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Pillow Soft Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls 

Sweet and pumpkin spiced vegan pumpkin cinnamon rolls with an easy dairy free cream cheese frosting is a warm and gooey treat perfect for breakfast and dessert. 

Closeup of vegan pumpkin cinnamon rolls in a ceramic baking dish covered in vegan cream cheese icing.
Closeup of 8 vegan pumpkin cinnamon rolls in a baking tray covered with vegan cream cheese icing. They are ooey and gooey and ready to eat!

A soft and sweet pumpkin dough is filled with pumpkin pie cinnamon spiced brown sugar filling to make the most unbelievable cinnamon roll ever. They are gooey, sweet, warm, soft, and just the perfect thing to wake up to on a chilly morning! 

Based on my classic vegan cinnamon rolls, they are packed with fall flavors and are so good that no one will ever guess they are vegan. 

Ingredients 

Ingredients for the pumpkin cinnamon rolls on a wood table in various glass bowls. Black and white labels have been added to name each ingredient.
Ingredients ready to make the cinnamon roll dough.
Ingredients for the filling in various bowls and plates on a wood table. Black and white labels have been added to name each ingredient.
All the ingredients ready to make the brown sugar filling.
  • Yeast: I recommend using regular active dry yeast and not rapid rise yeast. In my testing, I’ve found that active dry yeast gives me a better rise. It’s an extra step to bloom the yeast, but if I’m making cinnamon rolls from scratch, I want them to be the best they can be! 
  • Pumpkin: Make sure that you are using 100% pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie mix. 
  • Plant Based Milk: I’ve found that unflavored coconut milk and soy milk work the best, however, rice milk, oat milk, and almond milk will also do good. 
  • You’ll Also Need: White sugar, Vanilla, Canola Oil, Brown Sugar, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Vegan Cream Cheese, and Powdered Sugar 

Instructions 

See the next section on how to make these the night before and bake in the morning! For an even more in depth look at making vegan cinnamon rolls, check out my classic vegan cinnamon roll recipe.

Make sure to check out the recipe card below for the full recipe and ingredient list.

Proofing the yeast in a small glass bowl on a wood table.
Yeast after blooming for 10 minutes – look how bubbly it is!

Bloom the yeast

Warm the milk of your choice to about 100F and stir in the yeast. Cover it with a towel and let rest for about 10 minutes, or until it gets fluffy. If you don’t have a reaction, either the milk was too hot, too cold, or your yeast is dead. 

The finished dough for the cinnamon rolls in a silver mixing bowl on a wood table.
Finished dough after kneading for about 7 minutes.

Make the dough

Mixing this is so much easier in a stand mixer with a dough hook! If you have that, I really recommend that you use it. It not only mixes the dough but also kneads it for 5 minutes. If you don’t have one, you have my full permission to use the kneading of the dough as your arm workout for the day. 

Dough in a ceramic bowl on a wood table before the first rise.
Dough before a first rise.
The dough in a ceramic bowl on parchment paper after the first rise that has nearly doubled in size.
Dough after the first rise, it’s almost doubled in size!

Proof the dough

Place the smooth dough ball in a lightly oiled bowl. I find that dough rises better in a ceramic or plastic bowl instead of a metal. Cover it loosely with a kitchen towel; you don’t need to use plastic wrap or anything like that. Place the bowl in a warm spot in your house. I always make a cup of tea and place the hot kettle next to the bowl, turning the bowl every 10 minutes or so. The oven on the proof setting, in a warm window, or on top of the oven that is running all work. You could even place it outside if it is a hot day! 

Spreading the brown sugar filling on top of the dough after rolling it out.
After spreading the soft vegan butter and cinnamon sugar filling.
The rolled and sliced cinnamon rolls on parchment paper.
Slicing into 8 equally sized rolls.

Make the rolls 

Roll the dough out onto a floured surface. Don’t be afraid about using more flour; these rolls can handle a bit of extra flour. I use a bench scraper to cut my rolls, however, you can use a piece of unflavored and unwaxed dental floss if you want to make slices that aren’t pinched. 

Pumpkin cinnamon rolls in the ceramic baking dish before their second rise.
Rolls before a second rise.
The pumpkin cinnamon rolls in a ceramic baking dish after the second rise but before baking them.
Rolls after a second rise.

Second rise

Pop the pumpkin cinnamon rolls into a greased baking dish and let it rise for a second time. Same rules apply here as to the first rise. Place it in a warm spot and cover it with a towel for about 30 minutes. 

Pumpkin cinnamon rolls in the ceramic baking tray after baking.
Vegan pumpkin cinnamon rolls after baking but before covering in frosting.

Bake and enjoy! 

Finally, bake these rolls at 375F/190C for 22 minutes. Then serve with the icing and enjoy! 

