Vegan Sourdough Apple Cinnamon Rolls (No Egg and No Butter)

Wow I am soooo genuinely excited about this recipe. This came together completely as an accident. We had an excess of apples, and of course I wanted to incorporate them in some sort of bread recipe. I knew that many cake and cookie recipes use applesauce as a substitute for eggs, and I was curious to see whether the substitution worked in enriched doughs as well. I thought the experiment would work but didn’t have extremely high hopes, I mean how can you replace delicious creamy eggs with apples? Man was I wrong, the result was absolutely incredible and I’m so happy to be able to share it with you! 

Because there’s no egg and butter in this recipe, the apple sauce, honey and oil act as a gluten tenderizer and this is why the resulting bread is soft and spongey with that brioche-like texture you expect from a cinnamon roll. 

Full disclosure this recipe has A LOT of sugar, they are cinnamon rolls after all. Please don’t look at these as a healthy treat, these are still cinnamon rolls, just vegan. You can attempt to make these with less sugar but I can’t guarantee the results as I’ve never attempted them with less.

I created my own unsweetened applesauce, for this recipe, but you can use store-bought if you prefer or have some on hand. The recipe for applesauce, apple filling and cinnamon sugar can be found under the full dough instructions. 

Hope you guys enjoy this recipe as much as do! It passed the friend and boyfriend test and they couldn’t even tell that there was no butter or eggs. 



QuantityIngredients Baker’s %
60 gramsActive Sourdough starter (100% Hydration)13%
83 gramsWater18%
130 grams Unsweetened apple sauce28%
85 gHoney or maple syrup18%
74 gramsVegetable Oil16%
7 gramsVanilla1.5%
90 gramsBread flour20%
45 gramsWhole wheat flour10%
317 gramsAll-purpose flour70%
6 gramsSalt1.3%

***The whole wheat flour lends this bread a bit of nuttiness, and the bread flour adds strength and structure. If you don’t have either, feel free to use all all-purpose flour.

Disclosure: Please note that this post contains affiliate links. I earn from qualifying purchases at no cost to you. This in no way impacts my recommendations.


Mix Dough 

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flours, and salt. Set aside.

Combine active sourdough starter, water, unsweetened apple sauce, honey, vegetable oil, and vanilla into the bowl of a mixer. Using paddle attachment, mix ingredients until fully combined. 

Add flour into bowl of mixer, working little by little until all of the flour has been added and hydrated. 

Switch to bread hook attachment and knead for 5 to 10 minutes until dough is only slightly tacky, not excessively sticky. 

Cover bowl and allow to rest for 30 minutes. This rest period will allow the dough to be easier to knead later on. 

Knead dough for 5 to 10 minutes, until the dough feels strong, and passes the windowpane test. 

Gather dough up into a ball. Place in a lightly greased airtight container (or bowl covered with plastic wrap). 

Bulk Fermentation 

Allow to ferment at room temperature until the dough has visibly increased in size. At least 4 hours to overnight.

***The time for bulk fermentation will vary depending on the temperature in your room (my kitchen was cold so it took my dough a full day to rise and it did not dramatically double but was airy and light).

Shape and Proof

Once the dough has adequately fermented, turn it out onto a clean, lightly-floured surface.

Roll the dough out into a 24 x 8 inch (60 x 20 cm) rectangle with the longest side facing you. 

Spread cinnamon sugar mixture evenly onto the dough, leaving a 1 inch (2.5 cm) margin on all sides. 

Top with apple mixture and walnuts. 

Roll the dough into a long log and cut it into 12 slices. 

Place rolls into  a parchment-lined 9×13 inch (22×33 cm) baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent dough from drying out. Allow to proof for 2 to 4 hours.


Once the dough looks risen and puffy, preheat oven to 375 F (190 C). 

Place rolls into the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until rolls are golden and internal temperature registers at 190 F (87 C).  

Once baked, place on top of a wire rack and allow to cool. Serve immediately, these are best enjoyed warm. 


 Apple Sauce

Apples (medium-sized, cored, peeled and quartered)  
60 gramsWater

Combine water and apples in a small pot, cook over medium heat until apples are completely soft (about 20 mins). 

Mash apples until consistency resembles apple sauce. Set aside and cool completely before adding to the rest of the dough ingredients.

***To be safe, the temperature of apples should  not exceed 90 F (37 C) or it might kill the yeast in your starter

Apple Filling

Apples (medium-sized, cored, peeled and diced)  
½ teaspoonClove
½ teaspoonGround ginger
2 teaspoonsCinnamon
50 gramsGranulated sugar 

Combine ingredients in a small pot and cook until soft. 

Allow to cool completely before adding to the dough. 

Cinnamon Sugar

70 gramsGranulated sugar
130 gramsBrown sugar
42 gramsVegan butter spread, melted (or butter if you’re not vegan) 
¼ teaspoonNutmeg (optional)
½ teaspoonGround ginger (optional) 
2 teaspoonsCinnamon
⅛ teaspoonClove (optional)
70 gWalnuts (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, set aside until ready to use. 

***Omit walnuts if you are allergic or if you do not want to use them.

Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Remember to post a photo and tag me @makeitdough when you make this delicious recipe, so I can check out your bake.

Follow me on Instagram @MakeItDough or like Make It Dough on Facebook for more sourdough and baking ideas.

Follow me on Instagram @MakeItDough or like Make It Dough on Facebook for more sourdough and baking ideas.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. shivankesh says:

    Wow yamm🥣 great looking

  2. I shouldn’t have read this before breakfast! Looks delicious x

    1. Thank you!

  3. Looks delish! A healthier alternative. Thanks for sharing.

    1. You’re welcome!

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