The word ”healthy” and ”cinnamon bun” usually don’t go together. Cinnamon buns are the definition of unhealthy. Packed with sugar and fats, one cinnamon bun can easily surpass 750 empty calories.
Now let’s imagine an alternate universe where cinnamon buns could be considered mildly healthy. Made with whole wheat, naturally sweetened, and just as sticky as the original version.
Turns out you don’t need to be in an alternate universe to eat these deliciously healthy vegan cinnamon buns. Instead, you just need to follow my simple recipe!
I created this recipe out of pure frustration. Whenever I would take a road trip to visit my brother at university (6-hour drive) I’d always stop at the same gas station along the way to grab a bite to eat and some gas. I would also stop there for one of their delicious cinnamon buns which had a calorie count of roughly 950 calories…
I started thinking to myself ”there has to be a way to make cinnamon buns WITHOUT all the fat and sugar. This started a kitchen frenzy of trial and error trying to find the best way to make a healthy version of my beloved cinnamon bun.
One thing I knew I couldn’t get away from if I wanted to make these buns fluffy was the fat. I didn’t want to add any oils, so I came up with a couple of solutions, the first one being avocado!
No not avocado oil, a full natural avocado. I put the avocado in the blender to create a puré. This helped to add that little bit of fat we needed without unnecessary oils.
Next was to figure out the filling. The whole point if cinnamon buns are to have a warm sticky filling in between the layers as you pull the bun apart. I went to my usual go-to; maple syrup.
Maple syrup was perfect because it’s natural, sticky, and goes great with cinnamon!
Where is the icing?
My lovely 17-year-old sister called me out right away when I posted this recipe on Instagram. She wanted to know where was the icing!? The truth is… There is none.
I decided to go icing-free for 2 reasons. The first one being I haven’t yet found a super healthy and fluffy icing recipe that actually tastes good. Second, I wanted to be able to re-heat these buns in the microwave, if I put the icing on them I wouldn’t be able to do that!
I apologize to all of you who long for that extra kick of sugar on top. You could always use this simple icing recipe. Just know your healthy cinnamon buns will quickly become unhealthy.
With all that being said, let’s jump into the Healthy Vegan Cinnamon Buns recipe!
Healthy Vegan Cinnamon Buns
- 4 cups Whole wheat flour
- 3 1/4 tsp Quick rise yeast
- 1/4 cup Milk Warmed to 110f
- 1/4 cup Avocado (or 4tbs apple sauce)
- 1/4 cup Maple Syrup or sweetener of choice
- 2 tbs Chia Seeds
- 7 tbs Warm Water
- 3 tsp cinamon
- 1/2 tsp Nitmeg
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 2 tsp Corn startch
- Start by warming milk to 110f, then in a large bowl whisk in the yeast and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes or until frothy. In a separate small bowl combine the warm water and chia seeds together and allow to sit for the same amount of time.
- Add the chia seed “egg” to the yeast mixture along with the maple syrup and pureed avocado.
- slowly begin to mix in the flour leaving 1/4c behind for kneading.
- Once you have created the dough, dust some of the leftover four onto a large surface and begin to knead the dough, adding more flour as needed. You should knead the dough for the entire length of Don McLean’s song “American Pie” (8 minutes)
- Set the dough into an oiled large bowl and place a warm damp cloth on top of the bowl and place in a warm draft-free area or warm your oven to 170f and then shut it off and place the bowl inside. The dough will take roughly 30-60 minutes to rise.
- In the meantime, in a small saucepan whisk together your filling ingredients and place on medium-low heat. Whisk continuously until the filling begins to thicken. Once thick remove from heat and set aside.
- Once the dough has risen, punch it down and roll it onto a 12″x16″ cutting board and cover the surface with the filling. Leaving 1″ around the edges filling-free.
- Roll the dough to create a long cylinder. Cut this into 12 pieces and place each piece onto a baking sheet.
- Heat oven to 400f and cook for 15-20 minutes. Allow cinnamon buns to cool and drizzle additional maple syrup on top.