Happy Saturday! While we missed posting on the first day of spring, it is the first weekend of spring and that’s close enough. It also happens to be a cloudy, rainy, relaxing day that is just perfect for a cozy afternoon on the couch, especially now that we are both done our workouts for today (we are triathletes after all, and weekends are for endurance training sessions). It’s days like today that inspire us to make up a gorgeous batch of vegan cinnamon rolls.
Why vegan? We’re not actually vegan but we are aware of the impact that animal agriculture has on our planet and on the animals themselves, and we try to use alternatives where we can. There aren’t a whole lot of adjustments for vegan cinnamon rolls, because the dough doesn’t depend on eggs like many quickbreads and other baked treats do, so the biggest change is substituting refined coconut oil for butter. You’ll never know the difference.
Oh, and if you’re worried about your rolls tasting like coconut oil, you can rest assured they won’t; unlike its raw counterpart, refined coconut oil doesn’t taste like coconut at all – in fact, it doesn’t really taste like anything so it’s perfect for just about any dish. We use it for stir-frys too.
Let me share a little secret for getting the most out of these cinnamon rolls, because the worst part is waiting impatiently for them to be ready (#amiright?). Get the dough and rolls ready first thing on a Saturday morning, then let them rise while you [run errands, grocery shop, drive your kids to gymnastics, go to spin class, clean the house] and pop them in the oven when you get home. You’ll have about 20 minutes to shower, unpack, get the kids settled or what ever you have to do, and then BAM! you have fresh-baked cinnamon rolls ready just when you’re ready to relax and truly enjoy them. The satisfaction of getting everything done makes these babies taste 10x better.
Related: Cashew Hot Chocolate
So what are you waiting for? Cinnamon rolls don’t have to be store-bought and just for special occasions – you deserve a treat.
And you can use real butter if you really want to.
- 1¼ - 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup warm water
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons (or more) raisins
- Combine 1 cup of flour with the instant yeast, sugar and salt in a medium mixing bowl. In a small bowl or glass liquid measuring cup, combine the water and coconut oil, then microwave for about 15-30 seconds until the water is warm (but not too hot to touch) and the coconut oil has melted.
- Pour the mixture into the bowl with the flour and stir to form a nice sticky dough. Gradually add flour about ¼ cup at a time, mixing well in between. When you can't stir in any more flour, sprinkle some flour on the countertop then dump the dough out of the bowl and sprinkle a little more flour over the top. Knead for a few minutes until the dough stops sticking to your fingers.
- Sprinkle a little more flour underneath the ball of dough, then roll it out to a 9" square (the dough will be about ¼ inch thick).
- Sprinkle the brown sugar, cinnamon and raisins evenly over the rolled dough making sure they goes right to the edges (otherwise the end rolls won't have any filling). Starting from one side, gradually roll up the dough and filling to form a log, then pinch the seam to keep it from unraveling. Use a sharp knife to slice the log at 1" intervals, and place the rolls in a greased square cake pan. Cover with a cloth and let rise for 60 to 90 minutes.
- minutes before the rolls are done rising, preheat the oven to 375F.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until the rolls are lightly browned on top. Cool for at least 5 minutes before removing them from the pan.