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Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Roll Vegan Conversion

Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

 The Pioneer Woman

I first heard of the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, when she appeared on the Paula Deen show. She made enchiladas during that episode. They looked great and so I decided to veganize the recipe. I received such rave reviews for my vegan version of the Pioneer Woman’s Enchilada Casserole that I decided to look for other recipes to convert. So far, I have converted Apple Cake in an Iron Skillet, Chicken Florentine Pasta, and the Drop Biscuits with Sausage Gravy. Everything has been a hit.
Single Vegan Cinnamon Roll




Didja know? Cinnamon rolls originated in Sweden and barely resemble the kanelbulle eaten by the Swedes. The American version is sweeter and bigger than its Swedish counterpart. The Philadelphia version of the cinnamon roll is extra sweet. Much like French Vanilla ice cream, which is Philadelphia style ice cream, is much richer than its Natural Vanilla counterpart.






No Cinnamon Rolls

One Sunday I received a phone call from a woman. She said she was in the mood for cinnamon rolls and wondered if I had any. I had to explain to her that I am a bake-to-order bakery so no, I don’t have any cinnamon rolls just sitting around waiting for someone. After I hung up the phone, I began thinking and realized I don’t have a favorite cinnamon roll recipe. Well, that isn’t entirely true, I have an old family recipe that uses Pillsbury Biscuits but that isn’t the same as making rolls from scratch.

A few people suggested I convert Ree Drummond’s Cinnamon Roll recipe. My first thought was “AWESOME! I have loved everything I’ve made from her site”. Then I saw the recipe and wondered what have I gotten myself into? Here is the original recipe:


  • 1 quart Whole Milk
  • 1 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 packages Active Dry Yeast, 0.25 Ounce Packets
  • 8 cups (Plus 1 Cup Extra, Reserved) All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
  • 1 Tablespoon (heaping) Salt
  • Plenty Of Melted Butter
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • Generous Sprinkling Of Cinnamon
  • _____
  • 1 bag Powdered Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Maple Flavoring
  • ½ cups Milk
  • ¼ cups Melted Butter
  • ¼ cups Brewed Coffee
  • ⅛ teaspoons Salt

8 Cups of Flour?!

Yesterday morning, I woke up early to get started making these delicious rolls that Ree assures me will have people calling to “profess their eternal love for every ounce of your body”. The above recipe was supposed to create 8 servings. I quickly realized that was a typo. There is no way that a recipe that has 8 cups of flour as an ingredient amount will only make 8 servings. I decided to cut the recipe in half and boy am I glad I did. My “half recipe” made 24 rich, buttery, sweet, cinnamon rolls. Which means the original recipe makes 48 servings, not 8.


What was different

This was the easiest  conversion I’ve ever done. I only substituted the whole milk with Rice Dream rice milk , used soy free Earth Balance butter, an organic unbleached flour, and brown sugar instead of white sugar. One thing about Ree’s method that is different from every other roll recipe I’ve ever followed is that the dough proofed in the same pot where I mixed the ingredients. Loved that! I thought it was a quick and easy recipe in need of the least amount of kneading ever.

Adjustments made

Aside from needing to cut the recipe in half, I wish I would have cut the slices bigger than the 1″ recommendation. I like a bigger bun so I would make them 1.5″ to 2″. In the future I will experiment with adding fruit to this recipe.

Taste review

Well, I had 24 rolls to share so I made a few friends. Everyone said it was great even including my vegan food hating neighbor. I liked it just the way I made it. One of my friends thought it was too sweet but she doesn’t like anything sweet. Everyone agreed it had a rich, buttery, taste.

Based on the recipe by Ree Drummond

IngredientsVegan Cinnamon Rolls

  • 1 quart Rice Dream rice milk (or another dairy alternative)
  • 1 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 packages Active Dry Yeast, 0.25 Ounce Packets
  • 8 cups (Plus 1 Cup Extra, Reserved) Organic Unbleached All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
  • 1 Tablespoon (heaping) Salt
  •  Plenty Of Melted Earth Balance Soy Free Butter
  • 2 cups Sugar
  •  Generous Sprinkling Of Cinnamon
  •  _____
  • 1 bag Powdered Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Maple Flavoring
  • 1/2 cup Rice Dream Milk
  • 1/4 cup Melted Earth Balance Butter
  • 1/4 cup Brewed Coffee
  • 1/8 teaspoon Salt

Preparation Instructions

For the dough, heat the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat to just below a boil. Set aside and cool to warm. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit on the milk for 1 minute.

