These Vegan Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls combine molasses bread dough filled with swirls of spiced cinnamon sugar topped with cinnamon cream cheese frosting & sugared cranberries. They are oooey, gooey, and so delicious!
While gingerbread cookies are always a classic, these ginger cinnamon rolls have all the same spicy-sweet flavor with added gooey goodness!
Gingerbread Roll Ingredients
*This image does not include the cream cheese frosting ingredients. For this, you will need vegan butter, vegan cream cheese, cinnamon, nutmeg, and powdered sugar.*
- Molasses: It's crucial to use fancy molasses or light molasses for this recipe. DO NOT use blackstrap molasses as it will be way too bitter for this recipe. Molasses doesn't have a great substitute, but maple syrup can work if you are in a bind!
- Spices: I used a mix of ground ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon in these rolls. However, feel free to add a little cardamom, star anise, or a pinch of black pepper if you like!
How to make gingerbread cinnamon rolls
Make the molasses bread dough
First, bloom the active dried yeast in warm water. Then, add in the melted vegan butter, sugar, molasses, and vanilla.
Whisk together and gradually mix in the dry ingredients including the flour, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. The dough will look a little rough at this point but will get smooth as you knead it.
Then, knead the dough by hand or in a standing mixer with the bread hook until smooth and elastic.
Add the gingerbread bread dough to a well-oiled bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled in size (about 1-2 hours).
Make the spiced cinnamon sugar filling
While the dough is rising, make the cinnamon roll filling. Add room temperature, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg to a food processor and blend together into a thick paste.
You can also mash together by hand with a fork, but it does take a bit more effort!
Add filling & slice the rolls
Punch down the dough and roll it into a rectangle. Then, use a spatula to evenly spread the spiced cinnamon sugar filling over the dough.
Make sure to leave a border along the edges of the roll so you can seal it together.
Then, roll the dough into a log and pinch the dough seems together.
Trim the ends, then use a bread knife to slice the roll into 10 evenly sized gingerbread cinnamon rolls.
Let rise overnight, top with creamer, & bake
Add the sliced gingerbread rolls to an oval pan and then cover with plastic wrap. Store in the fridge overnight or let the cinnamon rolls rise at room temperature for another hour.
In the morning, remove the gingerbread sweet rolls from the fridge and preheat the oven to 350F. Then, top them with plant-based creamer.
You can also use full-fat coconut milk or even a little oat milk. This step helps the cinnamon rolls stay moist while baking and makes them so gooey & delicious!
Then, add the tray to the oven and bake for about 30 minutes until cooked through, bubbling, and browned on top.
Make the cinnamon cream cheese frosting
Once the cinnamon rolls have cooled, make the cinnamon cream cheese frosting.
Cream together the vegan butter, vegan cream cheese, and cinnamon. Then gradually add in the powdered sugar and whip into a fluffy frosting.
Spread the frosting over the gingerbread sweet rolls and then top with sugared cranberries. Serve & enjoy these Christmas cinnamon rolls!
How to store vegan gingerbread rolls
Baked cinnamon rolls can be stored in the fridge for 2 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. If frozen, just defrost in the fridge for about 24 hours before serving.
If frosted, I don't recommend reheating the gingerbread rolls- they should instead be eaten at room temperature. Otherwise, the frosting will completely melt.
If you store the gingerbread rolls unfrosted you can reheat them in the oven or microwave before frosting them and enjoying!
I can't wait for you to try these Vegan Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls. With cinnamon cream cheese frosting & sugared cranberries on top, they truly are the perfect Holiday dessert or Christmas morning brunch!
More gingerbread recipes you will love:
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Vegan Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls
Cinnamon Roll Ingredients
- ⅓ cup vegan butter room temperature
- ⅔ cup brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 Tablespoons plant-based creamer or coconut milk
Frosting & Topping Ingredients:
- ¼ cup vegan butter
- ¼ cup vegan cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ¼ cup sugared cranberries
Make the gingerbread dough:
- Begin by adding your warmed water and yeast to a large mixing bowl. Let sit for 3-5 minutes to make sure the yeast is activated. You will be able to tell if it's bubbling. If using instant yeast, you can skip this step and add the yeast directly to the mix with the flour and salt.
- Next, add the melted vegan butter, sugar, molasses, and vanilla to the large mixing bowl and whisk together to combine.
- Once mixed, gradually begin adding in your flour about ½-1 cup at a time. Also, add in the salt, ginger, and cinnamon at this time.
- Once all the flour has been added in, knead the dough. If using a standing mixer, switch the attachment to the bread hook and knead for 5-10 minutes until elastic. If you are kneading by hand, knead on a lightly floured surface for 10-15 minutes or until the dough is elastic and significantly less sticky. The dough is done being kneaded once it can be stretched without easily tearing and is smooth and tacky but not sticky.
- Add the kneaded dough to a well-oiled bowl for the first rise. I prefer to coat my bowl in olive oil, but any oil works here. The dough will be sticky so you may want to lightly oil your hands before grabbing the dough.
- Then, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a towel, place in a warm place, and let rise 1 hour or until doubled in size. I like to test my dough by "poking" it with a finger. If it doesn't bounce back and stays indented, it is ready. It is also important to not “overproof” the dough as it can turn sour from the yeast turning the sugar into alcohol, so do not let the dough sit too long.
Make the filling and add to the dough
- In a separate bowl, mash together the softened room temperature vegan butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg until a a thick paste forms. This can be done in a blender, food processor, or by hand with a fork. Set aside.
- Punch down the gingerberad dough and roll it into a 1" thick rectangle that is around 9*14 inches in width and length. You don't want the dough to be too thin or you will have a hard time rolling it up once the filling is inside!
- After the dough is rolled out, use a spatula to spread the spiced cinnamon sugar filling evenly across the dough. Make sure to leave a ¼ inch border around the edges of the dough without filling.
- Beginning with the longer side of the rectangle, tightly roll up the dough into a log. Lightly flour the dough as you go to help if it gets a bit sticky. Make sure to seal the roll by pinching the edges together. Then, flip the dough over so the pinched seal is facing down.
- Once the dough is rolled into a log, trim the ends and discard. Cut the remaining dough into 10 evenly sized rolls using a very sharp bread knife or using dental floss.
- Place the rolls into a large ceramic pan (I used a 2.4 QT oval pan from MadeIn), cover with plastic wrap, and let rest overnight in the fridge for 6-8 hours. (You can also let the dough rise for 1 hour while the oven is preheating if you can't wait until the morning).
Baking the Rolls:
- Removed the rolls from the fridge & preheat the oven to 350F.
- Once the oven is preheated, remove the plastic wrap from the pan of rolls and top with the 2 Tablespoons of plant-based creamer.
- Add the pan of the rolls to the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until cooked through. Then, remove the rolls from the oven and let cool slightly. While
Make the frosting:
- While the rolls are cooling, make the cinnamon cream cheese frosting.
- Add the vegan butter and vegan cream cheese to a mixing bowl and cream together with an electric mixer. Then, add in the ground cinnamon and nutmeg and whip together until smooth.
- As a final step, turn down the speed and gradually whip in the powdered sugar ½ cup at a time.
- Spread the cream cheese frosting over the cinnamon rolls. Then, top with sugared cranberries and enjoy!