Buttery and soft vegan cinnamon buns with an irresistable sticky maple glaze. You can make then with common ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. And this post features step-by-step pictures!
THESE sticky cinnamon buns versus traditional sticky buns
Sticky buns originated in Pennsylvania in the USA. They are typically a little more dense than cinnamon rolls and are drenched in a glaze and pecans.
They are normally made by pouring a glaze on the bottom of a baking pan which is then sprinkled with nuts. Cinnamon rolls go on top then it is baked. Afterwards, the tray is inverted and you’re greeted with traditional sticky buns!
Sticky buns aren’t really a thing in Australia so I speak from my limited experience. Contrary to popular opinion, I don’t think sticky buns are often pretty – they are brown, squashed and lack definition. However, I’m sure traditional sticky buns are delicious!
Instead of making sticky buns the traditional way, I opted for a classic cinnamon roll drizzled heavily in maple glaze. I personally LOVE the top of classic cinnamon rolls and thought the glaze would suit it perfectly.
Ingredients you will need for these vegan sticky cinnamon buns
The vegan cinnamon roll dough and filling uses common pantry staples and no weird ingredients! You will need:
- Plain aka all-purpose flour
- Plant-based milk, such as soy, coconut or almond
- Cane sugar or coconut sugar
- Brown sugar or coconut sugar
- Instant dried yeast
- Vegan butter or margarine
- Ground cinnamon
I haven’t tried this recipe with gluten-free flour. However, if you try it and it works/doesn’t work, please let me know!
Instead of plain flour, you can use white spelt flour or wholemeal flour. However, your buns will be more dense.
If you don’t want to use vegan butter or margarine, you can use oil instead. Like above, this results in a denser dough which makes it harder to knead and rise.
Making the dough for the cinnamon rolls
I love one bowl recipes so simply put all the dough ingredients in a stand mixer or large mixing bowl. Mix and knead until it’s combined.
Your dough should be relatively smooth, cohesive and have no pockets of butter or flour. I’ve tested this recipe many times but I understand that every brand of flour and plant-based milk have different absorbencies. You may need to ‘eye’ the dough and:
- If the dough is too dry, add 1 tablespoon of milk at a time and knead until it comes together. The dough will resist the milk initially but eventually it will combine.
- If the dough is too wet sticky, add 1 tablespon of flour at a time and knead until it’s no longer sticking the side of the bowl.
Resting the dough the first time
Place the dough in a large and deep bowl and cover it with a damp tea towel. The moisture from the towel will prevent it from drying out. Don’t do what I did and place it in a small bowl…. hahahaha….
Position the bowl in a WARM spot in your house. That could be:
- in the oven with the light on
- near the stove while you’re cooking something else.
- close to a window in shade
- near a heater (if it’s Winter)
If it doesn’t double or grow 150% in size, don’t ignore it. Reposition the dough in a warmer spot and wait until it does.
How to shape the cinnamon rolls
Place the risen dough on a floured surface. Then flatten it into a large square or rectangle. I used a rolling pin but a round and even jar will work too :).
Once you’ve done that, liberally spread the vegan butter or margarine on the surface. I like spreading mine to the edges because I think the end rolls need a bit of love too!
Liberally sprinkle your cinnamon sugar on top. Then get your fingertips dirty and rub it in! If you don’t rub it in, it’ll get pretty messy when you try to roll it up.
Ok, then roll up the dough as tightly as possible. Start from the long side and, bit by bit, roll it up into a long tube!
Use a sharp knife or unflavoured dental floss to cut rolls out of the tube. I prefer to ident the tube at half way then quarters so I get relatively even rolls.
Resting the dough the second time
Since we just handled the dough A LOT, it needs to rest again. It’s like self-care for people – after we work, we need to look after ourselves and rest ;).
Place all the rolls in a greased baking tray. With spacing the rolls, you have two options:
- Arrange the rolls CLOSE to each other (like below). Your rolls will likely be square shaped (nothing wrong with that) and be forced to grow upwards. It also means the rolls have soft and pillowy edges, OR
- Arrange the rolls SPACED APART. Your rolls will likely be round as they’ll have room to grow outwards. It will also mean your rolls will have a crispier edge.
Sometimes you are limited by what baking tin you have. Or you can pick which one you prefer and space your rolls accordingly!
The maple glaze for the vegan sticky cinnamon buns
While your buns or rolls are baking, you can prepare your wonderful sticky glaze! Simply put all the ingredients into a small saucepan and heat until everything is combined and thick.
Generously drizzle the glaze on top when the buns are hot from the oven. The glaze helps keep the buns moist for longer and simply irresistible.
Other recipes you may like:
Vegan Sticky Cinnamon Buns (with maple glaze)
- 3 1/4 cups (405g) plain or all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 cup (250mL) plant-based milk, such as almond, soy or coconut, warm
- 1/2 cup (115mL) vegan butter or margarine, room temperature
- 3 tablespoons (40g) cane sugar, or coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon (9g) instant dried yeast*
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of any good-quality salt, if you're not using salted butter
- 2 tablespoons (30g) vegan butter, melted
- 1/4 cup (50g) brown sugar, or coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- To make the buns: Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl or stand mixer and mix until it comes together. Knead the mixture until it forms a smooth and stretchy dough. Add a little more milk if the dough is too dry or a little more flour if the dough sticks to the bowl.
- Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel. Set it aside in a warm spot for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size. If it doesn't double, place the dough in a WARMER spot until it does.
- To prepare the filling: Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
- Dust a clean surface with flour. Scoop the dough onto the surface and roll it out into a large rectangular shape.**
- Use a pastry brush to spread the melted butter or margarine on the dough, making sure it reaches all edges. Liberally sprinkle the cinnamon sugar and rub it into the surface with your fingertips.
- Starting from the long side, tightly roll the dough into a large tube. Use a sharp knife to cut buns out of the dough.
- Arrange the rolls on a greased baking tray, leaving a little space in between each bun. Place a damp tea towel over the buns and set aside to rise.
- When you're ready to bake the buns, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
- When the oven is hot, bake the buns for 15-20 minutes. The rolls are ready when they are slightly golden brown or when you insert a skewer in one of the middle buns and it doesn't have wet dough on it. Set aside to cool.
- To make the glaze: Whisk all the ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat until combined. Generously drizzle the glaze onto the buns.
- The buns are best eaten the day they are baked. Alternatively, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days or in the fridge for 3-4 days. Warm up the buns before you enjoy them.
Please leave a comment below if you made this recipe, have any questions or thoughts! Your comment will help other readers and Rainbow Nourishments.