Nothing says Sunday morning brunch like these Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls. Now that I think about it, they’re saying Monday morning breakfast as well!
My daughter had a friend over to spend the night recently and I have to be honest, it ended badly. Sit down, grab a cup of coffee and I’ll tell you my story.
It was sort of an impromptu overnight, but I’m a flexible kind of mom so I enjoy those last-minute parties. I made popcorn, there was music in the air, and the girls were laughing. All was well. I know what you’re thinking, “what could go wrong in this scenario?” Give me time. I’m leading up to that part.
I woke up the next morning and was doing a little cleaning in the kitchen when it dawned on me I needed a special breakfast to serve our guest. I have some members of my family that have what I call the “Martha Stewart gene.” The characteristic of this condition is having perfect homes, lovely decorated kitchens, and they think of every detail…like having glazed cinnamon rolls baking in the oven first thing in the morning. Every time I’m at their house it seems I wake up to the smell of cinnamon wafting through the house. We all will sit around the kitchen island eating rolls, drinking hot tea, and talking of our hatred for squirrels. Those of you that don’t about my squirrel diaries, meet me at Paragraph Four and I’ll bring you up to speed.
Paragraph Four: Here’s the story. I’m an animal-loving vegan who happens to hate squirrels. It’s kind of awkward, but everyone has their downfall, right? My vegan Achilles heel developed because of some particularly troublesome squirrels in my yard. They eat the fruit in my fruit trees, dig up the flowers in my pots and flower beds, and eat the tomatoes (while they’re still green) off the vine. My trees are full of fruit just waiting to ripen when the squirrels descend on them each year. They whittle away at the fruit until there’s nothing left. I’ve tried everything I can think of to stop them but to no avail. There you have it. I’m a squirrel-hating vegan. What can I say? My cousins happen to hate squirrels too but mostly because they dominate the bird feeders in their yard. I like people who like to commiserate with me about squirrels.
Back to the main story. Having this guest stay at our house made me reminisce about my cousins…and the fact that we have a family reunion coming up…and that means I’ll be seeing them soon…and someone there will probably make cinnamon rolls. And that’s when I stopped dead in my tracks. Cinnamon Rolls! That’s what I needed to make for breakfast for my daughter’s friend! Unlike my crafty cousins with their special genes, I had put absolutely NO forethought into this. They would have found the perfect recipe, let the dough rise the night before, rolled out the dough, sprinkled the cinnamon, and stored them in the fridge overnight so they could wake a little early and bake them in the morning. They know the smell of cinnamon wafting through the house would be a welcome morning alarm, bringing everyone into the kitchen to sit around that breakfast island. See what I’m saying? They have that Martha Stewart gene and then some!
Me? I think of cinnamon rolls at the nth hour before our guest is about to rise. What do I do? And that’s when it hit me. I may not have that Martha Stewart prepare everything ahead of time with a homemade apron gene, but I do have a sort of Tina Fey improv characteristic that lets me make up things on the fly. Not always successfully, but that’s another story. Quick Bread Cinnamon Rolls was the answer that came to mind. Sure, I could have made cinnamon muffins, but that’s kind of passé if you ask me. We needed something a little special. With my mission in mind, I went at it, preparing the quick bread, sprinkling the cinnamon sugar. Needless to say, I was inspired.
The Quick Bread Cinnamon Rolls were perfect. So why does my story end badly? Because although I made these breakfast delights all quick and easy, it wasn’t quick enough. My daughter’s friend had a morning event and had to leave before those delicious little rolls were done. Now that I think about it…that wasn’t such a bad ending after all. More cinnamon rolls for us!
Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls
(Adapted from a recipe found at Inexpensive Eating)
- 2 cups Flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup margarine, dairy-free, chilled
- ½ cup soy buttermilk (soy milk mixed with 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar)
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon allspice
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
Cream Cheese Icing
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon vegan cream cheese
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon soymilk
Heat your oven to 400. Spray muffin pans with vegetable spray.
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a food processor and pulse for just a few seconds until all the ingredients are well-combined. Next add the cubed margarine. Pulse again until the mixture is a course and crumbly. Next add the soy milk and pulse a second or two more until just combined.
Place the quick bread dough on a lightly floured surface and using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a large rectangle. (I use a 9 X 12 baking pan as sort of a measure)
Next, in a small bowl mix your filling ingredients until they’re all comfortable with one another. You’ll be surprised at this next step though because even though you might want to coat the dough with melted margarine before sprinkling the feeling, that is not necessary. You can just introduce the filling directly to the dough by sprinkling it over the dough and pressing it in ever so slightly.
Begin with the long side of the dough and begin rolling it up. You want to roll it tightly, but not too tightly and pinching the edges of the dough to create a seal at the end. Now cut the rolls about 1″ wide and place them into prepared muffin pans. Place the cinnamon rolls in the warm and cozy oven and bake for 20 – 25 minutes.
Now comes the fun part. While the rolls are baking and spreading their aroma to the rest of the house beckoning them to rise and shine, you can begin making the Cream Cheese Frosting. Combine the powdered sugar and vegan cream cheese in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Add vanilla and stir again. Finally, add soy milk to thin the glaze to your desired consistency.
Once the Quick Cinnamon Rolls are done, remove from the oven, and allow them a few minutes to cool before frosting them.
This recipe should make about 12 cinnamon rolls…or 10 if you eat two before giving the rest to your family.