Let me tell you about my work mornings.
Get up, get out of bed, gulp down breakfast, catch the bus, sleep on the bus, stumble bleary-eyed into the charming Port Authority.
NO, I don’t mean the exhaust from the buses. I mean the blissful, mouthwatering scents from Cinnabon. It too is enough to make me slightly woozy. On a crisp, chilly fall morning, there isn’t anything much better than the smell of buttery cinnamon and vanilla frosting.
Is Cinnabon vegan? No. Is it healthy? HELL no. Hey, I’m all for an indulgence every so often; I’ve said before that I think that that is completely healthy!
But what if I want my cinnamon buns every morning???
Enter this recipe. Cooking with yeast can be a bit of a pain in the you-know-what, but the good news about this is that the bulk of it can be done the night before, so that you just have to plop them in the oven first thing. And they also keep for a few days, so you can have your cinnamon-y bliss all week long if you want. Oh, and they’re vegan, and wayyy better for you than Cinnabon, so you can at least justify them a bit.
But trust me when I say that the flavor justifies these quite enough, even if they aren’t the healthiest things in the world. Throw in the apple butter as the filling, and you’ve just filled your home with the scent of apple pie. And your belly with deliciousness.
Apple Cinnamon Rolls
1 cup almond milk, warmed
1 packet instant yeast
3 cups oat flour + 1 cup set aside
1 tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
Heat the almond milk until slightly warmed in the microwave. Add the yeast, stir, cover bowl with a dish towel, and set aside.
Meanwhile, mix all of the dry ingredients (3 cups flour, sugars, baking powder, cinnamon, salt). When the yeast mixture is proofed (foam or bubbles at the top), add it to the flour mixture, along with the applesauce.
Knead dough by hand for about 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. I kept about 1 cup of flour set aside to add as needed, as my dough was a bit sticky.
Once kneaded, wrap loosely in plastic wrap, put it back in the bowl, put a dish towel over the bowl and set aside in a warm but dark place (I put mine by my oven). Let rise for about an hour and a half.
Remove dough and punch dough on a lightly floured surface.
Roll out to a large rectangle and spread apple butter on top with a spatula, leaving about an inch clear on one of the long sides.
Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon as desired.
Gently roll up dough so it resembles a log. Slice dough with a SHARP knife (so you don’t skew your rolls!) into 1/2 inch slices and place in a greased dish (I used two glass loaf pans).
At this point, if you are making these night before (which I did), cover the pans in plastic wrap and put them in the fridge. If you are making them day of, cover with plastic wrap and a dish towel and set aside to rise again for about an hour.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle brown sugar, regular cane sugar, and cinnamon on top of the rolls.
Bake rolls for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and slightly crisp to touch.
For the glaze, mix together vegan powdered sugar, almond milk and vanilla extract, adding powdered sugar until you reach your desired consistency. Drizzle on top of the rolls.
P.S. I entered my Pumpkin Spice Latte in Silk’s Holiday Recipe Contest on Facebook! If I get enough votes, I could win a KitchenAid stand mixer, which I could really use (I’ve never had a stand mixer before). Vote here. Thank you!!!