Coconut oil cinnamon rolls

Coconut oil cinnamon rolls

This post was created in partnership with Califia Farms.

We got into Chicago early Tuesday morning and hit the ground running. We wandered around the city for a bit, grabbed lunch at one of our favorites (the long line is worth it) (PROMISE), then spent a good portion of our afternoon at the Museum of Surgical Science. Later that evening I ditched Thom for work obligations but thankfully those obligations ended with doughnuts and second dinner so I really can’t complain. I woke up early Wednesday morning and grabbed coffee and more doughnuts (the vegan doughnuts at Do-Rite will always be my favorite) before heading to an event with Albertsons Co. I got to hang out with some of my favorite food blog peeps, cook in the Rick Bayless kitchen at Kendall College, and play a real life version of Supermarket Sweep so – all in all – it was a pretty good Wednesday.

This is our only full free day in Chicago so I’ve got to get ready and head out to get first coffee because we’ve got a long day of eating and drinking ahead of us. I saved my best stretchy pants for today but sadly my walking shoes are soaked from last night’s three mile walk in the rain (with a child-size umbrella.. for two full-grown humans) so it’ll be interesting to see if today pans out. I predict we’ll be tired and grumpy come 7PM and that I’ll have no less than five blisters on either foot. But maybe – just maybe – we’ll be fat and happy and Thom will get me so drunk that I won’t even care about the blisters. Though I’m going to go out on a limb and say the former is more likely. Setting the bar low, people!

Anyway, because it’s a short one today, here are some links for your enjoyment (but if I were you I’d skip right past them and get to making the cinnamon rolls).

Astrology h8r for life. Ask me my sign and you’ll get an eye-roll. ;)

I’m reaaaally excited for Molly on the Range to come out. Also really excited to get home because the book will be waiting at my front door. And, from the looks of it, there will be sprinkles and temporary tattoos, too (!!!).

ICYMI: Elizabeth Warren being a badass.

I made coconut banana sorbet sundae thingies for KitchenAid’s blog. Turns out all banana soft serve needed was a little help from some full fat coconut milk. WHO KNEW?

I straight up bought nine of these candles and I’m not even embarrassed about it.

“Together, the piece conveys a forest in flux.” WHOA.

Three words: cheesy chickpea crumble. And three more: TAHINI CHAI LATTE.

Kickass medical museums: the Mütter Museum, the Old Operating Theatre, and the International Museum of Surgical Science. Know any others? #willtravelformedicalmuseums

Califia Farms (my favorite almondmilk company and longtime sponsor of this blog) recently released a line of nitro cold brew coffees and – just like everything else they make – it is delicious.

Coconut oil cinnamon rollsCoconut oil cinnamon rollsCoconut oil cinnamon rollsCoconut oil cinnamon rolls in the makingCoconut oil cinnamon rollsCoconut oil cinnamon rollsCoconut oil cinnamon rollsCoconut oil cinnamon rollsCoconut oil cinnamon rollsCALIFIA NITRO COLD BREW (!!!!!)Coconut oil cinnamon rollsCoconut oil cinnamon rollsCoconut oil cinnamon rollsCoconut oil cinnamon rollsCoconut oil cinnamon rolls

Notes: This dough is on the soft side and you could easily add up to 1/4 cup (35g) more flour if you want to make dense + sturdy cinnamon rolls. If you don’t keep all-purpose flour in your house, you could use ivory wheat or white whole wheat flour.. but I wouldn’t recommend it (and the same goes for substituting spelt, whole wheat, etc.) (also, see this). If you prefer the doughy parts to be a bit sweeter, swap the unsweetened almondmilk with Califia’s vanilla almondmilk. I know some of you may want to replace the brown sugar with something more “nutritious”, but I regret to inform you it will make for some seriously sad cinnamon rolls. Proceed with caution (and see this again). To prepare the cinnamon rolls the night before, simply follow the overnight method used in this post.

This post is sponsored by Califia Farms, maker of my favorite non-GMO + carrageenan-free almondmilk (amongst other delicious beverages). All opinions are my own and I think Califia rules. 


