Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls

We love these carrot cake cinnamon rolls at my house! The addition of shredded carrots and nutmeg to cinnamon roll dough makes them even tastier. Top them with a vegan cream cheese glaze or my vegan sugar glaze for a perfect sweet breakfast or delicious dessert. I’ve slightly adapted a recipe from Mindful Avocado, omitting the salt from the filling, and adding a little more brown sugar and vegan butter to the filling.

This recipe is easy, but it takes time due to two rising times: one rising for 1 hour and one for 45 minutes. The baking time is about 30 minutes. You can also prepare the dough the night before. Just refrigerate it overnight after putting the cinnamon rolls into the baking pan, and before the second rise. The next morning, let the cinnamon rolls rise for 45 minutes and then bake. You can also freeze the cinnamon rolls at this point, for up to six weeks. Then thaw, let rise, and bake.

carrot cake cinnamon rollsMaking the dough is very straightforward, with the most important part being the kneading. While the instructions are to knead for 10 to 15 minutes, I find my dough is elastic enough after kneading it about 5 to 7 minutes. It also becomes very hard to knead once it is ready. Test the dough for readiness by pushing into the dough with one finger and seeing if it springs all the way back. It might be ready to go!

If you find the dough hasn’t doubled in size during the hour of rising, it’s ok to let it rise longer. Just be sure not to let it rise more than 90 minutes. Some conditions, like humidity, can require a longer rising time.

If you have a candy thermometer, you can measure the heat of the plant based milk after microwaving it. Between 105° and 115° is the perfect range for adding the yeast. Otherwise, just feel the milk with your finger and it should be fairly warm, but not yet hot.

You can make 12 cinnamon rolls with this recipe, or you can cut them thicker and make just 10 bigger cinnamon rolls. If you leave any space between the cinnamon rolls in the baking pan, during the second rising the rolls will rise to fill in the space.

When cutting the dough with dental floss, I first halve the dough down the center, so I can better see where my next cuts will be. To use the dental floss, slide it under the dough roll to the point you wish to cut, then cross the two ends of the floss over the top of the roll and keep pulling. The floss will squeeze through the dough, cutting all the way through the center. If you are making 12 rolls, cut each dough roll half into 6 pieces; for 10, cut each half into five pieces.

 

Print Recipe
Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls
Delicious sweet carrot cake cinnamon rolls - perfect for breakfast, dessert or a snack! Can make ahead and bake the next morning.
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 1.75 hours
Servings
cinnamon rolls
Ingredients
For the dough:
For the filling:
For the sugar glaze:
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 1.75 hours
Servings
cinnamon rolls
Ingredients
For the dough:
For the filling:
For the sugar glaze:
Instructions
To make the dough:
  1. Warm the plant based milk in the microwave (30 to 40 seconds) or on the stove top to lukewarm, but not hot (105° to 115° on a kitchen thermometer). Add a pinch of sugar and the yeast. Let sit for 10 minutes or until bubbly.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the carrots, vanilla, vegan butter and active yeast.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add half of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, stirring, then add the remainder of the dry ingredients and combine to start to form the dough. Mix with your hands to get as much of the dough into a ball as possible. It might still be slightly crumbly.
  4. Dump the dough onto a floured surface, adding as little additional flour as possible. Knead for 10 to 15 minutes or until the dough becomes a little sticky and hard to knead. When ready, it will spring back if you push in on it with your finger.
  5. Lightly coat a large, clean mixing bowl with oil. Add the dough, rolling it onto the sides of the bowl to coat the dough with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise for 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size.
    carrot cake cinnamon rolls
To make the filling:
  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the softened butter, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg until it is smooth enough to spread.
To assemble the rolls:
  1. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking sheet with vegan butter, being sure to also butter the sides of the dish.
  2. Once the dough has risen, punch it one time in the center to release the air. Then dump the dough from the bowl onto a floured surface. Roll the dough into a 1/2-inch thick, 9 x 13-inch rectangle. Use a stainless steel pastry scraper or other straight edge to make the sides of the dough straight.
  3. Using a rubber spatula, evenly spread the filling over the dough, leaving 1/4 inch of uncovered dough around the edges. Add nuts or raisins, if using.
  4. Begin to roll the dough, starting from a 9-inch side, keeping the dough tight as you roll. Occasionally check the sides and push them in to keep them even as you roll.
  5. Use dental floss to cut the cinnamon rolls by sliding the dental floss under the dough roll to the spot you want to cut, then bring both sides up and across the top, pulling the strings so they squeeze toward the center of the roll to make the cut. Cuts should be about 1 inch apart, or slightly larger if you would like fewer and bigger rolls (can make 10 instead of 12).
  6. Place each cinnamon roll into the buttered baking pan as you cut them. Place the rolls slightly apart. The rolls will fill any space upon rising. At this point, you may place the rolls into the refrigerator to let rise the next morning before baking them, or put them into the freezer for up to 6 weeks.
  7. Cover the baking pan with a towel and let the rolls rise for 45 minutes.
  8. Bake at 350° F for 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool before icing. Leftovers can be refrigerated for about 1 week.
To make the glaze:
  1. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients until smooth, adding enough milk for desired glaze consistency. Any leftovers can be refrigerated and added to reheated rolls when serving.
Recipe Notes

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