Vegan cinnamon swirls glazed with salted caramel and toasted pecans. Super soft and crazy delicious, just try to eat only one!
A jazzed up variation of my favourite dessert ever - vegan cinnamon swirls. They're deliciously soft in all the right places, with a slightly crisp outside. The cinnamon butter and brown sugar blend in the centre gives these guys a super fragrant kick. But the salted caramel glaze is what will keep you coming back for more! These ain't your grandma's cinnamon rolls!
Yes, yes, I know! Not EVERYTHING is in need of the salted caramel treatment, but these vegan cinnamon swirls REALLY do benefit. Oh, and don't even talk to me about pecans (as you may already know they're my spirit animal).
Why they so gooood?
Let me tell you why!
- These are yeasted cinnamon swirls, which means they're soft as all heaven! They're pillowy and pull apart like a dream.
- They're easy to bake AND, if you're really jazzy, you can slice them, stick them on a tray and freeze them, ready for baking WHENEVER YOU LIKE! Who says I'm not into convenience food!
- They're technically perfect for both breakfast AND a mid afternoon coffee snack! There's just something so versatile about them.
I won't harp on about why I MAY have created the best recipe ever with these guys, but I will ask you to trust me. Especially if you're a yeast-phobe! Don't be afraid of baking with yeast. Here are a couple of tips!
Tips for Yeast-phobes
So, if you're anything like me, making these vegan cinnamon swirls with salted caramel glaze is intimidating because of the yeast factor! But please don't fret! It's actually SUPER easy! Here are some tips for dealing with this yeasted dough:
- Leaving dough to hydrate (i.e. letting the flour soak up the water) is a pretty big part of successful "bread" baking. Once you've mixed all your ingredients together, cover the bowl and leave to stand for 10 minutes. You'll find the dough is much easier to work with once it's fully hydrated!
- If in doubt, prove for TOO long! I'll admit it - I'm impatient! But if you're not sure whether your dough has proved or not, it's best to leave it a little longer. In my opinion, overproved is always better than underproved! Once of the best ways to tell how much your dough has risen is to use a glass bowl and mark on the side with sticky tape where your dough started. When you come back in an hour you won't be guessing how much bigger your dough has become!
- Let the gluten (and you) relax for a bit! When you knead dough for ages, the gluten becomes tense and the dough becomes hard to work with. You'll find the dough wants to spring back to its original shape when the gluten is too tense. In this case, cover the dough for ten mins and come back to it when its had chance to relax. The gluten will have chilled out and the dough will be much more malleable!
Not into salted caramel?
Then my first recommendation is for you to meet with a psychiatrist and have a quick chat about why that might be. SECOND recommendation is not to worry! You can glaze these vegan cinnamon swirls with anything! I've even posted a few variations of this recipe with unusual glazes elsewhere - such as these lime and and hibiscus swirls! But if you're determined to go rogue, feel free to just mix some icing sugar with vegan milk, for a super simple vegan glaze!
Salted Caramel and Pecan Swirls
For the Dough
- 480 ml oat milk (full fat, at room temperature)
- 120 g vegan butter (melted, I used “baking block” but any will do)
- 50 g caster sugar
- 1 x 8g sachet of quick yeast
- 700 g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
For the Filling
- 185 g vegan butter
- 185 g soft dark brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 50 g pecans chopped roughly
For the Glaze
- 200 g icing sugar (sieved)
- 3 tablespoon caster sugar
- 4 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon oat milk (if necessary)
- 20 g pecans (roughly chopped)
- flaky sea salt
To Make the Dough
- Combine the milk, butter and sugar in a large bowl. The mixture should be around body temperature so dip your finger to test - if it feels cool, give it a super quick zap in the microwave or in a pan to warm it up slightly.
- Sprinkle the yeast over the surface and leave to bloom for one minute.
- Add the flour and salt, mix to combine until a sticky mess, cover and leave for an hour.
- Meanwhile make the filling.
To Make the Filling
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar on high speed until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and beat to combine. The consistency should be a nice paste with chunks of pecan throughout. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 180c. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.
- Once the dough has proved for an hour, lightly dust a surface and turn out. The dough should not be super sticky. Knead lightly for a minute. Dust the top of the dough if necessary and pat into a rough oblong.
- Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a rectangular sheet about 60cm wide and 25-30cm tall. Spread the dough sheet with the filling mixture right to the edges. Roll up the dough starting with one of the shorter two sides so you end up with a short fat snake.
- Slice the cylinder of dough into 10 discs using a very sharp knife (or you can use strong thread or fishing twine). Place the discs of dough on the prepared baking trays, separated by about an inch. If you have english muffin rings, grease the inside and place them over the rolls (this will make sure they turn out an even circle shape, but don’t worry too much if you don’t have one. Just bake without).
- Cover the discs with cling film or a damp cloth and leave to prove for 30 minutes. Once proved, brush the top of each disc of dough with a little soy or oat milk. Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until each bun is lightly golden on top. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely while you make the glaze.
To Make the Glaze
- In a medium saucepan, place the caster sugar. Place over a low heat and allow the sugar to melt, stirring constantly with a silicone spatula. Once the sugar has melted, it will start to brown quite quickly. Allow it to reach a nice dark golden colour and just as it starts to smoke and bubble, remove from the heat and add your water immediately. BE CAREFUL! It will spit and splutter at this stage. Leave it to calm down for a few seconds, then give it a stir. If it’s smooth, great. If not, place over a low heat again and cook for a little longer until smooth. Transfer the caramel syrup to a bowl and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, place the icing sugar. One tablespoon at a time, add the caramel, mixing well after each addition. The glaze may end up rather thick, in which case, thin it out with some oat milk. The glaze should run in thick ribbons but enrobe the back of a spoon.
- Once the swirls are cooled completely, drizzle the glaze over each swirl and top with the chopped pecans and a tiny pinch of flaky sea salt. Serve and enjoy!