cinnamon rolls with pecan & raisin glaze

We’re halfway October already, so consider cinnamon season officially opened! Jk, it’s always cinnamon season in my kitchen. I can eat cinnamon rolls all year round, but I love having them even more when autumn rolls around (see what I did there). They’re perfect as an afternoon treat or as a naughty Sunday breakfast. I’ve been tinkering on this recipe for months now, and I think I finally found the perfect recipe for plump, sticky cinnamon rolls.

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If you’re anything like me and want to eat these even before you’ve even started baking these – you’ll have to pace yourself. These take quite some time to rise and become voluptious doughy clouds. But trust me when I say they’re worth every second of the wait. At first glance, the recipe might look a bit long and overwhelming, but if you’re well prepared it’s really not that complicated.

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Glazing the rolls will keep them fresh longer, but they’re the best to eat when they’re still slightly warm from the oven – but they’re still quite moist the day after. The extra sugary drizzle on top is just a little extra, as if these weren’t decadent enough. Despite their robust looks, they’re quite delicate so be careful not to rip the whole thing apart when you tear off a roll.

The dough is a bit heavy on the cinnamon because I love how it pairs with the sugary stickiness of the glaze. But if you’re not that into cinnamon, you can always sub some of the cinnamon for cardemom for a more spiced bun.

As for the topping, I find soft raisins and toasted pecans work best. They’re not only autumn staples, but I love the natural sweetness of the raisins and the occasional crunch from the pecans.

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Makes about 6 big cinnamon rolls:

You’ll need –
– a loose bottom cake tin
– baking paper for lining
– a saucepan

Ingredients –
for the dough:
– 2 cups (250gr) all purpose flour + 1 cup (125gr) for later
– 1/4 cup (60ml) sunflower oil
– 1/4 cup (60ml) agave nectar
– 1/2 cup (125ml) lukewarm plant milk
– 1/2 cup (125ml) lukewarm water
– 2 tsp ground cinnamon
– 1/4 tsp fine salt
– 2 1/2 tsp instant yeast

for the spread:
– 1/2 cup (75gr) dark brown sugar
– 1/2 cup (100gr) vegan butter
– 1 tbsp ground cinnamon

for the glaze:
– 1/4 cup (35gr) dark brown sugar
– 2 tbsp vegan butter
– 1/4 cup (65ml) plant milk

for the sugar drizzle:
– 6 tbsp icing sugar
– 2 tsp plant milk

for the topping:
– 1/4 cup of raisins
– 1/4 cup of toasted pecans

How to make –

1. Add the lukewarm water and plant milk to a bowl and add the instant yeast. Mix and let it sit for a few minutes.
2. Put the 2 cups of flour to a large bowl and add cinnamon and salt.
3. Add the yeast mixture, oil and agave nectar to the dry ingredients and mix well. A bit at a time, add the remaining one cup of flour to the dough and keep mixing until a dough starts to form. Don’t add too much flour or it’ll become too dry, the dough should be slighty sticky. Form a ball with the dough.
4. Line a clean bowl with some extra sunflower oil and put the ball of dough in it. Cover with a clean, damp kitchen towel and leave to rest in a warm place – for at least an hour.
5. Meanwhile, make the buttery spread. Add the vegan butter, brown sugar and cinnamon to a bowl and mix well.
6. After an hour, the dough should have almost doubled in size. Slighty kneed the dough, sprinkle some flour on the counter so the dough wont stick (you can be generous) and roll out into a large rectangle.
7. With a spoon, cover the entire rectangle of dough with the butter and sugar spread. Try to coat it evenly.
8. Now roll the dough into a log. I find it easier to roll the dough towards myself and to work slowly, not stretching the dough too much in the process and forming a neat roll.
9. With a very sharp knife, cut the log of dough into six even pieces. Coat the sides with a bit of flour and carefully place them in the lined baking tin – giving each roll a bit of space. Cover the tin with a clean damp towel and leave to rest again, for another hour. Yes, another hour – trust me it’s worth it!
10. Preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F). After an hour, the rolls should’ve risen enough that they’re touching eachother. Place them in the preheated oven and let them bake for 25 minutes.
11. Meanwhile, make the glaze. Put all ingredients in a saucepan and let it reduce until it thickens a bit – for about 10-15 minutes.
12. Once the rolls are done, pour over the glaze. Sprinkle over the pecans and raisins. When the rolls have cooled, finish with the sugar drizzle. Congratulations, you did it! Now go and enjoy a nice roll (or two?) with a cup of coffee – you earned it!

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