RECIPE | vegan cinnamon buns by Charlotte Avent
Hands up who loves cinnamon buns?! 🙋🏻♀️
I turn to food writer & stylist, Charlotte Avent's recipes often when I want to bake a special treat, her cookies always turn out perfectly and her cakes are real showstoppers. So, when Charlotte let me into a little secret a few months ago that she was combining all her knowledge to create a cinnamon roll bible, I knew I would be first in line to buy her new e-book dedicated to all things cinni buns!
Charlotte has kindly allowed me to share with you her vegan cinnamon bun recipe from her e-book as a little sneak preview. If you like it and want more, the full e-book “This Is How We Roll: a collection of cinnamon roll recipes for breakfast + brunch” is available now and you can get 20% off using the code STORY20 at checkout.
Happy baking folks!
Vegan cinnamon rolls
For the dough
300ml lukewarm oat (or other plant-based) milk
25g caster sugar
7g dried active yeast
500g strong white bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
85g unsalted plant-based butter, chilled and cubed
80g unsalted plant-based butter (like Flora)
For the filling
120g soft dark brown sugar
1tbsp ground cinnamon
25g unsalted plant-based butter, softened (like Flora)
For the icing
150g icing sugar, sifted
65g Violife vegan cream cheese
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out (optional)
To make the doughStart by pouring your plant-based milk into a small saucepan and warming it over a low heat on the hob. The milk should be lukewarm before adding your yeast and caster sugar.
N.B. You can test the temperature by sticking a finger into your milk – you should be able to keep it in there without burning yourself, but without the milk being cool to the touch.
- Stir well then set aside until it becomes frothy. This should take about 20 minutes.
- In a large bowl, sift the flour and salt. Add the chilled cubed butter and rub it into the dry ingredients using your fingertips until it starts to look like breadcrumbs.
- Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the frothy milk.
- Using a spoon, bring the mixture together to form a rough dough.
- Once the dough is coming together, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead – either using your hands or a stand mixer fitted with a dough attachment – for 5-7 minutes until it’s soft and smooth.
- Place the dough back into a large, lightly floured bowl. Cover with a tea towel, or cling film, and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size. This should take about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Once risen, knock the dough back by punching the air out of it and folding the edges in on themselves. Knead again for a minute or two, then start making your filling.
To make the fillingBeat the butter in a small bowl until smooth and creamy, then add your sugar and cinnamon.
- Mix until you have a smooth paste with no lumps.
To prepare your doughLightly flour your work surface and roll your dough out to a rectangle 24 x 12 inches, with a thickness of about 1cm. Rolling the dough may require some light pulling and stretching with your hands in addition to the use of the rolling pin as the dough can be quite elastic so tends to "jumps back" to its original size. The important bit is getting it all one even thickness.
- Turn the dough so it's portrait in orientation, with the short 12 inch side nearest you.
- Spread your filling onto your dough right to the edges – then using your fingertips, start to roll the dough away from you (or start from the top and roll it towards you – whichever you prefer), tucking the dough underneath itself.
- Once your roll starts to take shape, you should be able to simply guide it until it's rolled up into one long 12 inch sausage.
- You can now cut your roll into individual slices either with a sharp knife, or dental floss. Slide the floss underneath your roll, then cross it over the top and keep pulling until a slice falls away.
Place your buns into a baking tin, allowing a 1 inch gap between each one to give the dough space to expand. Leave to rise for 1 hour, until puffed up and swollen.
N.B. You can also place them individually on a baking tray to prove. This means that when they bake they won't cluster or stick together, so you can serve them individually instead of as a pull-apart bake.
- Preheat your oven to 180C / 350F / Gas Mark 4.
- Brush the buns with plant-based milk to ensure they have a nice glossy finish when they bake.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.
To make the icingPut the butter in a bowl and using an electric whisk, gradually beat until smooth and creamy.
- Add half the icing sugar and beat until combined, then add the rest and beat until there are no lumps of butter.
- Add the cream cheese and beat again until you have a smooth consistency.
- Finally add the seeds from your vanilla bean (if using) and beat once more.
- Spread the icing over the buns as soon as they come out of the oven so it melts into all the crevices and serve them immediately.
Recipe & images by Charlotte Avant aka A Cup of Tea & Cake.