These vegan cinnamon rolls are topped with cashew icing, straightforward to make, wonderfully soft and tender and loaded with delicious cinnamon sugar filling.

Cinnamon buns spread with frosting in a baking pan.

Features

  • just 7 pantry ingredients needed, not including the cashew icing
  • completely egg-free and dairy-free!
  • straightforward to make even for beginner bakers
  • fluffy, soft and tender
  • perfect for holidays like Christmas or Easter morning, Sunday brunch or just to treat yourself any time you feel like it!

Ingredient Notes

Visual of all ingredients needed for making cinnamon rolls labelled with text overlay.
  • active dry yeast – make sure you use a fresh yeast and not the jar that’s been sitting in the back of the cupboard for 6 months!
  • sugar – the recipe calls for cane sugar and brown sugar but if you don’t have brown sugar on hand, you can use cane sugar for for the filling as well
  • coconut oil – can be substituted with melted vegan butter
  • cashew milk – can use any dairy-free milk such as almond milk, oat milk or soy milk, just make sure it’s at room temperature or it will cause the coconut oil to solidify
  • flour – you’ll need all-purpose unbleached flour, the recipe has not been tested with any other flours

Complete list of ingredients and amounts is located in the recipe card below.

Quick Note: If you’re making the cashew frosting (recommended!), you’ll need 1 cup of raw cashews that have been soaked overnight, so be sure to plan in advance for that. See below for alternative frosting options if you can’t do cashews.


Step by Step Instructions

Step 1. Activate the yeast by placing it in a bowl with warm water and 1 tsp sugar, mixing together and letting sit for 5 minutes until frothy.

Step 2. While the yeast is activating, in a separate large mixing bowl, mix together the sugar, flour and salt.

Flour and sugar mixed together in a mixing bowl.

Step 3. Once the yeast is frothy, add the yeast, room temperature cashew milk and melted coconut oil and to the flour mixture. Use a fork to slowly mix the ingredients together.

Expert Tip: Make sure the milk is at room temperature, otherwise it will cause the melted coconut oil to solidify. If you only have cold milk, warm briefly in the microwave for 15-20 seconds before use.

Wet and dry ingredients for vegan cinnamon rolls mixed together in a mixing bowl.

Step 4. On the mixture is fully combined, place on a lightly floured surface and knead for 3-4 minutes until it forms a smooth ball.

Put the dough in a lightly-oiled bowl, cover and allow to set somewhere warm for 1 hour.

Cinnamon roll dough that has risen into a puffy ball in a bowl.

Step 5. Once the dough has rested, punch it down and use a rolling pin to roll it out on lightly floured surface into a 20 x 14 inch rectangle.

Cinnamon roll dough rolled into a large rectangle on a piece of parchment paper.

Step 6. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a small dish then brush the rolled out dough with 2 tbsp of melted coconut oil and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar to within 1/4 inch of the edges.

Step 7. Starting on the short side (14 inch) of the rectangle, tightly roll the dough into a log.

Cinnamon roll dough being rolled into a tight log.

Step 8. Cut the log into 12 evenly-sized pieces and place in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.

Leave the rolls to rest in a warm place for another 30 minutes.

Step 9. When it’s getting close to baking time, start preheating the oven to 350 F. Once the buns are ready and the oven is full preheated, bake the rolls for 30 minutes.

Overhead view of 12 baked cinnamon buns in a baking dish.

Step 10. While the buns are baking, prepare the cashew frosting. Add all of the cashew frosting ingredients to a high-speed blender or powerful food processor and blend until completely smooth and creamy.

Creamy cashew frosting in a blender.

After the rolls come out of the oven, allow them to cool for about 20 minutes then frost and enjoy!

Quick Tip: It’s best to add the frosting while the buns are warm but not hot right out of the oven so be sure to let them cool for about 20 minutes before frosting. If they’re too hot, the frosting will melt and if they’re cold, it won’t spread and ooze over them.

Frosting Alternatives

If you forgot to soak cashews or have an allergy, here are two alternatives for cinnamon roll icing:

  1. Quick Glaze: Mix 1 cup powdered sugar with 2-3 tbsp of almond milk and a splash of vanilla until smooth. Drizzle over the rolls.
  2. Vegan Cream Cheese Icing: Beat together 1/4 cup melted vegan butter with 4 oz. vegan cream cheese then slowly add up to 2 cups sifted powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time unti you reach your desired consistency. It should be thick but spreadable.

