Vegan cinnamon buns with dark chocolate and figs just sounds like fall, right? The season was on my mind in a heavy way when I was working on this recipe. All those notions of nesting and cranking the oven at every opportunity. The arrival of ripe figs marks the beginning of the end as far as summer’s concerned. There’s the juicy sweetness that speaks to sunny days. But that underlying deep, wine-y note really gets me excited for the cozy months ahead.
Pairing them with chocolate in a cinnamon bun seemed almost too indulgent, but I had to try it to see if it would work. There’s a little spelt flour and coconut oil in there to increase the vibrational frequency though, don’t worry. These cinnamon buns are most ideal within a couple hours of baking for obvious reasons. They’re gooey, soft and the fresh orange in the glaze brings a bit of brightness.
Vegan Cinnamon Buns Recipe with Chocolate + Figs
Serves: makes 8-9 buns
Time: 20 minutes active, 2 hours 25 minutes total
Notes: I’ve tried these with coconut sugar, maple sugar, and brown sugar in the filling. All results were similarly jammy.
cinnamon buns ingredients:
1 1/2 tsp dry yeast
3/4 cup coconut milk
2 + 2 tbsp non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening OR room temperature coconut oil, divided
2 tbsp cane sugar
2 cups light spelt flour (all purpose works too)
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 cup demerara OR maple sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
5-6 ripe figs, sliced thin
1/3 cup chopped dark chocolate
orange vanilla bean glaze ingredients:
1 cup unrefined powdered sugar
zest of 1/2 an orange
1-2 tbsp fresh orange juice
1/4 tsp vanilla bean paste OR vanilla powder
Grease a medium bowl with coconut oil or vegetable shortening and set aside. Line an 8 inch round or square baking dish with parchment paper, making sure it overhangs on the sides. Set this aside as well. Place the yeast in a small bowl.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together the coconut milk, 2 tablespoons of vegetable shortening/coconut oil, and cane sugar. Keep stirring until the sugar is dissolved, about 4 minutes. If the mixture feels lightly warm to the touch, add it to the bowl with the yeast and stir lightly. If the milk mixture is too hot, let it cool a bit before adding to the yeast. You’re aiming for warm. Once you’ve combined the milk mixture and yeast, let it sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.
While the yeast blooms, whisk the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Once the yeast and milk mixture is all foamy, add it to the large bowl to the flour. Stir until a dough starts forming. Lightly flour a clean surface and knead the dough with your hands until you have a smooth and supple ball of dough with just a slight amount of tackiness, about 5-6 minutes. Place the ball of dough in the greased bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place until it doubles in size, about 40 minutes.
Lightly dust a clean working surface with flour and roll the risen dough out. You’re aiming for a rectangular shape about 1 foot by 1 1/2 feet. Spread the remaining 2 tablespoons of shortening/coconut oil all over the surface of the rolled out dough. In a small bowl, lightly mix the demerara sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle the dough with half of the demerara sugar mixture. Evenly lay out the fig slices on top and sprinkle with the chocolate. Sprinkle the remaining demerara over top.
Start rolling up the dough from the long side of the rectangle. Once you’ve sealed it at the end, cut the roll into 8-9 even slices. Arrange slices in parchment lined baking dish. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm spot for an hour. They should fill out the pan nicely.
Preheat oven to 375 Degrees F. Once the buns are risen, slide them into the oven and bake for 18-22 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. For the glaze, in a small bowl, mix the powdered sugar, orange zest, orange juice and vanilla until you have a smooth mixture. Spread it evenly over the cinnamon buns.
If you make some of this bun-ly goodness, show us on Instagram + tag your photo with #bakedtheblog