It all started last March, for little mans spring break. This mama was craving some cinnamon rolls. Not just any cinnamon rolls, ones that were made when I was a kid. I wish I could give my mom the baking credit, but she is not a baker. A beautiful soul who has become family is my inspiration here (Hi Leena!!!). As a kid she would make all these crazy breads and sweets, one being heavenly cinnamon rolls. She would bring over certain ingredients that were only available in Finland and whip up deliciousness. Well I craved that deliciousness, as I oddly had a box of her sugar still at my house from her last visit. That box stared at me every day, taunting me... I caved and we made our first batch of homemade "Finnish" cinnamon rolls.
Due to our littlest tornado, we had to do some modifications, okay maybe a lot of modifications. Teeny tiny, was HIGHLY allergic to eggs, dairy, beans, certain nuts, and the list went on. While tiny was little we catered to his diet needs, as we do with all of us in the family (we all tick very differently). The following recipe are for vegan whole wheat cinnamon buns but will offer advice on how to fatten them up!
2 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour plus a little for working the dough
1 1/2 cups of lukewarm soy or almond milk
2 tablespoons of ACTIVE yeast
2 tablespoons of cinnamon sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 heaping 1/4 cup of coconut oil or softened vegan butter
"Skinny Girl" Glaze:
1/2 cup of Confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla extract (we use an alcohol free version)
1/2 teaspoon of Soy or Almond milk
"Fat Girl" Glaze:
1 package of “Melted” cream cheese
1/2 cup to 1 cup Confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract (we use an alcohol free version)
Tip: Make sure you measure out all of your ingredients prior starting your cinnamon roll process!!! Makes for a smoother baking experience.
1. As the start to most dough recipes, mix your yeast, cinnamon sugar with your liquid. In this scenario it will be lukewarm almond milk (in your mixing bowl of choice). Wait about 7-10 minutes until you can really smell the yeast (and cinnamon). It is important that it is activated.
2. Then you want to add in the salt and butter. Stir until everything is dissolved and start pouring in your flour. Do about a 1/3 cup at a time while simultaneously mixing. Continue kneading for about 5-6 minutes, or until dough is firm, not sticky and gooey. If it is sticky add some of the extra flour by the tablespoon.
3. Once your dough ball is of the right consistency it is time to mold it to a smooth ball and transfer to an oiled bowl. *The bowl must be big enough for the dough to rise in. Let the dough rise for 30 minutes, no more and no less (this is less than most recipes).
4. During the 30 minutes of proof time, use this time to set up space to roll the dough ball, and mix the brown sugar and ground cinnamon together and set aside.
5. 30 minutes is up! Transfer the dough ball to the floured surface using the excess flour, cover both sides the the ball, and place the dough on the counter. Making sure both sides are lightly floured this helps from sticking to the surface when trying to roll (you can wipe off excess once finished). Roll the dough ball to about 1/4 of an inch thick an as close to a rectangle as possible.
6. Now that you have a "rectangle" begin to apply the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture evenly over the entire surface of the dough. Drizzle the agave, it does not have to be even.
7. Tightly roll the dough into a tube like cinnamon roll stick and slice into eight even rolls.
8. This is where our recipe differs from others. Once they look like cinnamon rolls lay them on a parchment paper lined sheet pan and loosely plastic wrap and keep in warm spot for another 30 to 45 minutes (they will get big).
9. After the cinnamon rolls have risen toss them into the preheated over at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. While the rolls are cooking grab a small bowl and whisk together the milk, confectioner sugar and a pinch of cinnamon or even a nutmeg if your over the summer's heat.
9.5. If you would like to do the gooey sticky icing, slightly melt a package of cream cheese in the oven. Take it out after 3-4 minutes, and put in a mixing bowl. Add 1/2 to a 1 cup of confection sugar while slowly mixing. Last add your extract and whip until it is a fluffy icing. (Alternative icing)
10. Once the rolls are finished, apply the icing and your cinnamon roll adventure has just begun. Goes great with a homemade cup of JAVA!!!