This tasty treat takes a while, but it’s a good reward breakfast. See, what you do is you make the dough, then go for a run or to the gym, and when you get back, the dough will have risen to its full glory. Believe me, you’ll want to try this little bread. And the frosting? You can also use it for gingerbread cookies, carrot cake, donuts—the frosting alone is worth the wait!
Makes 2 rolls.
3 TBLSP almond milk
1 ½ TBLSP vegan butter, divided
1 teaspoon instant yeast (about 1/3 of those little packets)
1 TBLSP sugar, divided (3 teaspoons equals one tablespoon)
Pinch of salt
½ cup plus 1 ½ TBLSP all-purpose flour
Canola oil (to coat the bowl)
Sprinkle of cinnamon
- In a small bowl in the microwave, heat the almond milk and ½ TBLSP vegan butter until warm and melted, but don’t boil it. This should take 20-40 seconds. Let it cool, if necessary, until you can put your finger in it, but it’s still pretty warm.
- Sprinkle in the yeast and let it activate for 10 minutes. If your yeast is healthy, it should be all bubbly and happy-looking. Otherwise, open a new packet and make a fresh milk and butter mixture.
- Add 1 teaspoon of the sugar (about a third of it) and all of the salt, and give it a quick stir.
- Add the flour and stir until you have a sticky dough. Dump it out on a sheet of waxed paper (for easy clean-up) and knead it for a minute or so, until it forms a soft ball. (Save the waxed paper for rolling the dough later.)
- Clean the bowl out and coat it with canola oil, and put the dough back in, rotating it to coat it with oil on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about an hour, until doubled in size.
Tra-la-la…. Lubricate a baking pan or line it with parchment paper.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a thin rectangle. It should be about 6 inches wide and perhaps 6 inches long. Okay, so maybe it’s a square. It depends on your rolling skills, really.
- Melt the rest of your vegan butter (1 TBLSP), and brush about half of it all over your lovely dough rectangle.
- Sprinkle the other two teaspoons of sugar onto the buttered surface, and then sprinkle the cinnamon on top of that.
- Roll the rectangle into a log, capturing the cinnamon and sugar inside. With a very sharp knife, cut the dough in half—there should be two 3-inch segments. Curl those little guys up on themselves like a snail shell. The dough will be very soft and malleable, so you can moosh the ends in neatly. You’ll want to moosh well, though, because they tend to unfurl as they rise.
- Put the rolls on the prepared baking pan with the curly-cue side up. Brush the tops with the remaining vegan butter, and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise while you heat the oven, just five or ten minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Bake the rolls for 25-30 minutes, until slightly golden brown. Let them cool for a few minutes before serving—or frosting. Or let them cool for a few minutes before frosting and serving. As you wish!
While the rolls are baking, make the frosting, if you want.
Cream Cheese Frosting for Two Cinnamon Buns
This makes more than you need, so you might make a little carrot cake (for one) to sop up the rest.
½ TBLSP vegan butter, softened
2 TBLSP vegan cream cheese, softened
A splash of vanilla extract
½ cup plus one TBLSP powdered sugar
- Combine the vegan butter and cream cheese until it’s fluffy.
- Add the vanilla, and stir until well-combined.
- Add the powdered sugar a little bit at a time. You might not want all of it, if you want a thinner, more drizzly frosting.