Carrot Cake Sticky Bun covered with sticky syrup and pecans on top

Vegan Carrot Cake Sticky Buns

  • Author: ShortGirlTallOrder
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 sticky buns 1x
  • Category: Vegan, Dessert, Brunch
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Vegan


These buns have an extra sweet kick with carrots mixed into the dough and filling. Make the night before and cook first thing in the morning to enjoy for a brunch treat!



Carrot Cake Dough

  • 3/4 cup almond milk (or other nut milk)
  • 1 packet dry yeast ((about 2 1/4 tsp yeast))
  • 2 Tbsp vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots (about 1 medium carrot peeled and grated)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extra/ vanilla bean paste
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (*pastry flour has different protein consistency than bread or cake flour so please use this flour specifically!)
  • 1 1/2 cups cake/pastry flour
  • 1 tsp salt

Bun Filling

  • 1/4 cup grated carrots (about 1/2 medium carrot peeled and grated)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cold vegan butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

Sticky Syrup

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (agave syrup, corn syrup, or honey can be used in place)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans


Making the Dough

  1. Begin by warming your milk and butter and add to your mixing bowl. Add in your dry yeast packet and let sit about 10 minutes. You will know the yeast is working if the mixture begins to form bubbles.
  2. While waiting to see if the yeast is active, peel and grate your carrots and set aside.
  3. Next, add your sugar and vanilla bean paste/extract to the mixing bowl and stir to combine. Once mixed, add the whole wheat flour along with 1 cup of the white flour. Knead for 5 minutes in a standing mixer or 10 minutes by hand.
  4. Then, add in 1/2 cup of the grated carrot along with the 1/4 cup white flour set aside. The carrot will add more moisture to the dough, so it is important to add the extra flour at this time. Kneed an additional 5 minutes or until the dough is elastic and stretchy.
  5. Lightly spray a large bowl with oil, form your dough into a ball, and add to the bowl. Cover and let rise 1-1.5 hours until the dough has doubled in size. You will know the dough is done by pushing your finger into the dough and the dough will not spring back.

Making the Sticky Syrup

  1. While the dough is rising make the syrup by adding all ingredients to a pan and mixing on low heat until combined. Add the syrup and chopped pecans to the pan you plan to bake the buns in (I recommend a cake pan or 9*9 baking pan).
  2. Store the syrup-filled pan in the fridge until the buns are ready.

Rolling the buns

  1. Once your dough has doubled in size, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. You will need to flour the rolling pin too or else the dough will stick. Roll the dough into a rectangle that is 1/4-1/2 inch thick in height.
  2. In a small bowl mash together the bun filling ingredients. Spread the filling evenly over the dough leaving a 1/2 inch border without any filling.
  3. Beginning with the longer side of the rectangle, tightly roll up the dough into a log. Lightly flour the dough as you go to help if it gets a bit sticky. Make sure to seal the roll by pinching the edges together. Then, flip the dough over so the pinched seal is facing down.
  4. Once the dough is rolled, trim the ends and discard. Cut the remaining dough into 8 evenly sized rolls. Remove the pan containing the syrup from the fridge and arrange all 8 rolls in the pan. Cover the pan and leave in the fridge overnight (or at least 6 hours) for a final rise.

Baking the rolls

  1. In the morning, remove your rolls from the fridge and preheat your oven to 350F. Once the oven is preheated, add in the buns and bake for 30-40 minutes until the dough in lightly browned on top. Remove the buns from the oven and immediately invert onto a serving platter. Let cool and serve!

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