Vegan Sticky Buns are the most delicious breakfast or brunch treat! Buttery, soft, gooey, and sticky with crunchy pecans. Only 20 minutes of active prep. Making beautiful pecan sticky buns is easier than you think!
You can make old fashioned sticky buns from scratch and all you need is 20 minutes active time. Tops!
The rest of the time comes from the dough rising and the buns baking. That gives you time to do something else or, well, nothing at all.
I vote for 'nothing at all' so let's get baking!
I bet you have most of these sticky bun ingredients on hand!
- Unsweetened Dairy-Free Milk - such as almond milk, oat milk, or cashew milk. Use your favorite!
- Active Dry Yeast
- Dairy-Free Butter - You’ll use butter for the dough, filling, and topping.
- Chia Eggs - Chia Eggs mixed with water. See more info about chia eggs in the baking tips.
- All-Purpose Flour
- Organic Granulated Sugar
- Organic Brown Sugar - dark or light brown sugar works! You’ll use it in both the filling and topping.
- Ground Cinnamon
- Maple Syrup
- Vanilla Extract
- Pecans - chopped and used in the topping but you can omit if you are nut-free.
How to make pecan sticky buns
Make the Dough: Heat the dairy-free milk then stir in the sugar, salt, and butter.
Allow to cool slightly while you combine the yeast and warm water and let it sit until it is foamy.
Add the warm milk mixture, chia eggs, and some of the flour to the yeast. Mix until combined and add flour until a stiff dough forms.
Knead Dough: Knead the dough on a floured surface. Transfer to a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise until doubled (1 hour).
Make the Topping: Spray the baking dish with cooking spray. In a bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar with a hand mixer until smooth.
Beat in the maple syrup (or corn syrup) and vanilla until light and fluffy.
Spread the sugar/butter mixture on the bottom of the baking dish and sprinkle with the pecans.
Form Rolls: Roll the risen dough into a large rectangle on a floured surface.
Drizzle with the melted butter and sprinkle with the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.
Tightly roll the dough into a log - starting with a long side. Cut the log into 12 pieces and place on top of the pecans in the baking dish.
Rise and Bake Rolls: Cover rolls with plastic wrap and rise until doubled in size.
Bake in a preheated oven until golden brown.
Allow to slightly cool in the pan before flipping upside down onto a platter. Be sure to scoop out any topping that is left in the dish and spread over the vegan sticky buns.
Chia Eggs are a common egg substitute in vegan baking. They are made by mixing ground chia (or the whole seed) with water and allowing it to sit for a few minutes.
The chia egg will thicken and become gel-like. There are also white chia seeds if you want to keep the color pure for baked goods. I have never found that a necessity though.
An accurate oven temperature is important for any baking recipe. Once your rolls are in the preheated oven, try not to open the oven door. This lets heat out.
You can also keep an inexpensive oven thermometer inside to monitor the temp.
Sticky Buns and Cinnamon Rolls are very similar. They both use the same dough and filling.
Where they differ is sticky buns are baked on top of the sugar topping. When flipped out of the pan, after baking, the topping is covering the tops of the buns (where they get the ‘sticky’ in their name).
Cinnamon rolls are baked on their own and then covered in an icing or frosting after baking.
Sticky buns can be kept, tightly covered, at room temperature for a day or two. But I recommend storing in the fridge for longer storage - up to 5 days. Be sure to cover them tightly so they don’t dry out.
Sticky buns recipe variations
- Nuts - Pecans are a classic choice in sticky buns and are my favorite! But you could swap in another nut of your choosing, or omit if there is a nut allergy.
- Raisins - Raisins are not a traditional sticky bun ingredient, but they can be a fun addition! Sprinkle them on top of the topping in addition to or instead of the pecans.
More vegan breakfast treats
- Blueberry Pancakes - the best fluffy pancakes and are perfect for a weekend breakfast. Blueberries are loaded with antioxidants and the addition of hemp seed adds protein.
- Cranberry Orange Scones - Loaded with cranberries and topped with a sweet orange glaze. Perfect treat for a weekend or holiday brunch!
- Vegan Cinnamon Rolls with Chocolate - Perfect for chocolate lovers. These cinnamon rolls are filled with chocolate chips AND topped with a chocolate drizzle.
- Crescent Roll Breakfast Rings - Using store bought crescent dough makes these breakfast treats so easy to make. But don’t let the simplicity fool you, they are delicious with a beautiful presentation.
Vegan Sticky Buns
- ½ cup dairy free milk - unsweetened
- ½ cup warm water
- ½ ounces active dry yeast - 2 packets (¼ ounces each)
- ¼ cup dairy free butter - softened
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds (can be ground) - mixed with 6 tablespoons water
- 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour - approximate
- ½ cup organic granulated sugar - light or dark
- 1 teaspoons salt
- ¼ cup dairy free butter - melted
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup dairy free butter - softened
- 1 cup organic brown sugar - packed
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup pecans - chopped
- In a small saucepan scald milk to 181-212 degrees F
- Add sugar, salt and butter. Stir and let cool to lukewarm.
- Pour warm water in stand mixer bowl and add yeast. Let set 5 minutes or until foamy.
- Add milk mixture, prepared chia eggs, and 2 cups of flour.
- Mix until dough is well combined. Gradually add enough flour until dough is stiff.
- On lightly floured surface, knead dough about 8 minutes.
- Place in greased bowl, turn dough over, then cover with plastic wrap or towel.
- Let rise in warm place until dough is doubled, about 1 hour. While dough is rising, make the topping.
- Spray a 13x9 baking dish with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, cream together the dairy free butter and brown sugar until smooth.
- Add the maple syrup and vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy
- Spread the butter mixture evenly into the baking dish.
- Sprinkle evenly with chopped pecans.
- When dough has risen, roll out into large rectangle on a floured surface.
- Drizzle or brush the dairy free butter over dough.
- In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
- Sprinkle evenly over melted butter.
- Starting with the long side, begin rolling the dough.
- Cut dough into 12 even pieces Lay the dough on top of the pecans.
- Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise 60-90 minutes or until doubled in size.
- While the rolls are rising preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- When the buns have doubles bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.
- Cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes.
- Flip upside down onto a serving platter. Scoop out any remaining topping and spread over buns.
- Allow to cool at least 20 minutes before serving.