Vegan Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls

By Alexandra Caspero on December 31, 2018

Vegan Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls! Just try to say “apple pie cinnamon rolls” without smiling. It’s almost impossible. Layers of flaky apple pie studded dough with cinnamon, pecans, and more apples!

I’ve been baking again! Well, truth be told, I never really stopped. November was filled with muffins, bars, and donuts, and December doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. I’m 90% sure I’ve had flour clinging to my clothes for weeks now.

Cup of tea in hand and Christmas carols on my phone, I’m finding that baking isn’t as tough as I once cracked it up to be.

So, Cinnamon Rolls.

Vegan Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls

Before this, I’ve made cinnamon rolls exactly once in my life while working as a food service intern in a local elementary school.  Let me just say that having to make 600+ cinnamon rolls in less than 2 hours is enough to turn anyone into a cinnamon roll adversary.

But time can only hold someone away from ooey-gooey cinnamon rolls for so long. Let’s do this!

Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls

Since I wanted cinnamon rolls, but not 600 calorie rolls, I began tweaking a basic recipe I found. We cook these gorgeous apples down with a bit of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom to deliver on the apple pie part of these rolls.

Special bonus: Your house will now smell like Cinnabon, which is just icing on the cake  cinnamon roll.

Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

If you haven’t tried your hand at cinnamon rolls before, I assure you they look way harder than they actually are. The hardest thing is waiting for the dough to rise twice! Use this time for a quick coffee walk or sit down and catch up on work. Or, you could stare them down and count the minutes until they are ready to roll like someone I know (cough, ahem, BL).

To make rolling the dough easier, place it on a lightly floured cutting board or pastry board. Just make sure it’s large enough that your dough won’t fall off. To slice, I used a serrated knife to cut through the dough, but I’ve also heard that dental floss works- just make sure it’s the unflavored kind.

Cinnamon dough ready to be rolled Uncooked cinnamon rolls

While these are great anytime of the year, I think they would be extra special on New Year’s morning.

If you make them, I would love to see! Tag #delishknowledge on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!
What’s your favorite thing to bake this time of year?

vegan apple pie cinnamon rolls

Vegan Ambrosia Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 9 -10 cinnamon rolls 1x
  • Category: breakfast, brunch, vegan
  • Method: Oven, Baked Goods
  • Cuisine: vegan, brunch, breakfast, southern


Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls! Vegan cinnamon rolls with apple pie filling! Cinnamon rolls with frosting. Perfect for holidays, Christmas and brunch!

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 9 -10 cinnamon rolls 1x
  • Category: breakfast, brunch, vegan
  • Method: Oven, Baked Goods
  • Cuisine: vegan, brunch, breakfast, southern
  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 9 -10 cinnamon rolls 1x
  • Category: breakfast, brunch, vegan
  • Method: Oven, Baked Goods
  • Cuisine: vegan, brunch, breakfast, southern


  • 2 medium apples, peeled and finely diced
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp sugar, divided
  • 1/3 cup butter or vegan butter, divided
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1 packet or 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 3/43 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup pecans finely chopped
  • Frosting: 1 cup powdered sugar, 1-2 tbsp. soy milk


