Vegan Cinnamon Roll Cake

At work in the deli last week, one of my coworkers decided to bake a cinnamon roll cake for our hot food bar.  We don't usually make desserts for it but it is always nice to swap things up, and a lot of people have a sweet tooth.  Plus, who doesn't like warm cinnamon scented cake? Anyways, the cake smelled amazing and sold well but sadly it wasn't vegan so I could not try it.  So I decided that I was going to go home and make one of my own that was more suited to my tastes as well.  I prefer to make my desserts a bit less processed than traditional ones, so every time I veganize a recipe it becomes less processed as well. I was super excited about this one!

I already love cinnamon rolls, but they are kind of a lot of work.  Cake is so much easier! And if I can get the same sweet cinnamony flavor, why not?!  For the cake base I started off with what I would use for my plain vanilla cake.  Cinnamon rolls have a vanilla base after all.  It was really quite simple to make, just whisked all together in a bowl!  Back in the day before I went vegan and I would make those vanilla cakes that you had to whip the eggs separately and cream the sugar and whatnot and you know what?  Honestly the texture of my vegan cakes is just as good and they are easier to make.  I used maple sugar to sweeten this one, because it goes so well with cinnamon.  Also, you may notice there is not any oil in this cake.  It actually doesn't need it, because the coconut oil I use in the batter is plenty rich!

I gave the inside of the cake cinnamon swirls as well, because cinnamon rolls have to have plenty of cinnamon!  I did swirls instead of just dropping it in because I figured it would be more evenly distributed that way.  Once it was all put together I wanted to make a streusel for the top like the one that was made at work.  I am a sucker for streusel after all.  I love it on anything dessert related.  I kept this one simple, just flour, sugar and coconut butter (not to be confused with coconut oil) plus some cinnamon and was looking forward to how crunchy and delicious it would get once baked!

It smelled amazing while baking by the way.  Cinnamon reminds me of fall, which is appropriate since we are almost there!  I could not wait to try it, but I had to wait for it to cool a bit before un-molding.  As if it wasn't already amazing how it was, I added some glaze like the cake at work had.  Except instead of making a powdered sugar glaze, I used coconut butter sweetened with a bit of maple syrup.  It was time to dive in.  The cake was soooo good!  It had a soft, light texture, and it was just the right amount of sweetness, with the perfect amount of cinnamon and vanilla.  That crunchy struesel topping made it crave worthy!  So the next time you are craving cinnamon rolls but don't want to deal with yeast and kneading and whatnot, make this instead!

Vegan Cinnamon Roll Cake
Makes one 6 inch cake

Ingredients:

one 6 inch cake pan

Cake:

  • 3/4 cup organic whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup maple sugar
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk (the thick kind, I prefer Thai Kitchen brand) at room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp cider vinegar

 

Swirl:

  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup at room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp maple sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

 

Topping:

  • 1/4 cup organic whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 Tbsp maple sugar
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp coconut butter, warmed to liquid

 

Drizzle:

  • 1 Tbsp coconut butter
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp filtered water, or as needed

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and position rack in center of oven.
  2. Oil a 6 inch round baking pan and line it with parchment at the bottom so it will not stick.
  3. Whisk flour, baking soda, sea salt, and sugar in a large bowl to blend well.
  4. Whisk coconut milk and vanilla extract together in small bowl to blend well, then whisk into the flour mixture until well blended.
  5. Whisk the cider vinegar into the batter.
  6. Mix together swirl ingredients in a small bowl.
  7. Transfer half the cake batter to prepared pan then place the swirl mixture in a ziplock bag with the corner cut off and pipe it into a swirl from the center out.  Pour the rest of the cake batter over it, then do the same with more of the swirl. marble the swirls with a knife.
  8. Mix together the streusel ingredients in a bowl with your hands until it starts to clump together, then sprinkle over the cake.
  9. Place in the oven, and bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean with just a few moist crumbs attached, about 25 minutes.
  10. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 30 minutes, then un-mold, by cutting around the edges if they are stuck at all, then putting  plate over the top, then flipping it onto that plate then placing a plate on the bottom and flipping it upright onto that plate.
  11. Whisk together the coconut butter, maple syrup and water until smooth (adding a little more water if it is too thick to drizzle).
  12. Drizzle the coconut butter mixture over the cake, and serve!

Cake keeps stored in a container on the counter for up to 1 week, or can be frozen for up to 4 months.

Notes:

If you would rather use coconut sugar or even just granulated sugar for this, either will work in place of the maple sugar.

If you would like to make a 9 inch round cake, double the entire recipe, and bake it in a 9 inch round pan, increasing the baking time to 50 minutes to 1 hour (depending on your oven).

This cake can be made gluten free by swapping out the whole wheat pastry flour for Bob's Red Mill gluten free all purpose baking flour (this is a brand I have used before and have tested it in cakes with great results).

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About the Author

I am a vegan girl who loves to make healthier desserts and dishes with lots of veggies. Recipes are meant to be shared, that is why I started blogging!

4 Comments
  1. September 17, 2019 at 11:15
    Reply

    I don't have a 6 inch pan and didn't want to make a larger one, so I made cupcakes (it made about 9). So good! Nice and cinnamon, and not overly sweet. I love the whole food ingredients put together in such a way that it tastes not-so-good-for-you. Brava!

    • September 17, 2019 at 18:56
      Reply

      I am so happy to hear you enjoyed it and made it work for you :)! I have to admit I thought about making it into muffins too but ended up making the cake. I like that muffins are more shareable ;). Thank you for letting me know how it turned out!

  2. Hana Bas
    September 18, 2019 at 05:15
    Reply

    is there anything you can replace the coconut milk with? like soy cream or sth? I really dont like the taste of coconut and Im worried I could taste it in this recipe.l

    • September 18, 2019 at 19:07
      Reply

      To be honest, you can't taste it at all in the roll portion, but you could substitute another rich plant based milk (like an oat milk creamer). However the rolls might not be quite as tender because coconut milk has the highest fat content. As far as the glaze goes, it won't firm up without the coconut butter, but you could just use all nut butter if you don't mind it runnier.

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