GOOD NEWS! Baking yeast is back on the store shelves! The pandemic made a lot of things really weird, including the absolute disappearance of yeast from the grocery store. A lot of people (including myself) turned to baking without yeast, like sourdough bread from homemade sourdough starter. But slowly some things are shifting back to “normal” – like these glorious little packets of yeast babies making a reappearance in the baking aisle. And what better way to celebrate than by baking the most enormous, monstrous, epic gigantic vegan cinnamon roll!? *and the crowd goes wild with applause! yaaa! wooo!*
I highly suggest you make this beast of a cinnamon roll. Yes, it takes time, but isn’t that how all great things in life come to us? 🙂 Read this post all the way through before beginning, and I suggest you also to refer back (especially the pro tips and what not to do) as you bake your masterpiece. Enjoy!!
This gigantic vegan cinnamon roll was inspired by the enormous cinnamon rolls they serve at Camp 18 in Oregon. Their cinnamon rolls are literally bigger than your head. They ought to wheel it out in a stroller to your table. The recipe is also based off Tasty’s recipe for a giant cinnamon roll. I tweaked it a bit to make it vegan, by replacing the butter and milk with non-dairy alternatives. I also include a vegan icing recipe from Tasty’s vegan regular-sized cinnamon rolls, but honestly this gigantic vegan cinnamon roll doesn’t even need icing. It is so sweet and so rich on its own!
I was a little worried that the center would remain gooey and uncooked while the outside got hard and burnt. That was NOT the case. The cinnamon roll gets cooked all the way through to the perfect texture. It is chewy and soft on the inside, like an edible pillow of goodness, and flaky and buttery on the outside, almost like a croissant. The layers upon layers upon layers are divine. The cinnamon sugar filling adds an addictive sweetness, while the dough is buttery-tasting and rich. Just be prepared to share this with all your friends and family, or wrap it in aluminum foil and freeze some for later, because this bad boy is massive!
What NOT To Do:
1. Don’t use a small or a medium mixing bowl. This is a gigantic cinnamon roll, which calls for the biggest mixing bowl you can find. The dough will rise a lot, so be sure you are ready.
2. Don’t use a baking dish that is too small for a gigantic cinnamon roll. I should have learned my lesson when the dough rose so much that it nearly spilled out of my mixing bowl. But alas, I did it again. As the cinnamon roll bakes, it will spread out. Keep this in mind when choosing the size of your baking dish – something with higher sides would also help hold the cinnamon roll’s shape.
- Use enough flour on your work surface and have extra flour in a small bowl or plate ready to sprinkle onto your dough as you knead it. You want to continue kneading and adding more flour until it no longer sticks to your fingers or the counter.
2. When you roll out your dough into a rectangle, measure it before adding the cinnamon sugar filling. Make sure the height is ½ inch all the way around. This is important when filling and rolling dough.
I learned the hard way what happens when your dough isn’t rolled out enough with my sloppy joe pizza rolls, that ended up more sloppy than “roll-y”!
Keep on rollin’
Since this makes one gigantic cinnamon roll, the rolling action is a little different. Instead of rolling individual rolls, you roll the first strip of dough, then place it on the next step strip and keep rolling it into a larger and larger roll.
To ensure success:
(1) you really want to make sure your dough isn’t sticking to the counter, because then it creates a giant mess when you’re taking on this rolling action, and
(2) you really want your corners even and straight, like 90° angles (unlike mine) so that the strips are even and there are no weird shapes on the ends of the roll.
Gigantic Vegan Cinnamon Roll
Gigantic Vegan Cinnamon Roll
- 1¼ cups dairy free butter, like sunflower butter, divided
- 2 cups nut, hemp or oat milk, of your choice
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 pack active dry yeast
- 4¾ cups all-purpose flour, divided (plus more for kneading)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp fine sea salt
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
Vegan Icing (optional)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp nut, hemp or oat milk, of your choice
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
Gigantic Vegan Cinnamon Roll
- Grease a 1-inch cast-iron skillet or cake pan with cooking spray or vegan butter.Warm the diary-free milk in the microwave on 30 second intervals until it's warm to the touch.Melt ½ cup of the dairy-free butter in the microwave.
- In a LARGE mixing bowl, whisk together the warm dairy-free milk, melted dairy-free butter and granulated sugar. (Your mixture should be somewhere between 100°F and 110°F, so you don't burn the yeast in the next step.)
- Sprinkle the yeast over the warm milk/butter/sugar mix. Let it sit for one minute – it won't look much different after a minute.
- Add 4 cups of the flour and mix it in with a wooden spoon until there's no more dry flour visible.Cover with a clean kitchen towel and place it in the oven with the light for 1 hour on to rise.Set the remaining ¾ cup sunflower butter on the counter to soften.
- Check the risen dough – it should have about doubled in size. Add the other ¾ cup flour, baking powder and salt to the bowl. Mix well.
- Sprinkle some flour on a clean work surface.Gently dump out to dough onto the floured surface and knead it, adding more flour as needed, until the dough no longer sticks to your fingers and the counter.
- Roll out the dough in a large rectangle. It should be ½ inch thick. Pinch and roll the corners so they are as close to right-angles as possible.
- In a small bowl, make the filling by mixing together the softened sunflower butter, brown sugar and cinnamon.
- Spread the filling evenly on the dough rectangle, making sure the filling gets all the way to the edges and corners.
- Make three cuts length-wise down the dough rectangle to create four long, even strips of dough. Starting from an edge, roll one strip of the dough. Gently lift that roll of dough and place it on top of the edge of the next strip of dough. Roll the first roll into the second strip of dough, to create a larger roll. Repeat with the remaining two strips of dough, trying to keep the edges as even as possible.
- Carefully place the gigantic dough roll into the greased skillet or cake pan. Lightly cover it with plastic wrap and place it back in an oven with the light turned on for 30 minutes, to rise again.
- Take the cinnamon roll out of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Bake the cinnamon roll for 45 minutes.Then cover the cinnamon roll with aluminum foil and bake for another 35 minutes, to prevent the outside from burning.
- If you want to make the vegan frosting, in a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, dairy-free milk and vanilla extract. If your icing is a little too thin, add one tsp cornstarch at a time and whisk until it thickens to your desired consistency.
- Once the cinnamon roll is done baking, let it cool for about 20 minutes before drizzling on the icing and digging in. Yum!