The Ultimate Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
Do you have a particular treat that instantly makes you feel at home? I'll be honest- I have a few. But, if I had to pick just one, it'd be cinnamon rolls.
Weekend visits to my Grandparent's house almost always involved baking a batch of these simple sweets, filling the house with the smell of cinnamon. As children, my older brother's job was to line the rolls with brown sugar, while I was the one responsible for adding cinnamon. I took this task very seriously, blackening the dough with rapid shakes of the cinnamon shaker.
I'd often get as much on my belly as I did on the rolls!!
I'd sit with my grandma as they browned and bubbled in the oven, desperate to taste one as soon as they were cool enough to eat. My brother would pull the tray out under Grandma's direction, and I'd run to tell my Grandpa that the treats were cooked and ready to eat. Grandpa always complimented my cinnamon-adding skills, ignoring my spice-covered clothing tactfully.
I can still see us all sitting at the kitchen table in my mind, sunlight streaming in through the window. It makes me realize how lucky I was to grow up in such a Norman Rockwell painting of a childhood.
This recipe is a vegan adaptation of my Grandma's beloved version, and it will make you forget all about store-bought cinnamon buns. Made with biscuit dough instead of traditional bread dough, they are deliciously flakey and rich-tasting. Plus, they only take about 30 minutes to throw together!
[If the dough looks familiar, it's because it's the same dough used to make my Grandma's Biscuit Recipe.]
I love to make them as an indulgent breakfast treat, as they pair perfectly with a steaming mug of coffee. They'd be the perfect match for opening gifts on Christmas morning, and won't be near as much work as other breakfast fare [waffles, we're talking about you!].
If you're really organized, you could even make the dough and fill them with cinnamon and store them, wrapped in plastic wrap, in the fridge. On the 25th, you'd simply wake up, slice the log of dough and bake for 25-30 min.
Here's wishing you a happy holiday season, full of laughter and old family recipes- like these cinnamon rolls!
Grandma Holmes' Cinnamon Rolls
By Abigail Holmes | Makes a dozen cinnamon rolls | Approx. 30-40 min total
1 and 3/4 cup flour
scant 1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 c. hard shortening or margarine (read the label to make sure it's dairy free!)
1/2 cup plain, unsweetened soy or almond milk
1 tbsp chia seeds for "chia egg" (see below)
1-2 tbsp brown sugar
soften coconut oil or vegan butter
What you do:
Prepare the dough as follows:
- To replace a traditional egg in this recipe we're making an "egg" with chia seeds. Put 1 tbsp chia seeds in small bowl with 3 tbsp water. Whisk and place in fridge.
-Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly grease baking sheet.
-Whisk all dry ingredients in bowl.
- Place margarine or shortening in the dry ingredient bowl. Using a pastry blender (or, if you're in a pinch, 2 butter knives will do!), break up the margarine into little hunks and mix into dry ingredients. Continue with this until the margarine is completely absorbed into the dry ingredients. The mixture should have the consistency of wet sand.
-Take "chia egg" out of the fridge. Whisk into the soy milk in a separate bowl from the dry ingredients.
-Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir to combine.
Then, you need to prep a work surface:
-Clean and dry a countertop or tabletop to work on. The surface must be completely dry so the dough doesn't stick. Lightly flour the surface.
-Place dough on floured countertop and roll into a rectangular shape with rolling pin. Dough should be an inch to 1/2 an inch think, approximately.
-Spread vegan butter or softened coconut oil over the dough.
-cover layer of butter with brown sugar, making sure to cover the ends, too (otherwise the last roll will be bland!).
-sprinkle with cinnamon, covering all the brown sugar (and, as I insisted as a child, the more the better!)
-roll the rectangle into a log by slowly folding the dough inwards on itself. If dough begins to stick to countertop, loosen with a butterknife and add more flour to work surface.
-when dough is rolled into a log shape, cut into even slices.
-Place slices cut side up on greased baking sheet.
-Bake at 400 degrees for approx. 20 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant.