I adore my new home in Milwaukee, but sometimes there are favorite places that can’t be replaced. I found a new dry cleaner and favorite yoga class, but one thing I miss the absolute most is the local coffee shop in my hometown. I grew up going to this lovely little place and have grown to adore the owners like surrogate parents. They are welcoming, loving, and most of all they make the best cinnamon rolls in the state.
I know other restaurants or shops might make them bigger or gooier (um what is the plural for gooey?) or with more frosting ( I’m looking at you Ann Sather’s), but the rolls at my favorite little coffee shop are one of those juuuust right foods that can’t be replaced. They are always warm, always have the perfect amount of icing, and are seemingly always perfect. Also, when the perfect homemade cinnamon roll is served up by the sweetest New Orleans native woman you have ever met, it automatically becomes 100 times sweeter!
The banana in this vegan cinnamon roll recipe replaces the usual gobs of butter in the filling, and trust me, you won’t miss it. Also, you don’t have to toast the almonds, but puhhhlease do it, please toast your nuts! The toasty, crunchy almond flavor and gooey banana brown sugar combination is beyond any regular cinnamon rolls. I also used already prepared refrigerated pizza dough from my Italian market down the street, but you can feel free to make the dough from scratch, if you so desire. I found very little difference in the taste between homemade dough and already prepared dough in these banana cinnamon rolls, but make sure the already prepared dough is high quality since there are so few ingredients in this recipe.
Tips for making these banana cinnamon rolls
Because this recipe uses pre-made pizza dough as the base, there’s no mixing required in this recipe. You’ll first need to roll out the pre-made dough until it’s a 12-by-8-inch rectangle. Then, you’ll need to spread a layer of finely mashed banana onto the dough. Make sure you’re using a ripe banana for this, as you want these cinnamon rolls nice and sweet!
Once the banana has been spread onto the dough, it’s just a matter of topping it off with the remaining sugar, spices, and toasted almonds. Don’t know how to toast almonds? No worries, it’s easy! To toast the chopped almonds, pop them into a pan over medium-low heat and toast until fragrant. The almonds will likely start to sizzle a bit (it’s very faint, though, so make sure you don’t burn the nuts!). Oh, and you don’t need to add oil or anything to the pan to toast the almonds, either!
Once all the toppings have been added to the dough, it’s time to roll it all up and slice into cinnamon roll-sized pieces. Then comes the hardest part: waiting for the dough to rise. You’ll want to let the banana cinnamon rolls rest for about two hours, or until they’re nice and puffy. After the cinnamon rolls have risen, you can bake them and then drown them in homemade icing (the caramel sauce from my Apple Crisp Ice Cream would also be perfect on these cinnamon rolls). My advice? Brew yourself a strong cup of coffee or a mug of your favorite tea and tuck into these bad boys while they’re still warm!
Previously on Heart of a BakerPrint
These vegan banana cinnamon rolls are super easy to make and use pre-made pizza dough as their base. Top with toasted almonds and dig in!
For the cinnamon rolls:
- 1 package refrigerated pizza dough
- 1/2–3/4 banana (about 1/3 cup mashed, finely mashed)
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 cup almonds (chopped and toasted)
For the icing:
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Grease 9-inch round cake pan or 8-inch square baking dish, set aside.
- Roll out refrigerated pizza dough on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 12 inches by 8 inches. If dough is too cold to roll out, let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes.
- Once the dough is rolled out, spread the mashed banana evenly over the rolled out dough, leaving an inch or so edge along the dough. Sprinkle with almonds, brown sugar, ground cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg.
- Roll the dough towards you into a log, starting at the long side. Cut the rolled up dough into 8 even slices, each 2 inches thick. Place slices into greased baking dish or pan. The rolls do not need to be touching, so go ahead and spread them out to give them room to rise.
- Let rise in a warm spot for at least 2 hours. At this point, the rolls can be placed into the refrigerator to be baked the next day or a few days later.
- After the rise, bake the rolls at 400ºF for 20-25 minutes. Let cool.
- For the icing: Whisk together powdered sugar, almond milk, and vanilla extract in a small bowl. Pour over the cinnamon rolls and serve.
- Serving Size: 1
Keywords: banana cinnamon rolls, vegan cinnamon rolls