Yes you read that right- Vegan Carrot Cake Sticky Buns are here! Enough Said. End Blog Post.
Okay, kidding kidding. There is more below, but if you can’t wait, you can jump to the sticky bun recipe here: Jump to Recipe
So seriously, these carrot cake sticky buns are officially my pride and joy. Vegan baking is always a really exciting challenge for me, so when I finalized the recipe for these buns I was so excited to share them with you! The dough in these buns is not only really soft and chewy, but also drenched in a creamy brown sugar syrup. Now just to be totally transparent with all of you- these are NOT healthy. That being said, I am a firm believer in the occasional weekend splurge especially when homemade. Believe me, these buns are worth the splurge!
To make these buns even better, I partnered with Imperfect Produce and used their carrots for a fun orange twist on the typical sticky bun. I knew I wanted to bake something creative with all the carrots I’ve received over the past few weeks rather than just roasting them with potatoes. I got to thinking about all the cinnamon buns I’ve been super into eating this winter and thought- YES, CARROT CAKE BUNS! Carrot added an additional challenge to bake with as the fresh carrots added in a lot of moisture, but it was a challenge I was more than happy to take on. What I really loved most about the addition of carrots was the surprising subtle sweetness I experienced when baking them . It truly added another flavor dimension I’ve never experienced in buns!
S,o before you all run to the grocery store and grab the ingredients you need to make these, I wanted to share a few tips I discovered through my bun-making adventures. These might be some well-known tips and tricks to the more seasoned baker, but for those of you who want to know the “why” behind the steps in my recipe, I added more detail below:
Tip #1: Yeast and Milk Mixed First
- Why? You want to make sure your yeast is actually activated! One time, I added all my dough ingredients without this step and my bun dough failed to rise and double in size. In the interest of no waste, I baked the dough anyways, but it was super dense and the texture was off. This is a really simple way to make sure you have good working yeast that will rise!
Tip #2: Coconut Milk & Honey vs. Corn Syrup
- I had previously thought corn syrup would be the only way to make a sticky syrup, so I tried baking with it. While it definitely worked, it actually made the buns really hard as soon as they were at room temperature. I found that using honey, brown sugar, vegan butter, and coconut milk led to a super creamy and even tastier sticky syrup.
Tip #3: A Little Butter Goes a Long Way
- Seriously, using too much butter led to some buns that were mushy and fell apart. I like to keep the butter for the filling cold and mash it with the brown sugar and spices vs. melting the butter. It’s a little harder to spread out than melted butter, but it helped my dough maintain it’s shape when rolling.
Tip #4: Generously Flour When Rolling Dough
- This includes the surface you are rolling the dough on and the rolling pin! This really helped the dough to not stick and also led to more tightly rolled buns without big air pockets.
Tip #5: Let The Dough Rise Overnight
- You know, there is probably science behind why this works best. All I know is that my buns turned out ten times better when I let them rise overnight vs. just an hour in the fridge before baking. Bonus: You’ll wake up to warm, freshly-baked buns and your house will smell like cinnamon all morning. Win-Win if you ask me!
I really hope you enjoy these beautiful buns! In honor of Sir Mix A Lot I even made you all some song lyrics to sing while baking these. “My Brunch Table Don’t Want None Unless You Got Buns Hun!”. Enjoy!
In case you are looking for some of the tools & ingredients used in this recipe, I’ve put a few of my favorites for you here:
- One of the most important parts of this recipe is really good yeast! I love baking with Red Star Dry Yeast for my bun making recipes.
- In order to make sure these buns form correctly you’ll need to use pastry flour vs. all-purpose flour because of it’s protein (gluten) percent. I am a HUGE Bob’s Red mill fan and can’t recommend their White Pastry Flour and Whole Wheat Pastry Flour enough! If you don’t have access to pastry flour, this article from The Kitchn should help you out!