Vegan Cinnamon Pecan Rolls

April  4, 2017
5 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes 11-12 rolls
Author Notes

Making these rolls has been a good reminder to stay flexible, to challenge my own rigid ideas about what I can do and how I should be doing it. A friend of mine, who is a highly accomplished vegan baker, says that she doesn’t accept the traditional wisdom that one shouldn’t bother veganizing a recipe that calls for more than two eggs. These recipes are just an invitation, she insists, to think about new and creative ways of achieving texture and rise. I agree.

I’m happy to say that this recipe went exactly as it should have. The rolls rose on schedule; they were pliable to kneading and rolling; they baked up to sweet, golden perfection. I included raisins and pecans because I’ve always loved a little texture in cinnamon rolls. It was a treat to pull the rolls apart and find the mix-ins hiding among ribbons of cinnamon and sugar. —Gena Hamshaw

What You'll Need
  • For the dough:
  • 3 cups
    1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup cane sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup soy or almond milk
  • 5 tablespoons coconut oil
  • For the filling and glaze:
  • 2-3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup or agave
  • optional vegan egg wash
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons soy or almond milk
  1. To prepare the dough, place 3 cups of the flour, the sugar, salt, and yeast into a large mixing bowl. Heat the water and non-dairy milk in a small saucepan until it's 115 F, or hot to the touch but not so hot you can't stand to submerge a finger in it. Add the coconut oil and stir to combine.
  2. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the liquid mixture. Mix until the ingredients are forming a soft dough; add the extra 1/4 cup flour as needed if the dough is a bit sticky. Use a stand mixer to knead the dough on lowest speed for about 5 minutes, or do so by hand on a floured surface, until the dough is elastic. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turn to coat, and cover. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place for an hour, or until doubled in size.
  3. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and use a rolling pin to roll it out into a rectangle that's about 14 inches by 8 inches. Spread the melted coconut oil over the rectangle—just as much as you need for it to be well coated. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together, then sprinkle the mixture evenly over the dough, followed by the raisins and pecans. Roll the dough (from the long side) into a rope, then slice it into 11-12 pieces.
  4. Line a rimmed baking sheet or a rimmed pie dish with parchment. Place the pieces, cut-side up, into the pan. Cover loosely and allow the dough to rise again for 1 hour.
  5. Preheat your oven to 350 F. Uncover the rolls and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden. Allow them to cool slightly. If you'd like to glaze them, whisk the non-dairy milk and confectioners' sugar together until smooth, then pour the glaze over the muffins and allow it to set. Serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Tasha Burton
    Tasha Burton
  • Petite fee
    Petite fee
  • Tinysunflower
  • milebrum

6 Reviews

Tinysunflower October 19, 2023
I tried this recipe and added some pumpkin puree to it just as I had some lying around. The dough rose beautifully and looked like a gorgeous cloud.

I read the reviews and rolled out the dough a bit bigger and got about 15 buns out it- one pan full of buns and then 3 on the side. I was dissapointed that these came out really dry, hard on the top though the inside was flaky and as others said, there was little to no flavour in these.

I wouldnt recommend this recipe
Tasha B. April 14, 2020
I made these last night. Messed up the first time making the dough; forgot to add the coconut oil. I didn't discard it though. After the first proof, I kneaded it again (until smooth and bouncy), shaped it for my bread pan and proofed again for another hour on top of my stove (oven was on and set to 350). Baked until golden brown and it made the perfect loaf.

As far as the rolls, I also rolled my dough out wider than 8in. If you make the dough correctly, it doubles in size on first proof. They definitely would've been too thick if I followed the measurements here. For the filling, I used basically's/Bon Appetit's date filling. I mixed it with regular butter, brown sugar and cinnamon.
milebrum June 9, 2019
I ended up making them! They turned out really nice and flavourful, if only a little bit too thick/dense (but still delicious).
To make them a bit more small & crisp I would change the 14 x 8 inch rectangle dimensions when rolling out the dough. It seems like those dimensions are too small which results on a dough that is a bit too thick.
Next time I'll roll it out more (say 2/3mm thick dough?) & maybe cut the rolls a bit thinner too so the same recipe would yield more rolls!
I'll keep updating!
Petite F. April 24, 2017
This was good, but mine came out a bit dry and thick. Should I have rolled the dough out thinner? Also, when do I add the maple syrup and 2 Tbl almond milk? And how did you get that creamy looking sugar topping, because mine came out translucent, even though, I added as it said.
Thanks for sharing..
milebrum June 6, 2019
I haven't made it yet but I was also confused about what to do with the 2 tbsp almond milk + 1 tsp maple syrup or agave. Then I realised that's the optional vegan egg wash! I had no idea it was so easy to make.

I googled it and apparently you just whisk the non-dairy milk + maple syrup & brush it over before putting them into the oven. It'll make them more golden brown.
milebrum June 6, 2019
Also if your glaze came out translucent it might be because you added too much liquid to the amount of sugar. The mixture should look quite dense, not watery.

I don't know why the rolls came out dry and thick but make sure to roll the dough out to the amount of cm specified & try to roll the rolls as tight as you can. Also when cutting them, don't cut them too thick because they'll rise later on.

I haven't made the recipe yet but I will tomorrow and update!