Amazing soft and fluffy vegan cinnamon rolls with a simple icing are so good you’ll love them! Made with pantry staples & easy to make. Full of sweet cinnamon.
These amazing vegan cinnamon rolls are hands down some of the best ones ever! Everyone LOVES these rolls. Soft, fluffy, sweet, and covered in a simple sweet icing. They are super simple to make with pantry staples – no weird ingredients for this! Follow along for the step-by-step method and overnight options as well and you’ll be the cinnamon roll hero of your house in no time.
I love cinnamon rolls and I especially love this vegan cinnamon roll recipe. They are made super soft and fluffy thanks to a secret ingredient: mashed potatoes!
This post is jam packed (cinnamon packed?) with all the tips, tricks, and troubleshooting questions you may have to make sure you make the best homemade vegan cinnamon rolls ever!
No matter if you are an experienced baker or this is your first time making cinnamon rolls, I’ve got all the tips you need for the best cinnamon rolls.
Want to try something a little more seasonal? Check out these vegan pumpkin cinnamon rolls for my favorite cinnamon rolls of all time.
Why You’ll Love these Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
- Soft, tender, fluffy rolls
- Just like the traditional cinnamon rolls in taste and texture
- Full of cinnamon and brown sugar
- Super easy to make in one day and with overnight options
- Not too many not too few, 8 nicely sized rolls and the recipe doubles easily!
- All purpose flour: Simple all purpose flour is all that you need for fluffy rolls.
- Yeast: Active dry yeast is what I have from the jar. The tiny packets also work. You can use rapid rise yeast (instant yeast) just carefully watch the dough as it will rise more quickly!
- Milk: Any type of plant based milk will work in this recipe. I typically reach for coconut milk or soy milk, but have also successfully used rice milk. Almond milk will also work. Just make sure that they are non flavored varieties.
- Oil: Any neutral flavored oil will work for this recipe.
- Mashed potatoes: This is the secret ingredient to making the softest and fluffiest rolls ever!
- White Sugar: A little touch of sweetness to help the yeast rise and for the dough itself.
- Vanilla Extract: I love adding this to these rolls.
For the filling, you need a few extra ingredients:
- Brown sugar
- Vegan butter
For these cinnamon rolls, you don’t need a lot of fancy equipment to make these rolls. However, I do recommend the following things. You can check out my shop page for more of my favorite things.
- A large mixing bowl for mixing all the ingredients together with, or a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment
- A food thermometer is essential for telling if the milk is hot enough
- Unbleached parchment paper to make rolling the dough a little easier to clean up
- Sturdy baking dish that is ceramic or glass and about 8×10 inches in size. Glass and ceramic baking dishes help to conduct the heat more slowly than metal pans which can cause the rolls to burn before they are done.
Making the Dough
Make sure to check out the recipe card below for the full recipe and ingredient list.
- First up is proofing the yeast. Warm the plant based milk to about 110F and add a pinch of sugar. Make sure you use that food thermometer for this step as it’s too hard to tell by hand. If the milk is too hot (115 or more) it won’t activate and your rolls won’t rise. Stir in the yeast and let it bloom for about 10 minutes.
- Time to mix up the dough itself. In your large bowl or in the bowl of your stand mixer, add the yeast mixture along with the wet ingredients of mashed potatoes, vanilla, oil, and sugar. Give it a good mix.
- Now add the flour and salt. Mix this on low-medium speed on your stand mixer, or using a wooden spoon, mix by hand until the dough forms a tacky dough ball.
- Transfer the dough ball into a lightly oiled bowl and set it in a warm place to rise. Cover it loosely with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. This is just to help protect the dough as it rises. You can set this in a warm spot in your kitchen (I always make a cup of tea and set it next to the warm kettle!) or in the oven with the light turned on but with the temperature off.
Tip! A dough is tacky when you can touch it and it feels a little sticky but no dough comes off onto your finger. A dough is sticky when the dough sticks to your finger.
Rolling the dough
- Let the dough rise until it is doubled in size! This takes about an hour in my house in the winter and about 45 minutes in the summer.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough with a rolling pin. For these, I try to get a large rectangle about 10×14 inches. Spread the softened vegan butter all over the surface. Top with the cinnamon filling.
- Now it’s time to roll them up! If you rolled on parchment paper, you can use the parchment paper to help you carefully roll them up. Roll the dough lengthwise and fairly tightly. Using twine, a sharp knife, or bench scraper, cut an inch off the ends and then cut into 8 equal rolls.
- Transfer the rolls to a greased baking dish and let them rise until doubled in size. This second rise tends to go more quickly, so check at about 30 minutes to see if they have doubled.
Baking the dough
- While the dough rises a second time, begin to preheat the oven. Make sure that the oven rack is in the center of the oven for best air circulation.
- Bake the cinnamon rolls for 25 minutes or until golden brown and delicious! The inside temperature will read about 190F. Let the rolls cool for about 10 minutes before covering with thick icing.
How to Make Simple Icing
In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon of light corn syrup, and 1 tablespoon of water. Mix it together and you have a thick and delicious icing for cinnamon rolls! Spread on top of warm cinnamon rolls and enjoy.
