Caramel Apple Cinnamon Buns

Autumnal flavours of sweet cinnamon and sticky caramelised apples are wrapped up in a soft and squishy dough with these Caramel Apple Cinnamon Buns. Enjoy these beauties for dessert slathered generously with our creamy 2-ingredient vegan caramel sauce!

Cinnamon buns come in a wide variety of shapes, textures and sizes. For me a decent cinnamon bun has got to be soft, squishy and messy. The type you eat with a spoon for dessert.

These glorious Caramel Apple Cinnamon Buns are just that – soft, squishy, sticky and delicious, celebrating the warming autumnal flavours of apple, cinnamon, brown sugar and caramel.

Quick links:

Sticky caramelised apple cinnamon buns in a baking dish topped with a drizzle of vegan caramel sauce.

Why you’ll love these Caramel Apple Cinnamon Buns

They’re a special treat. These vegan cinnamon rolls are something special – with impossibly soft dough, a sticky apple and cinnamon filling and a beautifully creamy and rich caramel sauce topping. They will fill your home with the delicious Autumnal aroma of cinnamon and apple whilst they’re baking too!

A unique twist on the classic Cinnamon Roll. Cinnamon and apple are the perfect flavour pairing, making this unique twist on the cinnamon roll one you’re bound to enjoy. The apples are cooked gently in brown sugar until they’re sticky, adding a rich caramel flavour which is enhanced by the buttery, sweet caramel sauce topping.

They celebrate British produce. These sticky cinnamon buns are inspired by the abundance of homegrown apples that we enjoy in the British countryside each Autumn. Apples are shared amongst family and friends, traded, gifted and cooked into everything you can imagine as autumn rolls around in the UK; these Caramel Apple Cinnamon Buns celebrate this wonderful tradition in a truly delicious way.

Sticky caramelised apple cinnamon buns in a baking dish topped with a drizzle of vegan caramel sauce.

Top tips

  1. Ingredient recommendations:

    1. Apples – For this recipe you’ll need eating apples (any variety) rather than a tart cooking-apple variety.

    2. Margarine – You will also need vegan margarine (the spreadable kind) rather than block butter.

    3. Caramel – For the caramel you can either buy this ready made (Nature’s Charm do a lovely one) or make our easy vegan 2-ingredient caramel.

  2. Proof the yeast first – ‘Proofing’ the yeast is a way to test that it is active and going to rise the dough so that you don’t waste time and ingredients on bad yeast. To proof the yeast you add the dried yeast (7g) to 300ml warm vegan milk along with a tsp of sugar. Set it aside for 10 minutes to allow it to go frothy. If the mixture does not go frothy this means that the yeast is not working and you’ll need to get a fresh batch.

  3. Keep the liquids around 40°C: When mixing the warm milk with the yeast and the melted margarine into the flour, you want to make sure it’s no warmer than 40°C otherwise this could kill the yeast. A thermometer is handy here but if you don’t have one then dip a clean finger into the warm liquid – 40°C is slightly warm to the touch (not hot).

  4. Let the dough rise in a warm environment to double the size: The dough needs to rise to double in size in order for the buns to develop a soft and fluffy texture. If you rush this step and ‘under-prove’ (under-rise) your dough it could result in a dense dough. Pick a warm, draught-free place, cover the bowl of dough and set it aside for around 60-90 minutes until it has doubled.

  5. Fully cool the filling: Once the cinnamon apple filling has been cooked, be sure to cool it fully before spreading it on the cinnamon bun dough and rolling it up. If the filling is warm it will make cutting the cinnamon rolls more difficult as the filling will squidge out the sides!

  6. Use a very sharp knife: When cutting the cinnamon rolls use the sharpest knife you own, so that they don’t squish down too much.

  7. Use the correct size baking dish: This recipe makes 12 cinnamon buns in a 20cm x 35cm (8” x 14”) dish. Use a dish that is as close to this size as possible. If you use a smaller dish the buns will be too crowded and if you use a larger dish the buns will spread out too much.

  8. Storing and enjoying: Cinnamon buns are always best eaten the same day, preferably still warm for ultimate enjoyment!

A sticky caramel apple cinnamon bun sat on a vintage pink plate, surrounded by freshly picked apples, apple tree leaves and cinnamon sticks.


  1. Can I omit the apple? If you’re looking for a vegan cinnamon roll recipe that doesn’t use apples – try this recipe instead.