  1. In a medium saucepan, add the diced apples, 1 tbsp. sugar, 1 tbsp. butter, 1 tbsp. cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom. Cook over medium heat until reduced and apples are very soft, about 20 minutes. Using a fork or potato masher, finely mash the apples. It should be the consistency of chunky applesauce. Let cool while you prepare the yeast.
  2. In a small saucepan heat the soy milk and 2 tbsp. butter until it reaches 110 degrees F. If you don’t have a thermometer, it should be warm to the touch but not hot.
  3. Transfer the milk to a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer.
  4. Sprinkle on yeast and let activate for 10 minutes. Then add 1 Tbsp sugar, salt and stir.
  5. Next add in 1/2 cup of the apple mixture and stir.
  6. Add flour 1/2 cup at a time, mixing as you go. The dough will be sticky, I’ve made these twice and usually use a little more than 2 1/2 cups. When it is too thick to stir, transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead until it forms a loose dough ball. Add a little flour at at a time if needed but only use as much flour as it will take.
  7. Wipe out the large mixing bowl and spray or coat with oil. Place the dough ball in the bowl and cover with a towel. Place in a warm area to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. (I usually place on top my stove with the oven on warm or on top of a radiator. One of the few perks of living in a very old house.)
  8. Place the remaining butter in a small saucepan and melt.
  9. On a lightly floured surface or pastry board, roll out the dough into a long rectangle ~1/4 inch thick. Brush with the melted vegan butter and top with 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 tbsp. cinnamon and ~3-4 tablespoons of the remaining apple mixture. The apple mixture should be in a very thin layer. You may not need all the apple mixture as you want the dough to be easy to roll and not too heavy. Sprinkle on 1/4 cup of the finely chopped pecans.
  10. Slowly and tightly roll up the dough and situate seam side down. With a serrated knife, cut the dough into 2 inch sections and place in a greased 8×8 square or round pan.
  11. Brush the tops with remaining butter and sprinkle with remaining pecans.
  12. Loosely place a kitchen towel on top and let rise again, about 20 minutes.
  13. Bake! Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake rolls for 30 minutes until slightly golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes, then frost.
  14. Place the powdered sugar into a bowl. Slowly add in milk, 1/2 tsp. at a time until the frosting is creamy and thick. These taste best warm!

did you make this?

Tag @delishknowledge on Instagram and hashtag it #delishknowledge

The Ultimate Plant-Based Protein Cookbook + Course

(Includes 40+ recipes!)


Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

(41 comments) leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    1. Karen @ The Food Charlatan
      December 9, 2014 AT 9:46 pm

      Cinnamon rolls are the BEST! And with apples? Yes please. I think these photos look extra vibrant. Like, not pale at all. 🙂 Pinned!

      1. DK
        December 10, 2014 AT 7:58 pm

        haha, thank you for validating my mothers’ comments 🙂 I mean, seriously? I promise they are baked! Can’t wait to hang out with you again- I wanna do a baking/cooking day!

    2. gretchen | kumquat
      December 9, 2014 AT 6:42 am

      oh, holy moses. these look unreal. you’ve combined two of my favorites and given me permission to eat it all first thing in the day! thank you.

    3. Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner
      December 9, 2014 AT 5:27 am

      oh wow those look fabulous! Not as much sugar as I expected either. Yum!!

    4. Heather Mason
      December 8, 2014 AT 11:56 pm

      Those look delish! I love making cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning!

    5. Amy @ Amy’s Healthy Baking
      December 5, 2014 AT 12:06 am

      Flour clinging to your clothes for weeks… That’s basically been my entire life! But not from cinnamon rolls, and that definitely needs to change. LOVE these apple pie ones — especially because that means I can have dessert for breakfast! 😉 Pinned!

      1. DK
        December 5, 2014 AT 9:24 am

        Hi Amy, thanks so much for stopping by! Yes, apple pie is a fun take on cinnamon rolls- thanks for pinning! Hope to see you soon!

    6. Kara @ The Foodie Dietitian
      December 4, 2014 AT 2:37 pm

      Drooling! I have serious weakness for cinnamon rolls. And this apple pie twist…OH. MY. Pinning now!

      1. DK
        December 5, 2014 AT 9:26 am

        Thanks Kara!

    7. Sarah @ SnixyKitchen
      December 3, 2014 AT 11:26 pm

      Having my house smell like cinnabun is a MAJOR plus. I love that you turned these healthy by using the natural sweetness of the ambrosia apples.

    8. Leigha @ The Yooper Girl
      December 3, 2014 AT 6:51 pm

      These are genius! Pinned! 🙂

    9. Rachael@AnAvocadoADay
      December 3, 2014 AT 6:49 pm

      Cinnamon rolls are sooo hard to make! When I made them for the blog it took me 3 tries! These look incredible!

      1. DK
        December 5, 2014 AT 9:28 am

        I promise these aren’t too crazy to make! The hardest part is waiting forever for them to rise. Forever. But then you remember that you are making Apple Pie Cinnamon rolls and they wait seems worth it 🙂

    10. Farrah
      December 3, 2014 AT 3:59 pm

      I’ve never tried making cinnamon rolls before, but these look so good! <3