For Christmas 2002, the artist Susan Tabor (otherwise known as Rob's mom) gave her family a collection of recipes she had compiled through the years. It is from this cookbook that I first adapted the vegan version of Cinnamon Rolls back in February 2006 while Susan was visiting. The resulting rolls were Susan-approved, meaning she ate them approvingly.
This recipe combines her “Sweet Roll Dough” and “Cinnamon Rolls” recipes, as well as a glaze based on several online versions. The changes I made include addition of walnuts, use of brown rather than white sugar for the filling, removal of eggs, and substitution of soy milk instead of cow's.
History of Cinnamon and Rolls: A love story
Cinnamon is native to Sri Lanka, and was referenced in Chinese writings as early as 2800 BC. The spice was used in ancient Egypt as an embalming agent, and, later, relatedly, to keep rotten meat from smelling.
Cinnamon became more glamorous years following, finding a less socially awkward role by combining forces with sweet bread (like chocolate and peanut butter). By the 18th century the Cinnamon Roll was in use, but it was not until 1910, the year my maternal grandfather was born (Papa), the first known recipe for Cinnamon Rolls was published.
Sweden even designated a day for this roll, "Kanelbullens dag" (Cinnamon roll day). After tasting them (plural) fresh from the oven, I can get behind this holiday. So don't expect me to work on October 4th, unless the work is making fresh kanelbullens.
Yield and Preparation Tips
These rolls take longer to get outta bed and dressed in the morning than I do -- there is a lot of risin' and waitin' -- but they are worth it. However, if you have guests and want to present them with some hot rolls for breakfast before they pass out from hunger, you can always prepare unbaked rolls the night before.
This recipe makes about 9-10 rolls.
- 1 package active dry yeast dissolved in ½ cup warm water (to activate)
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1 t baking powder + ½ t baking soda + 2 T flour + 3 T water (whisked together)
- ½ cup lukewarm soy or almond milk
- 1/3 cup shortening or Earth Balance
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 ½ cups flour
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 T slightly melted Earth Balance
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup tiny tiny walnut pieces
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon melted Earth Balance
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 T warm water
- In a medium mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast into the warm water to activate.
- Stir in the rest of the ingredients except the flour. Then pour the flour in slowly until the dough can be handled easily.
- Knead the dough for about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic.
- Place the round dough in the bowl, covered with a damp cloth on top. Let this rise for 1.5 hours in a warm location.
Rolling, Rolling, and Rising
The dough is ready to roll once it has displayed its propensity to rise. Usually this means about double in size from when you left it 90 minutes ago.
- On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to about 20” wide and 10” tall.
- Mix the Filling together, then spread evenly onto the body of the dough.
Begin to roll from the 20” wide side, tightly.
Once rolled, cut into about 9 or 10 rolls.
Place rolls on a greased baking sheet, with some distance apart.
Rob made the premie-buns to the far left and right. Just kidding. These are the ends (still tasty and good for dieting).
Allow to rise for 40 minutes.
- Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15-20 minutes (depending on your oven).
- Remove and let cool.
Stir the Glaze ingredients together with a fork until smooth. Add more water if thinner glaze is desired. Pour over the rolls. Like so:
I kept this picture despite the 'black eye' suffered by the roll on the left.
Together, we ate 7 rolls in less than 30 minutes. This is not recommended.
Delicious. Soft, puffy, warm, sweet, cinnamon butter meltiness.
You can gross us out and add raisins. Just don't invite us over for breakfast. Pecans would be a nice addition.