How to Make Acorn Cinnamon Rolls

acorn cinnamon rolls ready to bake in skillet

I want to teach you how to make these incredible acorn cinnamon rolls. Not only are they fantastic as the traditional treat, but they make a wonderful alternative to a Holiday dessert. They are fun, unique, and easily-shareable. So whether for brunch or dessert, make these for the perfect, most talked about potluck bring-a-long.

What Types of Acorns are Edible?

Did you know that there are over 600 kinds of oak trees around the world? And all oaks have acorns. More so, ALL acorns are edible, though their shape and color may vary. With only a few states not having acorns, it's a surprise that we don't see more recipes using them.

Acorns have been a part of different cultural diets around the world for centuries. Here in the United States, the First American Native Tribes used acorns as a key ingredient in their diet. Acorns have been used for soups, breads, and porridge. They are high in potassium, iron, vitamins and minerals, making a good excuse to eat these cinnamon rolls!

a basket of acorns

How To Prepare Acorns for Cooking

Acorns are high in tannins, a bitter tasting plant compound. Preparing acorns gets a bad reputation because of the time it takes to leach the tannins from the nut. However, if you are careful to save yourself the time on the day before, then the process if fairly simple. Here's the steps:

  • Acorns have a hard outer shell and a little "cap" that hide the nut inside. Remove the cap and crack open the shell.
  • Separate the nuts from the shells and discard the shells.
  • Prepare 2 pots of boiling water on the stove. Place the acorns in one of the pots and boil for 30 minutes, keeping your second pot simmering and at the ready.
  • After the 30 minutes, your acorn water will be brown. Drain the acorns and place them in the second pot of boiling water. While that pot is boiling, refill the first pot and bring back to a boil, then simmer.
  • You will continue alternating the acorns from pot of fresh water to pot of fresh water, boiling for about 30 minutes each time. The process pulls the bitter tannins out of the acorn and flushes it out with the water.
  • Continue this process until the water no longer turns brown. The acorns will taste more nutty and slightly sweet. The bitterness may still be there a little bit, but it will be very light.
  • After the last draining of the acorns, spread out on a baking sheet. Bake in a 300f oven for 1 hour. Turn off the oven and let the acorns sit overnight to dry out.
  • The following day, place in a food processor and puree until a fine flour- it will have a little texture, like that of a graham cracker.
  • Any leftover acorn flour can be kept in a ziplock bag in the freezer, making it worth it to make a slightly larger batch to save time the next time.
shelling acorns

Can I Use Other Nuts Instead of Acorns?

Not wanting to go through all this trouble, but looking to do something different? Yes, you can use other nuts instead of acorns. I especially LOVE this Italian Chestnut Flour, as it gives a similar richness and flavor. But also, both Pecans and Walnuts make great substitutions for the fresh acorns. Simply toast them and pulse in the food processor to create the same texture that looks like graham cracker.

Tricks to Making Acorn Cinnamon Rolls

Here's a few tricks to making Acorn Cinnamon Rolls successfully:

  • Prepare your acorns in advance. You can always make this and save in the freezer for later use. When using from the freezer, toast the acorn flour in a dry sautée pan to toast and dry.
  • Make sure your milk is warm (about 110f) for the dry yeast (less if using fresh yeast). If the milk is too cold, it won't activate the yeast. If it is too warm, it will kill it.
  • Have the filling made before starting your dough
  • Measure your ingredients out first before starting the recipe.
  • If using icing, brush it on while the rolls are still warm
mixing the filling for acorn cinnamon rolls
Mixing the Filling
cinnamon roll starting to cut
The Rolled Dough before Cutting
acorn cinnamon rolls ready to bake in skillet
Ready to Bake

Try These Other Holiday Recipes

Recipe

acorn cinnamon rolls

How to Make Acorn Cinnamon Rolls

Kajsa@TwistofVegan
Not only are these acorn cinnamon rolls fantastic as the traditional treat, but they make a wonderful alternative to a Holiday dessert. They are fun, unique, and easily-shareable. So whether for brunch or dessert, make these for the perfect, most talked about potluck bring-a-long.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 1 day 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Recipes- Baking
Cuisine American
Servings 10 serves 10
Calories 653 kcal

Ingredients
  

FOR THE DOUGH

  • 3 tablespoon Vegan Butter softened, for coating the pan
  • 2 cups Oat Milk warmed to 110f (other non-dairy milk is fine to use)
  • ½ cup Vegan Butter melted for the dough
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • 1 packet Dry Active Yeast
  • 5 ½ cups All Purpose Flour divided
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt

FOR THE FILLING

  • ¾ cup Vegan Butter
  • ¾ cup Brown Sugar
  • ½ cup to 1 cup to your taste Ground Toasted Acorn Flour (about 2 cups whole acorns-instructions in blog)- or substitute Italian Chestnut Flour
  • 2 tablespoons Ground Cinnamon

FOR THE ICING (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Before starting your dough, prepare the filling.  Place all ingredients for the filling in a small bowl and stir together with a spoon.  Set aside until ready to use.
  • Preheat your Oven to 350f
  • Coat the inside of a 14-inch cast iron skillet with butter along the sides and bottom.  Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the oat milk, melted butter, and sugar. 
  • Sprinkle the yeast and 2 tablespoon of the flour evenly over the warm mixture and mix in gently with a fork. Set aside for 5 minutes.
  • Place the paddle attachment on the mixer.  Add 5 cups of the flour and the salt to the milk mixture and mix on slow speed until just combined (about 2 minutes).  
  • Cover the bowl with a tea towel and set in a warm place to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  • Remove the towel and replace the bowl on the machine and mix on medium-slow speed.  Slowly add the remaining flour a little at a time while mixing until the dough no longer sticks to the side of the bowl.  Continue to mix in the machine for another 3-4 minutes.
  • Turn out onto a well-floured surface.
  • Roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about ½-inch thick. 
  • Spread the filling over the dough in an even layer
  • Roll up the dough, forming a log, and pinch the seam closed. Place seam-side down. 
  • Cut the log in half, then cut each half into 6 evenly sized pieces. Each round will be about 2 inches thick.
  • Place the cinnamon rolls to cover the bottom of the buttered skillet.  Start in the center and then place the rolls, sides touching, around in a circle until the entire bottom of the skillet is covered.  Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for 30 minutes.
  • To prepare the frosting. In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, oat milk, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  • Remove plastic wrap. Bake the cinnamon rolls in a preheated oven at 350f  for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and set the skillet on a baking rack to cool.  Brush with icing (if using) while still warm.

Notes

**Get ahead and start your acorn preparation at least 1 day (but up to 1 week) before.  See steps detailed in the blog.  If you don't want to trouble with the acorns, I love this Italian Chestnut flour as a substitute

Nutrition

Calories: 653kcalCarbohydrates: 99gProtein: 10gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0.1gSodium: 478mgPotassium: 219mgFiber: 4gSugar: 38gVitamin A: 1353IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 114mgIron: 4mg
Keyword acorn recipes, acorns, cinnamon rolls, plant based, vegan, vegan baking, vegan cinnamon rolls, vegan recipes
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