I know, it’s the time of year for healthy recipes. But I’ve been good all week – eating low in added sweeteners of any kind, exercising daily, packing in those good nutrient-dense foods – and now I feel like baking! We all deserve a little reward now and then, and for me, it’s definitely some time with my beloved oven while preparing a treat like these delightful dairy-free cinnamon rolls.
Admittedly, my go-to recipe is still these Double the Cinnamon Rolls from my kitchen, which we whip up on special occasions. They are dairy-free, and even egg-free / vegan, and can’t be beat!
But the recipe below for dairy-free cinnamon rolls offers wonderfully tender results and is a variation that I felt worth including on Go Dairy Free. The original recipe (and image) was shared with us by Red Star Yeast, and created by cookbook author Gesine Bullock-Prado – though we have slightly modified it.
To achieve bakery-quality results, Gesine says that you must use the best quality ingredients you can find. Fresh yeast, baking powder or baking soda will give a tender, airy texture to your baked goods. Dairy-free cinnamon rolls, cakes, and breads made with ingredients that are too old, will often fall flat. Great flavorings, such as pure vanilla extract, fresh eggs, and a good brand of flour are also essential.
Special Diet Notes & Options: Dairy-Free Cinnamon Rolls
This recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, peanut-free, tree nut-free, and vegetarian. I do not have a gluten-free option at this time (yeast dough can be tricky!), but the following options are completely feasible:
For Vegan / Egg-Free: I’ve included an egg-free option for this recipe, but for a naturally egg-free and vegan recipe, enjoy my time-tested and beloved Double the Cinnamon Rolls.
For Soy-Free: Remember that dairy-free margarine often contains soy, but you have a couple of options. Look for the soy-free varieties from brands such as Earth Balance, or substitute in palm shortening or coconut oil – yes, it works! If using coconut oil, you can reduce the amount in the filling by just a touch.
- 2-3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 .25-ounce package baking yeast (such as Red Star® Platinum Superior Baking Yeast - see note below)
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup dairy-free milk alternative
- 2-1/2 tablespoons dairy-free non-hydrogenated margarine
- 1 large egg (can sub ¼ cup applesauce or 1 Ener-G egg replacer equivalent for egg-free)
- 3 Tablespoons dairy-free non-hydrogenated margarine, softened to room temperature
- 1-1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup powdered (confectioners') sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons dairy-free milk alternative or coconut milk creamer
- Set aside ½ cup of flour. In a large bowl, toss 2-1/4 cups flour, the sugar, salt, and yeast together until evenly dispersed.
- Heat the water, milk alternative, and margarine together in the microwave until the mixture is very warm, but not too hot to touch, about 125-130°F.
- Stir the margarine mixture into the flour mixture. Add the egg and only enough of the reserved flour to make a soft dough. Dough will be ready when it gently pulls away from the side of the bowl and has an elastic consistency.
- On a lightly floured surface, knead dough for about 3 to 5 minutes. Place it in a lightly greased bowl and let rest for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, roll the dough out in a 14x8 inch rectangle.
- Spread the softened margarine on top. Mix together the cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle it over the margarine.
- Roll up the dough tightly and cut into 11 even pieces and place in a lightly greased 9-inch round pan or pie dish.
- Loosely cover the rolls with aluminum foil and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place for 60 and 90 minutes.
- After the rolls have doubled in size, preheat your oven to 375°F.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cover the rolls with aluminum foil after 15 minutes to avoid heavy browning, if you prefer.
- Whisk the glaze ingredients together in a medium bowl.
- Top the cinnamon rolls with glaze right before serving.