Warm Vegan Cinnamon Braid Buns
These cinnamon buns are warm, puffy, sweet and satiating with a perfectly crunchy on the outside with a soft and supple cinnamon sugar interior. The cinnamon sugar filling was a bit of an invention. Combining coconut butter, coconut sugar, and cinnamon. Don’t confuse coconut butter for coconut oil here. Coconut butter is the hydrogenated version, and although I like to stick with wholesome/natural ingredients (opting for oil over margarine), it’s important for this recipe to use margarine as we don’t want the dough to get too oily. I tried to find a brand with as few ingredients possible and without palm oil and found that the Vita’Coco Margarine was my best bet. It worked really well in this recipe.
Vegan Cinnamon Buns
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Rest time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 6 buns
For the Dough
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (+ 1/2-3/4 more for kneading)
- 1/3 cup vegan butter melted
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
For the Cinnamon Filling
- 1/2 cup vegan butter
- 2/3 cup coconut sugar
- 6 tsp cinnamon
- In a small bowl add warm water. Stir in coconut sugar until mostly dissolved. Then add yeast and stir. Set aside for about 7 minutes, or until yeast is dissolved and liquid mixture creates foamy bubbles on top. (If bubbles do not form, toss and try again. Water should be warm but not boiling or it will kill the yeast).
- Add 2 cups flour to a large mixing bowl. In a separate mixing bowl, combine melted butter, almond milk, coconut sugar, and sea salt. Pour in yeast mixture and stir to combine.
- Pour wet mixture over your flour and stir with a large wooden spoon. Mix until combined and resembling batter consistency. Then add the remaining 3/4 cups flour. Mix together. Knead mixture until it comes together in a shaggy and sticky dough. Flour work surface and place dough on top. Knead the dough, adding small handfuls of flour as needed, until it’s no longer sticky to the touch, approx. 3-4 minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic. (Don’t be afraid to add lots more flour. Adding 1/2 cup to 3/4 cups while kneading is normal). When dough is no longer sticky to the touch, shape it into a big ball.
- Wash mixing bowl and dry it. Lightly oil the bowl with 1 tbsp neutral oil (or melted vegan butter) and place dough inside. Flip the dough around so it gets lightly coated in the oil. Then, tightly cover the bowl with bees wrap and place in a draft-free area. Let the dough rise for at least 1 hour. (It should almost double in size).
- Meanwhile, make the cinnamon sugar filling. In a small bowl combine vegan butter, coconut sugar and cinnamon. Set aside. When dough has risen, divide it into 6 equal portions (to make 6 mini dough balls). Place on a clean work surface to the side.
- Preheat oven to 400F (200C). On a floured work surface, taking one dough ball at at a time, roll the dough into a rectangle as best you can, about 1/8 inch thick. Don't worry if it's not a perfect rectangle, my edges were wiggly.
- Lather cinnamon filling over dough in an even layer, leaving a clean 1/2-inch border around the edges. Then roll the dough away from you to form a log. Rotate log so that the end side is nearest you and using a sharp knife, cut the log in half vertically (from top to bottom) leaving about 1/2 inch at the top uncut.
- Start braiding the two pieces, one over the other, trying to keep the open layers exposed so the cut side remains on top (this is what makes this braid effect). When you've braided the entire log pinch the ends together, and form a tight circle. Gently transfer braided bun to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Rolling out your remaining dough balls, and continue steps for lathering with cinnamon filling, rolling, slicing and braiding. Forming a circle. Place on same baking tray, ensuring there is at least 1-2 inches between buns. They will expand as they cook. (If you have remaining cinnamon filling you can serve with cinnamon buns as a buttery spread). Bake cinnamon buns in the oven for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm with remaining cinnamon filling.
Nutrition Notes: Nutrition information is a rough estimate.
Calories: 488kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 682mg | Potassium: 75mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 1199IU | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 3mg