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  • Writer's pictureJen Walpole

Cinnamon & Pecan Rolls

I can't take the credit for this recipe - its actually one from Nina Parker who is my favourite chef right now. Her new book 'Saucy' is on my Christmas list and I would encourage you to check her out on Instagram too (@antoninaparker) for some amazing recipes. I tweaked this recipe quite a bit by swapping the white bread flour for wholemeal bread flour, the butter for vegan butter, whole milk for almond (I am dairy free), caster sugar for coconut sugar and omitting the fennel & poppy seeds in the butter filling. I also halved the recipe to make 6 rolls instead of 12 as I thought that may be a little excessive for my husband and I! It was still incredible! An absolute must to enjoy with a hot chocolate or turmeric latte!



250g strong wholemeal bread flour (or white)

zest of 1 lemon

200ml almond milk (or whole milk)

25g soft butter

80g coconut sugar (or caster)

2 medium eggs

30g fresh yeast / 1 sachet dried (7g)

2.5 tsp cinnamon powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

butter filling:

50g soft vegan butter (or unsalted butter)

1 tbsp maple syrup (or honey)

1 tbsp coconut sugar (or caster)

1-2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp poppy seeds (optional)

1 tsp fennel seeds (optional)


50g pecans

50g soft vegan butter (or unsalted butter)

50g honey (or maple syrup)


Put 50g of flour and lemon zest in a saucepan and slowly add the milk, whisking to form a lump free paste. Once all the flour is dissolved, stir in any remaining milk (keep aside 2 tbsp) and put the pan over a high heat, whisking continuously. The mixture will thicken after a couple of minutes, and eventually it will begin to boil. At this point, remove it and scrape everything into a mixing bowl, stir in the butter and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Heat the reserved 2 tbsp of milk in a glass jug until lukewarm, and dissolve the yeast in it and set aside.

Once the flour mixture feels lukewarm, stir in the sugar, one of the eggs and the yeast, followed by the cinnamon and sea salt. Gradually incorporate the remaining flour, then bring it all together with your hands to form a dough. When everything is combined, cover with cling film and leave for 10 minutes. Lightly flour a work surface and knead the dough for about 10 minutes, then cover and leave for another 10 minutes. Repeat two more times. This technique is important because it will give the dough a beautiful, fluffy centre. After the last kneading, place the dough in a clean bowl, cover and leave in a warm, dry place for 1 hour or so, until doubled in size.

To make the filling, whip together the butter, maple syrup (or honey) and sugar, then add the cinnamon and seeds (if using). Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Once the dough has risen, knock it back by punching it with your fist to release the air. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a long rectangle shape about 1cm thick. With the back of a spoon, spread the butter paste over the dough, then roll it up tightly from one edge of the longest sides to make a long sausage shape. Cut it into 3-4cm pieces and place the rolls cut-side up, just touching each other, on the baking tray.

Cover loosely with cling film or a clean tea towel and leave to prove for about 15-20 minutes (Nina advised 45mins to one hour but I found 15-20mins fine).

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4. Toast the pecans in the oven for about 10 minutes, then remove and set aside. Increase the oven temperature to 200°C/400°F/Gas mark 6. Beat the remaining egg in a small bowl. Uncover the risen buns and brush them with egg and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.

While the buns cook, put the butter and honey in a saucepan over a high heat and cook until it bubbles. Remove from the heat, roughly chop the toasted pecans and stir them in. Once the buns come out of the oven, drizzle over the glaze. Enjoy whilst still warm. Covered, they keep well until the next day, and can be reheated in a preheated oven.

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