There is not much that I love more than cinnamon rolls. Except maybe pumpkin. Add the two together and you get these vegan pumpkin cinnamon rolls! Eating them is like being in a fluffy dessert heaven.
If I could eat one dessert for the rest of my life, it just might be cinnamon rolls. The sweet, gooey, fluffiness is the perfect combination of everything I love in a dessert. But, making them has never been my specialty. Without yeast, they just didn’t have that pillowiness. With yeast, well, I’m not sure because I could never get the yeast to work!
In all my years of existence I have never been able to get yeast to cooperate with me. I would follow the directions – proof the yeast, knead the dough, allow said dough to “rise”. But that darn rise would never happen. Until now! Getting the yeast ro work is seriously one of the biggest accomplishments of my life. And now we can all enjoy these healthy, scrumptious pumpkin cinnamon rolls because if I can get it to work, you can, too!
I learned that the trick with yeast is that the temperature of the liquid matters (insert head explosion motion here)! This might be obvious for some of you, but I’m positive in my previous attempts to make cinnamon rolls I’ve used water straight from the tap. The temp of the water has to be about 110 degree F. But, I don’t own a thermometer and am lacking the “type A”/meticulous gene to actually buy and use one. If you are like me, no worries! The trick here is to warm your water up to the point where if you stick your finger in it, it doesn’t feel hot or cold. Basically, you shouldn’t be able to tell your finger is in water. Well, besides it being wet and all…. Anyways, this method has worked every time now!
Once you get the water to the correct temperature, just add 1 tsp of sugar and sprinkle the yeast on top. VIOLA! Five minutes later your yeast is all….well, yeasty. It has a distinct smell and will be foamy and bubbly.
Then, you just mix that foamy yeast in with the rest of your ingredients and knead away. I know some people avoid recipes that require kneading like the plague, but if you put some parchment paper down, you can knead the dough on that instead of creating a snow store of flour on your counter.
Here’s another important trick when working with yeast – it has to be left alone to rise in a wam, draft free place. I covered my bowl with some cling form and stuck it in my microwave, with the microwave off. When I checked on it 2 hours later, and the dough had actually doubled in size, my reaction was like a kid at Christmas who was just told they were going to Disney World!
And here’s another crazy thing – rolling up the cinnamon rolls is actually really fun when your dough is light and fluffy instead of dry and crumbly. Which, if you’ve ever failed at making cinnamon rolls (like I have), you know exactly what I’m talking about.
After you’ve rolled up and sliced your pumpkin cinnamon rolls, you get to set them aside to rise again! It’s just as exciting as the first time 😀 . And once you get to baking them…oh-em-geeeee! The smell that will take over your house will make it hard to wait for them to finish baking!
I seriously can’t get enough of these. Not to mention they are made with healthy ingredients, like whole wheat flour, almond butter, and of course, pumpkin. Lots of fiber and no saturated fats! That’s my kind of dessert. Also, don’t get scared by the recipe’s lengthy instructions. I wanted to make sure I was thorough. So, what are you waiting for!? These vegan pumpkin cinnamon rolls aren’t going to bake themselves. 😀
Yields 8 rolls
Vegan; Oil Free; Butter Free; Soy Free; Low Sugar
40 minPrep Time
12 minCook Time
52 minTotal Time
- 1/4 cup water, warmed
- 1 tsp sweetener of choice
- 1 packet (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast (not the instant kind)
- 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 Tbsp sweetener of choice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 2/3 cup water
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar/sweetener of choice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla paste or extract
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1-2 Tbsp milk of choice
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- In a microwave safe cup/bowl, warm 1/4 cup water. It should be about 110 F, or when sticking your finger in the water it shouldn't feel hot or cold.
- Add 1 tsp sugar/sweetener of choice and the yeast. Set aside for 5-10 min. The yeast should foam up (if it doesn't, don't continue with that yeast because it will not cause the dough to rise).
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sweetener, and salt.
- Mash the almond butter into the dry ingredients with the tines of a fork (the same way you would mash bananas) until it's incorporated.
- Add to that the yeast/water mixture and almost all the rest of the water called for. Mix everything together. If needed, add the rest of the water. You are looking for the ingredients to be well incorporated and stick together, but have a tiny bit of dry flour left. This is why you don't want to add all the water at once, just in case you don't need it. You don't want the dough to be too sticky.
- Turn the dough out onto some parchment paper. Knead the dough until it has all come together and the dough is not sticky.
- Grease your mixing bowl to ensure that the dough doesn't stick to the sides and place the dough in the bowl. Cover with cling form wrap or a lint free towel and place in a warm, draft free area.
- Allow the dough to rise until it has doubled in size (about 1-2 hours).
- In a medium bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, spices, salt, and vanilla.
- Grease a 9" round cake pan.
- Turn out the risen dough onto the parchment paper. Form the dough into a 11" x 7" rectangle using a rolling pin or your hands. Spread the pumpkin puree mixture over the dough, leaving a 1" border along the edges.
- Using your finger tips, tightly roll the long side of the dough up, pinching the ends together to secure the roll.
- Cut the dough into 8 rolls and place them in the greased cake pan, leaving a little bit of space in between each roll to allow them to rise some more. Cover the rolls and place them back in the draft free area. Allow them to double in size again (about 1-2 hours).
- Once the dough has risen, preheat your oven to 350 F. Bake the rolls for 10 - 12 min. or until the top of the rolls has darkened slightly.
- Allow the rolls to cool in the pan.
- While the rolls are cooling, mix together the ingredients for the glaze, stirring in 1 Tbsp of water first, then adding 1 tsp of water at a time until you get your desired consistency. Then, drizzle on top of the rolls.
- Pull apart your roll of choice and blissfully devour the goodness.
Prep time does not include rising time.
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