Vegan Sticky Buns

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for the dough

  • 1 (0.25 oz) packet dry active yeast

  • 1 cup unsweetened plain almond or soy milk, lukewarm

  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal

  • 6 tablespoons water

  • 1/2 cup white sugar

  • 1/3 cup vegan butter, softened

  • 4 - 4 1/2 cups bread flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

for the filling

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 3 tablespoons cinnamon

  • 1/3 cup vegan butter, softened

for the topping

  • 1 cup vegan butter, melted

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 1 cup chopped raw pecans


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, sprinkle yeast over lukewarm plant milk and allow to sit for 10 minutes to become foamy, or “proof.”

  2. In the meantime, whisk together flaxseed meal and water and allow to thicken for 10 minutes.

  3. Once yeast is foamy, add all other ingredients (starting with just 4 cups flour) to the bowl of the stand mixer and mix using paddle attachment on medium speed, until all the flour is hydrated and dough starts to come together in a shaggy ball. If dough is extremely wet and sticky, incorporate more bread flour 1 tablespoon at a time until it clears the sides of the bowl when mixed with paddle attachment. (If preparing by hand, combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl first, then add to milk mixture with butter and stir to combine.)

  4. Switch to dough hook attachment and let the machine knead your dough for 5-8 minutes, until it becomes smooth, springy and elastic, and completely clears the sides of the bowl. (If preparing by hand, knead for 10-12 minutes. Sprinkle work surface with flour as necessary, but try to avoid adding excessive flour as it will make the buns tougher.)

  5. Pour a little bit of vegetable oil in your bowl and turn dough over to coat. Cover with a clean, damp kitchen rag and set in a warm place to rise for 60-90 minute, or until doubled in size.

  6. Punch down dough and turn out onto a lightly-floured surface. Roll out into a roughly 18” x 18” rectangle. Spread softened vegan butter evenly over dough and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.

  7. Roll into a log. Cut off the ends to even them out (but save the scraps!) and then slice log into 12 buns with a very sharp knife, or by using dental floss. (Loop the floss around the log and pull each end in opposite directions to cut.)

  8. Combine melted butter and brown sugar in the bottom of a 9x13” pan and top with pecans. Arrange buns in pan on top of the caramel mixture. Cover and allow to rise for an additional 10-15 minutes as you preheat your oven to 350°F.

  9. Bake buns in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, until puffy and lightly browned around the edges and high points. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5-8 minutes, then carefully invert the pan onto a tray or serving platter so that the sticky pecan caramel is on top of the buns.

A note: This is adapted from my previous holy grail cinnamon roll recipe from before I was vegan: the “Clone of a Cinnabon” recipe from the AllRecipes website. It tastes just as wonderful as the original, and it’s completely cruelty-free!