Perfect Vegan Apple Maple Cinnamon Rolls

September 1, 2018

These Perfect Vegan Apple Maple Cinnamon Rolls are not your traditional cinnamon rolls at all. These rolls come loaded with deep apple flavor and topped with a velvety maple glaze and sprinkles of toasted pecans. Every bite will have you feeling like you’re eating a warm slice of Grandma’s apple pie. There’s really no other way to eat a cinnamon roll after finding this recipe.

Perfect Vegan Apple Maple Cinnamon Rolls

The weekend has finally arrived and it’s officially the first day of September! Soon, we’ll be saying, why

Hello Fall.

Are you ready? Honestly, I’m happy for a little cool weather since this summer in NYC has not only been HOT but also filled with rain.

It has literally rained a couple of times a week since the summer has started and while I’m not an opposer to rain, it has been a lot. Haha.

Well, let’s hope that we get some nice Fall weather and it doesn’t go right into Winter. This weather has been so unpredictable, so at this point, we can only hope right?

Perfect Vegan Apple Maple Cinnamon Rolls

Unto something a bit more pleasant—-these Cinnamon Rolls. Don’t they look so crazy good? I know.

You’re probably thinking that these rolls are so out of left field, but trust me, you’ll die of complete satisfaction when you take one bite. Trust me!

But if you’re more into the simpler flavors, we’ve got you covered! These Delicious Homemade Classic Cinnamon Rolls are also the best thing you’ll ever taste–seriously!

And then we have these Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls, which are super fluffy, thick, sweet, and a bit of a crunch from the pecans tucked away in between each roll; this recipe is one of my favorite cinnamon roll recipes to date.

Topped with a light cream cheese glaze, these cinnamon rolls will have you feeling like you’ve cut into a nice, moist slice of carrot cake, indeed.

With the holidays right around the corner, these Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls + Maple Cream Cheese Frosting the perfect flavor!

Perfect Vegan Apple Maple Cinnamon Rolls

Don’t worry—I’ve got my vegan eaters covered as well with these Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls, which fits perfectly into the upcoming Fall season.

Not being your typical Cinnamon Roll, this recipe is topped with a mouth-watering Maple Glaze that will leave you wanting more and sprinkled with pieces of chopped pecan for that bit of added crunch.

Definitely not your average vegan sweet treat, but 100% homemade and filled with pure goodness!

If you didn’t get a chance to see my last Cinnamon Roll recipe, no worries—here are a few tips that I’ve learned along the way to ensure that I make the perfect Cinnamon Rolls:

LIKE I SAID—NEVER OVERHEAT THE MILK. 

This one is super, super imperative. You have to always make sure that your milk is warm to the touch and not even a degree hot. Even if you heat your milk and it’s hot, simply let it cool until it feels warm. This ensure that you don’t kill the yeast and your dough rise to a nicely big fluff.

USE VERY SOFT BUTTER AT ROOM TEMPERATURE.

This is the ultimate secret to tender cinnamon rolls. Much like with other cakes and doughs, room temperature butter creates a nice texture. Simple.

MIX, MIX, MIX! 

Unlike most other recipes, you actually want to mix (or knead) your cinnamon roll dough to its capacity so that you release the gluten and it becomes extremely elastic. This helps when rolling and allows you to create a nicely flat, thin square, which is later filled with your choice of filling and rolled.

OVERNIGHT IS BETTER!

Although I’ve mostly made my cinnamon rolls within the same day, ultimately, rising your dough overnight in the refrigerator is the best! This slow rise process allows the yeast to completely feed off of the sugar and creates great flavor and of course—a lot more fluffiness.

USE BREAD FLOUR TOO.

One of my latest discoveries was the use of bread flour in my cinnamon rolls. Before, I would use only all-purpose flour. However, after a little experimenting, I’ve learned that bread flour creates a beautiful texture—tender, thick, and even more fluffy, almost ‘brioche’ like.

ROLL TIGHT.

Yes, you read it right. Although the assembly part is extremely messy, I’ve learned that the rolling is the star process! Before, I use to struggle with rolling the perfect cinnamon roll, however, lately I’ve been able to roll it pretty tight, which not only creates a nice structure, but it allows you to cut the dough more evenly which helps with baking. When rolling, always start the initial first roll really tight to keep the same momentum throughout.

There you have it. My tried and true hacks for amazing cinnamon rolls!

Perfect Vegan Apple Maple Cinnamon Rolls

But of course, if you aren’t a huge fan of ‘Cinnamon Rolls’ and like to keep things with a little Southern Charm, then these Almond Blueberry Sweet Rolls with Blueberry Cream Cheese Glaze or Strawberry Sweet Rolls with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze are made just for you!

