Vegan Cinnamon & Pecan Sticky Buns

These vegan sticky buns are vegan comfort food at its best. They’re pillowy soft, drenched in the most amazing cinnamon and maple syrup caramel, and the addition of pecans adds a wonderful crunchy texture. Plus, they’re surprisingly easy to make!

This post has been created in collaboration with Tala. All opinions expressed in the post are my own… plus, there’s a whole lotta sticky deliciousness – so read on. (For more information you can check out my Disclosure Policy.)

overhead view of the vegan sticky buns on a white backdrop.

These vegan sticky buns should come with a warning… so proceed at your own risk.

What’s so dangerous about them, you ask? Let me tell you all about it.

They’re pillowy soft, like a cloud of sweet sugary goodness. The filling is sticky and cinnamon-y and fragrant with maple syrup. The pecans add a wonderful crunch – plus, as we all know, pecans and maple syrup are a match made in heaven.

Eating the sticky buns is impossible without making a mess of your hands and half your face… which I think makes the whole experience infinitely better. Is it even comfort food if it’s not a bit messy, in that uniquely indulgent, decadent way? (I think not.)

The making of these buns was made about 100-times easier (and more fun) by some wonderful products from Tala. You might remember Tala bakeware from this epic triple chocolate cake, and with this sticky buns recipe, they show their quality once again.

But we’ll get to the making of these vegan cinnamon & pecan sticky buns in just a moment. First, let’s have a look at what makes these sticky buns so kick-ass awesome.

Vegan sticky buns on a white background, one is being pulled apart from the rest.

5 reasons for why you should make these vegan sticky buns ASAP

1. The textures. From the cloud-like softness of the dough and the sugary stickiness of the filling, all the way to the crunch of the pecans, these buns are an explosion of texture… in the best possible way.

2. The maple-caramel-pecan filling. The buns are filled with the same mixture that also forms the caramel that oozes down the buns once they’ve turned out of the baking tin. And, you guys, it’s a winner. It’s incredibly aromatic thanks to the cinnamon and maple syrup, while the coconut cream adds a wonderful richness. This is definitely the highlight of this dessert!

3. They’re vegan! That’s right, folks, these amazing buns are 100% vegan, no eggs, butter or other dairy products in sight. And, honestly, it’s pretty impossible to guess they’re vegan. All you can see, taste and smell is just an overwhelming amount of deliciousness.

4. They’re dead easy to make. Okay, so you have to make a yeasted dough – no big deal! This recipe is honestly really simple, and I’ll take you through it step by step.

5. They’re dangerously delicious… have I mentioned this part yet?

Vegan sticky bun on a small dessert plate. More buns are in the background.

Before we get to the bits and bobs of making these wonderful sticky buns – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date on the latest recipes and tips!

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How do you make vegan brioche dough?

Like most cinnamon rolls and similar, the basis of the recipe is a brioche dough. But because the recipe is vegan, there are no eggs involved, and the milk and butter are substituted by a non-dairy milk (like almond, soy, rice or oat milk), coconut cream and coconut oil.

The whole recipe, including the ingredient quantities, can be found at the bottom of the page, but here’s an overview of how to make vegan brioche dough:

  1. Mix active dried yeast, part of the sugar and warm non-dairy milk together until the yeast starts frothing and bubbling (which means it’s active).
  2. Add the yeast mixture to flour along with more non-dairy milk, sugar, coconut cream, coconut oil and salt.
  3. Then, knead it all together (preferably with a stand mixer with a dough hook) until you get a smooth, elastic dough, and…
  4. … let proof in a warm place for about 1 hour 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

That’s it! See? So. Easy.

How do you make the sticky bun filling?

The filling for these vegan sticky buns is just a mixture of melted coconut cream, light brown sugar, maple syrup and cinnamon. And you just need to mix it all together until combined and pop into the fridge so it firms up slightly, which makes it easier to spread in a controlled manner.

How do you make the vegan sticky buns?

Okay, so we’ve made the vegan brioche dough that’s done its proofing thing, and the filling is ready to go.

First, the bottom layer of caramel needs to be assembled. For this:

  1. Pour half of the prepared filling into the baking tin – bonus points if your baking tray is as gorgeous as this Tala Grey & Ivory enamel roaster.
  2. Spread the filling into an even layer with a spatula, like this tiny one from Tala… which I might be a tiny bit in love with.
  3. Finally, scatter a few handfuls of pecans on top. I like to keep some of the pecans whole and some roughly chopped.

3-step process of assembling the pecan caramel layer.

Then, set the prepared baking tray aside and let’s focus on the buns themselves.