2 1/4 teaspoons (7g) active dry yeast
1/4 cup (50g) warm water, 105-110˚F
1/3 cup (74g) cane sugar
1/4 cup (48g) refined coconut oil
1 cup (205g) Califia Farms unsweetened almondmilk
1 teaspoon (6g) fine sea salt
3 cups + 2 tablespoons (438g) all-purpose unbleached flour
 (plus more for kneading)

2 tablespoons (22g) refined coconut oil, melted (but not hot)
1/2 cup (98g) brown sugar
1 tablespoon (6g) ground cinnamon

Maple icing
1 cup (100g) powdered cane sugar
1 tablespoon (12g)
 Califia Farms unsweetened almondmilk
1/4 teaspoon (1g) maple extract

Add the water to a small bowl and sprinkle in the yeast; gently stir to combine then add a pinch of sugar and set aside until foamy (15-20 minutes). In a small saucepan set over medium heat, melt the oil then whisk in the sugar and almondmilk. Cook for about 2 minutes, just until the mixture is hot, then remove from heat and set aside to cool. If you have a thermometer, stick that on the side of the pan so that you can gauge when the temperature has dropped below 110˚F (if it’s any warmer, you run the risk of killing the yeast) (dead yeast = flat cinnamon rolls).

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Create a well in the center and pour in the yeast and cooled almondmilk mixture. Using a rubber spatula, gently stir (scraping around the edges of the bowl) until the flour is completely combined, then set a timer and knead the dough for 4-5 minutes (lightly flouring the countertop as needed). The kneaded dough should be sticky but it shouldn’t be so sticky that it leaves residue on your hands or countertop. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled mixing bowl, cover with a towel, and store in the warmest part of your house for 1-2 hours, or until doubled (if there isn’t a warm place in your house, heat the oven to 250˚F and set the bowl next to it).

Line a 9″ square baking pan with parchment paper then lightly brush with oil; set aside. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon; set aside. Line a flat surface with parchment paper and sprinkle with flour. Gently punch down the dough then remove from bowl and knead between your hands for 1-2 minutes, just until you’ve worked out the big air bubbles. Once kneaded, place the dough on the prepared surface and let it rest for 15-20 minutes. If you don’t let it rest, it will be hella difficult to roll. Roll the dough out into a 12×18 rectangle. Use a pastry brush (or the back of a spoon) to spread the coconut oil then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Starting at the long end, roll the dough into a log, slice into nine segments, and place them in the prepared pan. Cover pan with a towel and let the rolls rise for one hour in the warmest part of your house.

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Brush the tops of the cinnamon rolls with almondmilk (if desired) then bake at  350˚F for 26-28 minutes, or until golden. Remove rolls (along with the paper) from pan and set on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes.

While the rolls are cooling, prepare the icing by stirring together the powdered sugar, almondmilk, and maple extract. Smear onto cinnamon rolls and serve. Cinnamon rolls can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days.

Yield: 9 cinnamon rolls

Pumpkin spice cinnamon rolls – ‘Tis the season! Follow the recipe for this overnight pumpkin spice cinnamon roll loaf. To bake immediately, follow the steps above.
Sweet potato cinnamon rolls – Replace the pumpkin in the recipe above with canned sweet potato.
Caramel apple cinnamon rolls – Toss the cinnamon sugar mixture with 2 cups of finely shredded apples. Finish rolls with almondmilk caramel sauce.
PB&J cinnamon rolls  – Slather the slab of dough with your favorite jam (instead of the cinnamon sugar), then finish the rolls with peanut butter glaze (to make the glaze, start with 1/4 cup of creamy peanut butter and thin to desired consistency with almondmilk and pure maple syrup).



  • Reply Katrina 29 September 2016 at 8:43 AM

    These rolls are bringing me straight to happy town!! What a genius dough! Definitely trying these!

  • Reply Abby @ Heart of a Baker 29 September 2016 at 8:52 AM

    I’ve been searching for those nitro cold brews, I want to try them SO BADLY! Anyway, have fun on your last day in Chicago, the weather is positively gorgeous today and please eat all the food for me there. Also, these cinnamon rolls have me starving and I just ate a big bowl of granola, might need to make these this weekend. xo

  • Reply Ashley 29 September 2016 at 9:18 AM

    I cannot even handle the doughy look of these rolls. They don’t even look real. Photos are SO fab.

