Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

I’m pretty sure your sick of seeing pictures of cinnamon rolls.

Well,  I’m pretty sick of making them.

Don’t get me wrong…I love cinnamon rolls, but I told my self after this FOURTH try that if things didn’t work out….

I wasn’t going to try any more…or at least for a while.

It’s not that I was giving up, but I didn’t feel like running to the store to buy more flour, cinnamon, and well…chocolate.

Chocolate is my version of alcohol.

And trust me, four trips to the grocery store in one week to buy more than my weight in dark chocolate only makes for weird looks and lots of judgement from the cashier lady….(screw you cashier…I’m eating my sorrows.)

But you see, I wasn’t just trying to make any regular old cinnamon rolls. I wanted them to be more natural, healthy, and wholesome. No white flours, just whole grains. No artificial or processed sugars like white and brown sugar, and no butter or vegan butter substitute,and  something a little more plant based. It wasn’t easy….

So as I gathered my ingredients once again, and said a quiet prayer in my heart…(Yes…I prayed for the cinnamon rolls AND my sanity …)

Then I began to bake.

And well…I’m glad I did, because my stomach was starting to ache from all that chocolate.

Cinnamon Rolls

adapted from :Bakingdom

*Whole grain, natural sugars, healthy fats=No big butt

* These could most likely be made Gluten Free too. For those of you who do well with baking gluten free, I would assume the switch wouldn’t be too hard! If you try it, let me know!


For the filling:

1/2 c. coconut sugar

2 tsp. cinnamon

dash of salt

1 TB. melted coconut oil

For the dough:

3 c. (whole grain) spelt flour (Plus another 1/4c-1/2 c. for kneading.)

3 TB. coconut sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 c. coconut milk(from carton) mixed with 1 tsp. vinegar-(makes ‘buttermilk’)

6 TB. melted coconut oil (will not be used all at once, so dived into three-2 TB.)

1/3 C. pure maple syrup

For the icing:

1/4 c. coconut oil

1/3 c. pure maple syrup

1/2 c. silken tofu

1/2 tsp. molasses

dash of salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg


When I first started out to make cinnamon rolls I tried a yeast version. Yeast baking is a pain in the ‘you know what.’ Along with proofing the yeast with water that is the perfect temperature, you sometimes have to wait hours to let the dough rise.

When your a mom with a two hour nap window, you don’t have 4-5 hours to cook cinnamon rolls. So when I was researching recipes, I found one on a beautiful website called Bakingdom. Not only is Darla super cute, but her pictures and food are beautiful and mouth watering. She made no yeast Maple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls that look completely to die for delicious! And the best part, was that they seemed super easy to make, and NO YEAST!

So I got to work, and switched out a few ingredients for different ones, and got to work.

I used a new ingredient that I wasn’t too familiar with, which was coconut sugar.

It’s a great alternative to regular sugar in baking. It’s low on the Glycemic Index, so it’s great for diabetics, and it’s made from the dry sap of the coconut blossom. You can buy it at any health food store. If you can’t find it, you can substitute date sugar, sucanant, or brown sugar/white sugar.

1. Pre heat oven to 425 degrees. Next, start off by making your filling for the cinnamon rolls. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir with a fork. The mixture will be crumbly like sand.

2. Next start on the cinnamon roll dough. Using a large bowl with a sifter on top, sift all your dry ingredients together. (3c.flour, baking soda, baking powder, & salt)

Sifting flour, especially whole wheat and whole grain ones adds air into the flour. This makes it lighter and not as dense, as most whole wheat/grain flours are. I also tried using whole wheat pastry flour for these rolls, but it seemed to be too much of a dense flour. Spelt flour worked out perfectly! You can buy spelt flour at any health food store.

3. Next pour your maple syrup, ‘buttermilk’ mixture, and JUST 2 TABLESPOONS of melted coconut oil. LIGHTLY stir mixture with wooden spoon until all flour is incorporated. The mixture will be very sticky!

4. Next using about of 1/4 c. of spelt four, sift it over your counter for the dough kneading.

5. Lightly knead the flour into the dough. This isn’t going to be an arm workout, like most kneading it. Spelt flour is very delicate, so you don’t want to over work it. Just lightly incorporate the flour into the dough, to form a smooth ball. (It will still be somewhat sticky.

