These eggless cinnamon rolls are light, fluffy and pillowy soft, thanks to olive oil. They’re vegan, easy to make and ready in about 2 hours!
Who doesn’t love soft, gooey cinnamon rolls, especially for breakfast? Especially if they are homemade! If you like classic cinnamon rolls, try these - they are amazing, too!
I developed this recipe for 2 reasons. First because I once ran out of milk, eggs, and butter and I was really craving cinnamon rolls. The other reason is that I wanted a vegan version so I could make these during Orthodox Christian fasting periods (which is mainly vegan).
These eggless cinnamon rolls came out great and the olive oil really made a difference!
Why use olive oil?
Olive oil creates an amazing texture! The dough is much lighter than classic cinnamon rolls. In addition, these cinnamon rolls taste amazing and they’re not at all greasy! Furthermore, olive oil is really healthy, as it has a lot less saturated fat than butter.
Have you ever tried olive oil in a cake instead of butter? You should give my lemon olive oil cake a try! It's delicious! Or how about cookies with olive oil? Try these amazing traditional Greek olive oil cookies, Ladokouloura!
Why this recipe works:
- There’s no need to proof the yeast. For many traditional recipes for cinnamon rolls (including my classic cinnamon rolls from scratch), you have to proof the yeast before mixing it with the flour. However, for this recipe, you don’t have to do that because I use instant yeast. It is a real time-saver!
- It has olive oil. A superfood that has so many health benefits.
- It has a few simple ingredients. You only need 7 ingredients to make these eggless cinnamon rolls, most of which you probably already have in your pantry!
- It’s easy to make. I knead the dough by hand, buy you could use a stand mixer if you prefer. The detailed picture tutorial will show you every step of the way!
- It has an incredible fluffy texture. These cinnamon rolls are very soft and not dense at all, despite the fact that there are no eggs.
What do these eggless cinnamon rolls taste like?
These cinnamon rolls are super soft, light, and fluffy! The olive oil makes a wonderful texture and delicious filling! They’re not too sweet plain, and the brown sugar walnut glaze really brings out the cinnamon flavor and enhances them.
WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE
Ingredients for eggless cinnamon rolls
Olive oil: I suggest using a light, high-quality olive oil. I use a light extra virgin olive oil. I think a light olive oil really suits the overall flavor. The lighter the oil, the better.
Instant dry yeast: I use instant dry yeast because it doesn’t need to be proofed.
Sugar: I use both granulated white sugar for the dough and brown sugar for the glaze.
Flour: I use all-purpose flour, but you could also use bread flour.
Cinnamon: I use ground cinnamon for the rolls and a cinnamon stick for the glaze.
Milk: I use unsweetened almond milk, but you could use your favorite plant-based milk or regular milk, if you aren't vegan - I've made this recipe with both kinds of milk!
Salt: I use a bit of salt for the dough.
Ingredients for the brown sugar glaze
Sugar: I use light brown sugar.
Water: I use water instead of milk or cream to make it light as opposed to a thick and rich, caramel sauce.
Butter: I use vegan butter, but you could use margarine or regular butter.
Cinnamon: I use a cinnamon stick because I think it really adds a nice depth of flavor to the glaze.
Walnuts: I use some chopped walnuts for the glaze, too.
Before I begin making the rolls, I like to heat the oven a bit so that the dough is in a nice, warm place which will help it rise faster. Just turn the oven on to 140°F ( 60°C) and then turn it off when the temperature is reached.
HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE
First, you prepare your pan. I like to lightly grease my baking dish with some oil and then sprinkle some homemade cinnamon sugar on top. If you don’t have any cinnamon sugar, just sprinkle with some sugar and dust with a tiny amount of cinnamon. This is an optional step, but I just love how the bottom of the rolls get slightly caramelized after they bake!
In a bowl, mix the flour and the salt together.
In another bowl, whisk together the warm milk, oil, sugar, and yeast.
Pour the yeast mixture into a large mixing bowl. Gradually add the flour mixture and start kneading.
