Glazed Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Buns (Vegan)

October 10, 2015

It's Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, so we're full swing into fall now, pals! Graham and I are going to his mom's tomorrow for a very non-traditional meal of lasagne, which his mom is making with goat mozza. Score. I'm going to my sister's after for some dessert and maybe something with sweet potato, too. Stretchy pants are required. I always cheat by putting an elastic on the button of my pants like a pregnant lady (every day, not just holidays). Try it, you'll be amazed by how comfy you can be.  No one needs to know. It can be our little secret.

There have been two frosts here now, even though it was 25C today, and all my tomato plants are dead. It's pumpkin season, and that means pumpkin spice everything. Apples are still in season, by the way. I want apple pie for Thanksgiving, not pumpkin, please. I hope my sister sees this. She always makes pumpkin cheesecake, so I think I might be out of luck. These buns would make a really nice Thanksgiving breakfast, especially if you let the dough rise in the fridge overnight and bake them fresh in the morning. Just let them come to room temperature before baking, and they'll be perfect. It's a fun weekend project, and kids like helping with things like rolling dough.

We're going to ignore apples for now, and focus on these pretty friggin awesome pumpkin cinnamon buns instead. There's pumpkin in the dough and rolled up inside. Prepare yourself. The filling is low in both fat and sugar, with pumpkin taking over for both, but it's still all gooey and yummy. You won't need stretchy pants to eat this for dessert, unless you eat the whole batch. My friend Ashley helped with these pictures (that's her hand you see) and I think we ate three or four while she was here. We are the epitome of restraint. These are healthy enough that you could sort of not guiltily eat one for breakfast, but pretty damn decadent, too.

I've tried these with all spelt, all kamut, and a combination of the two, and they turned out really well every time. I prefer half-half the most, but it's just personal preference. A note on the glaze, too - it's sort of half-whipped, so it will be quite liquid when you first make it, but will get thicker in the fridge. Think pourable at room temperature vs spreadable when chilled. It's great either way, and sort of reminiscent of cream cheese frosting. No cashews, though, and no blender/food processor.

On another note, I'm going away for yoga teacher training next week! I'll be gone for 16 days, so I've asked some blogging friends to write guest posts for while I'm gone. You'll be seeing some exciting posts and meeting some of my favourite bloggers in the next couple of weeks, and the recipes look fantastic. Keep an eye out! You can subscribe if you want to make sure you see the recipes, as I won't have much internet access and won't be very active on social media while I'm away.

Makes ~ 8 buns, but can easily be doubled

1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 package) dry yeast
3 cups spelt flour, kamut flour, or a combination
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch salt

In a small saucepan, heat the coconut milk, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and coconut oil over low heat. You want it to be just warm to the touch.

Pour the liquid ingredients into a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer, if you have one) and stir in the yeast. Let it sit for about ten minutes, or until it looks foamy from the yeast.

Stir in one cup of flour, the cinnamon, and the salt. Add the remaining two cups of flour 1/2 cup at a time, kneading when it gets too hard to stir with a wooden spoon. With a stand mixer, switch to the kneading attachment when you start adding the other two cups of flour.

Knead on a lightly floured countertop until all the flour is incorporated and the dough is no longer sticky. It will be quite soft. Place it in a large, greased bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Let it rise in a warm place for about an hour or until doubled in size.

After it's risen, place the dough on a floured countertop and roll it out to a large rectangle about 1.5cm (.5in) thick. It will be easy to roll, and shouldn't tear. If it does just patch it.

Spread the filling over the whole dough, then roll it lengthwise (the shorter bit should be vertical to you, and the long part should be horizontal to you). Cut into rounds about 7cm (3in) thick. Place into a greased high-sided baking dish, and let them rise again for about half an hour, or until doubled in size again. Don't worry if they seem small, as they should rise significantly in the oven.

Bake at 350F/180C for about 40 minutes, or until golden. Wait until cool before adding the glaze if you don't want it to melt, but it's good melty too.

1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup coconut sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Combine the coconut oil and pumpkin puree. If your coconut oil is very hard, heat it to a spreadable consistency. Spread this mixture on the rolled out dough, then sprinkle the coconut sugar and cinnamon over it.

1/2 cup coconut milk (only the cream, none of the watery stuff)
Juice of half a lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Combine everything in a small bowl, and whisk with a fork until thickened. I whisked for a couple of minutes, but it depends on how thick you want it. It's not chilled beforehand, so it won't whip up like coconut whipped cream (and promptly get hard as a rock in the fridge).

Pour it over the buns if it's room temperature, or throw it in the fridge and spread it on instead. Top it all off with pecans for extra fun.

11 comments on "Glazed Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Buns (Vegan)"
  1. Hooray for double pumpkin, Alexandra, and for Yoga training! Very exciting indeed. These cinnamon buns are over the top with pumpkin in the dough and spread over it. Amazing! And look at the spelt and kumat.... You're such an inspiration! Hope your T-giving has been fabulous and I that you got an apple pie out of the deal! I'd make you whatever you want in exchange for these cinnamon buns! All the best at teacher training my dear!

    1. Thanks, Traci! Hehe, we'll have to meet up sometime and do a trade - I was trying to think of a particular recipe of yours that I love, but they're all great :) Thank you!

  2. Alexandra, these look absolutely amazing! I am definitely going to have to try these. They look so soft and yummy! It's recipes like this that make me not care about my jeans getting too tight in the winter time :)

    1. Thanks, Amy! Haha, who needs to look good in the winter - we're bundled up from head to toe here anyway (not that these'll make you look bad)!

  3. Cinnamon buns are my mother's favourite thing, and she hasn't had it in years, so I might make these for her as a little treat!!

    They look delicious =)

    1. Great idea! I hope both of you like them :)

  4. I would love to make this for my family, but I'm severely allergic to coconut. What substitute would you recommend? (Doesn't have to be vegan)

    1. Hi Layla! I'd use all dairy products instead. Whole milk for the coconut milk inside the buns, butter instead of coconut oil, and then whipping cream for the glaze. My mom has made these with dairy in place of the coconut and they turned out great. I hope you like them!

  5. Is there something else you could use in place of spelt or kamut flour?

    1. Well, pretty much any wheat flour would work here. If you're thinking to go gluten free, I'm not sure what to suggest, but otherwise white flour or a combination of white and whole wheat would work well. I hope that helps. If you're thinking to use a combination, I recommend 2 cups white and 1 cup whole wheat.