These Vegan Chai Tea Latte Cinnamon Rolls are something right on point for the Fall/Winter season. They are fluffy, soft, thick, sweet, and surely does just melt in your mouth with every bite. Not being your typical Cinnamon Roll, this recipe is topped with a mouth-watering Black Tea-infused Chai Tea glaze that will leave you ‘Cinnamon Roll obsessed’.

They are absolutely moist and sticky, made with a homemade tender dough, a sweet fruit filling with chunks of berries tucked away in between, and a sweet + tangy glaze that adds a punch of great flavor to these recipes.

Enough of these rolls, right? Before we get into this recipe, let’s take a moment to honor its counterpart and slight inspiration—These Mini Salted Caramel Apple Streusel Cheesecake Bites

I absolutely fell in complete with these cheesecake bites when I made them and I automatically knew that I had to make a different version with another sweet treat, immediately.

And here we are!

Not only are these little bites the perfect size, but they come packed with flavor that will leave you reminiscing on a nice slice of apple pie, especially from the bold apple spice flavor in each bite of these rolls.

Perfect Vegan Apple Maple Cinnamon Rolls

Now, let’s dig in shall we?

FOR THE DOUGH:

Combine yeast and pure cane sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and slowly pour in warm water while stirring frequently. Allow 10 minutes for the mixture to sit and for the yeast to activate.

In the meantime, melt the vegan butter over the stovetop on medium heat and add the milk, stirring frequently until the butter has melted. NOTE: Make sure that your mixture does not boil and is not too hot. Once butter has melted, remove immediately and let cool until WARM.

Once cooled, add the milk-butter mixture to the yeast and mix until well combined. Add the apple spice puree and continue to mix for a few more seconds, until combined.

Next, combine the all-purpose flour, bread flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sea salt and add them to the wet ingredients and mix on low-speed until well combined, about 1-2 minutes.

Change “Mixer head” to kneading accessory and knead dough for 5-10 minutes on medium-high speed until dough ball becomes smooth and elastic and dough springs back when lightly pressed with 2 fingers.

NOTE: If dough is too sticky, add 1 Tbsp of flour at a time until texture is achieved!

Lightly grease a large bowl with a small amount of coconut oil and then place the dough ball in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 1 hour, allowing the dough to rise and double in size.

In the meantime, you can work on the filling!

To Make Filling:

Melt butter and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine cinnamon and brown sugar and set aside as well.

Once the hour has gone by and your dough has risen (about double its original size), preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, flour a flat surface and place the dough on it and using a rolling-pin, roll it out to a rectangle (approximately 9″x14), trimming the edges if needed. NOTE: Try not to make the dough too thin or else rolling it up will be hard to do!

Then, generously brush melted butter overtop of dough and spoon the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the butter. NOTE: I also use a ‘pastry brush’ to sweep sugar mixture evenly across the dough to ensure that every bite is sweet!

Tightly roll dough (long-ways) and using a pastry cutter, cut dough into 1.5″ rolls, placing each roll into a large baking dish (lined with parchment paper!).

Then place plastic wrap over the baking dish with rolls and let them rise again (for another 20 minutes).

Once the rolls have doubled in size (once again!) or have gotten significantly larger, brush the tops of the rolls with a little more melted butter and then bake them for approximately 25 minutes in the preheated oven.

Remove the rolls from oven and wait 15-20 minutes or so (until it completely cools), and then spread the Maple Glaze (Recipe in Notes!) atop the rolls using a rubber spatula and sprinkle with toasted pecans, optional.

Bon Appetite!

MADE OUR RECIPE(S)?

If you choose to make these Perfect Vegan Apple Maple Cinnamon Rolls or any other recipe from us, be sure to tag us on Instagram at #Orchidsandsweettea so that we can share the love!

Perfect Vegan Apple Maple Cinnamon Rolls

Perfect Vegan Apple Maple Cinnamon Rolls

Perfect Vegan Apple Maple Cinnamon Rolls

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Rise Time: 1 hr 20 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
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Ingredients

  • 3 cups organic All-purpose flour (I use Bob's Red Mill)
  • 2 cups organic Artisan bread flour (I use Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1 packet dry active yeast  (That's 2 1/4 tsps!)
  • 1 Tbsp organic pure cane sugar, Vegan-approved! (I use Wholesome Sweets)
  • 1/2 cup organic brown sugar, Vegan-approved! (I use Sugar in the Raw)
  • 1 cup apple spice puree (See Notes!)
  • 1 1/4 cup Almond milk (Or your fave plant-based milk!)
  • 1/4 cup WARM water (make sure it's warm + not hot!)
  • 6 Tbsps vegan butter  (I use Earth Balance)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt (I use McCormick Spices)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (I use McCormick Spices)
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