You may need to add some more flour for the dough to come together (as in picture 6). Keep kneading for about 7-10 minutes. I like to do it in the bowl, but you could do it on a work surface, if you prefer.
The dough is perfect when it comes together and doesn’t stick to the bowl any more. You should be able to pick it up in one big piece.
Grease another clean bowl with oil and place the dough in it. Cover the dough with oil all around.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in the preheated warm oven.
Let the dough rise until it doubles in size. This should take about an hour. While waiting for the dough to rise, I make the cinnamon sugar filling. I just put all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk them together.
Now it’s time to roll the dough and make the cinnamon rolls.
Roll the dough into a rectangle, about 12 X 14 inches (30 X 36 cm). I like to roll it out on a large piece of parchment paper.
Spread the filling over the rolled-out dough, using the back of a spoon, leaving about 1 inch on the sides. This is so that it doesn’t ooze out while rolling and slicing the dough.
Roll up the dough, starting from the bottom. Pinch the ends.
Cut the roll in half and then cut each half into 6 pieces. That way you get 12 even rolls.
Place them in the baking pan. Make sure there’s some space between each roll.
Cover the rolls with plastic wrap and let them rise for about 30 minutes so that they puff up (see picture 7).
Bake the rolls until they’re nice, golden brown.
Now it's time to make the brown sugar glaze!
Put all the ingredients for the glaze in a saucepan and whisk together on medium heat until thick and bubbly.
Stir in the chopped walnuts. Then top the cinnamon rolls with the glaze!
ADD-INS & VARIATIONS
- You can knead some raisins or dried cranberries into the dough.
- For a citrus flavor, add some lemon or orange zest to the dough.
- Add some mini chocolate chips over the cinnamon filling! Chocolate goes so well with cinnamon!
- Before rolling the dough, you could add some apple filling on top like the one I use in my vegan apple crisp.
I included a brown sugar walnut glaze for this recipe, but you could just make a simple glaze from my classic cinnamon rolls recipe, which has powdered sugar. Of course, maple cream cheese frosting, or classic cream cheese frosting from my carrot cake recipe would also taste great!
Make eggless cinnamon roll muffins!
After you slice the rolls, put them into muffin tins instead of a baking dish! Just make sure you grease the muffin pan.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
- Before starting make sure your yeast hasn’t expired. If it’s expired, the dough won’t rise.
- Meausure the flour properly for best results.
- When you warm the milk, make sure it isn’t too hot because it’ll kill the yeast and the dough won’t rise. The temperature should roughly be between 105° F - 115° F (40°C – 46°C) degrees. The milk should feel comfortably warm on your wrist, not hot.
- The olive oil made this dough a dream to work with! There was no need to flour or grease my work surface to roll it out! I just rolled it out on a piece of parchment paper. Super easy clean-up and no mess!
- Make sure you use an olive oil that you enjoy. I suggest a really light olive oil that doesn't have a strong flavor.
Make-ahead eggless cinnamon rolls
There are lots of ways you can make these cinnamon rolls in advance!
If you want freshly-baked cinnamon rolls for breakfast, just put them in the refrigerator as soon as you slice them and cover them tightly with plastic wrap. You don’t even have to let them rise (they will rise in the fridge)! The next day, take them out of the refrigerator and let them sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven. Then remove the plastic wrap and bake as instructed.
You can easily freeze these cinnamon rolls, either in an entire pan, or just freeze individual rolls. If you want to freeze the pan, just cover it tightly with plastic wrap and then some aluminum foil or use a lid if your pan has one.
To freeze individual rolls, place them on a baking sheet and then put them in the freezer until they freeze completely (about 2 hours). Then take them out of the freezer, wrap each one with plastic wrap and then put them in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container. Put them back in the freezer. I often label them, too. I usually keep them in the freezer for about a month. When you’re ready to bake them, just let them thaw at room temperature overnight and bake as instructed.
How to reheat cinnamon rolls
I usually reheat them in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
You can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for about 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5-6 days.
For this recipe, I use instant dry yeast because it’s faster and you don’t need to proof it. If you only have active dry yeast, you can still make these cinnamon rolls, but you’ll have to proof it first. Check out my tutorial in this post to see how to do it.
