Friday, November 23, 2012

weekend cinnamon buns

Kowa-BUN-ga! Vegan cinnamon buns
Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving! If you are shopping this Black Friday, I hope you'll think outside the box shop and consider supporting small and local businesses. If, on the other hand, you are staying home like me, then I hope you'll try this easy, vegan cinnamon bun recipe. For some strange reason, the idea of making cinnamon buns from scratch strikes fear into even the most seasoned of bakers, but trust me, if I can do it, so can you. The hardest part is impatiently waiting for them to be finished! You'll need to be at home for a few hours to supervise two dough risings.

Cinnamon buns are a delicious holiday breakfast with coffee or tea
As these cinnamon buns bake, your kitchen will smell swell with insanely spicy and festive aromas, so don't be surprised if neighbors, long-lost friends and even strangers suddenly appear on your doorstop.

Extreme close-up of gooey cinnamon center
Cinnamon buns are not exactly health food; they're a special, once-in-a-while treat. But some folks regularly indulge in the fast-food variety. Let's do a little nutrition comparison, keeping in mind that I used full-fat coconut milk. If you use soy, rice or almond milk, your counts will likely be even lower.

Dynise's Cinnamon Buns Cinnabon Classic Bun
225 calories 880 calories
9.5 grams fat 36 grams fat
199 mg sodium* 830 mg sodium
0 mg cholesterol 20 mg cholesterol

* Lower the sodium by reducing or even omitting the salt. 

Exercising self control as I photographed these was a definite challenge.
These are delicious for breakfast with coffee or tea, either fresh from the oven or warmed in the microwave. If you're inclined to decadence, top them with a bit more Earth Balance. Trust me, they won't be around for long.

Weekend Cinnamon Buns


  • 1 tsp yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup water, warm to the wrist
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 heaping T soy flour [Optional, but it gives extra lift to the dough]
  • 3/4 cup room-temperature non-dairymilk [I used full-fat coconut milk, included in the nutrition calculation]
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 T softened Earth Balance or vegan margarine
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  • 2 T plus 1 T softened Earth Balance or vegan margarine
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips, nuts or raisins [Optional]


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • About 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
  • Pinch salt

Makes 8 cinnamon buns

In a small bowl, mix together sugar, yeast and water. Water should be warm to the wrist -- too hot and it will kill the yeast, too cold and it won't "wake up." Let it sit for about 5 minutes until it starts to foam.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together remaining ingredients. [I use my KitchenAid mixer with a dough hook]. Add the foamy yeast mixture and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes.

Before rising

Gather dough into a ball, cover with foil or a tea towel and place somewhere warm. [I used my new oven's proofing function. What a cool feature!]

After rising. It's magic!

Let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine 2 T Earth Balance, 1/2 cup brown sugar, cinnamon and pinch of salt. Set aside.

Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface. [I use my ruled-edged silpat] Shape/roll into a 6 x 14-inch rectangle. Spread with remaining 1 T of Earth Balance then spread cinnamon-brown sugar mixture on top. If using nuts, chocolate chips or raisins, scatter them atop cinnamon mixture.

Roll rectangle into a log.

Using a serrated knife, gently cut in half, and then cut each half into 4 pieces. Careful not to squish your buns.

Place these, evenly separated, in a 9-inch round cake or square 9 x 9-inch pan.

Cover, and again, let rise in a warm place until doubled and puffy, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake buns for 25-30 minutes or until golden. Let them cool for about 10 minutes before icing them.

While the cinnamon buns bake, combine icing ingredients in a small bowl – add more liquid if you prefer a thinner glaze. Ice buns, and serve warm.

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Dawn said...

OH MY GOODNESS, DELICIOUS! This is the second cinnamon bun post I have read in the last twenty minutes. It's gettin' to me AND I just got my annual shipment of Penzey's cinnamon in the mail! All signs point to yes...

P.S. VERY COOL ruled silpat! If I didn't already have an un-ruled one I'd totally get it. I guess I can probably mark rulings really small on the edges of my Roul Pat with a permanent marker...

mamapasta said...

I love all your " over the ocean's" celebrations....cinnamon is one of my favourite flavour...nearly unknown in French " viennoiserie"

Celine said...

They look splendid, and I love the step-by-step instructions and photos too.
I've been watching videos of the Black Friday insanity in stores, and I've never felt better about being a homebody. Jeebus.

Hannah said...

I really did gasp aloud when the page of your blog first loaded and this mouth-watering photo popped up. I haven't made cinnamon buns in years! It's a crime, really, when they're so simple. Thank you for this irresistible reminder! They're going at the top of my "must make" list.

Joey said...

That's the most drool-inducing cinnamon bun pictures I've seen in a while - so pretty! I think it's the kneading that strikes the fear into me - I only make cinnamon buns when I'm feeling brave!

Mattheworbit said...

Cinnamon Buns are THE BEST. I just wish they weren't so messy/waity-around-y.

My Mum (as single mums do!) used to make a fantastic non-yeasted shortcrust cinnamon bun that James makes sometimes when I need a pick-me-up. It's not the same as yeasted, but still pretty delicious!

Johanna said...

I've made them, and they're cooling before I can glaze them. Holy crap...yeast-based deliciousness in the winter!

urban vegan said...

They look fab, Johanna! I wish mine weren't all gone now. :) Show us with the glaze, too, please?

Carrie™ said...

Holy doodle these were good! So good in fact, I made 2 batches in 2 days! If that's not an indication of delicious.....

Antonya DLC said...

Tried out this recipe. Everyone loved it even though they didn't quite turn out...probably because I was working in a cold they didn't rise too well. But my non-vegan husband loved it. It wasn't till after he ate them that he realized I was able to eat them too. He asked what I used to make the rolls. I said milk.... He asked what kind of milk lol! Then I told him butter.... And again he asked what kind of butter. He couldn't believe these were vegan :D

urban vegan said...

I'm glad he liked them! Sounds like me may have vegan-phobia? :) Yes, you need to raise any kind of yeasted dough in a warm place. Next time, I suggest turning on your oven to warm, covering the bowl with foil, turning off the oven and placing the dough in there to rise (Make sure oven is just warm--not hot or it will kill the yeast)

dreaminitvegan said...


Ariel said...

I made these last night but with a different dough I got from veganpandamonium (only because I needed a yeast free recipe.) They were delicious! The filling and glaze were great and easy. I even pleased my family's veganphobia.

Anonymous said...

If you want to make these ahead of time would you refridgerate them before or after the second rise ?

urban vegan said...

So glad you liked them!

urban vegan said...

I would say before the second rise, but I'd probably only refrigerate them overnight.

urban vegan said...

Aw, Carrie, I'm so glad you liked them!

iluvgio said...

Is it possible to substitute the butter with some kind of oil?

urban vegan said...

Not butter--vegan margarine. I have never tried it with oil so I'm not sure. But why not give it a whirl?

Anonymous said...

I have tried this recipe a couple of times, and I can't seem to get it right. The dough stays very wet, so I added half a cup of flour after adding the yeast mixture. After the rising, however, the mixture is again very sticky and doesn't like close to yours. Do you have any idea where I'm going wrong?

Anonymous said...

Which yeast should I use: Active dry or instant? Thanks in advance :)

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