  1. Roll them out to an approximately 14 x 22 inch rectangle. I love this solid beech rolling pin from Tala – it’s long enough to handle even large quantities of dough, so it’s perfect for everything from these buns to large pies and tarts.
  2. Spread the rest of the filling on top of the dough with a spatula, and roll up the dough so you end up with a 22 inches long log.
  3. To cut the cinnamon rolls, I like to use a long piece of thread – unlike a knife or bench scraper, this doesn’t compress and distort the spiral of the rolls/buns, giving them a much nicer shape.

3-step process of rolling out, filling and rolling up the sticky buns.

All that’s left to to is to transfer the buns into the baking tray, placing them on top of the layer of caramel-in-making. Come on, you know this is going to be epic.

Putting the cut rolls on top of the caramel layer in the baking tray.

Then, the rolls are off for a second round of proofing, after which they’ll be all lovely and puffed up.

Overhead view of the proofed buns.

And it’s off to the oven with them. This is probably the most difficult part of the whole process –patiently waiting form the buns to bake, while your kitchen fills with the most mouthwatering smells. It’s cruel, I know. Hang in there, the results will be 100% worth it.

Overhead view of the baked buns.

Once baked, it’s best to turn the vegan sticky buns out of the baking tray and onto a large serving plate as soon as possible, before the caramel has time to cool and firm up (which would make the buns stick like crazy, so don’t wait around).

And then… vegan sticky bun heaven.

So that’s my offering for today. Vegan comfort food at its best, drenched in cinnamon-y caramel. It really doesn’t get much better than this, does it?

Vegan sticky buns on a white background.

If you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date on the latest recipes and tips!

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Vegan Cinnamon & Pecan Sticky Buns

These vegan sticky buns are vegan comfort food at its best. They’re pillowy soft, drenched in the most amazing cinnamon and maple syrup caramel, and the addition of pecans adds a wonderful crunchy texture. Plus, they’re surprisingly easy to make!

Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine Dairy Free, Vegan
Keyword easy vegan dessert recipe, sticky buns, vegan breakfast recipes, vegan brioche dough, vegan cinnamon rolls, vegan sticky buns
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Proof time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 45 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients

For vegan brioche dough:

  • 2 tsp (7 g, one sachet) active dried yeast
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp (60 g) caster sugar
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp (210 mL) warm non-dairy milk, like almond, soy, rice or oat milk (you can use up to 1 cup/240 mL of non-dairy milk, which will give even fluffier buns, but the dough will be softer and more difficult to handle)
  • 3/4 cup + 1 tbsp (170 g) coconut cream
  • 1/8 cup (30 mL) melted coconut oil
  • 4 1/2 cups + 1 tbsp (550 g) plain all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For cinnamon & maple syrup caramel filling:

  • 1 1/2 cup (300 g) light brown sugar
  • 5/8 cup (125 g) coconut cream, melted
  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) maple syrup
  • 2 - 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 cups (125 g) pecans, a mix of whole and roughly chopped

Instructions

For vegan brioche dough:

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the active dried yeast, 10 g of sugar and 90 mL of warm non-dairy milk. Set aside for 10 minutes, for the yeast to start frothing and bubbling.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with the dough hook, combine the yeast mixture, the rest of the non-dairy milk, coconut cream, coconut oil, flour, the rest of the sugar and salt.

  3. Knead on medium-low speed for about 10 minutes until you get a smooth, elastic dough.

  4. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and leave to proof in a warm place for about 1 hour 30 minutes, or until approximately doubled in size.

For cinnamon & maple syrup caramel filling:

  1. Mix together all filling ingredients, except the pecans. Chill it in the fridge until slightly thickened.

  2. Pour half of the filling into the baking tray and spread it out into an even layer with a spatula.

  3. Scatter the pecans on top, and set aside until needed.

Assembling the vegan sticky buns:

  1. Once proofed, turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out into an approximately 14 x 22 inch rectangle.

  2. Spread the rest of the filling on top of the rolled-out dough in an even layer, from edge to edge.

  3. Roll up the dough so that you get a 22 inch long log.

  4. Use a long piece of thread to cut the log into 12 approximately equal pieces (see text for photo). Transfer them into the baking tray, placing them on top of the caramel filling layer.

  5. Lightly cover the buns with cling film/plastic wrap and proof in a warm place for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.

  6. While the buns are proofing, adjust the oven rack to the middle position and pre-heat the oven to 355 ºF/180 ºC.

  7. Bake the proofed buns at 355 ºF/180 ºC for 30 - 35 minutes or until golden brown on top, the filling is bubbling and an inserted toothpick comes out clean, with no unbaked, raw dough attached.

  8. Immediately out of the oven, turn the sticky buns out of the baking tin onto the serving platter (otherwise the caramel will cool, which can cause the buns to stick).

  9. The buns are best served still warm, and they're at their most delicious on the day they're baked. If you want to eat them the next day, re-heat them in the microwave for 15 - 20 seconds, which will return them to their original fluffy softness.

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