Chai Spiced Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon rolls are one of my favorite pastries. They are perfect for breakfast, brunch, a midday treat, and even make a great dessert! This is my tried and true Homemade Cinnamon Roll recipe with a more xmassy vibe thanks to the Chai dough. It makes big, soft, and gooey cinnamon rolls that you will go crazy over! You’ll never need another cinnamon roll recipe again!

Ingredients:

Chai Dough:

  • 1/4 ounce packet instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon chai spice mix*
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk can substitute with any plant-based milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour plus more for kneading and rolling out
  • 1/4 cup cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil

Filling:

  • 1/4 cup vegan butter very soft
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar can substitute with coconut sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2-1 cup pecans chopped (optional). can substitute with walnuts

Icing:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vegan butter melted – optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2-3 Tablespoons unsweetened vanilla almond milk
Instructions

To Make the Dough:

  • To wake up yeast: Microwave almond milk for about 40 seconds. Should be lukewarm. Add a pinch of sugar and one yeast package. Mix until combined and let sit for 10 minutes. Yeast will be bubbly and frothy when ready.
  • In a large mixing bowl add vanilla, butter, and active yeast bath. Stir to combine.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together flour, chais spices, sugar, and salt. Add half of the flour mixture to wet mixture and stir with rubber spatula. Add the remaining flour and stir until just combined. The dough might look floury and that is okay!
  • Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes. Only add more flour if the dough begins to stick to the surface or your hands. When the dough is ready, it will be slightly sticky and spring back when you press it.
  • Add a small amount of oil to a clean bowl to coat the bottom and sides. Add dough and give it a swirl around the bowl so all sides are covered in oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour. The dough should double in size.

To Make the Filling:

  • In a small bowl, mix softened butter, sugar, and cinnamon. The mixture should be smooth and spreadable.

Assemble Rolls:

  • Remove plastic wrap and punch dough to release the air. Transfer to a floured surface and roll into a 9×13″ rectangle. The dough will be about 1/2 inch thick.
  • Add filling and smooth out with a rubber spatula. Add pecans (optional). Roll tightly starting from the shorter side. Push in the sides as you roll so it stays uniform.
  • Cut the dough into 12 even pieces. Place in greased pan or line with parchment paper. I grease my pan with the empty butter wrapper! Cover with a towel and let sit for 45 minutes. If you want to make these rolls in advance, now is a good step to stop. You can keep unbaked rolls covered in the fridge overnight or in the freezer for 6 weeks.

Bake Rolls:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool before adding icing.

To Make the Icing:

  • Whisk together all the ingredients for icing in a bowl. Add more powdered sugar or butter for a thicker frosting and more almond milk for a thinner icing.
  • Pour icing over baked and slightly cooled cinnamon rolls. Serve warm. Leftovers keep in the fridge for about 1 week.

EXTRA:

* For the Chai Spice Mix combine:

  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice

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