Vegan No Knead Cinnamon Rolls

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 7 votes

No mixer needed for these vegan no knead cinnamon rolls. The dough rests overnight. 15 minutes of work the next morning. Gooey and delicious!

An overhead shot of a pan of vegan cinnamon rolls with icing.
An overhead shot of a pan of vegan cinnamon rolls with icing on top.
Two images show a bowl of dough and a bowl with a brown sugar and cinnamon mixture.
Image shows some rolled out dough with a brown sugar mixture spread on top of the surface of the dough.
Image shows a rolled up tube of dough with a brown sugar filling on top of a butcher block countertop.

The thing about these vegan no knead cinnamon rolls is that a) they are a health food in so far as joy is a requirement for good health, and b) they’re probably the laziest (but still so delicious) version of cinnamon rolls you can make. Other facts! They are ooey-gooey and 100% perfect with coffee. They are ideally consumed on Christmas morning in holiday themed pyjamas.

If you follow me on Instagram, maybe you already know about my obsession with Jim Lahey’s no knead bread (see here, here & here). I started making it about a year ago, always switching up the types of flour a bit and tweaking the baking method. I make a marathon bread version with dried fruit and seeds now. It’s VERY satisfying to pull a cozy hot loaf from the oven with minimal effort. Once I locked down on the bread, I moved on to no knead pizza dough, which was equally satisfying. I was just really living that no knead, slow fermented lifestyle!

Sooner or later, I started thinking about translating that slow ferment to cinnamon rolls. I’ve made cinnamon rolls with straight up pizza dough before and enjoyed them, so I figured this would go off without a hitch. After a couple test rounds I can honestly say: these are so freaking good. You just mix the dough up with a spatula (no mixer yay!) and let it do its thing overnight, roll it out in the morning, fill and make the cute little rolls, one more rise, a quick bake, little glaze, and voila. These aren’t those picture perfect spirals that evoke a certain shopping mall eating experience. These rolls are rustic, home-y, and slightly craggy-edged. No two look alike and that’s all part of the charm for me.

Hope that some of you enjoy these festive little treats. What’s a little more indulgence this time of year, right? Also, pleasure is important all year long, so go forth and enjoy yourself! If you’re looking for more treats, these no-bake chocolate mint cups and grain-free ginger molasses softies are tops.

I’m taking a little holiday break, so this will be my last post of 2018. It’s been a bit of a wonky year creativity-wise for me, and I’ve also just wrestled with what I really want to be putting out and offering to the world. In the last few months, I’ve felt a little extra wind in my sails, taken some key steps for growth, and just realized a greater sense of purpose with this work. I’m excited to see what 2019 brings and as always, I’m ever grateful to you for following along and supporting me. Sending all my love for a peaceful holiday. Talk soon!

Image shows a pan of cinnamon rolls before baking in direct harsh light.
Two images show baked cinnamon rolls and icing being poured on top of a pan of cinnamon rolls.
An overhead shot of a pan of vegan cinnamon rolls with icing on top.
Two photos show an individual vegan cinnamon roll on a plate from two different angles.
Image shows a bench scraper with gathered up dusting flour on top of a butcher block countertop.

Vegan No Knead Cinnamon Rolls

No mixer needed for these vegan no knead cinnamon rolls. The dough rests overnight. 15 minutes of work the next morning. Gooey and delicious!
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Resting Time: 18 hours 40 minutes
Total Time: 19 hours 30 minutes
Servings 12 rolls



  • 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour + extra for dusting
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 ⅔ cup room temperature water


  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter, melted
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • pinch of vanilla powder (optional)


  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2-3 tablespoons almond or other plant-based milk
  • pinch of sea salt
  • pinch of vanilla powder (optional)


  • I’ve tried these with light whole wheat flour and light spelt flour, and both turned out a bit bread-y. Still delicious, but not ideal. Good old refined all purpose is the best for true bun-ly goodness. Use substitutes at your own risk! ;)
  • I haven’t tried coconut palm or maple sugar in place of brown sugar, but I bet they would work just fine.
  • Before you start, you need overnight resting time for the dough, between 12 and 18 hours. Plan ahead!
  • Vegan cream cheese frosting purist? Lauren’s got a good one here.


