Cinnamon ROLLS! (GF+Vegan)

Cinnamon Rolls... the look, smell, and taste of these puppies take me right back to childhood. Pealing off the paper of the Pillsbury cinnamon roll container, hitting it against the edge of the counter, and waiting for the infamous "POP!" And that SMELL!?! The aroma of cinnamon, butter, and vanilla kept me in the kitchen until those 15 minutes in the oven were up ;) Bottom line, I could not wait to devour the OOEY-GOOEY goodness!

So what's a girl to do when you grow up and those childhood cinnamon rolls aren't an option anymore??? Welp, when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. Or.... gluten, dairy, and egg-free cinnamon rolls! And the best part of this recipe, they are so easy!!! I promise ;)

INGREDIENTS

Cinnamon Rolls:

Icing: 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Add a packet of yeast to warm almond milk, whisk, and let sit for 5 minutes. Make sure the milk is not too hot (the yeast will die), but ensure the almond milk is hot enough, as the yeast will not activate if too cool. 
  2. In a stand-up mixing bowl, mix 2-1/2 cups flour and vanilla cake mix on low speed. Slowly add the warm milk mixture, and turn on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes. The mixture will appear crumbly.
  3. Next, *melt 1/2 cup of the cinnamon spread and slowly add to the dough mixture. Turn on medium high speed and beat for 3 more minutes (the dough will appear tacky; similar to cookie dough). Once combined, scrape the sides and cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Place the bowl in a warm area to rise for 1 to 2 hours (the longer the better!). The dough will not double in size like dough made from traditional four, but it will grow! 
  4. Grease a 9x13 inch pan with nonstick cooking spray, coconut oil, or butter/spread and set aside. Once the dough has set for 1 to 2 hours, lay down a sheet of wax paper (18 inches long) on a flat surface. Heavily dust flour all over wax paper to ensure the dough does not stick when rolling. 
  5. Remove dough from the bowl and place in the middle of the wax sheet. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a 15x9 inch rectangle. Using your fingers, which will soften the butter, spread 1/4 cup cinnamon butter all over the surface of the dough, covering every square inch! Add the brown sugar, covering every inch of the dough, and gently press the sugar into the surface with your finger tips. 
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5. Beginning at the longer end of the rectangle, tightly roll up the dough (use the wax paper to help you roll) and pinch the edges together to seal once completely rolled. Once sealed, cut the dough into 1-1/2 inch sections (you should end up with approx. 15 rolls) and place in the baking dish. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for an additional hour (trust me, its worth it!).

6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and right before you place the rolls in the oven, use the palm of your hand to slightly "squish" each roll so that the spiral layers of dough squeeze together (this ensures the butter filling cooks into the dough instead of melting out). 

7. Bake rolls in the oven for 23 to 25 minutes or until the edges turn slightly golden. Ours came out perfect at 24 minutes! Beware, overcooking will result in some rock hard rolls, NO BUENO!  Once finished baking, set aside to let cool. I have the patience of a five-year-old, so I hurry up the wait-time by placing them in the fridge for 15 minutes ;)

8. Lastly, the beloved icing! In a small bowl, mix the powdered sugar, 3 Tablespoons melted cinnamon spread, and ground cinnamon until creamy. Add a teaspoon or two of water to thin, or additional powdered sugar to thicken; the consistency is up to you! Once the rolls are only slightly warm (rather than hot), drizzle over cinnamon rolls and serve immediately! 

9. You can refridgerate the rolls, covering them with plastic wrap, for up to 5 days. Simply re-heat the rolls when ready to serve. *These cinnamon rolls are best heated-up!*

   Happy Baking, Friends!