This healthier dessert is just like a cinnamon roll but in cake form! It's much easier to make than a cinnamon roll and takes less that 20 minutes to prepare. It's very moist and sweet, but with less added sugar than a traditional cake.
After testing this recipe 3 times, I am very pleased to say that I have perfected it 🙂 It's moist, sweet, and tastes just like a cinnamon roll in cake form!
Although it's vegan and more nutritious than a regular cake, it really doesn't taste like it! It was extremely popular among everyone I shared it with, and none of them were vegan.
I did learn a lot of tricks as well as substitutions while testing this recipe, and I can't wait to share it all with you in this post!🤓
If you don't have time to read or make this now, you can click here to save the recipe on Pinterest so you can always come back to it!📌
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The Cake: Key Ingredients and Techniques
There are, of course, 2 components to this dessert: the cake and the cinnamon filling. In this section I'll be explaining all the ingredients and steps (and why!) you need.
First off is the vegan "buttermilk." No, I'm not expecting you to go buy some (do they even sell it in stores?). It's extremely easy to make!
All you have to do it combine apple cider vinegar with your favorite plant-based milk (I've tried both oat and almond milk; they work great!) and let it sit to curdle.
What's the point of this? Since this recipe has no eggs, the acidity of the ACV reacts with the basic baking powder to act as a leavener. It is extremely important to the texture so you don't get a dense/gummy cake.
While you let that mixture sit, you'll combine all the dry ingredients: all purpose flour, white whole wheat flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
While I don't have any notes for the last 3 ingredients mentioned (except do not skimp on salt!!), I want to make a quick note on the flours I used.
As with most of my cinnamon roll recipes, I like to use a combination of white flour and white whole wheat flour. They both have their own benefits and downsides, which is why I prefer to use both.
With white/all-purpose flour, you end up with the fluffiest and softest texture, but no nutritional value. Whereas the whole wheat flour has fiber, but a denser and wheaty texture. (note: be sure to use white whole wheat flour, not regular wheat, because it has a lighter taste and texture with the same nutritional value).
When you use both you get the best of both worlds--fluffy bread and more fiber! It will have a bit less fiber though, and that's where flaxseed meal comes in to play.
This ingredient is 100% optional, so don't worry if you don't have it. However, it does increase the amount of fiber, protein, and omega-3s without changing taste or texture, so I highly recommend using if you have it.
Finally, you'll add the remainder of the wet ingredients: the vegan "buttermilk" you made earlier, avocado oil, vanilla extract, and sugar.
I love using avocado oil because it has the same health benefits as olive oil (unsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, and more) but with a neutral taste. It's also not chemically processed like canola or vegetable oil!
This is the brand I like to buy because it's high quality and a great price for the quantity!
And finally, the sugar. I used unrefined cane sugar (the most budget-friendly option; it's hardly more than regular table sugar!) but you can use any 1:1 granulated sweetener as long as it acts like sugar. Coconut sugar would also work, but you might want to add a bit more since it's not as sweet.
The Cinnamon Filling
This part's pretty simple with only 3 ingredients: date syrup, flour, and cinnamon! And all you have to do is mix them together 😉
This date syrup was gifted to me, but of course I will always be honest with you and give my own opinion. And I will say it is absolutely amazing!
I have always loved putting dates in my desserts because of their amazing caramel-like taste and no added sugar. However, with this date syrup, you get the same sweet taste (without the taste of the actual dates), but with no work (no need to blend or use a food processor!) and still with no added sugar🥳
This date syrup is pretty much everything you love about maple syrup, but better because it's more nutritious, and again, no added sugar! I'm putting a lot of emphasis on this, I know, because this will keep you fuller for longer, prevent blood sugar spikes, and prevents energy crashes!
You can get a discount on the date syrup by using my code NDELIGHTS (here is the link!) I know you'll love it 🙂
As promised, here are some substitutions you can make if you don't have an ingredient!
Flour: you can use all white flour instead of a mix, or all white whole wheat (but you may notice a denser & wheatier texture). I still do not recommend regular wheat flour but use if you must.
Buttermilk: if you don’t have ACV, a regular vinegar will still work. For the milk, any kind is good!
Oil: as mentioned previously, any neutral oil is fine. If you want to reduce the amount of oil, I have tried subbing 3 tbsp for the same amount of milk. While it still works, the texture is not as good.
Sugar: again, any 1:1 granulated sweetener is fine as long as it melts/acts like sugar!
Date syrup: maple syrup works but I still highly recommend date syrup.
If you have any questions about substitutions I haven’t mentioned feel free to leave a comment!
I really hope you like this recipe! If you decide to make it, be sure to post a picture/story and tag me @nutritiousdelights on Instagram–I’d love to see!💕
More recipes you might love:
Vegan Cinnamon Swirl Loaf
- 6 tablespoons date syrup see notes
- 8 teaspoons flour
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 ¾ cup all purpose flour
- ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons white whole wheat flour
- 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal completely optional; see notes!
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 7 tablespoons cane or coconut sugar add 1-2 tbsp if using coconut
- ½ cup avocado oil or other neutral oil
- 1 ¾ cup nondairy milk (e.g. oat or almond)
- 1 ½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a medium bowl, combine the milk with apple cider vinegar. Mix and set aside to thicken for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, mix all the filling ingredients: date syrup*, flour, and cinnamon, and set aside.
- Fill the prepared pan with batter and filling, alternating in 7 layers starting and finishing with the batter (4 layers of batter, 3 layers of filling). Bake for 55-65 minutes until it springs back when lightly pressed and a toothpick comes out clean. Let it cool in the oven and don't slice until cooled. Enjoy!