As much as I bake, when I come upon a recipe that mentions "yeast" -- and not nutritional yeast, I tend to click the "X" button and move on to something... easier.
Besides the time-kill of waiting for dough to rise, I have a lot of childhood memories of attempting to use yeast, resulting in baked items that were as hard as rock, flat, and smelling extremely yeasty. The smell still haunts me every time I open up a package.
I saw a recipe for vegan pumpkin cinnamon rolls on this site and decided to give it a go. I made sure to get new yeast that hasn't been sitting in the cupboard for ages and went for it. I covered it, put it in the oven with just the light on, and was surprised to see a rise!
Earth Balance + cinnamon
I followed the instructions and cut 10 pieces, but that was a mistake. You can see the cramming of 10 instead of 9 that went on in here, probably resulting in less expansion (second-rise) and more dense rolls as a result. Bummer. Yet I was still surprised that it rose that second time.
After the bake (sorry a little blurry... musta been too excited)...
This was after the icing (and sampling, ha ha). Overall, despite a little denseness, they were really tasty and not overly sweet. They didn't scream "vegan," according to some of my taste-testers, and the kitchen definitely got that nice cinnamon-y smell as it was baking.
These came in at around 274 calories versus the zillion from Cinnabon. Given that my fear of yeast is gone now, I will definitely make these again, perhaps with some flavor modifications.