These gooey vegan apple cinnamon buns are the perfect autumn treat. A base of enriched vegan dough is combined with seasonal apples, brown sugar and cinnamon, then topped with a simple vegan cream cheese icing. The ultimate fall-inspired cinnamon roll awaits!
Why we love these vegan apple cinnamon buns
Is there a more perfect combination for fall than sweet rolls combined with sugared and spiced apples? At BAKED we love cinnamon buns and sweet rolls. We also love apple recipes, which is why we’re bringing you the best of both worlds with our vegan apple cinnamon buns.
There is no right or wrong way to indulge in one of these gooey buns, however, we love them with a cup of hot coffee or tea in the morning, or for a cozy Sunday brunch.
4 Tips to make perfect vegan apple cinnamon buns
- Use rapid rise yeast – rapid rise, or instant yeast will reduce the rising time of the dough by about half. If you don’t have instant yeast, you can use active dry yeast, however it will increase the amount of rising time needed.
- Choose the right apples – the right apple variety will make this recipe perfect. Below we share the best types of apples to use. Moreover, make sure you choose fresh, blemish free apples. Keep the dices to about 1cm so they bake evenly.
- Rest the dough before rolling – if the dough springs back when rolling it out, allow it to rest for about 10 minutes, then re-roll. Resting allows the gluten strands to relax and makes it easier for the dough to keep the desired shape.
- Glaze cooled buns– don’t glaze these cinnamon buns directly out of the oven. Let them cool so the icing stays in place.
What Apples Are The Best For Making Vegan Apple Cinnamon Buns?
Like our vegan apple cranberry crisp, you want to use gala, jazz, granny smith, pink lady, honeycrisp or braeburn apples for this recipe.
Avoid red delicious apples because they lack moisture and will not hold together during the baking process. In general, red delicious are not the best option for baking.
Rapid Rise vs. Active Dry Yeast
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between rapid rise (instant) and active dry yeast? Both are a granular dry yeast that can be used interchangeably, however, each will alter the rising time of your baked good.
As the name implies, rapid rise yeast will shorten the rising time by about ½ that of active dry yeast. If a recipe calls for active dry yeast, you can use rapid rise/instant yeast, however, adjust the amount of yeast in the recipe by about 25% to prevent over rising.
The trade off with using instant yeast means less time for the dough to develop a deep flavour. However, because this recipe is loaded with so much flavour, there’s no need to have a long proofing time. As such, we use instant yeast so we can enjoy these as quickly as possible!
For more in depth information on the subject of yeast, visit this post from The Kitchn.
Can these vegan apple cinnamon rolls be made in advance?
You can prepare the recipe the night before up until the second rise, but keep the rolls tightly covered in the fridge overnight. In the morning, take out the rolls, let them rise until doubled, then bake.
This recipe is perfect for weekend baking. Preparing this recipe the night before will make for a fresh baked treat for a cozy Sunday brunch.
Can I make this recipe with regular dairy?
Most all vegan ingredients can be substituted for their non-vegan counterparts in a 1:1 ratio. As such, for vegan butter, plant-based milk and vegan cream cheese, simply replace with regular unsalted butter, milk, and cream cheese respectively.
How to store vegan apple cinnamon buns
These buns are best the same day they’re baked. However, you can store these in an airtight container for several days. You can also double the recipe and freeze half for later. Let the buns defrost at room temperature before icing and serving.
6 flavour options for our vegan apple cinnamon buns
- Add nuts – Add in a ½ cup of toasted pecans or walnuts to the filling.
- Use maple syrup – Sweeten the icing with a touch of maple syrup or try using our maple drizzle instead.
- Use a chocolate & nut combo – Add chopped chocolate and walnuts instead of apples. Or spread Nutella and chopped hazelnuts for an irresistible chocolatey filling.
- Make it festive – Add dried cranberries for a festive holiday version. Or use vegan egg nog instead of non-dairy milk.
- Swap fruit – Use pears instead of apples.
- Add citrus– swap out the apples and fill the dough with cinnamon, cardamom, and fresh grated orange zest.
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These gooey vegan apple cinnamon buns are the perfect autumn indulgence. A base of enriched dough is combined with seasonal apples, sugar and spice and topped with a simple vegan cream cheese icing. The ultimate fall-inspired cinnamon roll awaits!
- 3/4 cup boiling water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup plant-based milk
- 1/4 cup vegan butter or coconut oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 package rapid rise (instant) yeast (2 ¼ tsp)
- 5 apples, peeled and diced into 1/2” pieces
- 1 tbsp plus 2 tsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice)
Sugar & Spice Filling
- 3 tbsp vegan butter, softened
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice)
Cream Cheese Icing
- 1/4 cup vegan butter
- 125g vegan cream cheese
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar
Make the dough – using a stand mixer or large bowl, combine the boiling water with the butter until the butter is melted. Mix in the milk, sugar and salt and let the mixture cool until slightly above room temperature.
To the wet mixture, add the yeast and flour until combined. Knead the dough until a smooth and soft ball is formed (about 5 minutes). Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with a damp towel. Let rise 1 hour at room temperature or until doubled in size.
Prepare the apple filling – peel, core, and chop the apples into 1 cm cubes. Heat the coconut oil in a medium frying pan. Add the apples and cook until tender but not mushy. Stir in the sugar and cinnamon and cook for another minute or until sugar is dissolved. Important Note: If the apples begin to stick at any time add a splash of water.
Roll out the dough – once the dough is doubled in size, punch it down and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, shape the dough into a 30cm by 45 cm rectangle.
Add the fillings – spread the softened vegan butter over the rolled dough, then sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar leaving a ½” of space from the edge of the dough. Spoon the cooled apples evenly over the top.
Roll up the dough – starting with the long end, roll the dough into a tight log. Using a sharp serrated knife, slice the dough into 9 equal portions. Place each roll into a parchment lined 20x20cm baking dish.
Proof the dough – cover the baking pan with a damp towel and let rise for 30-45 minutes, or until doubled in size.
Bake the rolls – preheat the oven to 350’F. Bake the proofed rolls for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack.
Make the Icing – in a medium bowl, whip the cream cheese, sugar, butter, and vanilla. Spoon over the cooled cinnamon buns. Serve fresh.
These vegan cinnamon buns are best fresh, however, leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to two days.
Keywords: vegan cinnamon rolls, apple, vegan cream cheese icing