  • THE NIGHT BEFORE, make the dough: In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, yeast, and water. Using a rubber spatula, stir it all together until you have a shaggy, bump-y, sticky dough. Cover it tightly with Bee’s Wrap or plastic wrap and set the bowl in a warm spot for up to 18 hours. I place mine on the fireplace mantel or on top of the fridge.
  • THE NEXT DAY, make the filling and form the cinnamon rolls. In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla powder, if using. Line a 9×13 inch baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Sprinkle a good amount of flour on your work surface and flour a rolling pin as well. This dough is sticky, so keep some flour on hand. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the dough out onto your floured surface. Shape it into a log of even thickness that’s about 12-14 inches long.
  • Start rolling out the dough into a rectangle. You want the dough to be an even thickness and about 14 inches wide and 11 inches tall when you’re done.
  • Brush the entire surface of the dough with the melted vegan butter. Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture evenly over the top, patting and rubbing it in with your hand a bit.
  • On the long (14-ish inch) side, start rolling up the entire piece of dough, making a nice cinnamon-swirled log. Then, cut the log into 12 even rolls. I cut off the shaggy ends because I was taking photos, but you can keep them :)
  • Arrange the cut rolls in the 9×13 baking dish in (4 rolls along the 13 inch side). Cover the baking dish with a clean towel and let the rolls rise in a warm spot for 40 minutes, or until they have increased to 1 ½-2 times their original size. Again, I like to put mine on the fireplace mantel or on top of my fridge.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Once the no knead cinnamon rolls have risen a second time, uncover them and slide them in the oven. Bake the rolls for 20-22 minutes, or until golden brown and one of the middle rolls sounds hollow when you tap it.
  • Let the rolls cool for at least an hour before glazing.
  • Make the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, plant-based milk (start with 2 tablespoons), salt, and vanilla (if using) until completely smooth. Add more milk if you need to.
  • Drizzle the glaze over the vegan no knead cinnamon rolls. Enjoy within the day of baking!
19/12/2018 (Last Updated 25/10/2022)
Posted in: autumn, breakfast, dessert, holidays, nut free, spring, summer, sweet, vegan, winter


Recipe Rating

  • Ashley Landwehr

    5 stars
    Made these for Christmas morning, so so good! So fluffy and tender.

  • Kiran

    I just made these. But I think the brown sugar should be less?’it says 3 / 4 cup… should that be 1/4 (aquarist vs three-quarters of a cup)? I had more than half the sugar left over. Can’t wait to try them :)

    • Laura

      Hi Kiran,
      3/4 cup is the correct amount here! There’s no need to really pack the brown sugar into the measuring cup, so that could account for some excess? Of course, if you personally like less sugar in the filling of your cinnamon buns, it’s fine to use less.

  • Jinny

    5 stars
    I am eating this right now, it turned out so good! We are going to make this for Christmas breakfast along with a fruit salad. I’d love to try something like this with orange rolls, too. 

  • Marina

    Wow I can’t wait to make this! Any ideas on how to make a maple icing? & do you have any suggestions for the vanilla powder as I only have extract. Thank you!

    • Laura

      Hi Marina!
      Vanilla extract works totally fine and you can use the same amount. For a maple icing, I would seek out maple extract and use 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon! Using maple syrup itself is great, but the extract will get you that strong maple flavour.

  • Jocellyne Jimenez

    My dough is rising as I type this!! Do you have any idea whether these freeze well if you store them without the glaze? Thanks for the recipe!

    • Laura

      Do you mean after you’ve baked them? I think they would be fine!

      I think you could freeze the rolls right after you roll them up with the filling as well and simply thaw them in your baking dish in the fridge overnight as well.


  • Beth

    If I don’t have AP flour will bread flour, whole wheat flour, or spelt flour work as a replacement?

    • Laura

      Hi Beth,
      I have not tested the recipe with any of these options, so cannot guarantee results. I think your best bet would be to try the spelt flour with this recipe!

  • Maria

    Hi, Laura! I’m doing two of your recipes today, does this give you an idea of how much you are part of our lives? I hope so. Thank you or your amazing work and dedication. I have a question: since we’re two in the house and confinement gives little room to offering baking goods to friends/neighbors… do you think this recipe can be frozen at some point? I was thinking of freezing 6 rolls right before putting them in the oven. All the best!

    • Laura

      Hi Maria!
      Thank you so much for this kind comment. I would freeze the cinnamon rolls as soon as you fill and cut them. Then, they can do the second rise as they thaw. Does that make sense? Hope this is helpful.

  • Krystal

    I am so excited to make these for my vegan spouse for Christmas morning! Question: My yeast packet instructs me to dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup water. Should this measurement be included in the water measurement provided in the recipe, or is it additional (for a total of nearly 2 cups)? Or, should the yeast just be added in dry to the dough recipe? Thank you in advance for assisting this baking noob!

    • Laura

      Hi Krystal,
      Apologies for not seeing this sooner. In this recipe, you do not dissolve the yeast in water ahead of time. It naturally “dissolves” in the dough mixture overnight.

  • Julia Walldroff

    could i substitute GF flour?

    • Laura

      Hi Julia,
      Since this is a yeasted dough, a GF flour will likely not directly substitute. Cinnamon rolls are one of the trickier things to make gluten-free unfortunately, especially with the no-knead method here. Honestly, I think it would be best to seek out a recipe from a dedicated gluten-free site.

  • Ariah

    I tried this recipe and it didn’t turn out as well for me and the rolls were very bready. Still delicious but not the texture I was hoping for.

    I did leave them to rise for a bit longer since I got stuck doing errands. Could this be why?


