Zucchini Cinnamon Rolls

While I don’t have any plants plying me with pounds and pounds of zucchini right now, it is one of the veggies I can count on scoring cheaply at the farmers market. So it’s time to jump on this zucchini bandwagon. From regular ol’ zucchini bread to zucchini Babka to zucchini fritters, there’s a lot to do with the humble squash. But you know what’s the best Saturday morning post-farmers market option? Zucchini cinnamon rolls, my friends.

Like zucchini bread, zucchini cinnamon rolls are sweet and spicy and cinnamony and ooey-gooey frosted deliciousness. I’d say they’re healthy–all that green–but, well, any nutritionist would call me out on that. They’re good for the soul, though, and that’s what really counts. I really don’t know what else to say about them besides go and make them right now.  No really, right now.

Happy weekend everyone!

Zucchini Cinnamon Rolls

adapted from Katie & VeggieBoards

For the dough:
2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast
1/4 c warm water
3/4 c zucchini, grated (my food processor slightly pureed it, which worked great too)
1/4 c soy milk
1/4 c Earth Balance, melted
1 tbsp granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 t cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
3/4 c all-purpose flour
1 T vegetable oil

For the Filling:
4 tbsp granulated sugar
4 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
3 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tbsp chilled Earth Balance, cut into small pieces

For the frosting:
About 3/8 (3 oz) of a container of Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
1/4 c Earth Balance margarine, softened
1 1/2 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt

In a large bowl, combine the warm water with the yeast and whisk together with a fork, let stand for 5 minutes. Add the zucchini, soy milk, melted Earth Balance, and sugar in with the yeast, and lightly mix. Sift in the first two and a half cups of flour, salt, cinnamon and ginger, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Take the remaining 3/4 cup of flour and use it to flour the top of the dough and your surface a tablespoon at a time, as needed to keep the dough from getting sticky as you knead it. Knead the dough for about ten minutes, the dough will be elastic but soft and still a little sticky to the touch without being floured. (Or use the dough attachment on your mixer and knead for 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary to form a soft, sticky ball.)

Place the dough in a large bowl coated with oil, turning to coat the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Punch the dough down; cover and let rest for 5 minutes.

Combine the sugar, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in margarine with a fork until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Roll the dough into a 12 x 10-inch rectangle on a floured surface. Sprinkle with brown sugar mixture. Roll up the rectangle tightly, from the long side, pinch seam and ends to seal. Cut roll into 12 (1-inch) slices. Place the slices in a 9-inch square or round baking pan coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 25 minutes or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 375°.

Bake the rolls for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 15 minutes in pan on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, beat together the Tofutti cream cheese, Earth Balance, vanilla, powdered sugar, and salt. Once the cinnamon buns have cooled enough to eat, frost each bun individually.

Makes 12-14.

14 Responses to “Zucchini Cinnamon Rolls”
  1. VeggieGirl says:

    Same here – I have zucchini growing in my backyard, but with the poor weather conditions this past summer, they haven’t been flourishing :( Hooray for the farmers market supplying the goods though!! Haha.

    I absolutely LOVE the idea of morphing zucchini bread into cinnamon rolls – delicious and fun!!

  2. liz says:

    oh my god those sound like perfection right now……. eeeeeh, will you come bake for me sometime??? pretty please? I can’t believe you have the patience to make cinnamon rolls *and* the genius to add zucchini to them, but that’s why you made this post and not me, and why I’m now drooling and wishing I have tofutti around so I could kick the craving you just instilled. ah!

  3. jessy says:

    good for the soul, indeed! oooh man – i’ve gotta make these gluten-free – they look so damn delicious, Jes! mmmmmmmmmmm!

  4. Shelby says:

    What a great idea!!! Now I’m hungry!

  5. Diann says:

    A not-so-healthy treat every now and then is definitely good for the soul. These look fantastic!

  6. Mama Veg says:

    These look amazing. I haven’t had a good cinnamon roll in ages.

  7. fortheloveofguava says:

    **Guava emails link to boss and runs out of office…*** :)

  8. DaviMack says:

    Those are some beautiful zucchini rolls! What makes me happiest, though? That you call them “zucchini” and not “courgettes!”

  9. Fantastic! The poor, ubiquitous end-of-summer zucchini … you’ve done the veggie proud with this one. Something to share with every home gardener pulling their hair out for over planting summer squash.

  10. lazysmurf says:

    omg those look so good, beautiful picture!

  11. Monica Shaw says:

    Wow, zucchini in cinnamon rolls – what a fascinating idea. Your photo is gorgeous. Wish I could get tofutti here in the UK just so I could make that frosting. =D

  12. BitterSweet says:

    I just had a real “duh” moment… Like, why didn’t I ever think of this before? Brilliant! I’m thinking I could even just take my zucchini babka recipe and roll it up as buns. What a killer idea!

  13. Tori says:

    Ohhhh yeesssss… I just ate one of these (actually, it was like half a pan, but they were covered in frosting and could differentiate between them) and they are the best ever. Lots of filling and frosting, but the dough was to rich or sweet, so it was all goooddddd.

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