These Vegan Matcha Black Sesame Cinnamon Rolls make the absolute best vegan matcha dessert recipe! Deliciously sweet matcha bread is filled with a black sesame sugar and butter filling for the most unique vegan sticky bun recipe you'll ever have.
How to make matcha cinnamon rolls
The first step is making the vegan matcha bread dough. To make this vegan bread dough, I followed the same steps I used for my Vegan Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls and Vegan Cranberry Orange Sticky Buns.
Once the matcha dough rest has been made, let it rest for 1-2 hours until it's doubled in size. After that, it's time to fill it with a black sesame sugar and butter filling! To make the black sesame filling add the sugar, black sesame, and butter to a food processor or blender to combine. Then, slather this onto the rolled-out matcha dough.
As the last step let the buns rise in the fridge overnight and wake up to bake them in the morning. Then, top the black sesame buns with matcha icing to finish. I promise baking this matcha black sesame dessert is worth all the effort and makes the best vegan matcha dessert!
The best matcha for baking
All matcha is NOT created equal. Using the highest quality matcha powder will give you the rich green vibrant color you see in these photos. On the other hand, using lower-quality matcha will give these matcha cinnamon rolls a more brown-green color.
The grades of matcha:
#1: Highest Quality Matcha= Ceremonial Grade
This is the brightest green matcha and it is made from young tea leaves with the stems and veins removed. I recommend this matcha for drinking, but it's a bit pricey and unnecessary to be baking with.
#2: The middle ground= Culinary Grade Matcha
As you may guess by the name culinary, this is the grade of matcha that I bake with! This is honestly still a great matcha powder to drink and is probably what you find in most of the matcha you get at cafes.
Culinary Grade Matcha is still green and smooth but is a slightly duller green than the ceremonial grade. There are actually 5 different grades of culinary matcha, which I won't dive into here, but the premium is the best. For this recipe, I used MyEncha Culinary Grade Matcha which is premium culinary grade matcha.
#3 Green Tea Powder..which is not Actually Matcha
Matcha is unique to Japan, so green tea powder isn't the same. Plus, it's likely missing that bright vibrant green color. I don't recommend substituting green tea powder in this recipe as the taste will be flat and the color will be off.
At the end of the day, use whatever matcha brand you trust and love! Plus, once you invest in great matcha you can make my Vegan Matcha Cookies or Vegan Matcha Cupcakes next!
FAQ & Tips:
The short answer is yes! Adding warmed almond milk and the yeast in the first step to activating your yeast. It actually has a dual purpose in this recipe as whisking the matcha in at this point helps avoids any clumps from forming in the dough. If using instant yeast, you don't need to activate with a warmed liquid.
You will know your dough is kneaded and ready for the first rise when it is elastic and can be stretched without breaking apart. This is called the Gluten Window. The dough will also look smooth and no longer like a shaggy dough.
Yes...or at least a good blender! When it comes to the filling, definitely use a food processor or good blender to get the right consistency. You want to turn the filling into a super-fine black sesame sugar with no large seeds remaining. For this recipe, I used Terrasoul Black Sesame Seeds and blended them with organic sugar.
While I made this recipe with matcha icing, I also tested it with lemon icing and it was awesome (replace the matcha and almond milk with more lemon juice- about 2 Tbsp total).
Part of the reason I'm obsessed with making vegan cinnamon rolls is that they store SO wonderfully in the freezer. If you make a whole batch of these and can't eat them all simply store them in the freezer between sheets of parchment paper for up to 2 months.
To reheat, either put them into the oven at 200F to warm for 10-15 minutes (ideal) or heat them in the microwave for 45-60 seconds (not as ideal, but still good).
While some say it will work with an all-purpose gluten-free 1:1 baking flour, I actually do not recommend making this recipe gluten-free. Gluten is crucial to forming the right texture for the dough!
I truly hope you have fun baking with matcha and love these Vegan Matcha Black Cinnamon Rolls as much as I do. They truly are the best vegan matcha & black sesame dessert recipe. Enjoy!
More vegan sweet bread recipes you will love:
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Vegan Matcha Black Sesame Sticky Buns
Vegan Matcha Bun Dough
- ¾ cup warmed almond milk or any milk alternative/ warmed water-
- 1 Tablespoon matcha
- 2 ¼ teaspoons active dried yeast 1 standard packet
- ½ cup melted vegan butter
- ½ cup organic cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 3 cups all purpose flour *add 2-4 Tbsp more flour if dough is too sticky and it's needed
- 1 teaspoon salt
Black Sesame Filling
- ½ cup black sesame seeds
- ½ cup organic sugar
- ¼ cup cold vegan butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 2 Tablespoons almond milk or other milk alternative
- 1 teaspoon matcha
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup organic powdered sugar
Making the Matcha Dough
- Begin by adding your warmed almond milk, and matcha to a mixing bowl and whisk until no clumps of matcha are left. Next, add in the active dried yeast and stir. Let sit 5-10 minutes until bubbles form to be sure the yeast is active and working.
- Add your sugar, lemon juice, and melted butter to the mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Then, begin to slowly add in flour until a dough forms. Once the dough has come together, use the dough hook to knead the dough for 5 minutes or take the dough from your bowl and knead by hand on a well-floured surface for 10 minutes until stretchy and elastic.
