I am not currently nor do I ever see myself becoming a vegan, but I recently made some roasted chickpeas and decided to save the aquafaba (aka, "chickpea juice"). Upon further research, I found a lot of vegan recipes that utilize the aquafaba as an egg substitute. Aquafaba actually whips similar to egg whites! This intrigued me so I decided to try cinnamon rolls from the Vegan Richa. Although this recipe didn’t turn out to be an instant favorite, the recipe itself is clear, simple, and yields a delicious result. Richa also has a lot of amazing vegan recipes on her website that I am excited to try out in the future.

Tip 1

My first tip for making these cinnamon rolls is don’t skimp on the glaze. In my opinion, glaze can really make or break a cinnamon roll and these rolls definitely deserve a little more than a drizzle. I would recommend making a little more than the recipe suggests; maybe increase the cup of powdered sugar to a cup and a half.

I also cheated at this point in the recipe and used some cream cheese and regular milk. If you're a vegan, you can try using vegan cream cheese and plant-based milk. 

Tip 2

My second tip is to use the right size pan. The recipe recommends a 8x 8 pan or a 9 inch round one. You can absolutely make these in a larger pan, like I did, but you’ll run into the issue of the sides of the rolls drying out a little bit. This can be avoided by using a pan that exactly fits the amount of cinnamon rolls you make. The recipe says 8 servings but I ended up getting 10 cinnamon rolls total; this is why I opted for a bigger pan. Of course all of this will depend on how big/small you cut the rolls. 

Tip 3

My third adjustment to this recipe is the filling. Personally I wanted the rolls to be a little more soft and buttery. I think that by adding an extra tablespoon (or two) of oil/vegan butter to the filling, you'd get a softer consistency. The middle of these cinnamon rolls just weren’t as ooey-gooey as your average cinnamon roll so I think the extra oil would really help to put this recipe over the top.

Bonus Tip

Another tip is to give yourself more time than expected for this recipe. Just because the recipe says it can be made in an hour doesn't mean you should make them in an hour.  If you are planning to make these for breakfast, or even just for a snack, I would recommend following the double-rise method that Richa suggests. Rise time is key for any baked good with gluten; I noticed a huge difference in my dough after letting it sit and rise for about 2 hours.

Meaghan Contois

Would I make these cinnamon rolls again? Maybe. While they were delicious and didn’t require a lot of ingredients, the process of making the dough, letting it rise, and then rolling up the cinnamon rolls wasn’t worth it in my opinion. If you’re looking for a fun quarantine project and you enjoy baking I would definitely recommend trying these at least once, otherwise I’d stick to the canned Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls. If you're vegan, you can eat the Trader Joe's Brand Cinnamon Rolls without fear!