These Vegan Chai Latte Cinnamon Rolls are something right on point for the Fall/Winter season. They are absolutely fluffy, soft, thick, perfectly sweet, and surely does just melt in your mouth with every bite. Not being your typical Cinnamon Roll, this recipe is infused and topped with a mouth-watering chai latte glaze that will leave you ‘Cinnamon Roll obsessed’. Definitely not your average vegan sweet treat, but 100% homemade and filled with pure goodness! Overnight + Gluten-Free options.
If you're looking to keep cozy + warm, then these Vegan Chai Latte Cinnamon Rolls are just what you need this season! I know that there's so much baking happen right now and while I love cookies, cakes, and cupcakes, there's just something truly specially about cinnamon rolls---especially when they're homemade.
And if you are a true fan of cinnamon rolls, then these chai latte ones are for sure going to set your taste buds off to the moon! They are SOFT, FLUFFY, + BRIOCHE-LIKE in texture. They're SO amazing, ya'll. I literally couldn't stop myself from eating them, especially since I'm a HUGE chai latte fan----Hello Starbucks runs! That's one flavor that I've always loved and I can enjoy it in almost ANY form, which is why I'm so excited about sharing these cinnamon rolls with you! Daily, I found myself drinking a cup of Chai Tea Latte from Starbucks, which is my obsession by the way. Since reducing my dairy intake significantly, I now enjoy a cup of this latte instead of my once coveted Frappuccino.
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To be honest, our MOST VIRAL recipe to date are these Delicious Homemade Classic Cinnamon Rolls which are the best thing you’ll ever taste–seriously! But whenever you're feeling for something with a bit of warm spices, then this recipe right here is your thing!
But don't worry----if you're intimidated with making your own cinnamon rolls, I've got you covered with some awesome tips below!
How to Make Vegan Chai Latte Cinnamon Rolls
Start by making the chai tea mixture over the stovetop and letting it cool enough to room temperature. Then you make the cinnamon roll dough and add the cooled mixture to it (be sure to save a bit for the glaze). It needs to rise for at least 1 hour in a warm place for it to be super soft. Then make the filling and assemble and bake your rolls. Finally, add the chai latte-infused glaze, and dig in!
Ingredients for Vegan Chai Latte Cinnamon Rolls
Here's what you need for the fluffy chai latte-infused brioche-style dough:
All-purpose flour. I use organic flour from Bob's Red Mill.
Bread flour. You can find this from King Author or Bob's Red Mill.
Black tea bags. You can use any plain black tea you like. Caffeine-free will also work if you avoid caffeine.
Maple syrup. The best sweetener that I enjoy using. I like to use pure maple syrup that’s premium and organic.
Chai spices. This latte is all about the spice blend, which includes cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, cardamom, cloves, and black pepper.
Cane sugar. I like to use organic to ensure that it's vegan-friendly. You could also use brown sugar or coconut sugar.
Instant yeast. Also called Rapid Rise Yeast.
Butter. Use warm, melted vegan butter.
WARM water. This is important to help activate the yeast at the beginning.
Vanilla extract. The pure vanilla is the best flavor.
Cinnamon Roll Filling
Here's what you need to make the spiced filling for your cinnamon rolls:
Brown sugar. Ensure that it's organic so that it's vegan-friendly.
Butter. Again, vegan butter. Soften the butter to room temperature for an easy spread.
Cinnamon. Adds additional warm flavor to rolls.
Cinnamon Roll Chai Latte Glaze
Top your cinnamon rolls with a delicious glaze made with:
Powdered sugar. If you use granulated sugar, your frosting will have a gritty texture, so I highly recommend organic powdered sugar.
Butter. Again, vegan butter. Soften the butter to room temperature for an easy whip together for the glaze.
Chai tea mixture. You'll save a bit of this cooled latte mixture for the glaze.
Does Chai Tea Have Caffeine?
Yes, this recipe has some caffeine. Black tea contains about 47 milligrams of caffeine per 8-ounce cup. Compared to coffee, which has 95 milligrams of caffeine per 8-ounce cup. If you use chai tea bags for this recipe, you'll have about 26 milligrams of caffeine per cup. To cut the caffeine out of this recipe altogether, simply use decaffeinated black or chai tea.
Reasons Why You'll Love these Vegan Chai Latte Cinnamon Rolls:
They're super easy to make.
Bake time is under 1 hour.
Is completely dairy-free and vegan. Entirely kid-friendly!
Super fluffy, soft, + brioche-like.
Makes for the perfect breakfast, brunch, or dessert situation.
Perfect Fall vibes---thanks to the chai spices!
Did I mention, it's just TOO good to pass up?
Can I Knead By Hand Instead of Using a Mixer?
Absolutely! Usually, I make my cinnamon roll dough via my electric stand-mixer which has the appropriate attachments for the kneading process, however, with these cinnamon rolls, I have had the pleasure of doing this all by hand and it wasn't difficult.