  2. Can I use store-bought caramel? Our Easy Vegan Caramel uses just 2 ingredients and is a breeze to make but if you prefer you can use your favourite store-bought caramel sauce instead.

  3. Can I freeze these cinnamon rolls? Cinnamon buns are always best enjoyed fresh but yes, you can freeze them. Place the baked buns (without the caramel sauce) in an airtight container/bag and store in the freezer for up to 2 months. Defrost them in the refrigerator overnight and then warm them up before enjoying them. I recommend serving them with warm vegan custard rather than caramel sauce if they’ve been frozen. A delicious winter dessert!

  4. How long will the cinnamon buns last? Cinnamon buns are always best enjoyed the same day as baking but they will last a couple of days stored in an airtight container.

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Sticky caramelised apple cinnamon buns in a baking dish topped with a drizzle of vegan caramel sauce.

Loved these Caramel Apple Cinnamon Buns? Here are some more delicious vegan sweet treats to try

  • These vegan Cornish Saffron Buns are soft and squishy on the inside with a delicate sweetness and unique saffron flavour. Filled with juicy sultanas and brushed with a sticky sugar glaze, this traditional Cornish treat is delicious served warm with melty vegan butter.

  • If you’re looking for a holiday take on cinnamon buns, try these Festive Cinnamon Buns with Orange, Cinnamon and Maple Icing – they’ve got a soft and squishy dough and are filled with sweet cinnamon and orange-infused sultanas.

  • Chock full of yummy ingredients including juicy sultanas, crunchy pecan pieces, desiccated coconut and zingy orange zest, these one-bowl Carrot Cake Baked Doughnuts are a good one to make with kids.

  • These Vegan Welsh Cakes are soft, sweet and moreish with a lightly crisp exterior, a tender interior flavoured delicately with cinnamon, and a sprinkling of sultanas throughout. Serve them warm from the pan with melty vegan butter or eat them cold as a snack.

  • This vegan Fully Loaded Banana Bread is also gluten free and features a nutty pecan crumble topping with sticky caramelised banana slices. It’s deliciously moist and rich!

I hope you LOVE this recipe for Caramel Apple Cinnamon Buns! Share this recipe with someone you think will enjoy it and don’t forget to tag @aveganvisit on social media when you try out the recipe – I absolutely love seeing your re-creations! Enjoy 🙂 x

If you make this recipe, please leave a comment and star rating below – this provides helpful feedback to both me and other readers. If you want more delicious vegan recipes be sure to subscribe to the A Vegan Visit newsletter and join the AVV community on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Tiktok.

The Video Recipe:

The Caramel Apple Cinnamon Buns Recipe:

A sticky, squishy cinnamon bun sat on a pretty vintage pink plate, studded with spiced cinnamon apple chunks and drizzled in creamy vegan caramel sauce

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Buns

Autumnal flavours of sweet cinnamon and sticky caramelised apples are wrapped up in a soft and squishy dough with these Caramel Apple Cinnamon Buns. Enjoy these beauties for dessert slathered generously with our creamy 2-ingredient vegan caramel sauce!
4.34 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert, Sweet Treat
Cuisine: British, Swedish
Prep: 55 minutes
Cook: 38 minutes
Total: 2 hours 58 minutes
Serves: 12
Calories: 388kcal
Author: Tara


For the dough:

  • 300 ml dairy free milk (warm)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 7 g dried yeast
  • 500 g strong white bread flour
  • 50 g soft light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 100 g of dairy free margarine (melted)

For the filling:

  • 6 medium eating apples (cored and cut into small chunks (approx 660g)*)
  • 200 g soft light brown sugar
  • 20 g ground cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp dairy free margarine + extra for greasing

For the sugar glaze:

  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp hot water

For the caramel topping:

  • 130 g vegan caramel or 1 batch of our 2 ingredient Easy Vegan Caramel Sauce


Make the dough:

