Sunday Brunch: Cinnamon Rolls

I love Sundays. For us it’s a day to relax, watch football or movies, and spend the day lounging around the house. Many times pajamas are worn all day and it’s not uncommon for a shower to not occur until late in the evening. Another thing I love about Sundays is the opportunity to sleep in late and indulge in a decadent breakfast. If it’s served to me in bed, then all the better 🙂

Usually my weekend breakfast cravings come in the form of pancake, but this weekend it was all about cinnamon, sugary goodness. I knew just the thing that would make our Sunday breakfast/brunch amazing……Cinnamon Rolls with cream cheese icing.

I used a recipe I found on VeganYumYum and let me tell you, these were phenomenal. I definitely recommend you making these immediately. However, I will say that they do take some time and effort, so making them the day before you want them might be wise.

Vegan Cinnamon Rolls (adapted from VeganYumYum)
Makes 10-12 large rolls

Yeast Mixture
4 tsp Active Dry Yeast (a little less than 2 packets)
1 tsp Organic Sugar
1 Cup Warm Water (think baby bottle temp)

1 Cup Soy milk or Almond milk
2/3 Cup Organic Sugar
2/3 Cup Earth Balance Margarine
2 tsp Salt
Yeast Mixture, from above
6 Cups All Purpose Flour, more for kneading (I used half white and half whole wheat)

Dough Filling
1/2 Cup Earth Balance Margarine, melted
1 Cups Organic Sugar
3 Tbs Cinnamon
3/4 cup chopped toasted pecans

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 Cup Earth Balance
1/3 Cup Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Powdered Sugar

1. Combine yeast mixture and set aside to proof. Let set for at least 5 minutes. It should become bubbly and frothy looking.

2. From the dough ingredients, combine the soy or almond milk, sugar, earth balance, and salt in a small sauce pan. Heat until earth balance is melted and all the ingredients are well combined, but do not let the mixture get too hot. You should be able to put a finger in it without burning yourself.

3. The yeast should now be nice and foamy (proofed). Combine it with the warmed liquid you just made; make sure it’s not too hot, or you will kill your yeast.

4. Place 4 cups of the flour in a large bowl. Add the warmed wet ingredients.

5. Beat the batter well with a wooden spoon. The dough will be very wet and liquid, much more like a batter than a dough.

6. Add 2 more cups of flour and mix in partially. It’ll look like hot mess. That’s fine! Turn out the dough onto a floured surface. Begin kneading gently and continue for 8 minutes. Yes, I know, it’s a lot, but think of the workout your arms are getting! Add more flour only if the dough starts sticking to the table and there is no more dry flour to be worked into the dough. You want the dough to end up smooth and elastic, and slightly tacky, but not sticky. You should be able to knead it on a bare table without it sticking.

7. Once the dough is ready, place it in an oiled bowl, covered with oiled plastic wrap, to rise for 90 minutes in a warm spot. If you’re lacking a warm spot, place the dough in your oven with the light on. The light will emit a slight warmth and will help the dough rise. Just don’t forget it’s in there and begin preheating your oven.

8. Once the dough has risen (if you poke it and it doesn’t spring back then it’s done), turn it out onto a floured surface or a surface lined with parchment paper. Roll out the dough or spread it out by hand ( I used my hands and it worked just fine) gradually, being careful not to tear the dough. You want to form a rectangle -ish shape that is about 15 x 20 inches.

9. Pour the melted Earth Balance onto the dough and spread it out evenly (you may not need all the butter to cover the dough, save the remaining). Now mix together the cinnamon, sugar, and toasted pecans and sprinkle over top of the buttered dough (you may not end up using it all).

10. Spread any remaining melted butter into a large baking dish to lightly coat. If you didn’t have any remaining, simply melt some more. Sprinkle any remaining cinnamon sugar mixture into the bottom of the baking dish as well.

11. Now, starting from the short end of the rectangle, begin rolling the dough until it is rolled up completely. Using a piece of dental floss or sewing string, gently cut the dough into 10-12 rolls.
*To cut with string or floss: Take a piece of string that is about 1 foot long. Slide the middle of the string underneath the dough. Take the two ends and wrap them around and cross over the dough. Pull the string tight to slice through the dough. This makes a better, cleaner cut versus a knife that would stick to the dough and become messy.

12. Place the cut rolls into the baking dish and cover with plastic wrap. If you will be baking these immediately, let rise for 45 minutes. If they are for the following morning, cover and let rise in refrigerator overnight. To bake in the morning, take rolls out of fridge and let them come to room temp for 30 mins before baking.

13. After the second rise, preheat your oven to 350F. If you are letting your rolls rise in the oven make sure to not preheat the oven with them in there!

14. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the cinnamon rolls are a light golden brown.

15. Remove from oven and let cool for a about 5-10 minutes while you mix the frosting. Mix the frosting ingredients and continue mixing and whisking until there are no remaining lumps.

16. Serve the cinnamon rolls warm with the cream cheese frosting. Leftover rolls are best if microwaved for 30-45 seconds and served warm. Enjoy!

I baked half of the rolls on a baking sheet

The other half were baked in a 13 x 9 dish

Pure Decadence

Ok, so these may require a lot of steps and effort on your part, but trust me, they are completely worth all the work. These cinnamon rolls were out-of-this-world good. Sweet, fluffy dough, gooey center…..Mmm mmm mmm. Just another way to show vegan skeptics that food made without animal products can be delicious.

These were not served in bed this morning, but they did make for a great start to a Sunday 🙂


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