6. Put the dough in a lightly floured bowl and cover and set in fridge for twenty minutes.

7. After 20 minutes, remove from fridge. Dust counter surface with a sifter, using about 1/4 c. of spelt flour or less, like so:

8. Next, roll out the dough to desired thickness.

9. Melt 2 TB. of coconut oil, then brush all over rolled out dough. It’s ok if you don’t use all the oil. Save it, because you can use it in the next few steps.

Then sprinkle your filling mixture on top of melted coconut oil. Add any additional toppings you prefer. I LOVE raisins in my cinnamon rolls, but I am also weird. Try coconut, nuts, chocolate chips, fruit, etc…

10. Now, carefully roll your dough up. Do this slowly, since the dough might be a little sticky underneath. The more careful you are, the better :-).

Cut roll into rolls using a knife, or my favorite way, which is using floss. Just slide some string underneath the roll, cross at the top and pull. It will cut a perfect roll for you without any mess. I cut my rolls about 1 inch thick.

11. Next, brush your pan with remaining coconut oil. Place your cinnamon rolls in greased pan fairly close together. Next, melt the remaining 2 TB. of coconut oil. You can combine your unused oil with the last two TB. Brush the tops and sides of the cinnamon rolls with the oil. Make sure to coat every roll.

12. Throw the rolls in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes. Just enough for the edges to crisp up, but the center is still soft. 🙂

13. While the rolls are cooking, make your icing. Melt your oil and maple syrup over the stove until oil is fully melted. Add the melted ingredients, plus the rest of the icing ingredients, and throw them into a blender or food processor. Blend until creamy.

14. Once rolls are done and fresh out of the oven, pour icing over the rolls.

Your goal is to coat all the cinnamon rolls to the point where everyone won’t know what’s underneath that icing….

15. This is the final and most important step.

Eat dem’ rolls.

Especially when they are hot!

I thought I was day dreaming when I took a bite. It could have been the overdose of chocolate…But I am pretty sure it was because these rolls were everything and MORE than I expected.

Sometimes we think we have to sacrifice things that taste good when it comes to making food healthier. I know I have said this time and time again, but it isn’t true. Food that is wholesome and natural is even more delicious. You can actually taste the ingredients, and they aren’t just masked in butter an sugar.

Ok…I’m now going to go eat something savory because I am in serious sweet tasting overload.

I think there is a tub of hummus calling my name! 🙂

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  1. These look perfect!!!! They are going on my list to make… Just need 1 or 2 more of the ingredients and I’m set! Ahhhhh they are mouth watering!

  2. omg I want one. NOW!


  3. These look amazing! I love that you used coconut sugar! We use coconut sugar in our cinnamon rolls too. They look so gooey and delicious, well worth 4 trips to the store, frustration, etc. 🙂

  4. If these taste anywhere near as good as they look, you knocked this one out of the park! I love your insight about being able to actually taste the food without it being masked by butter and sugar. Well, except the tofu in the icing. I don’t want to taste that. 🙂

  5. Usually, I’m really, really, REALLY skeptical about healthified versions of classic comfort food/desserty recipes, but this one TOTALLY has me thinking otherwise. Coconut sugar? Love the stuff. Molasses and cinnamon? Even better. A Bakingdom reference? You’ve won my heart. I am bookmarking this recipe to make during the holidays – YUM! 🙂

  6. This looks like a great alternative to the butter/sugar laden version I typically make for my family. Thanks for putting in all the hard work for the recipe – it’s frustrating when labor intensive baked goods don’t turn out!

  7. I’m glad you kept trying because these look scrumptious! Love all the coconut-based products in this recipe. Perfect Christmas morning treat. 🙂

  8. Yay for the accomplishment! I had no doubts about you 🙂

    They look delish. You should really check into getting your self a book deal girlie!!

  9. Oh my, those turned out amazing! I really love that you used spelt flour, it’s one of my favorites to bake with. I’m saving these to try for sure. They look so perfect and fluffy! I do love making yeasty cinnamon rolls but I love how much simpler these are(ok, no cinnamon roll is simple, but you know what I mean, right? :D) I’m very curious to give these a try 😀

  10. Yay! They worked! And if they taste like they look I bet they are AMAZING. I use coconut sugar in baking too, particularly in cookies – it bakes so well! Can’t wait to give these a try…yum!

