Creme Brûlée Cinnamon Rolls

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Imagine gooey cinnamon rolls combined with creamy crème brûlée. These rolls have soft dough covered in creamy custard, topped with a lightly caramelized sugar crust. We’re keeping these cinnamon rolls extra gooey, allowing the custard to seep into every layer. You can make the top as crispy as you like! Plus, this recipe is egg-free and dairy-free, making it fully vegan.

First, we’ll make the vegan crème brûlée using dairy-free milk, cornstarch, sugar, and vanilla extract. While the crème brûlée sets, we’ll prepare classic cinnamon rolls with a 7-ingredient dough and a buttery brown sugar filling. Once the rolls are baked and still slightly warm, spread the set custard on top and dust with sugar. Use a blowtorch to caramelize the sugar until browned for a crispy finish.

Tips for the best cinnamon rolls:

  • Don’t overheat your milk. It should be warm, like a bath, to activate the yeast. The yeast mixture should become foamy and frothy in about 15 minutes.
  • Use room-temperature butter for the filling. If it’s melted, it will seep out during baking; if too solid, it won’t spread well.
  • Use bread flour for the softest, fluffiest rolls.
  • Avoid over-proofing or under-proofing. The rolls are ready to bake when they have increased in volume, and an indentation springs back when you press the edge of the dough with your finger.

Creme Brûlée Cinnamon Rolls

Course Dessert

Ingredients
  

Dough:

  • 1 cup unsweetened plant-based milk e.g., almond, soy
  • ¼ cup vegan butter
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 packet 2¼ tsp active dry yeast
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp salt

Filling:

  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup vegan butter softened
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup coconut cream

Custard:

  • 1 cup canned coconut milk full-fat
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Brûlée Topping:

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar

Instructions
 

Prepare the Dough:

  • In a small saucepan, heat the plant-based milk and vegan butter until warm (not boiling). Remove from heat and stir in the sugar. Let it cool to about 100°F.
  • Pour the warm mixture into a mixing bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top. Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes until foamy.
  • Add 2½ cups of flour and salt to the yeast mixture. Mix until a sticky dough forms. Gradually add the remaining flour as needed, kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes).
  • Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until it doubles in size.

Make the Filling:

  • In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch. Set aside.
  • In another small bowl, combine the softened vegan butter with coconut cream until smooth.

Assemble the Rolls:

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  • Roll out the dough on a floured surface into a large rectangle (about ¼ inch thick).
  • Spread the coconut cream mixture evenly over the dough.
  • Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture on top.
  • Starting from one long edge, roll the dough tightly into a log. Cut into 12 equal pieces and place them in the prepared baking dish.
  • Cover the rolls with a cloth and let them rise for another 30 minutes.

Prepare the Custard:

  • In a small saucepan, whisk together the coconut milk, cornstarch, and sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and starts to bubble. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

Bake the Rolls:

  • Pour the custard evenly over the risen cinnamon rolls.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the rolls are golden and the custard is set.

Brûlée the Topping:

  • Remove the rolls from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes.
  • Sprinkle the granulated sugar evenly over the top of the rolls.
  • Use a kitchen torch to caramelize the sugar until it’s golden and crispy. Alternatively, place under a broiler for a few minutes, watching carefully to avoid burning.

Serve:

  • Let the rolls cool slightly before serving. Enjoy the delightful crunch of the brûlée topping with the soft, gooey cinnamon roll.

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