(Relatively) Easy Cinnamon Buns (Minimalist Baker)

I made cinnamon buns for the FIRST time this past weekend, and going into it I didn't think anything of it until my friend messaged me and asked me to let her know how much work they took to make... who knew that cinnamon buns were notorious for being a tedious breakfast treat? Not me!

I used Minimalist Baker's recipe, for the main reason that she only used SEVEN ingredients (and I already had 5/7 them - sign me up!).

The two things I didn't have were the organic cane sugar (real cheap at Bulk Barn), and the packet of instant yeast (which they did not have at Bulk Barn, but they did at Sobeys). Easy!

I work up on Saturday morning with the idea to eat them for breakfast.... nope, turns our that even 'instant' dough still needs an hour to rise. This recipe takes about 2 hours total, so make sure you buffer in enough time (it's worth it though!). Oh well, lunch cinnamon buns taste just as delicious as breakfast cinnamon buns.

I'd never made dough before, so I wan't really sure what consistency I was looking for. My dough was wayyyyy too wet, but luckily there's a quick video on the site, so I just kept adding flour until it looked the same haha.

Once I actually made the dough - the rest was easy! After it's been an hour, you just roll it out, top with some (vegan) butter, cinnamon, and sugar, and then roll it up! I was a little nervous about rolling it up and cutting it into rolls, but they turned out great (a little rustic looking... but great!). Then you put them in the oven for half an hour, and that's it!

These would be great to make if you're hosting a brunch at your house, as you can prepare it before guests arrive and then pop it in the oven and you don't need to worry about it while you're chatting with them.

Overall, these were SO GOOD and I would definitely make them again. I gave some to my (non-vegan) teenage siblings and they devoured them.

(Tip: Minimalist Baker also has a gluten free, vegan version, which she swears is good! The recipe is here).

The recipe is by Minimalist Baker and can be found below, or on their website here.


  • 3 Tbsp vegan butter (such as Earth Balance)

  • 1 packet instant yeast* (or use rapid-rise yeast // 1 packet yields ~ 2 1/4 tsp)

  • 1 cup unsweetened plain almond milk

  • 1 Tbsp organic cane sugar

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour*


  • 3 Tbsp vegan butter (such as Earth balance // melted)

  • 1/4 cup organic cane sugar

  • 1/2 - 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon (to taste)


  • 2 Tbsp vegan butter (such as Earth balance // melted)


  1. DOUGH: In a large sauce pan (or in a bowl in the microwave at 30-second increments), heat the almond milk and vegan butter until warm and melted, never reaching boiling. Remove from heat and let cool to 110 degrees F (43 C) or the temperature of bath water. It should be warm but not too hot or it will kill the yeast.

  2. Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl and sprinkle on yeast. Let activate for 10 minutes. Then add 1 Tbsp sugar and the salt and stir.

  3. Next add in flour 1/2 cup (68 g) at a time, stirring as you go (you may not add it all). The dough will be sticky. When it is too thick to stir, transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute or so until it forms a loose ball (be careful not to overmix). Rinse your mixing bowl out, coat it with avocado or olive oil, and add your dough ball back in. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size (see photo).

  4. FILLING: On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a thin rectangle. Brush with melted vegan butter and top with sugar and desired amount of cinnamon.

  5. Starting at one end, tightly roll up the dough and situate seam side down. Then with a serrated knife or a string of floss, cut the dough into 1.5 - 2 inch sections and position in a well-buttered 8x8-inch square or comparable sized round pan (you should have about 10 rolls as original recipe is written). 

  6. TOPPING: Brush with vegan butter (melted) and cover with plastic wrap. Set on top of the oven to let rise again while you preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C).

  7. Once the oven is hot, bake rolls for 25-30 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes and then serve immediately.

  8. Optional: Frost with dairy-free cream cheese frosting or a simple mixture of 1 cup (112 g) organic powdered sugar and 1-2 Tbsp (15-30 ml) almond milk.

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