Vegan baking can be daunting! But after a decade of playing with all sorts of baking recipes, I have three great tips that will help you turn your favorite baking recipe vegan friendly. And, I’m sharing a recipe for vegan apple cinnamon pull apart bread – it’s basically like an apple-filled cinnamon roll, just even more delicious. Let’s dig in!
My three tips for better vegan baking:
- Use flax instead of egg.It’s super simple, and works every time. 1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water = 1 egg. Just make sure that you don’t over-mix the flax into the dough or it won’t have as much lift.
- Freeze your coconut oil. If you’re making a pie or scones – anything that needs “cold butter” or a solid fat, freeze your coconut oil! Then, you can incorporate your coconut oil into your dough the same way you would do for butter. Works best if you freeze the coconut oil in small chunks so you don’t have as much work to do, but it makes my scones taste the best ever!
- Don’t worry about the milk. Basically for any baking recipe, you can substitute an almond, oat, or coconut milk. Soy milk might bring some off flavors, and if I don’t have anything on hand, I’ll just use water. If I think that the milk is also needed for some extra fat in the recipe, I might add a little extra coconut oil to up the creaminess factor.
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Vegan Apple Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread Recipe
(adapted from 27th and Olive)
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- ½ cup + 6 tbsp lukewarm water, separated
- 1 tbsp hemp seeds
- 2 tbsp flax seeds, ground
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3¼ cups All-Purpose Flour or whole wheat pastry flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2¼ teaspoons instant yeast
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- ½ cup cane or coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 medium apples (about 2 cups), peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
- ½ cup pecans or walnuts, chopped (optional)
- Combine the ground flax seeds at 6 tbsp lukewarm water in a small bowl. Set aside for about 5-10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, ¼ cup sugar, salt, and yeast.
- In a separate bowl, mix the 4 tbsp coconut oil, ½ cup lukewarm water, hemp seeds, and vanilla
- Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
- Add the flax/water mixture after the dough has started to come together.
- Knead the dough until you have a smooth, not-too-sticky dough. Add extra flour or water as needed to achieve the desired soft, elastic texture.
- Keep the dough in a covered bowl placed in a warm space (on top of the stove or in a sunny window) until the dough as approximately doubled in size (about 1 hour).
- In the meantime, mix the 2 tbsp melted coconut oil with molasses and vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, mix the ½ cup sugar with cinnamon.
- Cut the apples into thin slices.
- When the dough is ready, put the dough onto a greased and floured surface and roll the dough into a 12" x 20" rectangle.
- Spread the coconut oil/molasses/vanilla mixture over the top surface of the dough evenly.
- Sprinkle the sugar/cinnamon mixture over the entire surface of the dough.
- Cut the dough into strips about 3.5" wide, and then cut the strips into thirds so you have pieces that are approximately 3.5" by 4".
- Layer apple slices on top of the dough, and stack the dough and apples (about 4-5 layers deep). Stack the dough sideways into a greased loaf pan or a small round baking dish.
- Sprinkle nuts (if using) and any remaining apples over the dough.
- Cover the pan with a towel or plastic wrap, let the dough rise for 30-60 minutes so it's almost doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Bake the loaf: after about 30 minutes, put foil on top of the container. Cook for another 15-25 minutes until dough is slightly browned and still soft.
- Cool and then eat!
Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,
Samantha Attard, PhD, is the founder of Happy Healthy Human. Sam is a performance coach and yoga instructor who helps people eat, move, and live with intention. Learn more here.