  • Reply Lisa 29 September 2016 at 9:21 AM

    Yay Chicago! I biked home in that same rain last night and could only recover by 1) ordering Thai food and 2) baking brownies. Enjoy your free day here! Hot tip: Honey Butter Fried Chicken does nachos on Thursdays only. And you can get them with delicious fried tofu instead of chicken! Not vegan (CHEEEEESE), but so so good.

  • Reply Libby 29 September 2016 at 9:52 AM

    I can’t wait to make these! I’m going to bring them to a potluck on Sunday. :)

  • Reply Heather 29 September 2016 at 9:58 AM

    That crisp you made looked so delicious! Are you planning on sharing the recipe? The concept of stovetop crisp is so intriguing. As for these cinnamon rolls, I’m heading straight to the grocery store after work. Eating cinnamon rolls for dinner is totally a thing…right?

  • Reply valentina | sweet kabocha 29 September 2016 at 10:06 AM

    Love it!!
    Btw, nitro saved me during the moving in the new apt. It gave me the energy to get to the end of it :D

  • Reply Natalie 29 September 2016 at 1:32 PM

    MY OH MY! Do these look tasty. Bookmarked almost instantly, saved for a special weekend breakfast – thank you!!!!!

    – Natalie

  • Reply hannah 29 September 2016 at 1:35 PM

    Astrology hater 4 LYF!
    This morning I was assembling my lunch – a huge power greens salad topped with tons of lentils and veggies and pepitas (oh my!) while simultaneously making my regular breakfast smoothie. I had this urge to throw in a handful of greens, but then I was like HALT! WTF ARE YOU DOING? I would rather stand in the kitchen and shove raw kale into my mouth prior to smoothie consumption than have it intermingling with my strawberries, PB, oats, and protein. But some bloggers make the green smoothies look soooo glamorous…thanks for being sane on this topic :D

  • Reply Elizabeth 29 September 2016 at 1:48 PM

    best. cinnamon. rolls. in the world. period end of story. please make me them every day.

  • Reply Jessica @ From Jessica's Kitchen 29 September 2016 at 3:56 PM

    This looks delicious!! Giving this a (paleo) try and definitely with brown sugar (!)… have been thinking about making a sweet potato bread but these rolls sound way more fun :)

  • Reply Erica 29 September 2016 at 6:33 PM


  • Reply Dawn 30 September 2016 at 4:21 AM

    Holy moly they look delish! Never been brave enough to sub butter for coconut oil for the Swedish cinnamon buns. You’ve totally convinced me now : )

  • Reply Sara 30 September 2016 at 6:11 AM

    These look great and all (ok who am I kidding they look incredible) but how the heck to you roll them so perfectly? Everything looks fine until I cut into the log and then they come unraveled and fall apart. What am I doing wrong? Help.

    • Reply Sara 30 September 2016 at 6:14 AM

      Oh and you’ve got another astrology hater over here too. Added that article to my reading list. :)

  • Reply renee (will frolic for food) 30 September 2016 at 9:55 AM

    you are the master of making cinnamon swirlies that are quirky, adorable and delicious looking! i LOVE cinnamon rolls and ill be sharing this with my baker friends! and oh hai thanks for linking to my tahini chai latte ;) it would go pretty damn well with an enormous serving of this gorgeous rolls!

  • Reply Meghan 30 September 2016 at 10:29 PM

    These look stellar, and I’m psyched to see a recipe with coconut oil involved. MMM. Coconutty cinnamon rolls. I wonder if I threw some shredded coconut into the icing… (Too weird?)

    I have one question: I know it can be dicey to use non-wheat flours with yeasty stuffs, but do you have any suggestions for how to (at least) cut it with some alternative flour without compromising things too badly, or (at most) replace it entirely? Coconut? Almond? Oat? A mix of any and all?

    I have a sensitive belly, but I love few things more than a homemade cinnamon roll. If not, I’ll have to restrain myself from more than one roll. (BOO.)

    • Reply Meghan 30 September 2016 at 10:34 PM

      I also realize this is even a shameful thing to ask, because cinnamon rolls. #leavecinnamonrollsaloneyouglutenfreemonstersclub

  • Reply The Wooden Spoon 2 October 2016 at 12:45 PM

    I NEED this in my life. They look SO GOOD!

