For some reason I was thinking about cinnamon rolls the other night, and how I haven’t made them in a while. The last time I tried making vegan cinnamon rolls was for Berney’s birthday breakfast in February. Those turned out…well…kinda okay-ish. But Berney was such a good birthday boy and ate one anyway. What a nice guy.
It’s been several months, so the shame of my not-so-successful vegan cinnamon attempt has faded, and I felt it was time to redeem myself. So BEHOLD, I give you a recipe for some pretty fantastic sweet rolls.
Now these aren’t just any ol’ vegan cinnamon rolls. These babies are so much more. They have a subtle flavor of orange (which is from zest and freshly squeezed orange juice) and a soft, pillowy texture. This recipe does take a few hours from start to finish, but most of it isn’t active time; it’s mostly just waiting for the dough to rise. Don’t be intimidated! It really is quite a simple recipe. And mercy, it is SO worth the time.
And lucky me, Berney wasn’t at my house when they came out of the oven, so I got first pick of which fluffy, frosting-covered roll I wanted. YUM.
- 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
- ½ cup warm water (bathtub temp, approx. 105-115°F)
- zest from 1 medium orange
- ½ cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 vegan egg-replacer egg (Ener-G Egg Replacer or Bob's Red Mill, made according to package)
- 2 Tbsp Earth Balance shortening or butter, softened to room temp
- 3 - 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp Earth Balance shortening or butter, melted
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 Tbsp fresh-squeezed orange juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- zest from 1 medium orange (optional)
- In a large bowl, add the warm water and sprinkle on the yeast. Set aside for 10 minutes to allow the yeast to activate.
- Add the orange zest, orange juice, sugar, salt, vegan egg, shortening/butter, and 1 ½ cups of the flour. Using a large wooden spoon, stir together until incorporated. In ½ cup increments, stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a dough easy to handle - you may not need the full 3 ½ cups. You want a dough that will spring back to the touch, and is not overly sticky.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-6 minutes. Form the dough into a ball and transfer to a bowl lightly coated with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, at least 1 ½ hours. I usually place mine in a non-heated oven.
- Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Melt the shortening/butter, and stir together the sugar and cinnamon.
- Turn out the risen dough onto a lightly floured work surface and roll into a large, evenly thick rectangle (approx. 15x9 inches). Spread with the melted shortening/butter and sprinkle generously with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Roll up the dough and cut into 10 even pieces. Place pieces in a 9-inch springform pan lined with parchment paper, leaving a little space around each. Loosely cover with foil and return to warm place for 1 hour to rise a second time.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Leave the rolls loosely covered with foil and bake for 26-28 minutes, or until lightly golden. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before glazing.
- For the glaze, stir together all glaze ingredients and drizzle over rolls before serving.