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Simple Cinnamon Rolls

  • Author: Joscelyn Abreu
  • Total Time: 25 mins
  • Yield: 12 rolls 1x


These cinnamon rolls are free of dairy and refined sugar and made in under an hour using instant yeast. Overnight instructions included!


  • 34 1/4 cups (405g–570g) unbleached all-purpose flour, just enough to form a soft dough plus a little more for dusting (can use up to half whole-grain flour—spelt, einkorn, or whole wheat, if you’d like)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon (.25oz packet) rapid rise or instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (177ml) warm almond milk or other milk of choice (approximately 110º F)
  • 1/2 cup (118ml) warm water (approximately 110º F)
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) avocado oil or other oil
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) maple syrup, cane sugar, or other sweetener of choice


  • 1/2 cup (113g) softened butter (can use dairy-free)
  • 3/4 cup (110g) coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 heaping tablespoon (9g) cinnamon

Cream Cheese Frosting (or vanilla buttercream below)

  • 4 oz. cream cheese or mascarpone (can use dairy-free)
  • 1 tablespoon softened butter (can use dairy-free)
  • 23 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
  • splash of vanilla
  • milk of choice to thin, if needed

Vanilla Buttercream:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (can also use 1/4 cup butter + 1/4 cup cream cheese)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, use more or less to taste
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 tablespoons milk of choice, if needed


  1. Combine 2 cups of flour, instant yeast, and salt in a mixing bowl. Add warm milk, water, sweetener, and oil, blending until mixture is combined and smooth.
  2. Knead in extra flour, a little at a time, until it forms a soft dough. Careful not to add too much flour or the rolls will be dry and hard.
  3. Cover and let dough rest in a warm place for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine coconut sugar with cinnamon and set aside.
  4. Place dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a large rectangle.
  5. Spread softened butter generously over the surface of the dough and top with the cinnamon coconut sugar mixture.
  6. Beginning at the long edge of the rectangle, tightly roll dough into a log.
  7. You can use a sharp knife, but I prefer to cut each roll with dental floss, which doesn’t flatten them.
  8. Place a long piece of floss under the middle of the log and criss cross it over to cut the roll in half. (watch the video above for further details)
  9. Divide each half into six equal portions and place into a greased or parchment lined 13×9 baking dish. (To make the next morning, skip down to the instructions for Overnight Rolls)
  10. To make rolls immediately: Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. Close to the end of the rising time, preheat your oven to 350ºF.
  11. Overnight Rolls: To make the rolls the next morning, after putting the cut rolls into the pan, cover the pan tightly with tin foil and place into the refrigerator.
  12. The next morning, take the pan out of the refrigerator and set in a warm place to rise, about 30–60 minutes, or until puffy (they may not take that long if they had risen some overnight.) Once the rolls have risen, preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  13. Place pan onto the middle rack and bake for 20–25 minutes, just until rolls are lightly golden around the edges and centers are puffed. Don’t overbake.
  14. Remove and let cool slightly before topping with glaze/buttercream.

Maple Cream Cheese Glaze:

  1. Blend together cream cheese, softened butter, maple syrup, and vanilla until creamy. Add milk, if needed, to thin the glaze. Drizzle over warm rolls.

Vanilla Buttercream:

  1. Beat softened butter in a large mixing bowl until creamy. Add powdered sugar a little at a time, beating until smooth. Pour in a little milk if mixture gets too crumbly, then continue to beat buttercream until fluffy. Add extra powdered sugar, if buttercream is too soft, then mix in the vanilla. Spread buttercream over warm cinnamon rolls.
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Category: Breakfast, Vegan, Refined Sugar Free