If you want, you could also use fresh yeast. Fresh yeast has a lot of moisture so you need more of it. For this recipe, I use 1 packet of instant dry yeast, which is about 2 ¼ teaspoons (¼ ounces / 7 grams). To replace it with fresh yeast, 3 times this amount, about 0.74 ounces (21 grams). Then you need to activate it. Crumble it in some warm water or milk that’s between 105° F - 115° F (40°C – 46°C) with a pinch of sugar. Then wait about 10 minutes for it to get foamy and bubbly.
I have never made this recipe with vegetable oil, so I don’t know what it would taste like or how the texture would be. Technically speaking, vegetable oil could be used instead of olive oil.
HOW TO SERVE EGGLESS CINNAMON ROLLS
- I love them plain with a nice hot cup of coffee!
- A generous drizzle of homemade chocolate sauce on top is divine!
- Of course, you could also add a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream on the side!
MORE EGGLESS RECIPES!
Let me know how these Eggless Cinnamon Rolls turn out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!
Fluffy Eggless Cinnamon Rolls
For the dough
- 1 ¼ cup (300ml) warm milk (105ºF - 115ºF / 40ºC-46ºC) (you can use plant-based milk or regular milk)
- 1 tablespoon light olive oil
- 2 ¼ teaspoons (7g) instant yeast (or 1 packet)
- 3 ¼ cups (400g) all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup (70g) sugar
For the filling
- ⅓ cup (70g) sugar
- 1½ tablespoons cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons (about 2 fl oz / 50 ml) olive oil
For the brown sugar glaze
- ½ cup (100 g / 3.6 oz) light brown sugar
- ¼ cup (50 g / 1.8 oz) butter or margarine
- ½ cup water
- 1 cinnamon stick
Warm the oven
- Turn the oven on to 140°F ( 60°C) and then turn it off when the temperature is reached.
Prepare the pan & make the dough
- Lightly grease the pan with oil and sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on top. Set aside. If you don't have cinnamon sugar, just sprinkle with a little bit of granulated sugar and then lightly dust with cinnamon.
- Mix the flour and the salt in a bowl. Set aside.
- In another bowl, whisk together the warm milk with the sugar, oil and yeast.
- Gradually add the flour mixture to the milk mixture. Add more flour, if necessary and knead until you get a smooth dough. It’ll take about 7-10 minutes.
- Lightly grease a large clean bowl with oil and place the dough in it and cover it with oil too. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and keep it in the warm oven to rise for about 1 hour, or until it doubles in size.
Make the filling
- Mix all ingredients for the filling in a bowl and set it aside.
Make the cinnamon rolls
- Roll the dough into a 12 X 14 inches (30 X 36 cm) rectangle. I like to roll it out on a large piece of parchment paper.
- Spread the filling over the rolled-out dough, using the back of a spoon, leaving about 1 inch on the sides.
- Roll up the dough, starting from the bottom. Pinch the ends together.
- Cut the roll in half and then cut each half into 6 even pieces and place them in the baking pan. Make sure there’s some space between each roll.
- Cover the rolls with plastic wrap and let them rise for about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 °F / 180°C.
Make the brown sugar glaze
- Put the sugar, water, butter and cinnamon stick in a small saucepan.
- Whisk together on medium heat until thick and bubbly, about 15 minutes.
- Stir in the walnuts and set aside.
Bake the cinnamon rolls
- Bake the cinnamon rolls for 30 - 35 minutes or until golden brown.
- Top the rolls with the brown sugar glaze.
- For accurate results, I suggest using a digital scale to weigh the ingredients.
- Every oven is different, so baking times may vary. Check on the rolls after about 20-25 minutes.
To freeze individual rolls, place them on a baking sheet and then put them in the freezer until they freeze completely (about 2 hours). Then take them out of the freezer, wrap each one with plastic wrap and then put them in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container. Put them back in the freezer. I often label them, too. I usually keep them in the freezer for about a month. When you’re ready to bake them, just let them thaw at room temperature overnight and bake as instructed. ©Pastry Wishes