Fluffy and soft vegan gingerbread cinnamon rolls or scrolls perfect for Christmas! Easy to make and more fun than classic cinnamon rolls.
These gingerbread rolls are basically like cinnamon rolls but with a gingerbread filling and optional gingerbread cookies on top! They are soooo comforting to devour hot from the oven and remind you of Christmas at every bite!
I served these at my partner's family's very Aussie Christmas last year. No one in the family is vegan but the whole baking tray was devoured within minutes!
The gingerbread rolls are EASY to make, especially if you've ever made brioche or cinnamon rolls before. However, like any recipe with yeast, it simply takes time to prepare.
Video: how to make these gingerbread cinnamon rolls
Simple ingredients for the vegan gingerbread roll dough
The dough of the gingerbread scrolls is based on a very tried and tested vegan brioche recipe including:
- Plain or all-purpose flour
- Plant-based milk. I used soy, almond and coconut for different batches and they all work well.
- Melted vegan butter. I used Nuttelex Buttery for a classic taste. However, Naturli's spreadable butter also works well.
- Cane, brown or coconut sugar
- Ground cinnamon
- Instant dried yeast
Compared to my other cinnamon roll recipes, I used melted butter instead of room temperature butter. This helps kickstart the rising process especially for those who have Christmas in Winter!
Making the dough for the gingerbread rolls
Simply add all the ingredients to your stand mixer and knead it for around 5 minutes until your dough is smooth and elastic. If you don't have a mixer, you can mix all the ingredients in a large bowl then transfer it to a floured surface and knead until smooth.
The dough should be soft, stretchy and slightly tacky. If there are any large cracks in it, add more milk and knead until it's soft. If the dough sticks to the side of the bowl, add more flour and knead again.
I used to be cautious of over kneading anything baked BUT kneading your bread is ESSENTIAL for encouraging the gluten to form. This encourages your dough and gingerbread scrolls to be feathery and bready!
Once you've kneaded your dough, place it in a bowl and cover it with a damp tea towel. Then place it in a WARM spot. It should double in size in an hour or so.
Filling for the gingerbread rolls
While the dough is resting, you can make your filling for the gingerbread rolls! It's a simple mixture of:
- melted vegan butter
- brown or coconut sugar
- gingerbread spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg)
Simply mix all ingredients in a bowl until a smooth paste forms. It may not look like much filling but a little goes a far way.
As much as I love cinnamon, we don't want TOO much of a filling otherwise it oozes out of the gingerbread scrolls when we bake them.
Assembling the gingerbread cinnamon rolls
Dust a clean surface with flour such as a chopping board or kitchen bench. Then use a rolling pin or jar to roll your dough into a rough rectangular shape.
The thinner your dough, the more 'swirls' your cinnamon rolls will have! I rolled my dough so it was about 5mm thick.
Use a spatula to spread the gingerbread 'buttercream' filling on the surface, about 2 cm (1 inch) away from the edge. Once you've done this, carefully roll up your dough into a log shape!
Cutting the gingerbread scrolls
Before cutting your scrolls, I'd recommend scoring your 'log' into quarters. This ensures your scrolls are roughly even!
I used a sharp knife to cut scrolls out of my dough log. However, unflavoured tooth floss works for some people!
Second rise of the gingerbread scrolls
Place the scrolls in a greased baking tin the cover with a damp tea towel. In an hour or so, they will increase in size!
Making the gingerbread scrolls in advance
These scrolls can definitely be prepared beforehand. If you want to enjoy them on Christmas day, you can start making them the day before! You can either:
- Chill the dough in the fridge during the first rise (before they are shaped). The dough will double in the fridge and you can shape them the next day. The advantage of this method is that chilled dough is easier to work with than warm dough!
- Chill the rolls after they are shaped while they're in your baking tin. 2 hours before you need the rolls, allow them to come to room temperature then bake away!
Troubleshooting vegan cinnamon rolls
I've tested this recipe many times to ensure the recipe is as fool-proof as possible. However, like any dessert recipe, variations with brand of ingredients and even the climate you're baking in affects the process a lot.
TEMPERATURE: If your dough or scrolls don't rise at any time, reposition it into a warmer spot in your house. We're working with an enriched dough where the butter sometimes inhibits the rising process. However, if the dough/scrolls are in a warm spot, the butter is softer and the dough is more likely to rise.
DOUGH IS TOO SOFT: If your dough is too soft (maybe because it's a hot day), it will be more difficult to shape into neat scrolls. If you've already kneaded it (and can't add any more flour to it), simply CHILL the dough. This makes it soooo much easier to work with.
DOUGH IS TOO TOUGH: If your dough is too tough at the kneading stage, simply add more liquid then knead it again. It's difficult to add moisture to the rolls once you've passed this stage.
Check out my other vegan gingerbread recipes:
- Vegan Gingerbread Cookies (refined sugar free)
- Healthy Vegan Gingerbread Cookies (refined sugar free, gluten free)
- Gingerbread Donuts
- Vegan Gingerbread Cake
- Gingerbread Caramel Tart
- Gingerbread cookie dough ice cream sandwiches
Vegan Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls
- 3 ⅓ cups (415g) plain or all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- ¾ cup (180g) dairy free milk, such as almond, soy or coconut, warm
- ½ cup (115g) vegan butter, melted
- 3 tbsp (40g) cane sugar, or coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon (9g) instant dried yeast*
- 1 tablespoon (8g) ground cinnamon
- Pinch of any good-quality salt, skip if using salted vegan butter
To prepare the gingerbread roll dough
- Combine all the ingredients in a stand mixer or large bowl. Mix then knead for 5-10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Place the dough in a bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave it in a warm place for at least 1 hour or until the dough doubles in size.
Gingerbread roll filling
- Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl until a paste forms and there are no lumps. Set aside.
To assemble the gingerbread rolls
- Lightly dust a clean surface with flour.** Scoop out the dough and use a rolling pin to flatten the dough into a rectangle. Spread the filling on the surface 2 cm (1 inch) away from the edge.
- Starting from the long side, roll the dough into a log. Use a sharp knife to cut rolls out of the log. Arrange on a greased baking tray leaving a little space in between each roll to rise further. Place a damp tea towel over the rolls and set aside to rest.
- Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. Add more sugar for a firmer frosting. Chill in the fridge until needed.
Baking the gingerbread rolls:
- When your rolls have increased by at least 50%, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
- Bake the rolls in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until they are slightly golden brown. If you insert a skewer in one of the middle rolls, there should be no raw dough on it.
- When the rolls have cooled completely, spread the glaze on top. If desired, top with gingerbread cookies.
- The rolls are best eaten the day they are baked. Alternatively, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 day or in the fridge for 1-2 days.
This post was originally published in November 2019 but updated in November 2020.
Please leave a comment below if you made this recipe, have any questions or thoughts! Your comment will help other readers and Rainbow Nourishments.