I like a good challenage from time to time. Putting yourself outside of your comfort zone is key to growth and development in my opinion. It’s where the magic happens. And boy do I love myself a little magic. Although, I have been cooking for about 2 years now, I have never made a meal for more then 2 or 3 people at a time, myself included, and generally only one dish. Rarely, if ever, have I served a meal consisting of multiple elments and recipes. But that all changed this weekend. I happily offered to cook brunch at my boyfriends house for our two good friends who were in from out of town. A couple days before Sunday, I hung out with mutrual friends of ours and decided to invite them to brunch as well, and then I invited another friend I hadnt seen in ages and before you knew it the guest count reached 8 people. This is when I could have shifted into panic, but decided to practice positive affirmations, telling myself I would be able to do it successfully and do it well. I meditated on it, too, just to be sure. I spent some time serching the interwebs for recipes I wanted to make and planning out what I would need to prepare when so that we were ready to eat by 11:30am.
Growing up, Cinnabon may have been my favorite store in the mall. Serious. We couldn’t make a trip there without me begging my mom to buy me one. She more often than not said no, saying it would ruin whatever meal was coming up next, usually lunch or dinner. As I got older, we made less trips to the mall so cinnamon rolls sort of became out of sight out of mind.
That is until I was planning the menu for brunch.
I thought that it might be a good idea to make something sweet, aside from fruit salad (which we had) to balance out the savory vegan chiliquiles that everyone would enjoy but maybe hadn’t had in a while. Pancakes and french toast seemed too obvious as did scones or muffins. Cinnamon Rolls seemed just right, combining what I love about french toast (cinnamon), and what I love about muffins (you eat with your hands)!!! AND- I could not remember the last time I had one… perfect. After coming across this easy recipe on Minimalist Baker, I knew we had a winner.
I tested the recipe a couple days before and felt like it tasted way to yeast-y and was not sweet enough. This could be because of the brand of yeast I bought but I added 1/4 cup more sugar and 1 Tbsp more butter than Dana’s recipe called for the second go around and it was no longer yeast-y…, Yay!
And it was by far the most popular brunch item I served.
And let me tell you about the lemon coconut cream icing! You guys are going to want to lick the bowl, I promise. Its so damn delicious that I have dreams about it. Its a simple icing mixture of powdered sugar and coconut water with the addition of fresh lemon juice and coconut cream- easy peasy and it brings the tastebud game to a whole new level. Trust me – do not skip the icing. You will love it!
Also Happy First Day of Fall to you all! I think its going to be a great one!
Put your can of coconut cream in the fridge atleast four hours before, preferrably overnight so the cream can solidify.
In a small sauce pan, heat the almond milk and 3 tbsp vegan butter until warm and melted. Do not let it reach a boil. Remove from heat and let cool to the tempurature of bath water. Approx 110 degrees. You want it warm, but not too hot or it will kill the yeast.
Transfer to a large mixing bowl and sprikle on the yeast, letting it activate for 10 minutes. Then add 1 tbsp sugar, the salt and mix well to combine.
Add in the flour 1/2 cup at a time, stirring as you go to slowly incorporate. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute or so it forms a loose ball.
Rinse out the mixing bowl, dry it, then lightly coat with oil before adding the dough ball back to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm place to rise for 1 hour and double in size (see photo)
Once the dough has risen, roll it out into a rectangle on a light floured surface. Brush it with 4 Tbsp melted vegan butter and top with 1/2 cup sugar and 1 Tbsp cinnamon.
Tightly roll up the dough starting at one end and situate the seam side down. Using a serrated knife, cut the dough into 1.5- 2 inch sections and place in a 8x8 round or similar size round pan. You should have about 9-10 rolls. Brush with the remaining 2 Tbsp melted vegan butter and cover with plastic wrap.
Pre-heat the over to 350 degrees F and let the cinnamon rolls rise once more.
Once the oven is ready, bake the rolls for 25-30 minutes. Let cool and add on the frosting.
To make the frosting open up your can of coconut milk and seperate the solids from the liquid.
Add the solid cream to a large mixing bowl and using an electric mixer or whisk, whip the cream. Then add in the coconut liquid, lemon juice and 1/2 cup of powdered sugar at a time, whipping as you go until you've added enough to reach your desired consistency.
Pour over your cinnamon rolls and serve.