    • Laura

      Hi Ariah,
      So unfortunate that these didn’t turn out for you. One thing to note, as I mention in the blog post, is that these rolls will not be exactly the same as a typical brioche-style cinnamon bun. The texture and appearance is definitely more rustic because we are starting with a pizza dough essentially. It is possible that they over-proofed, or (less likely) that your yeast wasn’t super fresh, but part of the equation here is the nature of the recipe itself. I’ve had so much great feedback for this one on Instagram and the blog, but it’s totally possible that this recipe just isn’t the right one for your personal taste texture-wise!

  • Jordan

    Hi! Do you know if white whole wheat flour would substitute for this recipe?

    • Laura

      It will but the rolls will be slightly more bread-y and less tender.

  • Ariana R.

    Could you substitute instant yeast?

    • Laura

      Yes, in this recipe you can!

  • Michael

    Wow… This is a great version of cinnamon rolls! Simple to prepare, but very tasty! I cooked this yesterday and it turned out delicious! Thank you for the nice recipe, Laura, and Merry Christmas!

  • george

    I have tried this yesterday. It wasn’t styled as beautifully as this, however, It tasted great xD

  • Ali

    I’ve been reading for years but tend to be too crazy busy to comment. Just wanted to say I really enjoy your recipes and your approach a whole lot. I’m also a beverage obsessive so I really love your beverage posts! Cheers!

  • Jessica Bippen

    Laura, these are insane! I was special for how the yeast dough would rise with such a simple ingredient list, but it did (of course!) and turned out amazing!! I did sub white spelt flour because that’s what I had. The buns are light, fluffy and perfectly soft and chewy when you bite into it. I also used some coconut oil and non-traditional ingredients in the filling (again because that’s what I keep on hand) but they turned out and I’m overjoyed. I wanted to start a cinnamon roll tradition for Christmas and this will be my go-to recipe for here on out!

  • Cassie Autumn Tran

    I’m elated that these cinnamon rolls require no kneading at all! Might be a bit dangerous because I can eat them in a heartbeat, haha! But in all seriousness, I might try this with a blend of whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, or light spelt flour. Sounds like a splendid recipe to make for the holidays!

  • Jen @

    These look amazing! My son was just asking for cinnamon rolls the other day, so perfect timing. Fingers crossed, I’m going to try a half recipe with Bob’s Red Mill all purpose gluten free flour.

    • Cassie

      Let us know how the GF sub goes!! I’m hopeful because I’d love to try these!

    • Cole

      Hi Jen!
      Did this work for you? Considering trying the GF option his weekend. Thank you!

  • Caitlin McSweeney

    Hello! This is probably sacrilegious to ask on here….but my husband and I are not vegan, though I am vegetarian and often find myself eating vegan….I was thinking of making these with real butter instead of vegan butter, do you see any issues with measurements or are they pretty 1:1?

    Thank you and sorry for the non-vegan question, just figured I’d ask if you might have any thoughts! Thank you!

    • Laura

      Hi Caitlin! Dairy butter will substitute 1:1, no problem :)

  • Katie B

    These look delicious! We always have cinnamon buns on the 25th. Now that my oldest kiddo is vegan (she was veg always), and other kiddo has celiac, and i can’t deal with making two separate recipes….i have to ask, any idea on making this gf? I find its rarely a straight across substitution.
    We love your blog, from the recipes to everything you share. You are one of my go to blogs for those days when i need some kitchen inspiration. Looking forward to reading more in 2019. All the best

    • Laura

      Hi Katie,
      Thank you so much for this kind comment. Very honestly, I have no idea where to start to make these cinnamon rolls gluten-free. So many things could go wrong with flour substitutions (and a lack of eggs) here. I think your safest bet would be finding a recipe on a dedicated gluten-free/celiac blog where the recipe developer has a bit more expertise in the GF realm. Wish I could help, but I’m sure you’ll find something great.

  • Tracey

    Merry Christmas Laura! I am looking forward to your 2019 posts.

  • Abby @ Heart of a Baker


  • Susan Shores

    Can I substitute 2 T of olive oil or grape seed oil for the melted vegan butter? Also, would a few drops of vanilla be ok to replace for the vanilla powder or does the icing taste great without the vanila? Thanks so much for your help.

    • Laura

      Hi Susan,
      I would opt for grapeseed if I had a choice of those two. If you have coconut oil around, I think it would be the best substitute for the vegan butter (melt it first though). Vanilla extract would be great in the icing.

  • Jean

    Such a sweet way to end the yesr! I really enjoy and appreciate all that you share in your space here. Best holiday wishes to you, Laura!

    • Laura

      Thank you so much, Jean! <3

  • Misty Pittman

    Oh, I do hope you stick around in 2019. I recently discovered you and you are inspiring me to eat more plant-based meals. I’m certain I’ve pinned every recipe of yours ha!

    • Laura

      Thank you so much, Misty! I’m definitely sticking around ;) Happy holidays to you.