For the Filling:

  • 2-3 Tbsps vegan butter, melted  (I use Earth Balance)
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup organic brown sugar, Vegan-approved! (I use Sugar in the Raw)

Maple Glaze:

  • 2 cups organic powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbsps vegan butter (I use Earth Balance)
  • 1/2 cup organic maple syrup (I use Coombs Family Farms)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Topping:

  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Instructions

FOR THE DOUGH:

  • Combine yeast and pure cane sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and slowly pour in warm water while stirring frequently. Allow 10 minutes for the mixture to sit and for the yeast to activate.
  • In the meantime, melt the vegan butter over the stovetop on medium heat and add the milk, stirring frequently until the butter has melted. NOTE: Make sure that your mixture does not boil and is not too hot. Once butter has melted, remove immediately and let cool until WARM.
  • Once cooled, add the milk-butter mixture to the yeast and mix until well combined. Add the apple spice puree and continue to mix for a few more seconds, until combined.
  • Next, combine the all-purpose flour, bread flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sea salt and add them to the wet ingredients and mix on low-speed until well combined, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Change “Mixer head” to kneading accessory and knead dough for 5-10 minutes on medium-high speed until dough ball becomes smooth and elastic and dough springs back when lightly pressed with 2 fingers. NOTE: If dough is too sticky, add 1 Tbsp of flour at a time until texture is achieved!
  • Lightly grease a large bowl with a small amount of coconut oil and then place the dough ball in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 1 hour, allowing the dough to rise and double in size. 
  • In the meantime, you can work on the filling!

FOR THE FILLING:

  • Melt butter and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine cinnamon and brown sugar and set aside as well.
  • Once the hour has gone by and your dough has risen (about double its original size), preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, flour a flat surface and place the dough on it and using a rolling-pin, roll it out to a rectangle (approximately 9″x14), trimming the edges if needed. NOTE: Try not to make the dough too thin or else rolling it up will be hard to do!
  • Then, generously brush melted butter overtop of dough and spoon the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the butter. NOTE: I also use a ‘pastry brush’ to sweep sugar mixture evenly across the dough to ensure that every bite is sweet!
  • Tightly roll dough (long-ways) and using a pastry cutter, cut dough into 1.5″ rolls, placing each roll into a large baking dish (lined with parchment paper!).
  • Then place plastic wrap over the baking dish with rolls and let them rise again (for another 20 minutes).
  • Once the rolls have doubled in size (once again!) or have gotten significantly larger, brush the tops of the rolls with a little more melted butter and then bake them for approximately 25 minutes in the preheated oven.

FOR MAPLE GLAZE:

  • Melt butter in a small pot on low heat. Add maple syrup, vanilla extract, and cinnamon and stir frequently. 
  • Once melted together, remove from heat and carefully pour into a small mixing bowl. Add powdered sugar and whisk until fully combined. Allow to cool for 5-7 minutes so that the glaze can thicken. Continue recipe.
  • Remove the rolls from oven and wait 15-20 minutes or so (until it completely cools), and then spread the Maple Glaze atop the rolls using a rubber spatula and sprinkle with toasted pecans, optional.
  • Bon Appetite!

Tips & Tricks

TO STORE: Cinnamon Rolls can be kept fresh at room temperature when tightly wrapped or sealed for up to 3 days. Fresh for up to 1 week in the Refrigerator. Baked rolls can be frozen up to 2 months.
APPLE PUREE: Begin by melting 3 Tbsps of vegan butter into a medium saucepan on medium-high heat. Add in diced apples (3-4 medium granny smith apples), 1 Tbsp cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp ginger, and 1/2 cup brown sugar. Stir until everything is combined. Cook until apples are nice and tender and everything becomes glaze-like, about 7-8 minutes. Remove from heat and carefully add to high-powered blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.
OVERNIGHT OPTION: If you don’t want to make your Cinnamon Rolls on the same day, you can simply follow all steps (including the initial 1+ hour rise) and after cutting rolls and placing them into your baking pan, just cover them tightly (using foil paper of plastic wrap) and refrigerate them overnight or for 8-12 hours instead. The following day, remove from refrigerator and keeping them covered, let cinnamon rolls rise at room temp 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
RAPID (INSTANT) RISE YEAST VS. ACTIVE DRY YEAST: If you’re not using the Rapid Rise Yeast for this recipe, please know that the rise time will be twice as long (about 3 hours) since regular Active Yeast doesn’t work as quickly.

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Perfect Vegan Apple Maple Cinnamon Rolls.

ORCHIDS + SWEET TEA

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    • Thanks so much, Karly! They really are amazing! The apple and streusel on top makes it SO MUCH BETTER! 🙂