Healthy Gluten-free Vegan 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.


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.


Ugh, I wish there was more of these left.

Ingredients, makes 12 medium buns:

Dough:

  • 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 soy milk
  • 12g dry yeast (1 envelope) 
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
Filling:
  • 2 cup dates
  • 5-8 tbsp unsweetened soy milk/water
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cardamom
Additional (optional) ingredients:

Directions:
  • Start by proofing the yeast. This is done by placing the yeast into the 1 cup of lukewarm water (important that it is not too hot as this will kill the yeast!), and let this sit for about 5 minutes. 
  • 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. 
  • 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. Shape the dough into a ball (see picture below), cover the bowl with a towel and let it rise for 40-60 minutes.
  • While that is rising start making 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). Store it in the fridge while the dough is rising.
  • When the dough is ready, start by kneading it 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. Placing 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.

  • 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.
I ran out of pecans and raisins, but they were delicious without as well!

  • 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. Cover them with a towel and let the buns rise again for 20-40 minutes.



  • Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius/350 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.


Notes:

  • 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.

9 comments:

  1. Hur kommer det sig att du inte vill använda olja?

    ReplyDelete
  2. 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!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you so much for your comment! And as a fellow cinnamon roll addict, let me tell you that they taste even better than they look. Be sure to let me know how you liked them :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. ett annat slags liv23 September 2012 at 13:37

    Hur kommer det sig att du inte vill använda olja?

    ReplyDelete
  5. 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. Men litt kaldpresset olje en gang i blandt er ikke verdens ende, og slettes ikke usunt, det er bare personlig preferanse :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. 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. Men litt kaldpresset olje en gang i blandt er ikke verdens ende, og slettes ikke usunt, det er bare personlig preferanse :)

    ReplyDelete

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