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vegan sticky apple butter rolls
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4.63 from 8 votes

Sticky Vegan Apple Butter Rolls

Deliciously soft, sticky vegan apple butter rolls. Packed with cinnamon and nutmeg and topped with a gooey pecan caramel.
Total Time3 hrs 35 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: sticky vegan apple butter rolls, vegan apple butter rolls, vegan cinnamon rolls
Servings: 16
Calories: 410kcal
Author: Richard Makin


  • Stick/hand blender


For the Apple Butter

  • 4 granny smith apples (peeled, cored and chopped roughly)
  • 115 ml vegan apple cider
  • 75 g light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • pinch fine sea salt
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 55 g vegan butter

For the Pecan Caramel

  • 175 g soft dark brown sugar
  • 85 g vegan butter
  • 100 g pecans (roughly broken or chopped)

For the Rolls

  • 480 ml plant milk
  • 120 g vegan butter
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 1 x 8g sachet of quick yeast
  • 700 g plain white flour
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 100 g soft dark brown sugar


To Make the Apple Butter

  • Place all the ingredients except for the lemon juice and vegan butter into a medium saucepan. Mix together and cover with a lid. Place over a medium/low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for one hour.
  • Once cooked for an hour, remove from the heat. The apple should be very soft. Transfer to a large measuring jug and blend until very smooth using a stick/hand blender.
  • Return the smooth apple butter back to the saucepan and place back over a medium/low heat. Do not replace the lid. Cook for a further 15 minutes, stirring regularly, until the mixture is reduced, thick and dark brown.
  • Once cooked, add the lemon juice and vegan butter. Stir to combine. At this stage, if you'd like to jar the apple butter, transfer it while hot into sterilised class jars. If you only plan to use this apple butter for this recipe, return the apple butter to the measuring jug and sit it in a bowl of ice water. Once the apple butter is only slightly warm to the touch, cover and transfer it to the fridge until needed.

To Make the Pecan Caramel

  • Grease a deep rectangular baking tin or roasting tray with some vegan butter or vegetable oil.
  • Combine the sugar and vegan butter in a small saucepan and place over medium/low heat. Cook, whisking often, until the sugar has completely melted and the two have formed a smooth caramel.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the broken pecan pieces. Pour the caramel into the baking tray and use a spatula to spread out evenly. Set aside.

To Make the Rolls

  • Combine the vegan milk, vegan butter and sugar in a large bowl. Due to the melted butter, 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 very 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, then cover and leave for an hour. Note: when I say sticky mess, I mean sticky mess! You won’t be able to handle it at this point but it’ll be much nicer to work with once proved.
  • Once proved, preheat the oven to 180c.
  • Lightly dust a surface and turn out. Dust the top of the dough with flour and push out any large air bubbles with your finger tips before patting into a rough oblong.
  • Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a rectangle about 60cm x 30cm. Spread the dough with around half of the apple butter right to the edges then sprinkle with the dark brown sugar. Roll up along the length to form a big long snake.
  • Slice the rolled dough in half once and then divide each half into 8 discs so you have 16 swirls in total. Lay the rolls into the prepared baking tin with the pecan caramel at the bottom and cover. Leave to rise for 25 minutes at room temp.
  • Once risen, place in the oven for 25-35 minutes or until each bun is lightly golden on top. 
  • Before removing from the oven, make sure that you have a second baking tin or serving plate ready which is larger than the one holding the rolls.
  • Place the second baking tin on top of the hot, baked rolls and quickly invert. Lift the top baking tin away to reveal the rolls, topped with caramel and pecans. (If you don't do this immediately after baking, the caramel will set and the rolls won't come out of the tin).
  • Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving. Serve with a side of the remaining apple butter.


Calories: 410kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 271mg | Potassium: 191mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 767IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 3mg