Brown Sugar + Pecan Sticky Buns

These vegan sticky buns and I have been through quite a battleΒ over the last week. The first trial of these sticky buns were total duds, they ended up being little nuggets of un-risen, rolled dough, so after picking the good stuff (brown sugar+pecans) out of the pan, I got right back to trying to make these dang things work. The first go around, I honestly didn’t really measure or pay attention to anything, so I can totally blame myself for that sticky bun failure (there was orange zest in there for some reason?). The second time around, I loosely followed another dough recipe and paid more attention to how things would actually turn out, rather than just figuring it would ‘work in the oven’ <–things I tell myself about baking that are never true. Baking lesson: when it comes to yeast, don’t just guess along and hope that it works out, because it won’t! Go figure, the second, more accurate trial worked and rose up all fluffy and pillowy with a perfect bubbling pecan glaze at the bottom. Hooray! When I flipped the pan over to get the pecan and brown sugar glaze to the top, I yelled to my dad ‘Come look at how good these look!’ (kind of like this), success!

Brown Sugar + Pecan Sticky Buns

I tried so hard to convince myself that vegan sticky buns don’t need two rise times, but honestly, they really do. It might seem really time consuming, but if you prep them the night before and let them rise the second time in the fridge overnight, you can pop them into the oven in the morning with no problem. Yeast is very finicky, so make sure your milk isn’t too hot, or it will kill the yeast and your buns will be sad and not fluffy like my first trial was. No one likes sad buns.

Brown Sugar + Pecan Sticky Buns

Brown Sugar Pecan Vegan Sticky Buns

  • Author: Abby Thompson
  • Prep Time: 140 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 160 minutes
  • Yield: 8 -10 1x
  • Category: Breakfast


Vegan sticky buns are the perfect weekend breakfast! Pecans, brown sugar, and a healthy dose of cinnamon create a decadent breakfast pastry.



  • For the dough:
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (I popped mine into the microwave for 30 seconds-1 minute, lightly heated)
  • 1 package of active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • For the glaze:
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • For the filling:
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg


  1. In a large bowl, combine the non-dairy milk, active dry yeast, and granulated sugar. Allow mixture to sit for about 5 minutes, to allow to yeast to activate. After the 5 minutes have passed, stir in the maple syrup, salt, and flours. The mixture may seem too sticky, but at this point I started kneading the dough in the bowl to get all the flour into the dough. Knead for a minute, just working the dough enough to make it pliable. If the dough seems really sticky at this point, add a couple tablespoons of flour to make it easy to handle. Cover the bowl with a towel and allow to rise in a warm spot for at least an hour.
  2. While the dough is rising, prepare the filling and sticky glaze mixture.
  3. For the filling, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  4. For the glaze, grease a pie plate, square casserole dish or small rectangular dish liberally. I sprayed mine more than usual because I wanted to make sure the rolls would come out easily. Stir together all the ingredients for the glaze, except for the pecans. Pour the glaze mixture into the greased pan and scatter the chopped pecans over the glaze. Set aside.
  5. After the dough has risen, lightly flour a flat surface and roll the dough out into a rectangle that is 14 inches by 12 inches. The measurement doesn’t have to be exact, just as long as it’s around that shape. Spread the filling mixture onto the rolled out dough all the way to the edges. Roll the dough up lengthwise into a big log. Slice into 1 inch pieces and place cut side up (like a cinnamon roll) into the pan. You will be placing the rolls into the glaze that is already in the pan. Cover with a towel and allow to rise for at least an hour. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. After the rolls have cooled for a few minutes, flip them onto a cookie sheet or bigger sheet pan.