Add 8 cups of the flour. Stir until just combined, then cover with a clean kitchen towel, and set aside in a relatively warm place for 1 hour. After 1 hour, remove the towel and add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the remaining 1 cup flour. Stir thoroughly to combine. Use the dough right away, or place in a mixing bowl and refrigerate for up to 3 days, punching down the dough if it rises to the top of the bowl. (Note: dough is easier to work with if it’s been chilled for at least an hour or so beforehand.)

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

To assemble the rolls, remove half the dough from the pan/bowl. On a floured baking surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 30 x 10 inches. The dough should be rolled very thin.

To make the filling, pour 3/4 cup to 1 cup of the melted butter over the surface of the dough. Use your fingers to spread the butter evenly. Generously sprinkle half of the ground cinnamon and 1 cup of the sugar over the butter. Don’t be afraid to drizzle on more butter or more sugar! Gooey is the goal.

Now, beginning at the end farthest from you, roll the rectangle tightly towards you. Use both hands and work slowly, being careful to keep the roll tight. Don’t worry if the filling oozes as you work; that just means the rolls are going to be divine. When you reach the end, pinch the seam together and flip the roll so that the seam is face down. When you’re finished, you’ll wind up with one long buttery, cinnamony, sugary, gooey log.

Slip a cutting board underneath the roll and with a sharp knife, make 1 to 2-inch slices. One “log “will produce 20 to 25 rolls. Pour a couple of teaspoons of melted butter into disposable foil cake pans and swirl to coat. Place the sliced rolls in the pans, being careful not to overcrowd. (Each pan will hold 7 to 9 rolls.)

Repeat the rolling/sugar/butter process with the other half of the dough and more pans. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cover all the pans with a kitchen towel and set aside to rise on the countertop for at least 20 minutes before baking. Remove the towel and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown. Don’t allow the rolls to become overly brown.

While the rolls are baking, make the maple icing: In a large bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, butter, coffee, and salt. Splash in the maple flavoring. Whisk until very smooth. Taste and add in more maple, sugar, butter, or other ingredients as needed until the icing reaches the desired consistency. The icing should be somewhat thick but still very pourable.

Remove pans from the oven. Immediately drizzle icing over the top. Be sure to get it all around the edges and over the top. As they sit, the rolls will absorb some of the icing’s moisture and flavor.

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Earth Balance White Cheddar Puffs

Normally, the only Earth Balance product I use or eat is the Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Spread. It’s only because of how much I enjoy the buttery spread that I decided to try the Vegan Aged White Cheddar Puffs. That and the fact that I love(d) cheese. I remember opening the bag at 12:30pm during my lunch break.  It was a monumental moment, they were that delicious.

I hope Earth Balance doesn’t consider it an insult if I say their White Cheddar Puffs reminded me of Cheetos puffs. Except they are vegan, don’t stain my hands, don’t turn my tongue orange and are made with plant based ingredients instead of chemicals. Guess what GF friends, they are also gluten free!

I ate the whole bag myself, thankfully not in one sitting, it did take a week but I finished it. I can’t believe the main ingredient in this product is navy beans. You will never guess. Ever.

My only complaint is I don’t have a bag to eat right now while I’m writing this blog post. I want another bag…badly


Not Yo Mamas Vegan Earth Balance White Cheddar Puffs

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My Favorite Vegan Ice Cream Recipe

When I first became a vegan I bought pre-made, milk alternative, ice creams. I tried almond milk ice cream. It was hard and tasted like almonds regardless of which flavor I tried. I tried rice milk ice cream. It was hard but tasty. I tried coconut milk ice cream and for a moment I rejoiced. I found a rich, cream, ice cream. But the problem was that every bite tasted like coconut. Mmmm, vanilla, coconut. Mint Chocolate Chip, coconut. Strawberry, maybe I won’t taste the, nope there it is…coconut. Finally, I decided to buy an ice cream maker and make my own.

I didn’t buy anything fancy. My ice cream maker probably cost $19, at the most. What made the difference were the ingredients. My best friend introduced me to Chocolate Covered Katie‘s website and she is now one of my favorite food bloggers. I haven’t tasted anything from her site that I haven’t liked. Except, I liked the voluminous ice cream recipe more once I tweaked it to my taste.

From Chocolate Covered Katie’s blog

The first thing I did was to triple CCK’s recipe since I made the ice cream in my ice cream maker. Next, I chose organic vanilla beans purchased from Trader Yankee on Amazon, Kosher Salt and honey instead of sugar. For the milk alternative, I chose 1 cup of So Delicious Coconut Milk and two cups of Almond Breeze Almond Milk. I blended the ingredients in my Ninja blender then poured the ingredients into the ice cream maker which ran for two hours. When it finished, what I had was technically ice cream but I found I had creamier ice cream by putting the contents back into my Ninja. THEN I have ice cream.

When I don’t want to work this hard then I use my Yonanas Banana Ice Cream Maker.