  • Reply Jennifer 3 October 2016 at 7:44 AM

    You HAVE to check out the Mutter Museum! What makes it so awesome is that they try and keep with the old school styled museums so you feel like you stepped into a time machine. The funny thing is that my Mother is a neonatal nurse practitioner, so when I mentioned that my husband and I visited the place my Mother was super jealous. I wasn’t really expecting that XD

  • Reply Simone Anne 6 October 2016 at 12:49 AM

    This just led us to a really interesting discussion of the history of surgery, so thanks for that. Did you ever catch the Radiolab episode about the guy with the fistula who helped us understand digestion in leaps and bounds? It was a good one, if you haven’t.

    Also, the cinnamon rolls look dope.


  • Reply Adam 6 October 2016 at 9:40 AM

    These look so tasty I’m going to tell my parents to make these on a Saturday morning and I will eat them all and I won’t leave any for anyone. Thanks for the recipie.

  • Reply The Sunday Mode 8 October 2016 at 7:43 AM

    Oh my goodness these look amazing! Cinnamon rolls are one of my favourite foods but honestly I have never even attempted to make them myself.

  • Reply Cook with Tina 9 October 2016 at 11:11 AM

    Never stop loving cinnamon rolls, they taste awesome!

  • Reply Jane 16 October 2016 at 7:38 PM

    Hey Ashlae – can’t wait to try these. I just had a quick question – do you think I could make these fully in advance, freeze them in a pan, and then bake a week later? I’m hoping to leave a treat for someone for when I’m away…..

  • Reply LIMI 17 October 2016 at 5:50 AM

    Hi! I am from Austria, so my english is horrible and that´s why this is my first comment ever. So please apologize… I just made a combination of the small batch and the coconut oil cinnamon rolls with gluten free flour (fingers crossed) Thank you for the amazing recipes, really love your blog. The photos are so beautiful and so inspiring!!! And your writing, thank you for sharing

    • Reply Ashlae 17 October 2016 at 11:51 AM

      Hi Limi –

      Thanks so much for your kind words. Anxious to hear how the gluten free version turns out! My fingers are crossed for those rolls. :)

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  • Reply Jane 25 October 2016 at 11:00 PM

    Just wanted to let you know I made these, and they were amazing and surprisingly easy. I’ve never had bread rise properly for me, but your instructions made it possible. Thanks for the perfect addition to coffee…..

  • Reply Katie 25 December 2016 at 11:52 AM

    SO I have made these twice and the first time was pretty good but wanted more goodness on the inside, so I made these today but DOUBLED the filling (1 c brown sug, 2 T cinna, 4 T coco oil), and because there was so much filling it leaked out the bottom and caramelized and got all sticky and delicious in the oven so they were like sticky cinnamon rolls. absolutely divine.

  • Reply angie 29 April 2017 at 4:01 PM

    holy moly bless u. these were amazing. decided not to do the overnight proofing because i had a busy morning planned but by golly when i took a bite (pre-icing) i just sat down on the ground and groaned out loud. it was a major hit with my coworkers as well!!
    all i changed up was swapping about ~1/3 apf for ww and i had almond beverage (lol) and not milk but still a near flawless result (only real flaw being that there wasnt enough). ugh fantastic. thank you.

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  • Reply Dabiea 24 December 2017 at 11:51 PM

    Would one be able to substitute whole wheat or spelt flour? These look amazing!!

    • Reply Ashlae 25 December 2017 at 7:53 AM

      Hi Dabiea –

      Yes! Either will work but your rolls will be on the more rustic looking side. 😊

  • Reply Mel 27 December 2017 at 5:50 PM

    Oh my GOODNESS, I just pulled these out of the oven. They are fabulous! Thank you for the perfect recipe.

  • Reply Shay 22 February 2018 at 10:05 AM

    Made these using your recipe but with canna*oil, came out AHHHHMAZING! made my own infused cream cheese icing to go on top and omg…… the people LOVE THEM! thank you so much this its definitely one of my go to’s now! will be prepping some later today for this weekend!

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