Vegan Cinnamon Date Buns filled with date paste, cinnamon and bananas, making it a healthier bun with less refined sugar. It’s fluffy, pillowy, and such a delicious pairing with your fave cup of coffee or tea.
I’ve been testing a lot of recipes of cinnamon buns since this whole lockdown situation started. And I’m probably one of those bread-baking converts out there who’s been testing it out in the kitchen while on home quarantine.
Unlike the usual cinnamon buns which is usually filled with loads of cinnamon sugar, I’ve made it a tad wholesome by using a combo of medjool dates, ripe banana, and cinnamon which makes it even more delicious.
INGREDIENTS FOR THESE VEGAN CINNAMON DATE BUNS
- Vegan Butter – If non-vegan, then you can use regular butter.
- Honey – I use pure honey although you can also use just raw sugar.
- Medjool Dates – This is the star ingredient for our filling which substitutes the usual cinnamon-sugar combo. Dates are rich in fiber and has a caramel taste to it. You can also use other type of pitted dates.
- Warm water – You can also use warm milk but I find that water still works too. Make sure it’s not too hot or else it will also kill the yeast and it will affect the rise of your buns.
- Flour – We’re using a mix of plain flour and whole wheat flour in this recipe. I find that it’s less dense if it’s a mix of the two instead of going all the way whole wheat flour.
- Ground Cinnamon – Coz it’s cinnamon buns after all!
- Ripe banana – This is mixed into the date paste which will be our filling. You can also add sliced bananas into the filling if you love more bananas in it.
- Instant dry yeast – This gives our buns that beautiful rise. Be sure your yeast is not too old or expired as it might affect the rise of your dough as well.
HOW TO MAKE THESE VEGAN CINNAMON DATE BUNS
Prepare the dough
Mix the melted butter, honey, and warm water in a big bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over it and let it sit for 5 minutes to bloom. Once you see the yeast with bubbles on it, mix with a whisk.
Add the flour and salt into the mixture. If using a stand mixer, you can use the bread attachment and mix in medium speed first then turn to high speed and knead for about 5-7 minutes until the dough becomes elastic and smooth. If mixing by hand, use a wooden spoon to mix until well combined and continue kneading in the bowl until it’s smooth.
Transfer to a lightly greased bowl and cover with cling wrap or tea towel to prove for about 1 hour in a warm location. I usually put it in my pantry or sometimes inside my unused oven.
Prepare the filling
While the dough is proving, prepare the filling by adding the pitted dates, banana, and ground cinnamon inside a food processor or blender. If the dates are too hard to blend, soak them in warm water for about 10 minutes and save some of the date water. Process until it turns into a paste. You can add a splash of date water if it’s too dry.
Assemble the buns
Once dough has doubled, transfer to a floured surface. Using a floured rolling pin, roll it into a rectangular shape about 1/4 inch thick. Spread melted butter on the dough then spread the date filling on top.
Using two hands, gently roll the dough starting from the edge closest to you and roll it tight to form into a log. There might be some filling coming out from the edge or sides so just smoothen it out using a spatula or your hand. And using a floss or butcher’s twine, gently cut the dough to about 9-10 pieces, depending on how thick you want the buns to be.
Transfer the buns to a lightly greased baking dish. Brush the top with melted butter and cover again with cling wrap or tea towel to rise for another 20-30 minutes. While proving, pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Bake the buns
Once it’s doubled in size, bake the buns for about 25-30 minutes or until the top is a little golden brown and it’s cooked all the way through. Be sure not to over-bake these or it will come out really dense.
You can just enjoy the cinnamon buns as it is but if you want it extra special and indulgent, then you can top it with a glaze using powdered sugar and a little almond milk. I also like to just smear some cream cheese or goat’s cheese on top right before serving.
MAKE-AHEAD TIPS FOR THESE CINNAMON BUNS
These buns can be made made ahead and stored in your fridge the night before and baked in the morning. Right after the buns have proved for the second time in the baking dish, just cover it again with the cling wrap and place in the fridge. In the morning you can take it out while your oven is pre-heating and then bake it straight away. You can just add 5 minutes or so to the baking time if necessary.
I haven’t tried freezing unbaked buns so I can’t guarantee the result. I think it might work since this has no raw eggs in it so it can store well. If you try it, let me know in the comments below how it goes.
OTHER FILLING VARIATIONS TO THESE CINNAMON BUNS
This recipe is so versatile and I’ve also tried so many other variations and filling combos:
- chopped pecans
- sliced bananas
- chopped walnuts
- crushed almonds
TRY THESE OTHER VEGAN RECIPES
- 1/4 cup vegan butter
- 1 packet instant dry yeast about 2 1/4 teaspoons
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons pure honey
- 2 cups plain flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup dates pitted
- 1 banana ripe
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter melted
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon water or non-dairy milk
- In a large bowl, mix the melted butter, honey and warm water. Sprinkle the instant yeast on top and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes to bloom. Once you see bubbles on top, mix with a handheld whisk briefly.
- Add the flour, and salt. If using a stand mixer, use the bread attachment and mix in medium to high speed for about 5 minutes until dough is elastic and smooth. If using a wooden spoon, just mix until the dough is well combined. Then continue kneading with your hand in the bowl until it's soft and elastic. Transfer to a lightly greased bowl and cover with cling wrap or tea towel. Prove for about 1 hour in a warm location like your pantry.
- While dough is proving, prep your filling by soaking your pitted dates in warm water for about 10 minute. Transfer the dates, ripe banana, ground cinnamon into a food processor or blender and process til smooth and it turns into a paste consistency. If too dry, add a little of the date water.
- Once dough has doubled, roll on a floured surface into a rectangle shape. Spread melted butter on the dough, and then spread on top of it the date paste. Roll the dough into a log starting at the edge closest to you, gently rolling tightly using both hands. Smoothen the edges and then cut into 1.5 inches thick using a twine or floss.
- Transfer to a greased baking dish and spread the top of the buns with melted butter. Cover with plastic wrap or tea towel and let it prove for another 20-30 minutes. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and bake the buns once it's doubled in size for about 2-30 minutes.
- Prep the glaze by mixing the powdered sugar and water. Drizzle on the buns before serving. Enjoy while warm.
If you ever make these cinnamon buns, be sure to tag me over in Instagram @fitfoodiemommy and let me know how it goes.
Hope you enjoy these buns! Happy baking!