These Vegan Apple Cinnamon Stuffed Buns (Buchteln) are one of the best German recipes you can easily make at home for your family and friends! They’re made with fluffy and airy vegan brioche dough and the most delicious apple pie filling, then baked to golden-brown perfection. Enjoy these sweet rolls for dessert or breakfast – they’ll surely give you comfort and warm your stomach on a cold winter evening!
What is the German Buchteln?
Buchteln is a German pull-apart style yeast pastry – just think of airy brioche bread or sweet dumplings made of yeast dough. The dough is formed into buns which are usually filled with jam, ground poppy seeds, or curd and baked in a large baking dish so that they stick together. Depending on regions and even countries, Buchteln has a lot of different variations that are equally delicious!
Can You Add Different Fillings?
Yes! While I was inspired by my vegan chocolate brioche buns for the dough, the filling was basically drawn from my apple pie recipes. However, just like any stuffed pastry, you can definitely try out different fillings by using other fruit, jam, vegan Nutella, or even leave them plain. Here are some fruit filling ideas:
- Plums – If you want to have more traditional brioche buns, you can opt for a plum filling with poppy seeds.
- Cherries – Love cherry pie? Then why not incorporate the cherry filling in these delectable brioche buns!
- Blueberries – Here’s another fruit that will undoubtedly complement these buns. You can never go wrong with blueberries.
- Mangos – Want to make this in summer? Then this tropical fruit will be a perfect choice!
How To Serve Apple Cinnamon Buns
Serving these apple cinnamon brioche buns as they are is fantastic! However, you can also serve them with vanilla sauce or vegan caramel sauce, or even chocolate sauce. I’ve also recommended serving them with vanilla ice cream in this recipe, but you can totally opt for other ice cream flavors or dairy-free yogurt, whipped coconut cream – whatever topping you desire!
Making The Best Apple Stuffed Brioche Buns
The recipe itself is pretty easy! I’ve also included process photos so you can use it as an easy to follow step-by-step guide. Anyway, once you’re ready to make these mouth-watering brioche buns, you’ll find the full recipe with exact measurements in the recipe card below.
Step 1: Making the Yeast Dough
You can refer to my Vegan Chocolate Brioche Buns for detailed instructions on making the best yeast dough. The method is the same for this Apple Cinnamon Buns recipe.
Step 3: Prepare the Apple Pie Filling
Once you have your yeast dough ready, you can start making the apple pie filling.
Stir together the apple juice, cornstarch, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla extract in a pot. Then bring the mixture to a boil until it thickens. Next, add the finely chopped apples and a squeeze of lemon juice. Stir to combine and cook for another minute. Then remove from the heat and transfer the mixture into a bowl to cool.
Step 3: Assemble the Buns
Once the dough has doubled in size, roll it into a wide log. Then cut it into 10-12 slices.
Now form each slice into a flat circle, leaving the outer sides thicker than the center. Add about 2 tbsp of apple pie filling and fold the outer sides over the filling towards the center. Press the edges together to seal, then place them, seam-side down, in a lightly greased baking dish.
Continue with the rest of the dough pieces and filling. (Be sure to keep the dough covered to prevent it from drying out). Finally, cover the baking dish with a tea towel and let rise for another 15-20 minutes.
Step 4: Bake and enjoy!
In the meantime, preheat your oven to 392°F (200°C). Once hot, bake the buns for 30-35 minutes until the top is golden brown.
Once they’re perfectly baked, allow them to cool a bit. Dust your German Buchteln with powdered sugar and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and vegan caramel sauce or just as they are. Enjoy!
Storage + Freezing Instructions
These vegan apple cinnamon stuffed buns are best served warm! If you have leftover baked rolls that you want to consume later, you can keep them at room temperature in a container for one day or store them in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
However, if you want to freeze these for another time, you can place leftover buns on a tray and freeze for about an hour or two. Once they’re frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag for easy storage. Frozen German Buchteln should last for about a month in the freezer.
When you’re ready to enjoy them, simply thaw them in the refrigerator overnight. Then gently warm them in a preheated oven for a few minutes before serving.
Tips and Tricks on Making Apple Cinnamon Buns
Though this is a pretty simple recipe, I wanted to give you some tips and tricks to make the finest apple cinnamon stuffed brioche buns.
- Filling – Please make sure not to overfill your doughs as you won’t be able to seal your buns when they’re overfilled. If you’ve accidentally got the apple sauce near the edges, wipe them immediately with a paper towel. This way, the dough will still close and seal up easily.
- Apples – You can use any kind of apples for this recipe. However, just make sure they’re fresh. If you don’t have any apples available you could also use canned apple pie filling or jam but the taste might differ a bit.
- Get creative – You can substitute ingredients based on your preference. Just keep in mind that this will slightly change the taste or texture of the buns.
Can you make this recipe ahead?