If you are avoiding corn syrup, you can omit the ingredient entirely. This just helps the icing to harden up and makes it super shiny. But, it isn’t needed.
You can also make vegan cream cheese icing like I did here for my vegan pumpkin cinnamon rolls. Both are totally delicious!
How to Make Overnight Rolls
These are so perfect for making overnight in the fridge to make weekend mornings or Christmas morning extra special, and less work is involved!
All you need to do is prepare the recipe though placing them in the greased baking dish. Then, cover them tightly with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.
The next morning, when you are ready to bake them, pull the cinnamon rolls out of the fridge and let them warm up on the kitchen countertop for about 25 minutes. I like to have the oven pre-heating while they warm up. Once the oven is preheated, bake as directed!
Cinnamon Roll Tips + Tricks
Making homemade cinnamon rolls can seem really overwhelming at first, but I pinky promise they are not as difficult. They just have a lot of steps to get all those delicious layers. Here are some extra tips so you are always successful.
- Make sure your ingredients are all roughly the same temperature. If you store your flour in the fridge, have cold mashed potatoes leftover, or otherwise have ingredients that aren’t room temperature, make sure you let them come to room temperature before making. The milk needs to be warmed so the yeast can properly bloom and you don’t want to add the warm yeast mixture to cold ingredients. That can shock and kill the yeast.
- If your dough isn’t rising, try placing it in a warmer spot in your house, or just give it extra time. You can always take a warm clean kitchen towel from the dryer and wrap it around your bowl the dough is rising in. This helps the yeast wake up.
- Cinnamon rolls different sizes? Sometimes the dough just gets wonky from the rolls being too tightly packed into a pan. Try a bigger size pan with more room for the rolls to grow.
- Use your sharpest knife when cutting the rolls. Don’t use a serrated knife! A clean edge knife and a quick slice are all you need. If they get a little squished, but form them back into a circle in the pan.
How to Store
These are best enjoyed the day they are made for the best cinnamon roll texture and flavor.
Countertop: Store any leftover cinnamon rolls on the countertop in an airtight container for 3 days.
Freezer: Store the baked rolls in a freezer safe container for up to 2 months. Thaw them in the fridge overnight and warm before icing and serving.
More Breakfast Recipes
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- Mixing bowls
- Mixing spoons
- measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Stand mixer with dough hook (optional)
- Rolling Pin
- Knife or bench scraper
- baking dish
- food thermometer
- 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
- ¾ cup dairy free milk warmed to 110F
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 3 tablespoons potato mashed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons canola oil or other neutral oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 ½ cups all purpose flour plus more for rolling out
- ¼ cup dairy free butter softened
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon light corn syrup optional
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-2 tablespoons water
- Proof the yeast. Mix the warmed dairy free milk with the yeast and a pinch of sugar. Let it rest for 10 minutes to proof. Make sure that the milk is no hotter than 115F or the yeast won’t activate. After 10 minutes, the yeast should look fluffy and have many bubbles.
- Make the dough. In a large bowl with a spoon, or in the stand mixer with the dough hook, add the yeast mixture as well as the sugar, mashed potatoes, oil, and vanilla extract. Mix on medium speed to combine. Add the flour and salt and let mix on medium-low speed for 5 minutes until a soft dough ball forms. You may need to add more flour by the spoonful if the dough is sticking to the bowl too much.
- First proof of the dough. Place the dough ball in a lightly oiled bowl (preferably ceramic or plastic for the best rise). Let the dough rise in a warm place for an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Make the filling. While the dough is rising, in a small mixing bowl, mix together the brown sugar with cinnamon. Pull the vegan butter out of the fridge and let it soften on the countertop.
- Shape the cinnamon rolls. On a lightly floured surface, place the dough and begin to roll out the dough with a floured rolling pin. Roll the dough into a roughly rectangle shape that is about 8×14 inches. Spread the softened vegan butter all over the dough and sprinkle it with the cinnamon sugar filling. Tightly roll the dough up on the long side (hot dog style!) so that you have a roll that is 14 inches long. Slice off about an inch on each end, then slice into 8 even slices.
- Second rise. Place the 8 rolls into a greased 8×10 baking dish. Cover with a towel and let the rolls rise for a second time, about 30-60 minutes depending on how warm your kitchen is.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C. Make sure that the oven rack is in the middle of the oven for the best air circulation.
- Bake the cinnamon rolls. After the second rise, place the cinnamon rolls in the oven and bake for 22 to 25 minutes. The rolls will be golden brown and have reached an internal temperature of 195-200F when fully baked. Remove from the oven and let them cool in the hot pan for 10 minutes.
- Make the icing. In a medium sized bowl, combine the powdered sugar with vanilla, light corn syrup (if using), and water. The vanilla will turn the icing a light brown color. You can also add an additional ½ teaspoon of cinnamon to the icing if you wish. Spread the icing on the slightly cooled rolls and serve warm. Enjoy!
- Countertop: Keep the rolls in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- Freezer: Store the baked rolls in a freezer safe container for up to 2 months. Thaw them overnight in the fridge and warm before serving.