Looking down at 8 vegan pumpkin cinnamon rolls in a ceramic baking dish on a wood table. Mini pumpkins and cinnamon sticks are next to the dish. A small bowl of icing is next to the dish as well.
Vegan pumpkin cinnamon rolls covered in vegan cream cheese frosting.

How to Make Ahead of Time 

You can totally make these the night before to make it quick and easy in the morning! Make the pumpkin cinnamon rolls through the second rise. Then, instead of letting the rolls rise for a second time in a warm spot, wrap them with plastic wrap and place the rolls in the pan in the fridge. Let them rest overnight. 

When you are ready to bake in the morning, preheat the oven to 375F/190C, remove the plastic wrap, and bake for 22-25 minutes. 

A single vegan pumpkin cinnamon roll on a blue plate. More cinnamon rolls are blurred in the background.
A single vegan pumpkin cinnamon roll on a plate ready to eat with more on plates in the background.

Top Tips 

  • Don’t place cinnamon in the dough. Did you know that cinnamon can inhibit yeast from making the dough rise? It’s true! That’s why the cinnamon is only in the filling and not the dough itself. 
  • It’s important that the dough rises in a warm spot. If you don’t get a good rise in an hour, your kitchen may be too cold. But don’t give up! Just let it rise for another 15 minutes before you continue with the recipe as written. 

How to Store 

Fridge: Keep the baked and iced rolls in the fridge, covered, for up to 5 days. 

Freezer: Store the baked rolls in a freezer safe container for up to 2-3 months. Thaw them overnight in the fridge and warm before serving. 

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Closeup of vegan pumpkin cinnamon rolls in a ceramic baking dish covered in vegan cream cheese icing.

Pillow Soft Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Sweet and pumpkin spiced vegan pumpkin cinnamon rolls with an easy dairy free cream cheese frosting is a warm and gooey treat perfect for breakfast and dessert. 
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Rise Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Baked Goods
Keyword: pumpkin, vegan baking
Servings: 8 cinnamon rolls
Calories: 400kcal

Equipment

  • Mixing bowls
  • Mixing spoons
  • measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Stand mixer with dough hook (optional)
  • Rolling Pin
  • Knife or bench scraper
  • baking dish

Ingredients

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll

  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • ¾ cup dairy free milk warmed to 100F
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons oil canola or other neutral oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 ½ cup all purpose flour

Filling

  • ¼ cup dairy free butter softened
  • cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin spice

Icing

  • ½ cup vegan cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Proof the yeast. Mix the warm milk with the yeast and let rest for 10 minutes to proof. Make sure that the milk is at 100F to no hotter than 110F. If the temperature isn’t right, the yeast won’t activate. Please use a thermometer to check. After 10 minutes, the yeast should look fluffy and have many bubbles.
  • Make the dough. In the stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, or in a large bowl with a sturdy spoon, add the yeast mixture as well as the sugar, pumpkin, oil, and vanilla extract. Mix on medium speed to combine. Add in the flour 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 in a lightly oiled bowl (preferably plastic or ceramic for the best rise). Let the dough rise in a warm place for an hour, or until the dough is doubled in size.
  • Make the filling. While the dough is rising, in a medium bowl, mix together the brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice together. Pull the vegan butter out of the fridge and let it soften on the countertop.
  • Shape the cinnamon rolls. On a floured surface, place the dough and begin to roll out with a floured rolling pin. Roll the dough into a roughly rectangle shape that is about 8×11 inches (about the size of a computer paper). Spread the softened vegan butter all over the dough. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar filling you made. Tightly roll the dough up on the long side (hot dog style) so that you have a roll that is 11 long. Slice the ends off of the roll, and then slice into 8 even slices.
  • Second rise. Place the 8 rolls into a greased 8×10 pan. Cover with a towel and let them rise a second time for about 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C. Make sure the oven rack is in the middle of the oven.
  • Bake the cinnamon rolls. After the second rise, place the cinnamon rolls in the oven and bake for 22-25 minutes, depending on your oven. The rolls will be lightly golden brown and reach 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 soft vegan cream cheese with powdered sugar and vanilla extract. The vanilla will turn it a light brown color. You can also add an additional ½ teaspoon of cinnamon to the icing if you want! Spread the icing on the slightly cooled cinnamon rolls and serve warm. Enjoy!

Notes

How to Store 
  • Fridge: Keep the baked and iced rolls in the fridge, covered, for up to 5 days.
     
  • Freezer: Store the baked rolls in a freezer safe container for up to 2-3 months. Thaw them overnight in the fridge and warm before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 400kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 187mg | Potassium: 114mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 966IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 3mg
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8 vegan pumpkin cinnamon rolls in a ceramic baking dish covered with icing. Mini pumpkins and cinnamon sticks are next to the dish.
Side view of the 8 pumpkin cinnamon rolls in the baking dish with dairy free cream cheese frosting.

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