  11. Wow. These are making me DROOL! I just pinned them! DEFINITELY making them soon.
    Four tries?? That’s some dedication. I am so not that patient. I bet they taste fantab! XO

  12. Yay for you! haha. Dangit… now I’m hungry, and it’s still at least an hour until I can get home to start on dinner.

  13. They look delicious!

  14. Wow, these look amazing!!! You did it! Happy Friday!

  15. These look so amazing, my mouth is watering! I have always wanted to attempt baking cinnamon rolls, but they seem so intimidating! But, its probably a good thing I have never attempted them because I would just end up eating them all!

  16. ya cinnamon roll party!!! congrats girl those look amazing!!! a job well done! I know you tried many times with getting the right recipe, we are the same way 🙂
    we will have to give those a try and GF version they look too perfect to not to try!

  17. Jennifer Thakkar says:

    Just wanted to say that i have never made cinamon rolls before. I thought i would use this recipe to try for my first ever experience with cinnamon rolls and they were fantastic. I didn’t follow the icing recipe for I didn’t have tofu and created my own with diffrent ingredents. Sooo GOOOOOD!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. These look amazing. Do you think regular whole grain flour will work as well?

  19. Okay lady I am totally loving these, I have a total weakness for all things coconut. I just picked up coconut sugar the other day and had no idea what to use it on. Now I know. Way to end the cinnamon roll war! You rocked it!

  20. I am particularly intrigued by the icing. Silken tofu is like my new favorite thing 🙂 I would love to make these for Christmas morning!

  21. These are in the oven now, can’t wait! The glaze is so yummy. Merry Christmas!

  22. Oh wow, those are WAY to gorgeous!!!! I love love finding recipes that use spelt flour, I am new to the delicious flour. Love the pictures of your glaze on top, YUM! Take care, Terra

  23. Ohh my WOW!!
    I have JUST finished making these and had one ((or two..)) right away!! They are SO GOOD!! This has to be the prettiest thing I have ever made!! I got pictures of every step and will upload them soon. THANK YOU FOR THIS RECIPE!! You rock!!!! I used to adore cinnamon rolls, but hadn’t had one since I’ve been cutting down on refined sugar and animal products, but now I don’t have to miss those shop-bought cinnamon rolls anymore. Thank you!!
    The only difference I made was not making an icing ((because our blender died the other day and won’t wake up :(:()), but the rolls are perfect without it, anyways :):).
    The only thing I will say is, to others who make these: PREHEAT THE DISH YOU COOK THEM IN and DON’T SQUISH THEM TOGETHER TOO MUCH. I found that 2 ((out of my 11)) were very mushy and not quite cooked on the bottom, but when I finished baking them I simply turned the pan upside-down and put them back in, after turning off the oven but when it was still cooling down. They were fine after that.

    Well done for finally perfecting the recipe – perfecting really IS the most appropriate word here – they are HEAVENLY!!
    Jade C.

  24. These were SO miraculous I had to blog about them!

    I’m amazed that you were able to “beat” the system and make a healthy version of something as indulgent as cinnamon rolls!

    Plus my Cinnabon-loving husband declared he was “impressed!” Which is high praise indeed! 🙂 Keep up the awesome, no-compromising work! It’s a huge help to the rest of us. 🙂

    • OMG!! I just read through your post and I am Blushing!! You are way too sweet, thank you so much for trying them! I posted about your blog/review on my facebook page! (I hope you don’t mind!) Thanks again Lydia! Truly awesome, and so kind of you! Glad your husband enjoyed them too!

      • Hey! I don’t mind one bit! 🙂 I just joined the FB page, in fact. I’m very appreciative of people who write and cook the days away to help other health-hungry people enjoy wholesome food. So thank you for all of your hard work! I will definitely be tuning in for more culinary wisdom! 🙂

  25. Oh wow. JUST made these! Absolutely delish! My husband who doesn’t usually do tofu couldn’t believe how sweet and tasty the icing was- without a drop of sugar! All natural perfection loved by everyone!

  26. Hi Ari 🙂 Just wanted you to know, I made these back in January and blogged about them here: in fact it was my first post 🙂 thank you for inspiring me!!


