Vegan Banana Bread Cinnamon Rolls With Cream Cheese Icing

Vegan banana cinnamon rolls with walnuts and cream cheese icing
These cinnamon rolls are full of banana bread flavor!
Vegan banana bread cinnamon roll being served with a spatula
Serve them warm for the best, gooiest experience.
Vegan banana bread cinnamon rolls with walnuts and cream cheese icing
The vegan cream cheese icing really makes these rolls!

As a food blogger, sometimes it’s hard to come up with unique recipes. It often seems like everything has been done before! I don’t want to make my recipes so out-of-the-ordinary that no one will eat them, but I also don’t want them to be super basic. After all, does the internet really need another chocolate chip cookie recipe?

Every once in a while, inspiration for a new recipe strikes. This happened to me the other day, when I noticed that my bananas had become overripe. Instead of simply using them for banana bread, I wanted to see if I could come up with a cool dessert to make. That’s when I remembered: I had always wanted to try baking a bunch of different cinnamon roll flavors! After I posted the recipe for my maple pecan cinnamon rolls, I actually considered making a cinnamon roll series on my blog. And after visiting Cinnaholic (a vegan build-you-own cinnamon roll chain), I had so many ideas for cinnamon roll flavors to try making at home! Unfortunately, that plan never amounted to anything, as I got distracted by other recipes. However, with these overripe bananas sitting on my counter, I was suddenly re-inspired to make a banana bread cinnamon roll.

I scoured the internet to see what other recipes were out there that combined bananas and cinnamon rolls. Some of the recipes I found were just basic cinnamon rolls with bananas in the filling. Others were “upside-down” style, where you bake a layer of caramel sauce and banana slices under the cinnamon rolls, then flip the rolls out of the pan after baking them. However, I wanted there to be banana flavor in the actual dough, as well as in the filling. I also decided to add walnuts and cream cheese icing to really take the rolls to the next level!

Cinnamon rolls are a little tricky to bake at home, but the end result is absolutely worth it. Nothing will ever compare to a homemade cinnamon roll! There’s just a few important things to remember:

  1. Cinnamon roll dough is made with yeast, so it has to rise. The first rise should take an hour or so, but you’ll want to check to make sure the dough has doubled in size. If you don’t let it rise long enough, the rolls will be dense and chewy instead of light and fluffy!
  2.  The second rise is also important, as it allows the cinnamon rolls to puff up and fill the whole pan (so there aren’t any gaps). This should only take 15-20 minutes, as long as you keep the pan covered and in a warm place.
  3.  Don’t overbake your cinnamon rolls! You want them to be a light golden brown, and not any darker. This should take about 30 minutes, but you’ll want to start checking on them around 20-25 minutes. Keep the rolls gooey and fluffy, not hard and crispy!
Unbaked vegan banana bread cinnamon rolls
The second rise really allows these cinnamon rolls to fill the whole pan!
Unbaked vegan banana bread cinnamon rolls
Bake just until the rolls are light golden brown.

After you’ve made banana bread cinnamon rolls, don’t forget to check out these other banana bread-inspired desserts!

Chunky Monkey Banana Muffins:

Brownie Bottom Banana Bread Bars:

Vegan Banana Bread Cinnamon Rolls With Cream Cheese Icing

Cinnamon rolls just got a banana bread-inspired makeover! Made with walnuts and cream cheese icing, this vegan dessert is the ultimate banana-lover's treat.

Course Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine American, Vegan
Keyword banana bread, banana bread cinnamon rolls, banana cinnamon rolls, banana dessert ideas, banana desserts, cinnabon recipe, cinnamon roll flavors, cinnamon roll recipes, dairy free desserts, egg free desserts, homemade cinnamon rolls, sweet vegan breakfasts, unique dessert recipes, unique desserts, vegan baking, vegan baking recipes, vegan banana bread, vegan breakfast, vegan breakfast ideas, vegan breakfast recipes, vegan cinnabon, vegan cinnamon bun recipe, vegan cinnamon buns, vegan cinnamon rolls, vegan dessert, vegan dessert ideas, vegan dessert recipes, ways to use ripe bananas
Prep Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Cooling/Icing Time 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 15 rolls
Calories 316.3 kcal

Ingredients

For the Dough

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter melted
  • 2 1/4 tsp 1 packet instant yeast
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 medium ripe bananas mashed
  • 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour plus more for kneading
  • 2 tbsp oil

For the Filling

  • 1/4 cup vegan butter melted
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar plus more for topping
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 small banana sliced thinly
  • 1/3 cup raw chopped walnuts plus more for topping

For the Icing

  • 2 oz vegan cream cheese room temperature
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter room temperature
  • 1/3 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp unsweetened almond milk

Instructions

For the Dough

  1. In a large microwaveable bowl, combine the almond milk and melted butter. Heat on high for 35-45 seconds, until temperature reaches 110°F. Sprinkle in the yeast, stir gently, and set aside for 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in the sugar, salt, and mashed bananas.
  3. Add flour gradually (1/2 cup at a time), gently mixing with each addition.
  4. Transfer dough to a clean, floured surface and knead for 3 minutes, adding more flour as necessary. Form dough into a ball.
  5. Pour the oil into a large bowl and place the ball of dough in the bowl. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and leave in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour (until doubled in size).

For the Filling

  1. Roll out the risen dough into a 1/4 inch thick rectangle, 18" by 12" in size.
  2. Brush the dough with the melted butter, using most of the butter and covering the dough evenly.
  3. Stir together the sugar and cinnamon until well combined. Top dough evenly with the sugar mixture.
  4. Spread banana slices in a single layer over the dough. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts.
  5. Roll up the dough tightly and place with seam-side down on the counter. Use a serrated knife or string of floss to slice into 1 1/2 inch thick slices.
  6. Grease a 9" by 12" baking dish with vegan butter and arrange rolls inside.
  7. Brush tops of rolls with remaining melted butter and sprinkle with extra sugar and walnuts.
  8. Cover with plastic wrap and let the rolls rise in a warm place for 15 minutes while preheating the oven to 350°F.
  9. Bake rolls for about 30 minutes, until light golden brown.
  10. Remove baking dish from oven and set aside to cool for 15 minutes.

For the Icing

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, butter, confectioners sugar, and vanilla until fluffy. Mix in the almond milk until well combined.
  2. Drizzle icing over cinnamon rolls and serve warm.

Recipe Notes

  • Use a food scale to measure your flour in order to ensure accuracy (60g = 1/2 cup).
  • Leftover cinnamon rolls can be covered and stored in refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in microwave or oven.
  • Dough can be pre-made by covering and freezing it at the stage where the rolls are already arranged in the pan. Allow the rolls to thaw for 6 hours before baking, then cover and allow them to rise in a warm place for 15 minutes. Bake according to recipe.

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