Nothing beats soft and fluffy homemade vegan cinnamon rolls. This quick and easy, cinnamon roll recipe is made with refrigerator bread dough! There's no fancy equipment, no kneading, and no mess. Just a few simple steps and you and your family will be devouring the best cinnamon rolls slathered with lemon cream cheese frosting!
Are you looking for ways to make meal time easier than ever? Having a batch of refrigerator dough ready to go in your fridge makes it super easy to whip up freshly baked cinnamon rolls, bread for sandwiches, soft dinner buns, the best burger buns, soft garlicky breadsticks, sweet buns, pizza dough, pita bread and so much more!
No more mad dashes to Cinnabons or to Trader Joe's when you're craving cinnamon rolls, now you can make a quick batch in your own kitchen! I've included easy, step-by-step instructions and all the tips to guide you along the way. Let's get baking.
Is this the easiest and best cinnamon roll recipe ever? I think so! Making cinnamon rolls from scratch usually requires a heafy time commitment and a bit of patience, but using homemade refrigerator dough takes all the work and mess away. Seriously, you just twist off a piece of dough, shape, proof, and bake! It's the best, foolproof, cinnamon roll recipe for everyone - beginners to pros!
Baking cinnamon rolls from scratch has never been simpler - you need only a few pantry ingredients. Egg allergy? No worries, these eggless cinnamon rolls are made without dairy or eggs!
- refrigerator dough - this recipe starts with my vegan refrigerator dough recipe (can be made up to two weeks in advance). For that you'll need all purpose or bread flour, yeast (fast acting or instant), maple syrup, melted butter or oil, salt and water.
- for the cinnamon roll filling you'll need ground cinnamon (or chai spice) and brown sugar.
- for the vegan cinnamon roll icing gather together non-dairy butter, vanilla or lemon extract, dairy-free milk, and powdered sugar. For the vegan cream cheese icing you'll need a block of vegan cream cheese too (I like Miyoko's).
How to make Eggless Cinnamon Rolls
Make the bread dough up to 2 weeks in advance and store in the fridge. On baking day follow these easy steps, you'll be enjoying your homemade cinnamon rolls in no time, and the house will smell amazing:
- Be sure your non-dairy butter is room temperature before starting - you don't want to tear the dough.
- Mix together the cinnamon sugar filling in a small bowl.
- Twist off a piece of refrigerator dough about the size of a melon (larger or smaller depending if you are making a big or small batch).
- Shape the dough into a ball. Place on a lightly floured surface and sprinkle the top of the dough with a dusting of flour. Roll the dough to a ¼" thick rectangle.
- Smear the dough evenly with the soften vegan butter then sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar filling.
- Starting at the long end, roll the dough into a log (jelly roll style) and pinch to seal the edge.
- With the seam side down, slice the log into even pieces. Place scroll side up in the prepared pan leaving some space between for the dough to rise.
- Cover and let the dough rise - preheat the oven to 350º F during the last 15 minutes of the proofing.
- Bake the cinnamon rolls in the center of the oven, uncovered, until golden and set.
- While the rolls are baking, make the light and easy glaze/icing or the lemon cream cheese frosting. Enjoy!
TIPS for Foolproof Cinnamon Rolls
Here's a few helpful tips for making no-knead cinnamon rolls from refrigerator dough:
- Rolling the dough - Lightly dust the rolling pin and work surface so the dough does not stick and tear. If the dough sticks, use a bench scraper to gently lift it in those spots.
- How do I proof cinnamon rolls? To proof the rolls, cover with plastic and a kitchen towel and let the rolls rise in a warm, but not hot, spot.
- Kitchen too hot?: If your kitchen is really warm, the dough can become loose and difficult to manage. Just pop the roll into the fridge to chill for 15 minutes before slicing.
- How to cut the cinnamon rolls - To get even sized rolls, first cut the log in half. Then cut each half in half (giving you 4 pieces). For 8 large rolls: cut the 4 pieces in half again. Or for 12 standard-size rolls: cut the 4 pieces into 3's. For 7 or 9 rolls: measure the whole log, divide by 7 or 9, then cut accordingly. Use your bench scraper, a sharp knife, scissors or even dental floss to cut the rolls.
- How to arrange the scrolls - Be sure there is space between each roll to expand during proofing. They will rise up and touch as they bake creating the fluffy, irresistible signature pull apart nature of cinnamon rolls.
- Which pan is best? Use a round, square or rectangle pan / baking dish. I've baked cinnamon rolls in loaf pans, springform pans, muffin tins, pie plates, baking sheets, and cast iron skillets. Choose a size that's suitable for the number of cinnamon rolls you are baking.
- Browning to quickly? - If the rolls are browning too quickly, cover with a sheet of tin foil for the last 10 minutes of baking. Baking in a cast iron will require less time to cook!
Yes, cinnamon rolls are easily made without any eggs or dairy! Just use these dairy-free substitutes: almond milk, oat milk or soy milk, vegan butter or margarine, and skip the eggs. No one will even notice, these vegan cinnamon rolls are just as delicious as traditional cinnamon rolls.
If the cinnamon rolls are placed too close together or the pan is too small, the centers of the rolls can pop up when baked. Still tastes good though and you can quickly pop them back in when you remove the pan from the oven!
Popular cinnamon roll add-ins include walnuts, pecans, raisins, chopped apple, chocolate chunks, and orange zest to name a few. Stir into the cinnamon sugar filling or sprinkle over the filling before rolling.
You might also try swapping the cinnamon for chai spice or cardamom spice (love from my Swedish roots - see photo).
