Apple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls (Vegan GF-Option)

These Apple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls are sticky, warmingly spiced and packed with apples and pecans. They are ready in 30 minutes and made without yeast and naturally vegan and easily gluten-free.

There is something so comforting about cinnamon rolls especially when paired with sticky autumnal apples and pecans. This recipe uses my favourite magic no-yeast dough that is made in less than 5 minutes before being spread liberally with nut or seed butter and topped with deliciously sticky and spiced apples and pecans. Top these rolls with some yoghurt frosting for the best cosy treat.

Torn apart Apple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls in a white dish
Apple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Why will I love these cinnamon rolls?

These Apple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls are amazing for a few reasons, they are:

  • Light, fluffy, tender and moreish
  • Warmingly spiced and cosy
  • Made with wholesome ingredients
  • Require no yeast, no kneading and no proofing time
  • Ready in 30 minutes
  • Filled with spiced sticky apples and pecans
  • Spread thick with vanilla frosting
  • Naturally vegan, easily gluten-free and nut-free

If you already love the sound of these buns, skip ahead to the recipe card below. Or, first let’s discuss the recipe in more detail.

8 Apple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls without frosting
Apple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

What ingredients do I need?

These rolls use my favourite no-yeast dough with some added applesauce:

  • Self-raising flour: for the rise and fluffiness. If making these gluten-free, use your favourite 1:1 gluten-free flour blend that contains xanthan gum.
  • Thick dairy free yoghurt: I always use the Cocos Organic coconut yoghurt as it’s thick and creamy and results in the best buns.
  • Applesauce: use unsweetened applesauce to add moisture and a dose of apple to the dough. Make sure it’s 100% apples, like this one from KoRo.

As for the apple filling:

  • Apples: any apples are great here like jazz, royal gala, pink lady or whatever is in season. Stay away from Bramley apples as these will become too wet as they cook.
  • Pecans: for the nutty goodness. These are sweet, packed with protein, fibre and other goodness and are perfect with apples. You could also swap these for walnuts, if you prefer.
  • Coconut oil: to help the apples become sticky. You can also use vegan butter or olive oil.
  • Maple syrup: again, for stickiness and other syrups like agave, rice, tapioca syrup or vegan honey can be swapped instead.
  • Mixed spice or cinnamon: for flavour.
8 Apple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls with frosting
Apple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

For the other fillings, we need:

  • Smooth cashew or almond butter: I love the Banana Bread Cashew Butter from KoRo which is loaded with cinnamon and is naturally sweeter and great for these rolls, but you can use another sooth and runny nut or seed butter.
  • Cinnamon: for sprinkling on top.
  • Vegan butter: melt some butter to brush on top so the buns stay moist, tender and golden as they bake.

And finally for the frosting:

  • Thick dairy-free yoghurt: as above, I use the thick natural or vanilla flavoured yoghurt from Cocos Organic.
  • Maple syrup: for sweetness and use other alternatives, as mentioned above.
  • Vegan vanilla protein powder: this is for thickness, sweetness and texture. I love the Vanilla Buttercream protein powder from Macromike the best as it creates a lovely richness to the frosting which then tastes like the classic cream cheese frosting. Without protein powder, the frosting is runnier but can still be used. Or try a classic cream cheese frosting using icing sugar.

How do I make them?

These buns are easy to make in a few steps:

  • Prepare the sticky apples and pecans: warm together all the ingredients in a saucepan till sticky and glossy.
  • Stir together the ingredients for the dough: and bring to a smooth ball with your hands.
  • Roll out the dough to a square: on a floured surface.
  • Spread over the cashew or almond butter: leaving a small edge around the outside.
  • Cover evenly with the apples and pecans: to cover all the dough.
  • Use one edge to start to roll up the dough into a log: working carefully and pressing firmly at the end.
  • Trim off the ends and slice into rolls: using a piece of cotton to cut through or a sharp knife.
  • Place the rolls in a greased dish: and brush with melted butter.
  • Bake for 24 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through: and allow to cool slightly.
  • Stir together the ingredients for the frosting: and spread all over the rolls.
  • Top with some extra pecans and apple crisps: if desired, and enjoy.

How long will they last?

These rolls are best eaten fresh on the day but they are also great 1-2 days after. Keep them in a sealed container and in the fridge overnight. They are best eaten at room temperature so allow them to sit on the side before eating them. You can also freeze the rolls for up to 1 month and allow to defrost before eating.

Are these cinnamon rolls gluten-free and nut-free?

Yes these are easily gluten-free, just use your favourite 1:1 baking blend of gluten-free flour. If you want to make these nut-free, swap the cashew butter for sunflower seed butter or tahini and leave out the pecans.

Half eaten Apple Pecan Cinnamon Roll
Apple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

I love these, what else can I make?

I hope you are going to love these Apple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls and for more ideas, how about my:

A fork tearing apart a Apple Pecan Cinnamon Roll

Apple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 24 minutes
Total Time: 34 minutes

These Apple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls are sticky, warmingly spiced and packed with apples and pecans. They are ready in 30 minutes and made without yeast and naturally vegan and easily gluten-free.


For the Apple Filling:

  • 1 small eating apple, cored and chopped small
  • 50g pecans, chopped small
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp mixed spice or cinnamon

For the Rolls:

  • 200g self-raising flour (or gluten-free blend)
  • 160g thick coconut yoghurt
  • 30g applesauce
  • 120g smooth cashew butter, warmed
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter, melted

For the Frosting:

  • 100g thick coconut yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1-2 tbsp vegan vanilla protein powder
  • Extra pecans, crushed
  • Apple crisps


  1. Make the apple filling: add all the ingredients to a small saucepan and allow to warm through. Cook over a high heat for 6-8 minutes, till sticky and tender. Leave to one side.
  2. Preheat the oven to 160Fan/180*C and lightly grease an ovenproof dish.
    Make the dough: stir together the flour, yoghurt and applesauce to shaggy dough then use your hands to bring it to a ball. Lightly flour a work surface and knead the dough for 1 minute, till soft.
  3. Add more flour as needed so the dough does not stick, and roll out to a 30cm square. Spread the cashew butter over the dough, leaving a ½ cm border around the edge. Cover with the apples and pecans.
  4. Use one edge to fairly tightly roll up the dough into a log (like you’d usually roll a cinnamon roll or burrito), pressing down lightly to seal in the edge. Trim off the ends and then divide into 8 equal rolls. Either use a thin piece of cotton to wrap underneath and then pull quickly and tightly through the log to cut into rolls or use a sharp knife.
  5. Nestle the rolls in the dish, so they are just touching. Brush with melted butter and bake for 24-26 minutes, until golden and puffy.
  6. Allow to cool for 30 minutes in the dish or cool fully before frosting.
  7. Stir together all the ingredients for the frosting till thick and smooth then spread over the rolls. Top with extra pecans and apple crisps.
  8. Enjoy straight away or cover tightly and keep in the fridge for 1-2 days, although best enjoyed on the same day. Allow the rolls to warm up to room temperature before eating. You can freeze the rolls for up to 1 month, wrapped well.

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I look forward to hearing what you think of these Apple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls so please let me know in the comments below. If you do make these, please leave a comment below and leave a star review above. I’d love to see your rolls, so please tag me in your creations, I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest  – please say hello!

With apple pecan cinny roll love x

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