- Lightly spray a large bowl with oil, form the dough into a ball, and add to the bowl. Cover and let rise 1-1.5 hours until the dough has doubled in size. The dough is done when you can push a finger into the dough and the dough does not spring back.
Making the Filling
- About 10 minutes before the dough is done with the first rise, add your black sesame seeds and sugar to a food processor and blend until ground together. Then, add in the cold butter and vanilla and pulse together until a thick paste forms. Set aside in the fridge until you are ready to use.
Roll, Fill, & Slice the Dough
- 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 so the dough doesn't stick. Roll the dough into a rectangle that is ¼-1/2 inch thick in height.
- After the dough is rolled out, take your sesame filling out of the fridge and spread evenly across the dough. Make sure to leave a ¼ inch border around the edges of the dough without filling.
- 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.
- Once the dough is rolled, trim the ends and discard. Cut the remaining dough into 10 evenly sized rolls using a very sharp knife. Place into an 10-inch skillet or cake pan and cover with plastic wrap or a similar material. Leave in the fridge overnight (6-18 hours) or at room temperature for 1 hour before baking.
Baking the Buns
- Preheat the Oven to 350F.
- Once the oven is preheated, bake the buns for 35-40 minutes until cooked through. Remove the buns from the oven and let cool. While the buns are cooling, make your matcha icing!
Making the Matcha Icing
- Add the matcha, almond milk, and lemon juice to a small bowl and whisk until no clumps of matcha remain. Gradually add in the powdered sugar and whisk until a thick but smooth icing has formed. If you want a thinner icing, you can add more almond milk, however, a thick icing works best.
- Pour the icing over the cooled buns and serve immediately. Enjoy!
- Please note the cooked buns will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days and in the freezer for up to 2 months but will need to be reheated for optimal taste. You could microwave them, but I recommend turning your oven to 200F and heating 10-15 minutes to warm the buns
- This recipe was originally posted using 2 cups of all-purpose flour and 1 ¼ cups cake/pastry flour. If you would like to follow the old recipe, please use these measurements for flour.
- Recipe Inspiration from The Little Epicurean Matcha Black Sesame Rolls
I've made this three times already, it's delicious and super popular with everyone I've made it for! However, I don't usually have vegan butter on hand; could I replace it with coconut oil?
So happy you and everyone has been enjoying it! I've never tried it with coconut oil, however it should work. Just make sure it's melted. I would also use refined coconut oil so it doesn't have that "coconut" taste in the dough. Let me know if you try it!
Hello! Would I be able to use coconut sugar for the sesame and dough parts of the recipe? Also, can’t wait to make this for snack day at work on Friday!
I haven't tried it with coconut sugar, but it should work! It just won't be quite as sweet :).
This is a simple recipe that rewards you with a rich, complex flavor. I made it for a Sunday treat and it delivered: indulgent but not too heavy, and a lovely adventure into an unlikely flavor combination for a sticky bun. This is a great treat if you’re looking to feed curious folks!
I love matcha and black sesame so I really enjoyed this recipe!
Super delicious! Will definitely make again!!
So glad you loved them! I definitely hope to add some more process shots or a video to this recipe eventually so I'm super happy some of the other process shots helped 🙂
I purchased a pack of black sesame powder from a local Asian store and wanted to incorporate this into anything I could make. I stumbled upon this recipe and love how it didn't require too many ingredients and were not hard to make! Since it was my first time creating cinnamon roll type buns, I needed some visual references which I found by looking at Megan's other sticky bun recipes and now I really want to attempt a savory version...
If you don't have all the ingredients for the glaze don't worry...the buns are great by itself!
Commenting again because I forgot to leave a rating 🙂
These were really delicious! I love black sesame so I added some black sesame tahini to the filling, and ground black sesame seeds to 1/2 of the icing. I had to add some extra liquid, but could be because I doubled the recipe. I will definitely be making these again!
Thank you so much Bonnie! Black sesame tahini sounds like an awesome addition 🙂
THANK YOU! <3
Do you think it would be possible to make these gluten free?
Hi there! I'm honestly not sure as I didn't bake these gluten-free, however, if you try it I'd recommend using a 1:1 Gluten-Free flour mix to test it out. Let me know how they turn out 🙂
They turned out really well! I used bob's red mill's 1:1 gf all purpose flour as well as a bit of almond flour and added in some psyllium husk. I think I might adjust the liquid amount next time slightly since the flours I used were probably a bit more absorbent. My mom, who is non-vegan and non-gf and a huge cinnamon bun lover said they were her favourite dessert I've ever made, and I've been baking for 12 years... so I'd say it was a success. Thank you so much for the recipe!
Thanks for sharing the results I'm SO happy it worked out. Good to know these can successfully be made gluten-free 🙂
Hello! I would really like to make these, but I would need them to be Gluten-free. Could you please let me know how you adjusted the recipe with gluten free flour? Thank you:)
I would recommend trying the Bob's Red Mill 1:1 GF flour mix- I personally haven't tried it but have heard from others it works well in my recipes. Would love to hear how it turns out!