Vegan Dirty Chai Cinnamon Rolls

vegan dirty chai cinnamon rolls

What is better than a homemade warm cinnamon roll? A vegan dirty chai cinnamon roll perhaps? I don’t make cinnamon rolls often but when I do they need to be soft and fluffy, have a ton of that delicious spiced sugar filling, and not sickly sweet. These vegan dirty chai cinnamon rolls are perfectly soft and filled with a spiced chai sugar filling that is so incredibly flavorful and tasty. Then, topped off with a coffee glaze which isn’t too sweet and has more of a strong bitter coffee flavor which I’m a big fan of!

Not a fan of super strong coffee?

I was going for a whipped coffee glaze vibe because I’m absolutely obsessed with it. It worked out well for me but I get that some people aren’t a fan of that bitter coffee flavor. Here’s how to fix it! Reduce the coffee to 1 tbsp instead of 2 and replace the water with non-dairy milk and maybe add a splash of vanilla extract. Alternately, eliminate the coffee all together and make a sweet vanilla glaze with powdered sugar and non-dairy milk. Either way, I’m a fan and think you will be too!

Secrets to Success:

Vegan Dirty Chai Cinnamon Rolls take a few hours to complete but are so worth it and actually very easy to make! As simple as it is, here are my secrets to success!

  • Adding more flour than needed will result in a dry cinnamon roll which isn’t going to be good! So, don’t follow my measurements exactly. You’ll absolutely need the first 3 1/3 cups. After that, I say add 2/3 cup more flour but really this is all going to depend on your dough after the first rise. In the video, I added 2/3 cup because it needed it. But I’ve made these in the past and didn’t need the full 2/3 cup. I recommend adding 1/3 cup first and add more only if the dough is too sticky to work with. Be sure to flour your surface as well but only as needed. Don’t go nuts!
  • Don’t over bake these! Bake them for only 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. I have a bad habit of over baking these by 5 minutes out of fear that they aren’t done completely. So, trust your gut and your toothpick.

Vegan Dirty Chai Cinnamon Rolls

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
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    Cinnamon Roll Dough

  • 4 cups All Purpose Flour, divided
  • 2 1/4 tsp Instant Yeast
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 Organic Brown Sugar, Coconut Sugar works too
  • 1 1/2 cup Unsweetened Plant Milk, I used almond
  • 1/3 cup Vegan Butter, I used Earth Balance
  • Chai Spiced Sugar Filling

  • 2-3 tbsp Vegan Butter, for brushing on dough
  • 1/3 cup Organic Brown Sugar, Coconut Sugar works too
  • 2 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp All Spice
  • 1/4 tsp Cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Ginger
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Coffee Glaze

  • 1 Cup Organic Powdered Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Instant Coffee, see note above
  • 2 tbsp Hot Water or Non-Dairy Milk


    Dirty Chai Cinnamon Roll Dough:

  1. Properly measure 3 1/3 cups of the all purpose flour by spooning the flour in to a measuring cup. This ensures that you aren’t over packing the cup. Reserve the remaining 2/3 cup of flour for a later time. Add flour to a large bowl along with the instant yeast, salt, and sugar. Whisk to combine and set aside.
  2. Add the non-dairy milk and the vegan butter to a pot on low heat. Be sure the mixture is between 125-130F.
  3. Pour the wet mixture in to the dry and stir with a wooden spoon until combined. The dough will be very sticky. Oil a large bowl. Transfer the dough in to the oiled bowl and cover with plastic. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
  4. Making the Rolls:

  5. Add all the chai spiced sugar filling ingredients (except the butter) to a small bowl and stir until evenly incorporated. Set aside.
  6. After 1 hour, unwrap the dough and sprinkle 1/3 cup more flour on top. Knead the dough until combined. If dough is too sticky to work with, slowly add in the remaining 1/3 cup. You might not need all of it. Lightly flour a clean surface. Place the dough on the surface and roll it out in to a large rectangle as thin as you can. If the dough is giving you trouble, let it rest for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Brush with 2-3 tbsps of softened (not melted) vegan butter. Sprinkle on all of the chai spiced sugar mixture evenly on the dough. It might seem like a lot but use all of it.
  8. Starting with the SHORTEST side, roll up the dough as tightly as you can. Cut in to 10-12 even pieces.
  9. Lightly oil a baking dish of choice, I used a 12″ cast iron skillet. Place the cinnamon rolls in to the dish with a small amount of space in between each of them. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a dish towel and let rise for 1 more hour.
  10. Bake & Glaze:

  11. Preheat oven to 350F.
  12. Bake Cinnamon Rolls for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  13. Make the glaze by whisking together the instant coffee and non-dairy milk or water. Add powdered sugar and whisk until smooth. *See notes above for a less bitter coffee glaze.
  14. Let cool for a few minutes before glazing. Serve while still warm.
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