Definitely! Once you have kneaded the yeast dough, you can put it in the fridge overnight. The cool temperature will cause the dough to rise slowly so that you can continue the next day. You can also cook the apple filling beforehand, then fill it into a sealed jar and store it in the refrigerator.
These Vegan Apple Cinnamon Stuffed Buns are:
- Soft, fluffy, and airy like brioche
- Very delicious!
- Perfect as a dessert or sweet breakfast
- Easy to make
- Can be made ahead
- Versatile (use your favorite filling or leave them plain)
- Perfect for the whole family, both kids and adults will love these Apple rolls!
More Vegan Apple recipes to try:
If you’re looking for more delicious apple recipes, be sure to check these out:
- Apple Turnovers (Hot Apple Pies)
- Vegan Apple Cake with Cinnamon Streusel
- Vegan Mini Apple Pies
- Apple Pie Roll-Ups
- Apple Hand Pies
- Moist Apple Blondies
- Best Vegan Apple Pie
- Vegan Frangipane Apple Tart
- Apple Crumble Pizza (German Streuseltaler)
If you try these Apple Cinnamon Stuffed Buns, please leave me a comment and a rating on how you liked this vegan recipe! And if you take a picture of your German Buchteln and share it on Instagram, please tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka, because I love to see your remakes! Happy holidays! 🙂
Apple Cinnamon Stuffed BunsAuthor:
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Vegan Brioche Dough
- 4 cups (500 g) all-purpose or spelt flour see notes*
- 1 pinch of salt
- ½ cup (120 ml) soy milk lukewarm at 104°F/40°C (or sub other dairy-free milk*)
- ⅓ cup (75 g) brown sugar or sub other sugar
- 2 tsp dry yeast 7 g (or sub 21 g fresh yeast)
- ⅔ cup (160 g) soy yogurt at room temperature (or another dairy-free yogurt or sub more milk*)
- ⅓ cup (75 g) vegan butter cut into pieces + at room temperature (or sub soft margarine)
Apple Pie Filling
- 3 (350 g) apples chopped
- ¾ cup (180 ml) apple juice or water
- 3 tbsp (24 g) cornstarch
- ¼ cup (50 g) sugar of your choice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract optional
- a squeeze of lemon juice optional
*Note: For the best results, I recommend measuring the ingredients in grams. Simply click on the word "metric" right above the ingredient list. Also, make sure to check out the tips + step-by-step pictures above!
Vegan Brioche Dough
- Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add a pinch of salt and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Warm the soy milk to 104°F (40°C). Stir in sugar and yeast to dissolve. Then set aside for about 3 minutes until the mixture starts to foam (to make sure the yeast is activated).
- Once foamy, pour the yeast mixture into the flour mixture. Add soy yogurt, vegan butter pieces, and mix with a wooden spoon until it comes together. Then transfer everything onto a work surface and knead it with your hands for about 5-8 minutes, until a smooth dough forms* (or use a stand mixer with dough hooks attached).
- Finally, form the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover it with a damp tea towel and leave it to rise in a warm place for about 45-60 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size. (Alternatively, you can put the dough in the refrigerator overnight where it rises slowly, then you can continue the next day).
Apple Pie Filling
- In the meantime, prepare the apple cinnamon filling. Pour apple juice into a pot. Add cornstarch, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla extract and stir until the cornstarch has dissolved. Then bring the mixture to a boil until it thickens. Add the finely chopped apples and a squeeze of lemon juice, stir to combine, and cook for another minute. Remove from the heat and transfer the mixture into a bowl to cool.
- After the resting time, roll the dough into a wide log, as shown in the step-by-photos above. Cut into 10-12 slices and form each slice into a flat circle, leaving the outer sides thicker than the center. Add about 2 tbsp of apple pie filling and fold the outer sides over the filling towards the center. Press the edges together to seal, then place, seam side down, in a lightly greased baking dish.
- Continue with the rest of the dough pieces and filling. (Be sure to keep the dough covered to prevent it from drying out). Finally, cover the baking dish with a tea towel and let rise for another 15-20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 392°F (200°C). Once hot, place in the buns and bake for 30-35 minutes until the top is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven, and allow to cool. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and vegan caramel sauce or just as they are. Enjoy!
- Flour: For the best and fluffiest result, I recommend using all-purpose or light wheat or spelt flour. If using a heavier flour, such as whole wheat flour, your buns will be a bit denser. So I rather recommend using a mix of light and whole grain flour.
- Sugar: Feel free to use any sugar you like.
- Soy milk/yogurt works best for vegan baking. However, if you have a soy allergy, substitute another milk/yogurt.
- Kneading: Be sure to knead your dough for at least 5 minutes; otherwise, the buns will probably be flat and tough.
- Please read my blog post for make-ahead, storage + freezing instructions, and further helpful tips on this recipe.
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