Vegan Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls and Sticky Buns

This recipe is a revision of my previous cinnamon roll recipe and I have to say it’s *even better!* There is also the option to make sticky buns, rather than just “plain” cinnamon rolls. I included the icing/drizzle instructions, but you honestly don’t need icing and would not want it for the sticky buns.

Ingredients

Rolls

  • 460g (3 ⅔ cups) flour
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter 
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk, warmed slightly
  • 100g (about ½ cup) active sourdough starter
  • 50g (¼ cup) sugar

Cinnamon Filling

  • 200g (1 cup) brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 40g flour (¼ cup)
  • 1.5 tablespoons cinnamon

Pecan Topping (for sticky buns)

  • 1 cup pecans (coarsely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 250g (½ cup) turbinado sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter 

Icing (for cinnamon rolls)

  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp non-dairy milk
  • 1 tsp maple syrup

Process

  • Mix flour and butter with hand or mixer until a sandy consistency.
  • Add remaining dough ingredients and mix (if using a stand mixer, use dough hook). Mix with dough hook for about 5 minutes or mix and knead for 10 minutes until it comes together into a soft ball. Try not to add more flour, but if you have to, do so just a tablespoon at a time.
  • Cover with a towel or lid (be sure there is room for it to rise) and set on the counter spot overnight or until it doubles.
  • If you allow it to double and don’t have time to cook, you can make the rolls and then refrigerate!
  • The next morning or after dough has risen, preheat oven to 350°F.
  • To make the cinnamon filling, melt the butter and mix in the other ingredients. Pinch with fingers to mix well and get the cinnamon distributed. 
  • Lightly coat counter or cutting board and roll out dough into a rectangle (about ¼ to ⅓ inch thick) and spread the cinnamon evenly to all edges.
  • From the long edge, roll the dough into a “log.”
  • Use a sharp knife to cut your rolls about 1-2 inches in height. I did them about 2 inches this time, which resulted in 8 rolls.

  • For cinnamon rolls – Place the rolls in a lined or non-stick baking pan. separated to allow for spreading.
  • For sticky buns – Sprinkle the turbinado sugar across the bottom of a lined or nonstick baking pan. Add in the pecans, evenly distributed. Mix the butter and maple syrup and pour over the pecans and sugar. Then place the rolls in the pan, separated to allow for spreading.
  • Bake for 25-35 minutes or until they are lightly golden. 
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool. For sticky buns, only cool for 10 minutes and then remove from pan. For cinnamon rolls, cool as long as desired.
  • For cinnamon rolls, if desired – While the rolls are cooling, mix the icing ingredients until smooth and then drizzle over cooled rolls.

Cinnamon Rolls – Vegan Style!

Oh yeah. That’s what I’m talking about. Yesterday, while I took a strep throat induced nap (far different from my usual Saturday nap), my daughter Emmeline whipped up these amazing cinnamon rolls from a recipe we found at VeganYumYum. She called them “Perfect Cinnamon Buns,” and I think that’s not far from right. Below, Emmeline comments on the process and shares her version of the recipe with you!

This recipe took time, but tastes delicious. It’s also so easy to make, that a twelve year old can do it.

Cinnamon Buns
Makes 12-15 Large Buns

Yeast Mixture
4 tsp Active Dry Yeast (a little less than 2 packets)
1 tsp Sugar
1 Cup Water, 110º F

Dough
1 Cup Soymilk
2/3 Cup Sugar
2/3 Cup Earth Balance Margarine
2 tsp Salt
Yeast Mixture, from above
6 Cups All Purpose Flour, more for kneading

Dough Filling
1/2 Cup Earth Balance Margarine, melted
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
3 Tbs Cinnamon

Cream Cheese Frosting (optional – some of us like it better without this)
1/4 Cup Earth Balance
1/3 Cup Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Powdered Sugar

Combine yeast mixture and set aside to proof.

From the dough ingredients, combine the soymilk, sugar, earth balance, salt, and ener-g eggs (if used) in a small sauce pan. Heat until earth balance is melted and all the ingredients are well combined, but do not let the mixture get too hot. You should be able to put a finger in it without burning yourself.

The yeast should now be nice and foamy (proofed). Combine it with the warmed liquid you just made; make sure it’s not too hot, or you will kill your yeast.

Place 4 cups of all purpose flour in a large bowl. Add the warmed wet ingredients.

Beat the batter well with a wooden spoon. The dough will be very wet and liquid, much more like a batter than a dough.

Add 2 more cups of flour and mix in partially. Turn out the dough onto a large table/kneading surface, scraping out everything in the bowl.

Begin kneading, gently at first. It’s going to take about 8 minutes. Add more flour only if the dough starts sticking to the table and there is no more dry flour to be worked into the dough. You want the dough to end up smooth and elastic, and slightly tacky, but not sticky. You should be able to knead it on a bare table without it sticking.

Once the dough is ready, place it in an oiled bowl, covered with oiled plastic wrap, to rise for 90 minutes in a warm spot. If you’re lacking a warm spot, turn your oven on low for 1 minute, then turn it off and place the dough in the oven to rise with the door closed.  ( I turned the oven on for a minute, and then let it sit for a little while because I didn’t want it getting too hot.)

Once the dough has risen completely, it’ll leave a little dent when you poke it. If it springs back, it needs more time.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and press it down. You want it press or roll it out into a 15 x 20 inch rectangle. You can use a roller if you want.

Pour the 1/2 cup of melted earth balance on the dough. Brush it so the dough is covered completely. It’s okay if it pools in some locations.

Mix together the cinnamon and sugar from the dough filling above. Sprinkle it evenly over the dough.

VeganYumYum adds an additional layer of buttery “pan sauce” on the bottom of the pan here. We thought the recipe was quite buttery enough and skipped it and instead just put down parchment paper. The choice is yours! See the original for the butter layer directions.

Roll the dough up gently, starting from one of the short sides. Let it rest on the seem once it’s rolled up completely. Cut 12 rolls. Place the rolls in the pan.

Cover the buns and let rise for 45 minutes if you will be baking these immediately. If baking the next day, cover the buns and let rise in the refrigerator overnight. Bake in the morning with no need for more rising. If making the buns for a date in the future, cover the buns and freeze immediately. The day before you are ready to use them, defrost in the refrigerator overnight, then let warm up on the counter the next morning for an hour. In any case, when ready to bake, follow the directions below.

Preheat the oven to 350º F.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly. Let cool for a few minutes.

Optional: Stir together the frosting ingredients. Whisk until there are no lumps. Drizzle over buns.