  • Melt the margarine and set it aside to allow it to cool to room temperature (or at least below 40°C).
    100 g of dairy free margarine
  • In a jug or bowl, mix together the warm milk (at approximately 40°C), 1 tsp of sugar and yeast and set it aside for 10 minutes until it is frothy**.
    300 ml dairy free milk, 1 tsp sugar, 7 g dried yeast
  • In a large bowl mix together the flour, 50g of sugar and tsp of salt, making sure there are no clumps in the sugar.
    500 g strong white bread flour, 50 g soft light brown sugar, 1 tsp salt
  • Add the yeast mixture and cooled melted margarine to the flour and mix it together into a dough. Make sure your margarine isn’t too hot when you add it, it should be 40°C or below.
  • Knead the dough for 7 minutes on a smooth, well floured surface. To ‘knead’ push the ball of dough across the surface with the heel of your hand and repeat this process for 7 minutes; it can be quite therapeutic!
  • If the dough is too sticky to knead then add a sprinkling of flour as needed - don’t use too much, just enough to make the dough manageable.
  • Put the dough back in the bowl, cover and set it aside somewhere warm (but not hot) to prove for 60 to 90 minutes.
  • Note: The proving time will depend on how warm your kitchen is but you’re aiming for your dough to have doubled in size - if you have a warm kitchen it will likely be 60 minutes, for a slightly cooler kitchen expect it to take 90 or so minutes.

Make the filling:

  • Whilst the dough is proving, make the apple filling.
  • Add the apple chunks to a saucepan along with the brown sugar, cinnamon and a splash of water to stir everything together.
    6 medium eating apples, 200 g soft light brown sugar, 20 g ground cinnamon
  • Set the saucepan over a medium heat and simmer gently for around 20 minutes until the mixture is thick and sticky and all of the liquid has been absorbed/evaporated. Keep stirring to ensure the mixture is not sticking to the pan.
  • Note: The time it takes for the apples to reach a thick, sticky consistency will vary depending on the water-content of your apple. If your apples have a higher water content it may take 25 minutes, if your apples have a lower water content it could take as little as 10-15 minutes, so keep an eye on the mixture and stir frequently.
  • Once the apples are ready, set them aside to cool fully before use.

Create the cinnamon buns:

  • Once the dough has been proving for 60-90 minutes and has doubled in size, roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle approximately 35 cm x 45 cm (14” x 18”) and around 1/2 cm (1/4”) thick.
  • Spread dairy free margarine around the outside edges of the rectangle to make a 2.5cm / 1” border.
    3 tbsp dairy free margarine + extra for greasing
  • Add the cold apple mixture*** into the centre of the dough and spread it out to (but not overlapping) the margarine border.
  • Starting from the long side of the rectangle, roll the dough up into a log as tightly as you can without the filling squidging out!
  • Use a sharp knife to cut off the uneven ends and then cut the log into 12 cinnamon rolls (please see the recipe video for an example).
  • Grease a large baking dish (approx 20 cm x 35 cm / 8” x 14”) with dairy free margarine.
  • Place the cinnamon buns, with the swirly side up, in the baking dish so that they are just touching each other.
  • Cover the dish with a tea towel and set aside to prove for 45 minutes - 1 hour until they have nearly doubled in size again and are filling the baking dish.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C fan (200°C conventional / 400°F / gas mark 6) and then bake the buns for 18 minutes until golden on top. Prepare the sugar glaze whilst the buns are baking.

Glaze the buns:

  • Add the sugar and hot water to a small dish and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
    2 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp hot water
  • Brush the sugar glaze over the buns as soon as you take them out of the oven. Discard any excess sugar glaze.
  • Set aside the baking dish allowing the buns to cool in the dish.

To serve:

  • Serve the cinnamon buns warm drizzled with vegan caramel sauce. You’ll likely want to use a fork to enjoy them!
    130 g vegan caramel or 1 batch of our 2 ingredient Easy Vegan Caramel Sauce



Vegan / Dairy Free / Egg Free
Recipe inspired by: UK/Sweden
* There is no need to peel the apples, just remove the cores and cut into small-ish pieces (approx 1cm / 0.5”).
** If the yeast mixture does not go frothy then this means that your yeast is not working and you’ll need to get a fresh batch.
*** Make sure the apple mixture is completely cold before adding it on top of the rolled out dough otherwise it’ll warm the dough up which will make it much harder to cut.
Please check the allergens on the ingredients you purchase before use. The allergen information provided in this recipe is intended as a guide only and is based on the specific ingredients and brands used at the time of creating the recipe, therefore we cannot guarantee that the same will apply to the ingredients you use.
Prep time excludes any inactive time.
We highly recommend you use the metric and 1x options on this recipe card for the best results. Please note that this recipe has not been tested using US measurements or increasing ingredient quantities to 2x or 3x, therefore results may vary.


Calories: 388kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 353mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 38g | Net Carbohydrates: 69g


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Hi, I’m Tara! I’m taking you on a trip around the world in vegan cuisine and bringing the world’s most delicious dishes to your kitchen.