  11. Sal
    04.09.2021

    4 stars
    These were yummy but they kind of reminded of just bread. It was good when I put the icing on. I made these twice, first time I made them then put the icing on as directed but they ended up just getting mushy =\ it was like we had to eat them all in one setting.. 2nd time we just put the icing on as we ate them but then that’s when it was like eating bread with icing, a bit dry. Overall good taste tho, thanks for sharing!

  12. Kelly
    04.05.2021

    5 stars
    These came out amazing!!!! I made them for my party and everyone couldn’t stop eating them. I also doubled the recipe cause I had a lot of people coming over. They even taste better than the regular ones I make. Very moist and super delicious! Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.06.2021

      yay! I’m so glad they were a big hit!

  13. Sal
    04.01.2021

    Can I sub the almond milk for soy milk?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.01.2021

      you can!

  14. Linda
    03.27.2021

    5 stars
    I just made these, and they are the bomb! Plus it was a lot of fun making them!

  15. Rachel
    03.08.2021

    5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe twice. The first time I used 1 tea vanilla in the icing and brushed margarine instead of coconut oil. It wasn’t bad for a novice baker’s first ever attempt at homemade cinnamon rolls.

    The second time I used margarine in the dough too plus about 1 tea butter flavoring and doubled the cinnamon/sugar but ended up using 3/4 of it. I also used 1 1/2 tea vanilla in the icing.

    I also learned that the type of vanilla you use makes a huge difference. The first time it was store brand imitation vanilla, the second time it was the real thing (Watson’s).

    Let me tell you, these were the best dang cinnamon rolls I’ve ever had! My sister who isn’t allergic to dairy so she can have cinnamon rolls with real butter and milk said they were perfect and I shouldn’t change a thing.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.09.2021

      Hi Rachel, I’m so glad you loved them! I agree, types of vanilla can make a big difference!

  16. Haley
    02.28.2021

    Would it work to use oat milk instead of almond milk?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.01.2021

      I think it would be fine!

  17. poppy
    02.24.2021

    5 stars
    This recipe is amazing!! I’ve made it several times now and everyone who’s tried them has fallen in love – most don’t even know they’re vegan until I tell them hehe. If you don’t have coconut oil, I’ve found that avocado oil works just fine and you can’t taste any difference. Seriously, this recipe is amazing (I even have it bookmarked on my computer lol). 5 stars!

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Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.