Soft and fluffy vegan apple cinnamon rolls with a maple icing. These fall-inspired cinnamon rolls are perfect for a weekend breakfast or brunch, or a special occasion. You can prepare them the same day or use the make-ahead option!
Is there anything better than a warm cinnamon roll with a generous amount of icing? Personally, I don’t think so.
These cinnamon rolls are stuffed with an apple pie filling and a generous amount of cinnamon and brown sugar. They’re then topped with a drizzle of icing with a hint of maple. It’s the perfect fall baking project. Plus, they’re completely vegan!
This recipe is inspired by this cinnamon roll recipe, which is topped with an eggnog icing – Check that one out if you’re looking for a delicious holiday brunch option!
Vegan Apple Cinnamon Roll Ingredient Notes:
- Sugar: This recipe uses white sugar for the dough and brown sugar for the filling. You’ll also need a small amount of icing sugar for the icing. A reader also tried the recipe with a combination of white sugar and coconut sugar instead of brown sugar. Feel free to try this if you don’t have any brown sugar on hand.
- Yeast: You’ll need a quick rise instant yeast to make the dough.
- Vegan butter: You’ll need vegan butter in a few of the steps, including the dough, filling and pan sauce. I use vegan Becel.
- Plant-based milk: I tested this recipe with oat milk, soy milk and almond milk. Use your favorite! Make sure to use plain and unsweetened milk to avoid affecting the flavor.
- Salt: To enhance the flavors and balance the sweetness. I use a fine grain sea salt.
- All-purpose white flour: I can’t guarantee good results with any flour alternatives, including gluten-free flour. Make sure to spoon and level the flour. This means, don’t scoop the flour using your measuring cup. This would result in using too much flour. Instead, scoop the flour using a spoon and transfer it to the measuring cup. Then level the top with the back of a butter knife.
- Cinnamon: You’ll need a generous amount of cinnamon.
- Apples: Choose apples that hold their shape during baking. You can find some suggestions in the FAQ section.
- Cornstarch: To make the apple pie filling. You should be able to use tapioca starch instead, but I haven’t tested it myself.
- Maple syrup: You’ll need a small amount of maple syrup for the icing. If you don’t have maple, you can replace it with more plant-based milk.
How to Prep Your Cinnamon Rolls the Day Before:
For the make-ahead option, prepare the entire recipe, but don’t bake them. Instead, keep them wrapped tightly in the fridge for up to 2 days, until you’re ready to bake them. Once you’re ready, take them out of the fridge and leave them at room temperature for 30 minutes, then bake them as instructed. This will save you from spending over an hour prepping your cinnamon rolls in the morning.
Vegan Apple Cinnamon Roll FAQ:
You can skip the apple filling and make regular cinnamon rolls instead. Or you can try this cinnamon roll recipe.
I don’t have a gluten-free option for this recipe. You can try using a 1:1 gluten-free flour mix, but I can’t guarantee good results.
To make the apple pie filling, make sure to use apples that keeps their shape during cooking. Braeburn, Jonagold, Honeycrisp, Golden delicious are all good options.
More Vegan Apple Recipes:
- Vegan Apple Crisp
- Cozy Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
- Fruit-Sweetened Apple Muffins
- Date-Sweetened Apple Crumble Bars
- Spiced Chia Applesauce
Vegan Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Icing
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 pack quick rise instant yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1/3 cup vegan butter, melted
- 1/2 cup plant-based milk (oat, soy or almond), plain and unsweetened
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose white flour, spoon and leveled
The Apple Filling
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter
- 2 medium apples, peeled and diced
- 1 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
Cinnamon Sugar Filling
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon, ground
- 3 tablespoons vegan butter, melted
- 1/4 cup vegan butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon plant-based milk (oat, soy or almond), plain and unsweetened
Prepare the Dough
- In a medium to large bowl, dissolve the sugar in the warm water. Add the yeast and let it sit for 5 minutes or until foam forms at the top. Set aside.
- Melt the 1/3 cup of butter (I use the microwave for 30 seconds). Add the milk, sugar and salt to the melted butter. Stir to combine. Add to the yeast mixture and stir again to combine.
- Add the flour, 1 cup at a time, stirring every time until just combined. Once you added all the flour or that the dough is thick and shaggy, transfer the dough to a clean, floured surface. With oiled hands, knead the dough for 3-4 minutes or until the dough looks smooth. Add more flour if needed, but avoid using too much or the dough will get dry.
- Rinse and clean the same bowl. Coat it with a little bit of oil. Transfer the dough to the bowl and cover it tightly with plastic wrap or a reusable bowl cover. Let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour, such as the oven with the light turned on.
Prepare the Apple Filling
- In a small saucepan, melt the vegan butter over medium heat. Add the diced and peeled apples, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until the apples have soften. Stir in the cornstarch and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
Prepare the Cinnamon Sugar Filling
- In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
Prepare the Pan Sauce
- Melt 1/4 cup of butter. Stir in the brown sugar to form the pan sauce. Pour the pan sauce at the bottom of an 8×11 inch (or 9×13 inch) casserole dish and spread it evenly. Set aside.
Finish the Cinnamon Rolls
- Once the dough is done rising, unwrap it. Add more flour to a clean surface. Place the dough on the lightly floured surface and roll it our until you get approximately a 18×12 inch rectangle.
- Melt another 1/4 cup of butter. Brush the melted butter on top of the rolled out dough, then sprinkle it evenly with the cinnamon sugar. Add the apple filling and spread it evenly.
- Roll the dough tightly from the short side of the rectangle. Make sure the seam is on the bottom, then using a serrated knife, cut it into 12 rolls. Transfer the rolls to the prepared dish. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and let it rise for another 45 minutes in a warm place.
- Once ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Remove the plastic wrap and bake the rolls for 25 minutes or until lightly golden (they won't brown as much as non-vegan cinnamon rolls). Remove from the oven and let them cool slightly. Meanwhile, you can prepare the icing.
Prepare the Icing
- In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar, maple and plant-based milk. Whisk until smooth. Add more plant-based milk if it's too dry or more sugar if it's too thin. Pour the icing over the lightly cooled cinnamon rolls. Enjoy!
If you make these vegan apple cinnamon rolls, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I love to hear from you guys. And of course, if you try this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram!