Guilt-Free Raisin & Pecan Cinnamon Buns

Guilt Free Raisin & Pecan Cinnamon Buns


It really seems like every single time autumn rolls around (get it, cinnamon rolls?), my cravings for anything containing cinnamon is at its peak, and after school yesterday there was only one thing on my mind. I wanted cinnamon buns. Or you might call it cinnamon rolls or sticky buns, but despite the different names they all have very similar recipes. My personal favorite kind of cinnamon buns are the ones with raisins, chopped pecan nuts and vanilla glaze, but all of those are optional ingredients, so you can make this plain if you wish.


Guilt Free Raisin & Pecan Cinnamon Buns


However making a recipe for it that did not contain sugar, butter, flour or oil I thought to be quite the challenge, but I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was. Topping it with an altered version of the lemon-vanilla glaze from my Carrot Cake recipe added that little extra, making these buns just pure heaven on a plate. I even managed to make these without yeast, meaning it takes a lot less time to make than regular ones.


Guilt Free Raisin & Pecan Cinnamon Buns


Ugh, I wish there was more of these left.

Ingredients, makes 12 medium buns:

  • 2 cups certified gluten-free oat flour + more for kneading
  • 1 cup almond flour (defatted if you wish)
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 cup pecans (walnuts will work too)
  • 2 cup dates
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 cup unsweetened plant-based milk
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 cup dates
  • 5-8 tbsp unsweetened plant-based milk/water
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cardamom
Additional (optional) ingredients:


1. In a separate bowl we will start making the dough by combining all of the dry ingredients, except for the pecans and spices. In a food processor pulse the pecans until they are finely chopped, not ground. Add this in with the other dry ingredients, and mix.
2. In the food processor add in the vanilla, spices, dates and soy milk, and blend this until you have a completely smooth paste. Add this and the now proofed yeast in with the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly using your hands. Knead the dough for a couple minutes, or until the dough does not stick to the edges of the bowl.


Guilt Free Raisin & Pecan Cinnamon Buns


4. Now make the filling. Simply add all the ingredients into the food processor, and pulse until you have a smooth creamy paste and place it in a bowl (see picture below).


Guilt Free Raisin & Pecan Cinnamon Buns


5. When the filling is done, start by kneading the dough for a minute while adding in a bit more oat flour. I would say gradually add in between 1/2-1 cup, and make sure that the dough is smooth but not sticky. Place the dough on top of a floured cutting board, and roll it out to a large rectangle shape using a rolling pin. Make sure that the dough is not too thick or thin as this will make the next steps quite hard.


Guilt Free Raisin & Pecan Cinnamon Buns


6. Using either a pastry brush or a wooden butter knife (or something like that) spread out the filling evenly on the entire dough. Sprinkle on however much cinnamon, chopped pecans and raisins as you wish (you can skip the pecans and raisins if you just want them plain). Here is where the tricky part comes. Since this recipe does not use wheat flour, the texture of the dough is not quite the same. Therefore do not expect the rolling part to be as easy as with regular recipes. I had to grab a metal spatula (one without the holes) to make the dough let go of the cutting board. Just use the spatula underneath the sides of the dough and it will let go quite easily (do not worry, it is not that sticky). Carefully start rolling the dough from one of the longest sides (see pictures below), and keep your spatula at hand, you might need it while rolling.


Guilt Free Raisin & Pecan Cinnamon Buns
I ran out of pecans and raisins, but they were delicious without as well!
7. Get a clean and sharp knife ready and slice the dough into 12 equally large pieces. Using your hand, shape them so that they are have rounded edges and place them on a baking sheet. If you wish you can sprinkle on some additional pecans and/or raisins.


Guilt Free Raisin & Pecan Cinnamon Buns
Guilt Free Raisin & Pecan Cinnamon Buns
Guilt Free Raisin & Pecan Cinnamon Buns


8. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius/390 degrees Fahrenheit, and place them in the oven (I added another sprinkle of cinnamon on top of the buns before they went in the oven). They should cook for 20-30 minutes, and then rest on a cooling rack for at least 10 minutes. Make the glaze however you want it (see note below) and decorate the buns if you wish. They taste amazing both with and without any glaze.


Guilt Free Raisin & Pecan Cinnamon Buns


  • If you like having glaze on top of your cinnamon buns I recommend you use the lemon-vanilla glaze recipe as a guideline. If you just wish to have it as similar to regular glaze as possible, use dates instead of apricots. The apricot flavor is really good, so if you want to try that out, you can go ahead and do that. The possibilities are endless, so use your tastebuds and find what combination you like!

I really hope you decide to try out these cinnamon buns, they are incredibly delicious and totally worth the small hassle it is to make them. They really are pure bliss.



    • says

      Personlig mener jeg at for mye fett i kosten ikke er bra for deg, med mindre man restrikter hvor mye karbohydrater man spiser og dermed setter kroppen i ketose (noe jeg mener at vil ha alvorlige konsikvenser på helsen over lengre tid). Jeg er helt enig med at man må få i seg de essensielle fettsyrene, men foretrekker å spise dette i sin naturlige form (som nøtter, avokado, frø, oliven osv.) istedenfor “prosseserte” oljer.

  1. Sarah says

    Oh my gosh, these look divine! I was a complete cinnamon roll fiend as child (before veganism and a gluten free diet, of course) and I’ve been searching for a vegan and gluten free recipe without lots of fake butter, refined sugars, and complicated steps…thank you! Definitely bookmarked!

  2. Silke says

    Wow, these cinnamon rolls sound like heaven! Thank you so much for the recipe, I can’t wait to try them! Do you think making my own oat flour from glutenfree oats in a blender works?

    • says

      I’m so glad to hear that! I usually prefer making oat flour in a blender as opposed to the food processor. It makes it a lot finer and less grainy :) Just make sure that you use enough oats each time. I have gotten fond of making a large batch of oat flour once in a while and storing it in a jar, so I won’t have to make it so often.

      Be sure to let me know what you think of the cinnamon buns!

  3. silke says

    Thank you so much for the advice! I plan to try the cinnamon buns this weekend. I’ll let you know how they turn out!

  4. mirani says

    do you have to eat these warm? I need to bring a plate of food to a get together with friends and I am contemplating taking these. What do you suggest? :)

    • says

      Well they do not need to be eaten warm but it is recommended. Any baked good with oat flour have a tendency of turning rather dry. In my opinion there is nothing worse than stale buns… If there is a risk of letting the dish you bring sit at room temperature for an extended period of time, I would actually recommend you do the Raw Vegan Chocolate Truffles instead! That is my go-to dessert whenever I am going to a friends house, and it is always well-received.

      Let me know what you decide on :)

      Link to truffle recipe:

      • Mirani says

        Oh sorry for such a late reply but I thought I’d let you know, I ended up making your recipe for chocolate peanut butter cookies and OH MY GOODNESS! We all enjoyed them SO much!

        Also kind of a random question, but I’ve noticed you use coconut cream in quite a few recipes and I was wondering how often a week you eat it? Because it is rather fattening as I”m sure you know, and I’m not really sure whether or not I should limit it.

        • says

          Awesome, I am so happy to hear you enjoyed the cookies!

          Oh and since I only ever eat coconut cream in recipes, and I make maybe 3-4 desserts a week, I do not eat very much of it. We are a family of 6 people so split the desserts between us and it ends up not being very much fat at all. Since the rest of my diet is very low-fat, the coconut cream (or other nut butters) I use in dishes kind of level out the fat intake. I do eat a quite low-fat diet though!

  5. Anette says

    Do you use dried or fresh dates? I will try the recipe for a good friend. Maybe substituting quinoa/millet for the oats because of allergy. Do you think that will work. Also maybe they wont get dry so fast if the almond meal isnt defat. Thankyou for great recipes

If you have any questions, feedback, or just want to say hi, leave it in the comment section below and I will get back to you as soon as time allows!