Vegan Banana Bread Cinnamon Rolls

I have a confession to make: I used to suck at making cinnamon rolls. This is probably the eleventyith vegan cinnamon roll recipe that I’ve tried to make in the past year, but for some reason my cinnamon rolls always had the same problem: they were flat, hard, and didn’t rise. Now I know that is all due to me ignoring the clear fact that my yeast was inactive (always do the foam test first!) but I’ll never make that mistake again. Because perfect vegan cinnamon rolls are a thing to behold, and my previous cinnamon roll attempts didn’t come close to these darlings.

Now, these aren’t average cinnamon rolls either. These are Banana Bread Cinnamon Rolls. Not to be confused with a cross between a cinnamon roll and banana bread – these are cinnamon rolls with mashed banana mixed into the fluffy dough, rolled in cinnamon, sugar, topped with extra banana, and topped with EVEN MORE banana in the vegan cream cheese frosting. It’s kinda intense, but 100% delicious. I got this recipe from Ambitious Kitchen and my kitchen hasn’t been the same.

For those days when you’re not sure if you want to have banana bread or have cinnamon rolls, here’s your answer: why not both? Because if I’m going to go through the physical and mental exertion of making cinnamon rolls, they’re gonna have to be special. Trust me, there is nothing wrong with plain cinnamon and sugar, but when I bake I like to take things to the next level when I can. And these banana bread cinnamon rolls do just that. You’re about to love them as much as I do.

Cinnamon rolls are one of those indulgences that are so easy to make vegan. There are many options for non-dairy milk and vegan butter on the market these days. Personally, I love Earth Balance’s vegan butter, and Trader Joe’s almond milk and vegan cream cheese. Not sponsored, those are my honest recommendations! 🙂

Happy vegan baking!

Recipe

Ingredients

For the dough

  • ¾ cup almond milk, warmed to 110 degrees F
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons active yeast
  • 2 medium mashed ripe bananas
  • ¼ cup melted vegan butter
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

For the filling

  • ¼ cup vegan butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 medium banana, thinly sliced

Vegan cream cheese frosting

  • 2 oz Trader Joe’s vegan cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond milk
  • 1 small banana, peeled and cubed

Directions

Filling

In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

Cinnamon Rolls

  1. Line a 9×9 inch square or round baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Add warm almond milk and sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer and sprinkle yeast on top. Stir in the 2 mashed bananas and melted vegan butter. Mix until just combined. Next stir in flour and salt with a wooden spoon until a dough begins to form.
  3. Place dough hook on mixer and knead dough on low speed for 8 minutes. Dough should form into a nice ball and be slightly sticky.
  4. Transfer dough ball to a greased large bowl, then cover with plastic wrap and towel. Let sit in a warm spot and allow dough to rise for 1 hour, until doubled in size.
  5. After dough has doubled in size, transfer dough to a well-floured surface and roll out into a 14×10 inch rectangle. Spread softened butter over dough, leaving a ¼ inch margin at the far side of the dough.
  6. Next, use your hands to sprinkle the filling mixture (sugar + cinnamon) over the buttered dough, then gently press the sugar into the butter a little. Add banana slices on top.
  7. Tightly roll dough up the dough, starting from the 14-inch side closest to you. place seam side down and pinch the seam to seal the edges as best you can. You will likely need to cut off the ends of the dough as it won’t have much filling. Measure the dough and cut into 9 equal pieces with a serrated knife.
  8. Place cinnamon rolls in the baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and towel and let rise again for about 30 minutes while you preheat the oven.
  9. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove plastic wrap and towel and bake the cinnamon rolls for about 30 minutes or until just slightly golden brown on the edges. Allow them to cool for a 5-10 minutes before frosting.

Frosting

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth and fluffy. Add 1 teaspoon of almond milk for a thinner glaze.
  2. Fold in cubed banana pieces. Spread frosting over cinnamon rolls and serve immediately.

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