This post by The Veg Life! has been sponsored by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, Smart & Final. All recipes and opinions are mine alone. #ChooseSmart #CollectiveBias
I LOVE homemade cinnamon rolls. I don’t indulge often, but do enjoy them as a special treat. I wanted to come up with a twist on the traditional recipe for Valentine’s Day and this Strawberry Cinnamon Roll with Lemon Glaze Recipe is sure to make your sweetheart fall in love with you all over again!
To begin, I melted vegan margarine with almond milk (both of which I always keep on hand) in a small saucepan over low heat until the margarine is completely melted. Cool to a very lukewarm temperature. If this mixture is too hot, the yeast will not activate.
Transfer this mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer and add the yeast. Add 1 Tbl of sugar and 1/4 tsp of salt. Next, add the flour 1/2 C at a time, mixing each addition just until combined. Do not overwork. The dough should form a smooth ball. Transfer to a bowl with a bit of oil and coat the entire suface of the dough before covering with a kitchen towel. Set in a warm, but not hot, place and allow to rise for about an hour.
For this recipe, I shopped at my local Smart & Final in Scottsdale, AZ – conveniently located next door to my favorite Chinese restaurant 🙂 I love that they carry warehouse-sized items without that annoying “club fee” associated with other big box stores. I found almost every product I needed in the baking aisle. I also purchased the strawberries in their produce section. I prefer fresh to frozen in this recipe due to the excess moisture content in frozen strawberries.
P.S. If you are interested in these little heart springform pans, I got mine at Target and they are made by Wilton. You can also find them on Amazon or eBay. They were the just the right size for this recipe and, as you’ll see during the second rise of the dough, it fills up the pan forming that heart shape. Perfect for Valentine’s Day 🙂
After one hour, your dough should look like this. If your kitchen is very cool, one trick you can try is to preheat the oven and set this bowl on the stovetop. That indirect heat really helps the dough to rise.
Another item I purchased at Smart & Final was strawberry preserves. I warmed it slightly just to aid in spreading it over the dough.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, I added the diced strawberries, 1 Tbl of sugar and 1 Tbl of cornstarch. If the strawberries are very juicy, you may want to add a bit more cornstarch. Allow this to sit for a few minutes. We only want to use the strawberries, not any liquid that comes as a result of this mixture.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/4″ thick. I did mine in a rectangle, which was fine, but in retrospect I might have done a square for thicker rolls.
With an offset spatula, evenly spread the strawberry preserves onto the dough leaving a 1″ border all around.
I found that I could have added fewer diced strawberries. As you roll, you will lose a few in the process. I reserved the remainder for serving.
After rolling the dough, cut into 2-1/2″ to 3″ rounds. Place cut side up in your pans. If you don’t have these cute individual pans, just prepare as you normally would and place all in an 8″ round cake pan. Allow to rise. This should take about 20 minutes. I do this while preheating the oven. For the heart pans, I did initially press them slightly to help them rise into the correct shape. As you can see, they rose beautifully!
Oh, and that sprinkling of cinnamon sugar you see on the top is also from Smart & Final. I found it purely by accident. It’s actually from their Ambiance line and called Cinnamon Hot Beverage Sprinkle. I loved how large the sugar crystals were and it worked perfectly as a topping to these sweet rolls. I brushed first with a bit of melted vegan margarine and gave a generous sprinkle to each roll prior to baking.
The last part of the process is to bake the rolls at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes. While baking, a super quick glaze is created by combining powdered sugar, vanilla extract and a bit of lemon juice. You can eyeball this and make as thin or as thick as you like.
We topped the baked Strawberry Cinnamon Rolls with the glaze and some of the reserved diced strawberries. Serve to your loved one this Valentine’s Day garnished with whole strawberries and his or her favorite hot beverage. They were absolutely delicious!