It just requires a bit more arm work, that's all! Plus, there’s nothing that a light drizzle of flour can’t help, right?! You'll basically follow all steps for making the dough in a large bowl and once it begins to come together and can form a ball, then you'll begin working the dough in a front-to-back and folding motion a few times until you begin to feel the dough "soften" and become elastic-like. It took me about 5-6 minutes or so total. Not bad!
If you didn’t get a chance to see my last Cinnamon Roll recipe, no worries—here are a few tips that I’ve learned along the way to ensure that I make the perfect Cinnamon Rolls:
How To Make The Perfect Cinnamon Rolls Every. Single. Time.
LIKE I SAID—NEVER OVERHEAT THE MILK.
This one is super, super imperative. You have to always make sure that your milk is warm to the touch and not even a degree hot. Even if you heat your milk and it’s hot, simply let it cool until it feels warm. This ensure that you don’t kill the yeast and your dough rise to a nicely big fluff.
USE VERY SOFT BUTTER AT ROOM TEMPERATURE.
This is the ultimate secret to tender cinnamon rolls. Much like with other cakes and doughs, room temperature butter creates a nice texture. Simple.
MIX, MIX, MIX!
Unlike most other recipes, you actually want to mix (or knead) your cinnamon roll dough to its capacity so that you release the gluten and it becomes extremely elastic. This helps when rolling and allows you to create a nicely flat, thin square, which is later filled with your choice of filling and rolled.
OVERNIGHT IS BETTER!
Although I’ve mostly made my cinnamon rolls within the same day, ultimately, rising your dough overnight in the refrigerator is the best! This slow rise process allows the yeast to completely feed off of the sugar and creates great flavor and of course—a lot more fluffiness.
USE BREAD FLOUR TOO.
One of my latest discoveries was the use of bread flour in my cinnamon rolls. Before, I would use only all-purpose flour. However, after a little experimenting, I’ve learned that bread flour creates a beautiful texture—tender, thick, and even more fluffy, almost ‘brioche’ like.
Yes, you read it right. Although the assembly part is extremely messy, I’ve learned that the rolling is the star process! Before, I use to struggle with rolling the perfect cinnamon roll, however, lately I’ve been able to roll it pretty tight, which not only creates a nice structure, but it allows you to cut the dough more evenly which helps with baking. When rolling, always start the initial first roll really tight to keep the same momentum throughout.
There you have it. My tried and true hacks for amazing cinnamon rolls!
How To Make Homemade Cinnamon Rolls without Yeast
OK, so you might think it's possible, but you can totally make cinnamon rolls, including these Vegan Chai Latte Cinnamon Rolls without yeast, if you ever needed to! Just know that the texture wouldn't be as brioche-like or fluffy, and they'll be more dense, but still good.
Instead of yeast, you'll just need to substitute with 2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder to allow some level of rise to occur.
RAPID (INSTANT) RISE YEAST VS. ACTIVE DRY YEAST.
If you’re not using the Rapid Rise Yeast for this recipe, please know that the rise time will be twice as long (about 3 hours) since regular Active Yeast doesn’t work as quickly.
Can I Make Gluten-Free Vegan Chai Latte Cinnamon Rolls?
Yes! To make fluffy classic cinnamon rolls gluten-free, substitute both the all-purpose and bread flour with Bob's RedMill 1:1 baking flour. Reduce the amount by 1 cup and add more if necessary if the dough is too sticky.
How To Store + Reheat Cinnamon Rolls
Leftovers can be kept fresh at room temperature when tightly wrapped or sealed for up to 3 days. Fresh for up to 1 week in the Refrigerator. Baked rolls can be frozen up to 2 months. To reheat, I recommend adding them an oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 5-10 minutes or until just about warmed through, but the glaze hasn't melted. For a quicker warm, you can add it to a microwave for a few seconds. You can also let it sit at room temperature until warm enough to eat.
Can I Make These Vegan Chai Latte Cinnamon Rolls Overnight?
Of course! If you don’t want to make your rolls on the same day, you can simply follow all steps (including the initial 1+ hour rise) and after cutting rolls and placing them into your baking pan, just cover them tightly (using foil paper of plastic wrap) and refrigerate them overnight or for 8-12 hours instead. The following day, remove from refrigerator and keeping them covered, let rolls rise at room temp 1 to 1 ½ hours.
1 ½cupsAlmond milk, unsweetened(You can use your fave plant-based milk!)
3black tea bags, premium
¼cuppure maple syrup
1-2Tbspschai spice blend
3cupsorganic all-purpose flour(See Notes!)
2cupsorganic Artisan bread flour
½cuporganic cane sugar + 1 Tbsp
1packetRapid Rise Yeast(That's 2 ¼ tsps!)
1 ¼cupsChai tea mixture, WARM(Save the remaining ¼ cup tea mixture for glaze)
6Tbspsvegan butter, melted + cooled until WARM
½cuporganic brown sugar
¼cupvegan butter, softened at room temp.
