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:
4.97 from 160 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.

175 comments

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  1. Krystal
    04.21.2022

    5 stars
    I don’t usually leave comments, but these are so good, they’re addicting! I’ve come back to make more!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.22.2022

      I’m so glad you loved them!

  2. Dawn
    04.09.2022

    Are you able to substitute olive oil for coconut oil?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.11.2022

      Hi Dawn, I haven’t tried with olive oil – melted butter is a good sub though.

  3. Irene
    04.09.2022

    2 stars
    This recipe didn’t work for me. I used soy milk instead of almond milk so this could have played a role. I think though that the main reason was dissolving the active dry yeast into warm water. My yeast packet writes specifically “do not dissolve”, I ignored it and I got these little bricks instead of fluffy cinnamon rolls. Delicious but bricks. Maybe next time 🙂

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.11.2022

      Hi Irene, if they didn’t rise it sounds like it was a problem with your yeast (we’ve had dud yeast from time to time too – you never know how long it’s been sitting on a store shelf). We dissolve for 5 minutes just to make sure it’s working before proceeding, so I would recommend not skipping that step.

  4. Melanie
    03.28.2022

    5 stars
    Would these work well with almond flour or gluten-free flour?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.30.2022

      Hi Melanie, I haven’t had good luck with yeasted doughs and alternative flours.

  5. Mary
    02.02.2022

    If making these ahead, do you recommend refrigerating the rolls overnight or at room temp. before baking them?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.02.2022

      Hi Mary, refrigerate them overnight. In the morning, let them sit at room temp for 1 hour before baking.

    • Laura
      03.16.2022

      Do we bake the cinnamon rolls covered or uncovered?

      • Jeanine Donofrio
        03.17.2022

        Hi Laura, you bake it uncovered. I hope you enjoy!

  6. Bianca
    01.24.2022

    5 stars
    Tried it today and it was so good! So much love for the recipe!

    I had a few tweaks though based on what I had in my pantry:

    Instead of almond milk, I used soy.
    Instead of powdered sugar for glaze, i used plain sugar but added my freshly made basic soy cream cheese instead of milk. Turned out nice and a little tangy!
    Also, I made a milk bath (soy milk 2/3 and olive oil 1/3 ratio of a 1/4measuring cup) which i poured in right before I baked the rolls.

    Thank you so much for the recipe! My family enjoyed it. I never thought I can pull off a no dairy one.

  7. GinGer
    01.11.2022

    Can I make these Cinnamn Rolls with Oat Milk and Olive Oil, instead of Almond Milk and Coconut Oil?
    Thank you.
    GinGer

    • Danny
      01.29.2022

      I made them with Oat Milk and Coconut oil and they were very tasty.

  8. Sharlene
    01.02.2022

    This recipe was pure perfection! The cinnamon rolls tasted and looked as if they were made by a professional!

    I did not need them to be vegan, so I substituted the almond milk for milk and the coconut oil for butter. It worked just as well!

    However, while I was making the glaze, I ran out of powdered sugar. So, the consistency of the glaze was thinner. If you do end up using the full amount of powdered sugar, I recommend adding a pinch of salt. (The salt will balance out the sugar.)

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.02.2022

      I’m so glad you loved them!

  9. Sharlene
    01.02.2022

    5 stars
    This recipe was delicious! The cinnamon rolls tasted and looked as if they were made by professionals. I ran out of powdered sugar while making the glaze, so the consistency was a bit thin. If you end up using the full amount of sugar for the glaze, I would recommend adding a pinch of salt. (The salt will balance out the sugar.) Overall, these cinnamon rolls were a hit in my family!

  10. Christa
    12.21.2021

    5 stars
    These came out perfectly when I made them last night/baked them this morning. I added chopped walnuts, freshly ground cardamom, nutmeg, and orange zest to the filling and substituted coconut sugar for brown sugar. I used oat milk instead of almond milk. For the glaze I used 1 cup powdered sugar, 1/8 cup honey, a squeeze of tangerine juice, and oat milk. I then added a bit more orange/tangerine zest to the top. Perfection! I liked these better than cinnamon rolls made with butter!

    • Nicky
      12.22.2021

      Did you leave them overnight to rise in the fridge?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.22.2021

      I’m so glad you loved them!

  11. Jessica
    12.11.2021

    Would vegan butter work in place of coconut oil?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.12.2021

      Hi Jessica, I haven’t tried it myself but others have, so I think it would be fine.

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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.