Vegan cinnamon rolls are cinnamon rolls that do not contain any dairy or animal products. Cinnamon rolls are a sweet pastry that is usually eaten for breakfast or as a dessert. Vegan cinnamon rolls are simply a version of the pastry that conforms to a vegan diet; a diet that consists of only vegetarian foods with no animal products, and non-dairy foods with no animal byproducts.
A traditional cinnamon roll is made from a sheet of dough that contains yeast. Once the sheet of dough has been rolled out, a mixture of cinnamon spice, butter, and usually brown sugar are spread onto the dough. The dough is then rolled into a log shape, cut into slices around 1 inch (2.54 centimeters), and then baked until golden brown.
There are several ingredients that prevent most cinnamon rolls from being vegan cinnamon rolls. The dough itself often contains eggs, milk, and butter. Also, the cinnamon mixture added to the center usually contains butter. Additionally, cinnamon rolls are often topped with an icing or glaze that may contain butter or even cream cheese.
Recipes for vegan cinnamon rolls must use replacements for the dairy ingredients. A common egg replacement that can be used in the dough is flaxseed mixed with water. One tablespoon of ground flaxseed mixed with about three tablespoons of water usually replaces one egg. Flaxseed is a popular egg substitute among vegans because of its nutritional value. Other alternative egg replacers include one banana per egg, a quarter cup of applesauce per egg, or vegan egg powders, which can be purchased commercially.
The butter in the dough and in the cinnamon filling can easily be replaced by margarine or one of the many commercially available vegan butter substitutes. Depending on the final consistency of the rolls that is desired, vegetable oil can also be substituted in the dough. Usually vegetable oil is substituted at a ratio of three-quarters of a cup of vegetable oil for one cup of butter.
Any milk in the recipe can be substituted with a non-dairy milk product. Soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, or coconut milk are a few of the available options. Vegan milk powders are also available and can provide a slightly different final texture to the rolls. If a cream cheese frosting is desired, there are commercially available vegan cream cheese substitutes. Most vegan cheese substitutes are made of soy, usually tofu.