3cupsorganic powdered sugar, sifted
4Tbspsvegan butter, softened at room temp.
3-4tablespooncooled Chai tea mixture
TO MAKE THE CHAI TEA:
In a medium saucepan on medium-high heat, add the milk and bring to a boil for 1-2 minutes. Add the tea bags and let it boil for another 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and let everything steep for 5-6 minutes.
Once fully steeped, remove tea bags and whisk in 1 tablespoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, ½ teaspoon ground ginger, ½ teaspoon allspice, ½ teaspoon cardamom, ¼ teaspoon ground cloves, and ⅛ teaspoon black pepper until dissolved and combined. Let cool completely.
FOR THE DOUGH:
Combine yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and slowly pour in WARM water while stirring frequently. Allow 5-10 minutes for the mixture to sit and for the yeast to activate.
Add in the room temperature chai tea mixture and warm melted butter to the yeast mixture and whisk until well combined. Add in the vanilla and whisk to combine.
In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, bread flour, sugar, and sea salt and add them to the wet ingredients and mix on low-speed until well combined and everything begins to form into a dough-like consistency, about 2-3 minutes.
Change “Mixer head” to kneading accessory and knead dough for 5-10 minutes on high speed until dough ball becomes smooth and elastic and dough springs back when lightly pressed together with 2 fingers. NOTE: If dough is still too sticky, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time until texture is achieved!
Lightly grease a large bowl with a small amount of olive oil and place the dough ball in the bowl, tossing it around until coated. Cover with plastic wrap (or a towel) and let sit for 1 hour, allowing the dough to rise and double in size.
In the meantime, you can work on the filling!
FOR THE FILLING:
Add the softened the butter (best if done at room temp. so that it's more "paste-like" in texture once smeared) in a bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine the cinnamon and brown sugar, mixing them together. Set aside.
ASSEMBLY + BAKE:
Once the dough has risen fully, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large 9x13 baking dish with parchment paper, allowing excess to hang from the sides.
Add a bit of flour to a surface and place the dough onto it, lightly adding a bit of flour to the top. Using a rolling-pin, roll out the dough into a rectangular shape (approximately 9″x14 and ½-inch thick), trimming the edges if needed. NOTE: Try not to make the dough too thin or else rolling it up will be hard to do!
Then, generously add ¾ of the softened butter atop dough (spreading it out evenly with a spoon or knife), followed by the brown sugar-cinnamon mixture, ensuring that the top is coated evenly. NOTE: I also use a 'pastry brush' to sweep sugar mixture evenly across the dough to ensure that every bite is sweet!
Tightly roll dough (long-ways) and using a pastry cutter, cut dough into 1.5" rolls, placing each roll (cut side down) into a large baking dish (lined with parchment paper!).
Then place plastic wrap over the baking dish with rolls, smear the tops with remaining softened butter and let them rise again (for another 20 minutes).
Once the rolls have doubled in size (once again!) or have gotten significantly larger, bake them for approximately 35-40 minutes in the preheated oven.
While all the baking magic is happening, make the Cream Cheese Glaze.
FOR THE GLAZE:
In a bowl, beat (using a hand-mixer) the softened butter until creamy and smooth. Add the powdered sugar and remaining Chai tea mixture, beating everything together until the glaze becomes smooth and velvety. NOTE: Add additional milk (1 tablespoon at a time) if the glaze is too thick or powdered sugar (1 tablespoon at a time) if too thin.
Spread the glaze atop the rolls using a rubber spatula evenly until generously covered.
To serve, cut out each roll desired and enjoy.
Tips & Tricks
TO STORE: Leftovers can be kept fresh at room temperature when tightly wrapped or sealed for up to 3 days. Fresh for up to 1 week in the Refrigerator. Baked rolls can be frozen up to 2 months.
RAPID (INSTANT) RISE YEAST VS. ACTIVE DRY YEAST: If you’re not using the Rapid Rise Yeast for this recipe, please know that the rise time will be twice as long (about 3 hours) since regular Active Yeast doesn’t work as quickly.
OVERNIGHT OPTION: If you don’t want to make your rolls on the same day, you can simply follow all steps (including the initial 1+ hour rise) and after cutting rolls and placing them into your baking pan, just cover them tightly (using foil paper of plastic wrap) and refrigerate them overnight or for 8-12 hours instead. The following day, remove from refrigerator and keeping them covered, let rolls rise at room temp 1 to 1 ½ hours.
FLOUR: If you don’t have bread flour, you can always just use all-purpose flour entirely instead.
GLUTEN-FREE OPTION: If you're looking to make these GF, I recommend substituting both flours with Bob's 1:1 Baking flour and slightly reducing the amount by 1 cup, slowing adding more if the dough is too sticky.
TEA BAG: You can also use a chai tea bag blend instead if preferred.