  27. These look absolutely amazing! I’m gonna have to try them! One thing I don’t like about it – tofu. I know soy products are very unhealthy, so I don’t wanna be putting it in my food if I can avoid it. Do you have any suggestions on what I could use instead of tofu? Thanks!!

  28. Does anyone know the approximate calories per roll? These look amazing!

  29. These look amazing and I would love to make them this weekend. Do you recommend anything besides the tofu? Went to three stores including Sprouts and Whole Foods and I couldn’t find. They might have just been out, but I’m impatient and I want to make these now 🙂 Thank you!

  30. They had tofu, but not silken. I cook with soft/firm tofu all the time, but I haven’t tried silken. So I’m just not sure how different silken is. Thanks for the suggestion!! I have Greek yogurt! 🙂

  31. These were SO delicious!!! Love all your recipes. I have a quick question for you. To bake (these for example) would you use refined or unrefined coconut oil? Thank you!!!

  32. Do you think I could make these ahead of time and keep them in the fridge over night, then bake in the morning? Has anyone tried?


  33. Ok, So I made these cinnamon rolls and I made them with gluten free flour. Basically did what you said with a few exceptions: I used in place of the 3 cups of spelt flour: 2 C Bobs Red Mill gluten free all purpose flour, 1/2 C coconut flour, 1/2 c almond meal flour added 1/2 tsp xanthan gum, 2 heaping teaspoons baking powder instead of the amount stated. I did add some shredded unsweetened coconut to the filling as well as raisins. I also drizzled the filling with an extra Tablespoon of coconut oil. After baking I made vegan cream cheese icing with 8 oz vegan cream cheese, 1/4 c maple syrup, 1 T coconut oil, a little cinnamon, and some coconut milk to make it a smoother and less thick icing. They turned out pretty good. Of course gluten free cinnamon rolls are still gluten free….no matter how much you do to them. They had a very good taste and I enjoyed them.

  34. I made these cinnamon rolls this morning and they were outstanding! I ended up with 10 rolls. I didn’t leave in the fridge for 20 min because my dough wasn’t sticky…and we were hungry! 🙂 Thank you for posting this. I’ll definitely be making these again.

  35. Rosario Mendez says:

    Just made these. They are amazing and so are you for being able to perfectly convert the recipe using spelt flour, coconut milk, and no yeast. I even used the dental floss method to cut the dough. It worked! I added pecans to mine and used white spelt flour. The only change I made was putting a tsp of vanilla extract and doubled the tofu in the frosting. Yummy! Last week I went to cinnabon for the first time in a decade. The cinnabun was heaven but these are just as good if not better. Not so sickly sweet. I can taste my favorite parts: the dough and the cinnamon. Next time I’ll double the batch and cut them into 1 1/2 to 2 inch rolls. Mega-cinnamon-rolls!

  36. Is there a way to print this without all the pictures? I would like to print recipe but it’s 27 pages

    • I don’t have a print button for early recipes of mine, but if you copy and paste the recipe text and post it in a word document, you could print it that way. So sorry!

  37. Hello there, I was wondering if you had the nutrition facts on this recipe? It looks delicious by the way.
    Thanks so much 🙂

  38. I made this and they were super yummy!!! I was able to make them in a little over an hour so a very fast dessert that can feed a bunch of people.

    I replaced the coconut oil with butter, the coconut milk with regular milk, the tofu with cream cheese, and the spelt with whole grain wheat flour. I am sure to make this again. Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

  39. Ari

    You are absolutely A-MAZING!!! This is one of the best step-by-step recipes ever. So clear, so easy, and the fact that YOU did all of the experimenting and just delivered to us the perfect spelt cinammon rolls, is in every way wonderful. Thank you SOOOO much. I think I can break my hubby of that ugly Cinabon habit with these. He wants health but not giving up cinammon rolls. You made this easy and delicious.

    Did I say Thank YOU!

    blessings, Marjorie

  40. I have no access to tofu on my island, what can I do to replace!?

  41. Anonymous says:

    A little sticky? Are you kidding? I’m sorry for being so rude, but this recipe is the greatest bullshit I’ve ever tried! I got up early today for mother’s day to surprise my mother with freshly baked cinnamon rolls and now I’m here with a dough that’s more like a muffin dough that I can’t remove from its bottom anymore because it’s so sticky although I added tons of extra flour and besides that I’ve exactly followed the instructions! 🙁


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