These are some nice buns! My baking game has elevated and I am now using yeast. Let me warn you, yeast is a fickle beast. Sometimes everything goes great and other times- it’s a complete disaster! The bright side of yeast is that traditional baking ingredients like eggs are not required to raise the dough. Which is great news for all of us eating plant-based.
Homemade cinnamon rolls have always intimidated me. In the past, I would just go for the kind that came in an aluminum cylinder. You probably know the kind. I’m always looking for new things to veganize. There are store-bought vegan-friendly cinnamon buns, but the ingredient list might as well be 10 pages long.
So I ventured out on my own. I researched recipes and came up with one that I think is delicious, fruity, warming, nostalgic, and healthy(ish). Above all it is vegan. For transparency, my recipe is adapted from Epicurious.
The main differences between these cinnamon buns and traditional cinnamon buns are the dairy products. I used soy milk instead of dairy milk. Earth Balance instead of butter and a flax egg instead of a chicken’s egg (see instructions below). This recipe isn’t hard, but it is time consuming. When using yeast, it is necessary to let the dough rise (or prove). With cinnamon rolls, the dough is proved twice. Once before it is rolled out and then again once it is rolled with the fillings inside. Typically, you want the dough to double in size each time it is proved.
The other tricky thing about this is the cranberry component. I didn’t just add the cranberries to the dough. I heated them up in a saucepan with sugar and water. More instructions to follow. If you are not a fan of cranberries, you can leave them out and you will still have yummy cinnamon rolls.
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Vegan Cranberry Cinnamon Buns
For the Dough
- 2 tbsp ground flax seed + 5 tbsp water for flax egg
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 5 tsp active dry yeast or 2 packets of yeast
- 1/2 cup raw cane sugar can use granulated or coconut sugar also
- 1 tsp salt
- 5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour + additional for dusting/rolling
- 1 cup warm soy milk or any non-dairy milk
- 1/2 cup vegan margerine can use vegetable oil
For the Filling
- 1/4 cup water for cranberries
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp raw cane sugar divided, refer to instructions
- 2 cups cranberries fresh or frozen
- 1/2 cup vegan margerine such as earth balance
- 1/4 cup brown sugar packed
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
For the Icing
- 1 cup powdered sugar also called confectioners sugar
- 1-2 tbsp soy milk
- In a separate bowl, mix the flour with the salt and sugar. Stir in margarine or oil, flax mixture, and warm non-dairy milk. Add in the yeast and mix until a soft dough forms. This should take a few minutes. Use your hands to mix or an electric mixer with a dough hook. The dough will be sticky.
- Grab another bowl and rinse it with warm water. Add the dough to this bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set in a warm place and let the dough rise for about an hour or until it doubles in size.
- Close to when the dough is done proving, heat up 2 tbsp of sugar and water in sauce pan. When bubbling, add in cranberries and lower the heat. Cook cranberries until they start to split. Drain any excess syrup.
- Gather the dough from the bowl and place on a floured surface. Roll into a rectangular square. The long end should be around 15-20 inches and 1/2 inch thick. Melt the margarine and spread evenly across the dough.
- Mix the cinnamon and remaining one cup of sugar and spread evenly. Dot spoonfuls of cranberries across the dough. Tightly roll the dough longways. Cut into 12 equal slices.
- Place slices in a greased or lined round cake pan. You might need two. Cover with plastic wrap or a towel.
- Let them prove for another hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. When ready, bake buns for 30-35 minutes or until the tops are golden. Allow them to cool for around 10 minutes.
- For the icing (optional): stir together soy milk and powdered sugar until and smooth and thick icing is created. Pour icing onto buns.
I hope you like this recipe! I made this without the cranberries for my family and they gave me good reviews. Thanks for reading!