Make ahead cinnamon rolls

Carrie M.
vegan and nut-free
Course Dessert



  • 1 cup soymilk preferably vanilla flavored
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons 1 stick margarine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup warm water about 110 degrees (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour plus extra for rolling
  • Cooking spray or oil I used coconut oil spray


  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons margarine melted


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water


Make the Dough:

  • Heat the soymilk, ½ cup sugar, salt, and 1 stick (8 tablespoons) margarine in a small saucepan over low to medium heat, until the margarine is just melted.
  • Remove soymilk mixture from heat and stir in vanilla. Set aside to cool until warm to the touch.
  • While soymilk mixture is cooling, place the warm water (see note) and 1 tablespoon sugar in a 1-cup liquid measuring cup (don’t forget the sugar!). Sprinkle in yeast while stirring, then set aside for 10 minutes. The yeast should rise to the ¾ cup mark; if it doesn’t, either your yeast was dead or your water was not the right temperature, and you’ll have to try again.
  • In a standing mixture with the whisk attachment, combine margarine mixture with the yeast and beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.
  • Beat at low speed while adding 2 ½ cups flour. Mix for about 2 more minutes.
  • Change to regular mixing attachment and add 1 ½ to 2 cups more flour – you don’t want to add so much that the dough is not still a little wet and sticky. Beat for 1 more minute.
  • Remove dough from mixing bowl and place on lightly floured surface. Knead for about 2 minutes with your hands.
  • Prepare large mixing bowl by spraying with cooking spray or rubbing with oil (I use coconut oil spray).
  • Form dough into a ball and place dough in prepared bowl. Roll the dough around so it gets coated with oil (to keep it from sticking to the bowl while rising). Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place until it has doubled in size, about 1 ½ to 2 hours (I set it near the fireplace). (If does not, you will have to start again, or accept that your cinnamon rolls will still taste yummy but will be smaller and a denser/tougher consistency.)
  • Once risen, punch in the center so that the dough deflates. Take dough out of bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Let rest for 10 minutes.

Make filling and assemble rolls:

  • Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
  • Combine brown sugar, sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl.
  • Roll dough into a roughly 20x13 inch rectangle.
  • Melt margarine and brush evenly over the dough.
  • Spread sugar/cinnamon mixture over dough evenly.
  • With the long end of the dough facing you, slowly roll the doll up evenly and as tightly as you can.
  • With the seam of the roll down, use a sharp knife to cut the log in half, and then cut each half into halves.
  • Cut each piece into three pieces, so that you have a total of 12 rolls, each about 1 ½ inches thick.
  • Place the rolls, cut side down, in the prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place (again, I use the fireplace) until they have risen and expanded, about 1 hour.
  • (If you are not planning to freeze the rolls, at this point you can skip to the baking step. Otherwise, continue to next section.)

Freeze Rolls

  • After the rolls have risen, place the pan (still wrapped in plastic) in the freezer.
  • After 1 hour, remove the rolls and put into large Ziploc bags.

Thaw Rolls

  • The night before serving, transfer the rolls to a greased 9x13 inch baking pan and place in the fridge, covered in plastic.plastic.

Bake Rolls:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, make glaze by mixing powdered sugar and water until smooth.
  • Let rolls cool for about 10 minutes before glazing. Drizzle glaze over warm rolls.
  • Serve immediately or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.


The water must be the right temperature in order for the yeast to rise. Use a cooking thermometer if you have
one. If you don’t have a thermometer, use water that is hotter than just warm, but not so hot that it is painful to
the touch. After stirring in the sugar and yeast, touch the water to make sure it feels warm. If it has already
cooled, it was probably too cool, so add a small bit of very hot water to bring up the temp.

Hours: Monday - Thursday: 10am - 8pm
Friday & Saturday 10am - 5pm
Sunday 1pm - 5pm