This is the longest post ever. Sorry. Oh, and it’s about Easter.
We had to make something for Easter brunch at my mom’s house. What she expected us to make (as always) was something totally simple, like scrambled tofu. What we delivered (as always) was something way more elaborate. Someday I will let Jason sleep in on a holiday. But not anytime soon. So we decided to make cinnamon rolls.
These cinnamon rolls are actually Jason’s recipe, which he found online a long, long time ago. And, since back then we didn’t have a blog where we posted recipes all the time, he didn’t write down the source of this recipe. I normally wouldn’t just share somebody’s recipe without giving them credit, but this time I have to. Because these cinnamon rolls are SO GOOD!
They are very much in the style of the overly sweet, desert-y type cinnamon rolls that mall chain-stores sell. If you don’t like cinnamon rolls to be super-sweet and covered in icing . . . well, you should. So here’s Jason’s recipe:
The World’s Best Vegan Cinnamon Rolls!
You’re gonna need:
2 1/4 teaspoons dry yeast (one packet)
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup soy milk, warm but not hot
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
6 tablespoons warm water
2/3 cup margarine, melted and divided
4 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
For the Cream Cheese Frosting, you’re gonna need:
6 ounces of vegan cream cheese (we used Follow Your Heart brand)
1/2 cup melted margarine
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
So what you do is:
1. Mix the yeast, sugar, and warm soy milk in a large mixing bowl and let it stand in a warm place until it gets all foamy and proofed. This can take up to ten minutes. If, after that time, your mixture doesn’t have a layer of foam on top, discard it and try again.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the ground flax seed with the warm water for a couple of minutes until it is really thick and goopy. That’s right. Goopy.
3. Now add 1/3 of a cup melted margarine, along with the flour and salt to the flax seed mixture. Pour in the yeast mixture, and stir to combine. It will very quickly get too thick to stir. At this point, turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface.
4. Knead it for 5-10 minutes. Jason really likes to knead, so he did it for 10 whole minutes. What we’re looking for is a dough that is firm and smooth, without being sticky at all. If your dough isn’t like this, keep kneading until it is.
5. Form your dough into a ball, and place in a well-oiled bowl covered by a damp dishtowel. Put that whole thing in a warm place (like an oven you’ve pre-heated for 2 minutes and then turned off), and let it stay there for an hour. It should double in size. Also, when you press the dough lightly with one finger, it should leave a lasting indentation.
6. While your dough is rising, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Melt the remaining 1/3 cup margarine.
7. Now that your dough is done rising, turn it out on a floured surface and let it sit, covered, for ten more minutes. Then, roll it out into a rectangle that it is between 1/8 and 1/4 of an inch thick.
8. Coat the whole surface with melted margarine, and then evenly coat it with the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture.
9. Roll it into a big log, and cut it into 12 equal-sized rolls. Place the rolls on a greased cookie sheet, and cover and let rise again. This time they should double in size in about 30 minutes (but they can sit in the fridge overnight, if you want).
10. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Bake your delicious cinnamon rolls until golden brown, between 10 – 15 minutes.
11. When your cinnamon rolls are finished baking, make your icing. Beat together all the frosting ingredients together until totally combined and smooth. Spread the frosting on warm cinnamon rolls just before serving.
So these were amazing. And Easter was actually great.
My mom The Easter bunny got us an Easter basket full of vegetable-themed stuff (like cabbage-shaped salt and pepper shakers and a carrot-shaped vegetable peeler) and vegan truffles! It was awesome. I hope you guys had a good holiday, if you chose to. And I hope that you make these cinnamon rolls soon.
Oh, and here’s some things you should know about this recipe.
First, don’t be afraid to start over if your yeast doesn’t proof. It sucks to waste that much milk and sugar, but it sucks way worse to have flat, dense cinnamon rolls. Our first batch of yeast was dead, so see? It happens to everyone!
Also, we tried Follow Your Heart brand cream cheese this time (instead of our usual Tofutti), and we liked it way better! The texture is nice, the flavor on its own is much less “tofu-y,” and it has way better ingredients. If you care about that stuff (like we do).
Lastly, don’t be afraid of all the fat and sugar in these. They are not health food, they are special occasion, wow your omni family food. They are a lot of work and they take a lot of time. If you’re going to do all of that work, don’t skimp on the fat. Isn’t it better to eat one amazing cinnamon roll than four really lacking ones? It is. Take it from one who knows.