These fluffy, soft, and absolutely amazing gingerbread cinnamon rolls are infused with ginger and molasses in the dough and baked to the gooiest holiday breakfast bun! You won’t even notice they’re naturally vegan and topped with the most amazing dairy free cream cheese icing for a perfect Christmas morning breakfast!
Vegan Cinnamon Rolls:
- 4 1/4 cups (540 grams) + 1 tbsp all-purpose flour, divided (plus more for flouring surface)
- 1 packet (8 grams) activated yeast
- 1/2 cup (90 grams) granulated sugar or brown sugar or coconut sugar, divided
- 1 1/4 cup (270 grams) dairy-free milk, unsweetened, room temperature
- 1/4 cup (57 grams) salted vegan butter, melted and room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup (87 grams) unsweetened applesauce, room temperature
- 2 tbsp molasses
- 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tbsp ground ginger
Vegan Cinnamon Roll Filling:
- 1/2 cup (113 grams) vegan butter or coconut oil, room temperature
- 3 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 1 tbsp molasses
- 2/3 cup (65 grams) brown sugar
Dairy Free Icing:
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup (113 grams) vegan butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (113 grams) vegan cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Please read through all instructions before beginning. The overnight option and gluten free option are down below in the notes section.
- Prep: Grease a medium sized bowl with olive oil or coconut oil, and set aside. Make sure the vegan butter for the dough is melted and cooled.
- Activate the yeast: In microwave-safe bowl, heat the dairy-free milk until it reaches 110F- use a food thermometer to accurately measure the temperature. Any cooler or hotter, and the yeast won’t activate properly. Add in 1 tbsp coconut sugar and the extra 1 tbsp flour. Gently whisk together, then sprinkle yeast, mix with a spoon lightly, cover, and let activate for 10 minutes in a warm area.
- Make the dough: When activated, pour the mixture into a large bowl or a stand mixer with the dough attachment. Add in the remaining sugar, applesauce, melted vegan butter, molasses, and vanilla extract. Mix on medium speed until combine. Then add in about half of the flour and mix on medium speed until the flour starts to incorporate into the wet mixture. Add the remaining flour, plus the cinnamon and ginger, and mix on medium speed until a shaggy dough forms. Lightly flour a clean surface and place the dough onto the surface, sprinkling some extra flour on top or kneading.
- First proof: Knead the dough lightly, for 2-4 minutes, until it forms a smooth dough ball that’s not sticky. Then place the dough into the greased medium bowl, cover with a cloth or wrap, and place into a warm area to let rise for 1 hour. It should be double in size. If it’s at least 80F outside, you can place the bowl outside, otherwise you can place it in the oven (which is turned off) and turn on the oven light or start preheating the oven to 350F and place the bowl near or on top of the oven.
- While the dough is rising: grease a large casserole dish with oil and set aside. In a small bowl, mix together the vegan butter, molasses, sugar, cinnamon, and ginger for the cinnamon roll filling. Set aside.
- Make the vegan cinnamon rolls: After the dough has doubled, lightly punch down the dough. Lightly flour a clean surface, and place the dough in the middle. Sprinkle a little extra flour on top of the dough and flour the rolling pin. Roll the dough out to be a large rectangle (12 in x 18 in). Lightly spread the dough with cinnamon roll filling mixture to the edges of the dough. Roll into tight rolls and away from you. Slice the roll into 12 even cinnamon rolls. To easily slice, you can use a piece of thin twine or unflavored floss. Place into the oil-greased dish.
- Second proof: Cover again with a clean towel or wrap, and place over or by the oven while the oven preheats to 350F. Let the cinnamon rolls rise for 30 minutes while the oven is preheating.
- Bake the cinnamon rolls: Place the cinnamon rolls into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes while you prepare the icing.
- Make the dairy-free frosting: in a medium bowl or stand mixer, cream the vegan butter and vegan cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract, and cream again until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Serve and enjoy! Spread the frosting onto the vegan gingerbread cinnamon rolls and serve warm. If you have any leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container and place them in the fridge for up to 4 days. To reheat, simply warm them on a baking sheet with parchment paper at 350F for 5-7 minutes.
If making a day ahead of time, complete Step 7 through the second rise, then cover the cinnamon rolls and place them in the fridge overnight. When ready to bake, allow the rolls to sit in the oven (not started) with the light on for 20-25 minutes. Then, remove the rolls from the oven, and allow the cinnamon rolls to rest over or by the oven as it preheats.
Gluten free vegan cinnamon rolls: Please see this post for our favorite gluten free vegan cinnamon rolls! Use the base dough of this recipe, and add in the molasses, cinnamon and ginger to the main dough. Then use the gingerbread filling instead of the filling listed in the GF vegan cinnamon roll post.
Gingerbread cookies: The gingerbread cookies on top are from my vegan gingerbread recipe. Just a fun topping idea if you want to go the extra mile, and absolutely delicious!
Keywords: gingerbread cinnamon rolls, vegan cinnamon rolls, gluten free cinnamon rolls, gluten free vegan cinnamon rolls