top of page
  • Ashley Porter

Vegan Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

Vegan Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

It feels a little strange to be posting a recipe with wheat in it - this is the first ever on my blog! I’ve contemplated including recipes with wheat in them for a little bit now because I’ve always posted mostly top 9 free recipes and I want to create recipes that make eating treats accessible to as many people as possible. While I still plan to create recipes that are allergy-friendly, I also want the recipes to reflect what we are actually eating in our house, since this is the way that we cook (and bake) sometimes. Even though Hudson no longer has a wheat allergy, I still eat mostly gluten-free because it is what makes me feel my best with my autoimmune disease, so I can assure you there will still be many gluten-free recipes!

I first became interested in trying to make homemade sourdough bread when Hudson was cleared to eat an unlimited amount of wheat. He hadn't had wheat for about three years, but in the last year his allergist noticed that his blood work was showing low numbers for wheat, in fact, almost negative for a wheat allergy altogether. She did a skin test on him, which also came back negative, so we proceeded with an in-office food challenge. He did great with the initial challenge and we began dosing wheat, starting with just one oyster cracker a few times a week, and eventually worked our way up to an unlimited amount. He was officially cleared of his wheat allergy!

While he wanted to eat wheat-everything, I was a bit more hesitant, because I believe that wheat has the potential to be inflammatory in the gut for just about anyone - whether they have an allergy, celiac, autoimmune disease or nothing at all. Because Hudson hadn't eaten wheat in many years, it concerned me a bit more about his body's adaptation to wheat and how his gut might handle that. I had been reading on sourdough and how, through time and fermentation, the bacteria can help break down some gluten. It was important to make it at home, though. Sourdough breads that are purchased in the stores often have a small amount of sourdough starter for flavor, but still use added yeast for a quicker rise, which decreases the fermentation process that I just mentioned.

I have found that I am able to tolerate small amounts of wheat if it is with homemade sourdough bread. When I make sourdough bread, baked goods, pancakes, cookies - anything sourdough - I always ferment the dough for 18-24 hours before I bake it. This allows the gluten in the flour to break-down a bit and I have noticed that it is easier for my gut to digest and does not cause the same levels of inflammation in my body. While this would not work for someone with a wheat allergy or celiac, it has provided my gluten-sensitive body some more options that I'm so grateful for.

Vegan Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

We have been enjoying sourdough sandwich bread for

months now, and I quickly adapted many of my recipes to be sourdough. In the past, one of the hardest recipes to make gluten-free or grain-free was cinnamon rolls. It was such a challenge to get the dough to stay together without crumbling, or on the opposite end, it could be so difficult to work with the dough and roll it out because of how sticky and wet the dough could be, especially with grain-free recipes. You can imagine what a treat it was to finally be able to make a cinnamon roll that was safe for the family and had the pillow-y dough that we grew up loving, before we entered the land of food allergies and autoimmune disease.

The "hardest" part of any sourdough recipe is making a starter that is active and bubbly. That can take 1-2 weeks and is a labor of love, but I promise you, after those 1-2 weeks, it becomes the gift that just keeps on giving. I use my starter almost every day for various baked goods, breakfast biscuits, pizza dough, and countless other items. It truly has become a gift to our family and allowed us to eat foods that we did not tolerate before.

Once you have the starter ready, this recipe is so simple to make. I always make my sourdough doughs in the morning and allow it to ferment the entire day and night so it is ready to be baked the next morning. Just be sure to plan a day ahead to enjoy these!

One other note - I had never weighed ingredients before when baking - I've always used measuring cups, but I think it's so important to get exact weights when you do sourdough. It also cuts down on so many extra dishes so I've become a bit of a weight convert now in general when baking. I grabbed an affordable digital scale on Amazon, but I've seen them around in many retail stores too.

If you're able to safely tolerate wheat, I hope you take a chance on sourdough! I'll post a couple other sourdough recipes that we've enjoyed so you have a few more to try.

Don't forget to subscribe at the top of the page so you get all of the recipes as soon as they are posted!

Prep Time: 30 minutes Bake Time: 20-25 minutes Fermenting Time: 18-24 hours Serves: 8 cinnamon rolls

Cinnamon Roll Dough:

½ cup (100g) sourdough starter

2 tsp (10g) salt

2 Tbsp (30g) olive oil

4 cups + 2 Tbsp (500 g) all-purpose flour

1 cup (236g) + 2 Tbsp lukewarm water


¼ cup applesauce

1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

¼ cup brown sugar


1 cup powdered sugar

1 ½ Tbsp plant-based milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Weigh out or measure all dough ingredients and mix together with a dough hook until a ball of dough is formed. It should release from the sides of the mixing bowl and should not be sticky to the touch.

2. Transfer dough to larger bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a tight-fitting towel to prevent dough from drying out. Let dough ferment for 8 hours, or up to overnight. The dough should be at least doubled by the end of fermentation.

3. Turn fermented dough out onto a well-floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a rectangle, about ¼ inch thick.

4. Spread applesauce in a thin, even layer over dough, leaving just a slight border. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon evenly on top of the applesauce.

5. Roll the dough tightly to ensure the filling does not escape. Slice the dough into even slices, about 8.

6. Grease the inside of the pie baking dish and carefully place sliced rolls into pie baking dish.

7. Cover cinnamon rolls and let rise for one hour at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator to allow fermentation.

8. Remove cover and bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

9. While cinnamon rolls are baking prepare icing by whisking powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and plant-based milk together until well combined.

10. Remove cinnamon rolls from oven and let cool for 5-7 minutes. Pour icing over warm rolls.

Store covered at room temperature up to 2 days or refrigerated up to 4 days.


1. As I mentioned above, I don’t typically measure ingredients by weight, but when I make sourdough bread and treats, I do. It is more precise and also uses less dishes (plus!). It also tends to be easier because after I use starter in the recipe I need to feed the starter again, which I do using the scale, so it’s easier to simply measure everything.

2. Add up to two tablespoons of water when mixing the dough, one tablespoon at a time, if the dough is too dry. Be careful not to add too much water or the dough will be too sticky and difficult to roll later. Keep in mind that humidity will impact the dough, so you may need more/less water, depending on where you live and what the weather is like.

3. Dairy-free butter can be substituted for the applesauce in the filling.

4. Coconut sugar can be substituted for brown sugar if preferred.

5. If you are not allowing the cinnamon rolls to ferment overnight, they can be proofed inside the oven with the oven light on or on the bread proof setting to accelerate the rise.

Vegan Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

Sourdough roll dough based on recipe from

bottom of page