Quick Tip: In a pinch, you can do a quick boil for the cashews instead of soaking them overnight. Boil for 10 minutes, drain, rinse and proceed with the recipe.

If you have a high-speed blender, soaking time may be reduced but they’re best soaked overnight for the creamiest, smoothest icing.

Vegan cinnamon bun topped with icing on a small plate.

Storing

  • Best served fresh, still warm from the oven.
  • Leftovers are best consumed within 2-3 days.
  • Store in the fridge and warm briefly in the microwave to soften.
Sliced open cinnamon roll with frosting showing inside texture.

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Cinnamon buns spread with frosting in a baking pan.

Vegan Cinnamon Buns

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Delicious, soft and tender, vegan cinnamon rolls loaded with a spiced cinnamon sugar filling. Enjoy warm from the oven, smothered in a heavenly cashew frosting. 


Scale

Ingredients

For the Dough

  • 1 package active dry yeast (8 g) 
  • 1/2 cup warm water, approx. 110 degrees (125 mL) 
  • 1 tsp cane sugar (5 g) 
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil (80 g) 
  • 1/2 cup cashew milk at room temperature (125 ml, any dairy-free milk will work here)
  • 1/3 cup cane sugar (70 g) 
  • 1 tsp salt (5 g) 
  • 3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour (408 g) 

For the Filling

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted (30 g)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed (100 g) 
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon (15 g) 
  • 1 tsp salt (5 g) 

For the Frosting

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight and rinsed (145 g) 
  • 1/2 cup cashew milk (125 mL)
  • 1 tsp vanilla (10 g) 
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup (42 g) 
  • 1/4 tsp salt (2 g)

Instructions

  1. Activate the yeast by placing it in a bowl with warm water and sugar and mixing together. Let stand for 5 minutes until frothy. 
  2. While the yeast is activating, in a separate bowl mix together the dry ingredients (sugar, flour and salt).
  3. Once the yeast is frothy, add the yeast, room temperature cashew milk and melted coconut oil to the bowl with the dry ingredients, using a fork to slowly mix everything together. Make sure the milk is at room temperature, otherwise it will cause the melted coconut oil to solidify. If you only have cold milk, you can warm it briefly in the microwave or stovetop until it reaches a room or slightly warmer temperature.
  4. Once the ingredients are fully combined, place on a lightly-floured surface and knead the dough together until a smooth ball is formed, about 3-4 minutes. Put the dough in a lightly-oiled bowl and cover, allow to rest somewhere warm for 1 hour. Try a sunny window, in a warm oven or in the laundry room.
  5. After the dough has rested, punch it down a few times then roll it out on a floured surface into a 20 x 14-inch rectangle.
  6. Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together in small bowl.
  7. Brush the rolled out dough with the 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar to within 1/4  inch of the edges.
  8. Starting on the short edge (14 inch), tightly roll the dough into a log. Cut into 12 evenly sized pieces and place into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Leave to rest in a warm place for an additional 30 minutes, covered.
  9. When it’s getting close to baking time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. When buns are ready, place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  10. As the buns are baking, prepare the frosting. Take the soaked cashews (drained and rinsed) and place in a high-speed blender with maple syrup, vanilla and cashew milk. Blend until silky smooth, taste and add more maple syrup if you are looking for a sweeter final product. Reserve for later. 
  11. Remove cinnamon buns from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes before frosting. It’s best to add the frosting while the buns are warm but not hot, so be sure to let them cool for about 20 minutes before frosting. If they’re too hot, the frosting will melt and if they’re cold, it won’t spread and ooze over them. Once frosted, enjoy while they’re still warm!

Notes

Keep refrigerated. Cinnamon buns are best fresh and then consumed within 2-3 days. I like to warm them up a little in the microwave to soften before eating.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 347
  • Sugar: 22 g
  • Sodium: 473 mg
  • Fat: 14 g
  • Carbohydrates: 51 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 6 g

Keywords: vegan cinnamon rolls, vegan cinnamon buns