How to Store and Freeze
Store at room temperature, covered, for a couple days or in the fridge for up to 5 days (if they last!). Reheat in the microwave for 20 seconds to bring the glorious gooeyness back to life. If the cinnamon buns have cream cheese icing, store them covered in the fridge not at room temperature.
To freeze baked cinnamon buns, wrap in plastic and tinfoil or in plastic wrap and a freezer proof container for up to 30 days. When ready to eat, remove from freezer and let thaw. Gently warm in the microwave, frost, and enjoy.
More Vegan Baking Recipes
I'm here to tell you that baking without eggs and dairy is NOT boring, gummy or tasteless. Check out my Vegan Baking and Dessert page for more, but in the meantime, here's some EASY, vegan baking favorites that everyone loves:
- Eggless Peanut Butter Cookies
- Vegan Banana Bread
- Vegan Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Easy Vegan Apple Galette
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Easy Eggless Cinnamon Rolls (vegan)
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- Rolling Pin
- 1 ½ pound ball of refrigerator dough, size of melon
Cinnamon Sugar Filling
- 6 tablespoons dairy-free butter, soft
- ⅔ - ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 - 1 ½ tablespoons cinnamon or chai spice
Vegan Cinnamon Roll Icing (vanilla or lemon)
- 1 tablespoon non-dairy butter, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons almond milk or oat milk
- ½ - 1 teaspoon lemon extract + zest (or vanilla extract)
Lemony Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting Option
- ⅓ cup vegan cream cheese (room temperature)
- 3 tablespoons vegan butter (room temperature)
- ¾ cup powdered icing sugar
- ½ teaspoon lemon extract (more to taste) and lemon zest
- pinch salt
Cinnamon Roll Dough
- Make a bucket of refrigerator dough up to 14 days in advance of baking. If making the dough fresh on baking day, let it rise until double (about 2 hours) at room temperature. You can use the dough right away (it's sticky though because of the high hydration) - it's much easier to handle after it spends a bit of time in the fridge (at least an hour or two).
On Baking Day
- Pinch off a chunk of refrigerator dough about the size of a melon. On a lightly floured work surface, turn out the dough and form into a quick ball. Let it rest while you prepare the pan and make the filling.
- Lightly butter bottom of pan (helps to hold parchment), add the parchment, then butter the bottom and sides of parchment. This will ensure the cinnamon rolls don't stick.
- If you don't have parchment, generously grease your pan (bottom and sides). Once baked, run a knife along the sides of the pan and turn the cinnamon rolls out onto a serving plate or cooling rack soon after baking (before the sugar hardens ~5 minutes).
Cinnamon Sugar Filling
- Stir the sugar and cinnamon together in a mixing bowl.
Rolling the Dough
- Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough (on a lightly floured surface) into a ~12 x 18 rectangle about ¼" thick. Keep the edges as straight as possible, but it does not have to be perfect.
- Lift the edges periodically to be sure the dough isn't sticking. If it is, gently lift and dust lightly with flour to prevent sticking during rolling.
- Baker's Tip: flour your rolling pin by putting flour in your cupped hand and rubbing it along the surface of the rolling pin.
Assembling the Rolls
- Spread the room temperature butter evenly over the dough leaving a small border (1") at one of the long ends for sealing.
- Sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture evenly over the butter. Gently pressing into the butter. Sprinkle with nuts or raisins if using.
- Starting at the long end, roll the dough into a tight log - tucking and evening the edges with your hands as you go. Press to seal the edge. Turn seam side down before slicing.
- Baker's Tips: If the dough is sticking as you roll the log, use a bench scraper or spatula to gently release and lift the roll it so it doesn't tear. If the cinnamon roll (log) has become warm and loose, place it in the fridge for 15-30 minutes to firm up before slicing.
- Cut the log (using knife, bench scraper or even dental floss (unflavored), into 9-12 even sized pieces.
- Transfer the cinnamon roll slices to the prepared pan scroll side up leaving some space between. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Place in a warm spot to rise for 30-45 minutes* until puffy and airy (see photo). *May take longer/shorter depending on your kitchen temperature.
Preheat the Oven
- During the last 15 minutes of proofing, preheat the oven to 350º F with the rack in the center position.
Vegan Cinnamon Roll Icing (lemon or vanilla)
- While the cinnamon rolls are proofing (or baking), make either one of the icing variations.
- For the easy icing/glaze: Cream the butter, stir in the powdered sugar. Add the non-dairy milk as needed for desired consistency. Stir in lemon (or vanilla) extract and lemon zest (optional). Store in fridge to chill.
Lemony Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting Option
- Using hand mixer, beat together the softened cream cheese (I use Miyoko's), vegan butter, powdered sugar, and lemon extract.
- Add more powdered sugar as needed for desired consistency. Store in fridge to chill.
Bake and Serve
- Place the cinnamon rolls into a preheated oven for 23-35 minutes until medium golden and the centers are set. The bake time will depend how big you cut the rolls, how hot your oven runs, and the type of pan you choose.
- Allow the rolls to cool for 10-15 minutes then frost, sprinkle with lemon zest, pass the extra frosting, and enjoy!
For 12 rolls - use 9x13 pan (or similar). To be sure your cinnamon rolls don't stick, line the pan with parchment and grease the parchment paper. If you don't have any baking paper, be sure to turn the cinnamon rolls out before the sugar hardens which happens quickly. Store cinnamon rolls at room temperature for 2 or 3 days - covered. In fridge for up to 5 days - but may benefit from a short trip to the microwave to freshen up. For best results - frost only a few cinnamon rolls at a time. Store the frosting and sweet rolls separately - frost before serving.
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