A healthier take on a classic childhood favorite, this Easy Vegan Honey Bun Recipe is sweet, sticky, and better than any boxed version you’ll ever taste. Whip them up in minutes for a decadent dessert or afternoon pick-me-up the whole family will love!
What Are Honey Buns, Anyway?
If you’ve never had the pleasure of tasting a Honey Bun, you’re seriously missing out, my friend. A classic convenience store treat, they’re a type of fried pastry that are made with honey and cinnamon included in the dough. Once fried, they’re topped with an icing glaze and packaged for consumption. Somewhat of a cross between a donut and a cinnamon roll, they’ve been a favorite of mine since I was a little girl.
Honestly, I could eat them all day every day. However, been there, done that, and it didn’t leave me feeling great. So, I decided to turn my favorite dessert into a healthy (okay, healthier) recipe! Keep reading to find everything you’ll need!
Are Honey Buns the Same Thing As Cinnamon Rolls?
Although very similar, honey buns and cinnamon rolls are not the same. For instance, cinnamon rolls are typically cut from one giant log of dough. Meanwhile, honey buns are formed individually. This creates more texture and a greater depth of flavor. In addition. Traditional honey buns are fried whereas cinnamon rolls are always baked.
Ingredients You’ll Need for This Honey Bun Recipe
You’re never going to believe that such simple flavors can create such bold flavors! Here’s everything you’ll need:
For the Honey Buns
- Flour – I found that all-purpose flour works best. If needed, you can swap it out for all-purpose gluten-free flour, and your results will be just as tasty!
- Protein – No one is shocked that I used Nuzest vanilla pea protein (code: thekellykathleen). It’s truly the best, but you can use any protein you prefer. Just keep in mind that I can’t guarantee the taste and texture of your honey bun recipe!
- Salt – A hugely underrated ingredient in baked recipes, salt helps enhance the natural flavors for the best dessert you’ll ever taste.
- Cinnamon – A crucial component of honey buns, cinnamon adds subtle spice that balances out the sweet flavors.
- Baking Powder – Don’t forget this! It helps create extra fluffy buns.
- Melted Butter – To keep this recipe vegan, I opted for plant-based butter, but you do you.
- Plant-Based Milk – Whatever you like best will work.
- Maple Syrup – Not quite honey, maple syrup can be used to create the sugary taste we’re looking for while keeping this recipe vegan.
For the Glaze
- Powdered Sugar – Make sure you use powdered sugar and not regular granulated sugar! Otherwise, it won’t form the thin glaze we’re looking to achieve.
- Plant-Based Milk – Again, any milk you prefer is fine!
How to Make Vegan Honey Buns in the Air Fryer
- Whisk together all of the ingredients.
- Place the dough on a powdered surface, and cut it in half.
- Roll both halves into a long cylindrical-shaped log.
- Cut each log into 3 different 6-inch pieces of dough.
- Take each piece, and turn one end of the dough into itself, wrapping it around itself until it resembles a flattened cinnamon roll.
- Pre-heat your air fryer to 320° for 5 minutes.
- Brush each honey bun with melted coconut oil.
- Working in batches, air fry the buns for 6 minutes.
- While the buns are cooling, whisk together the ingredients for the glaze.
- Dip the top of each bun into the glaze, and let it harden and set before serving.
You can store these honey buns in an airtight container or plastic bag on the counter at room temperature for up to 2 days. Or, for longer-lasting options, place them in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
How to Reheat
You can serve leftover honey buns at room temperature or cold, but they’re so much better warm. Trust me, it’s worth the wait. After all, you deserve nothing but the best, especially when it only takes a few minutes! To reheat your honey buns, warm them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. Or, pop them back in the air fryer for a few seconds until the desired temperature is reached.
More Honey-Flavored Recipes
If like me, you’re a huge honey fan, these recipes can’t be beat HOWEVER I know that not everyone that is plant-forward eats honey and the recipes below do it contain it, please click at your own discretion. These are some of my older recipes and while they’re still delicious, they do need some Vegan tweaking!
- This Honey Buckwheat Banana Bread is the most delicious, healthy breakfast you’ll ever make.
- Healthy, high-protein, and easy to make, these 3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Honey Cereal Cups are a perfectly satisfying snack.
- Ready in 5 minutes, these Honey Oat Energy Bites are to die for!
- Thick, fluffy, and bursting with peanut butter in every bite, you’ll want to make this Honey PB Banana Bread recipe on repeat.
Easy Honey Bun Recipe
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup vanilla pea protein
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 4 tbsp melted butter
- 1/3 cup plant-based milk
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1-2 tsp plant-based milk
- In a large bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients until combined.
- On a lightly floured surface, overturn your dough and cut it in half. Place one half aside to work with later.
- Using your hands, roll the dough into a long cylinder shape about 1 inch thick and 18 inches long. Cut the dough into 3 6-inch pieces and set them aside.
- Repeat this process with the other half of the dough.
- Once all the dough is in 6 inch pieces, it’s time to form them into the correct shape.
- Turn one end of the dough into itself and wrap the other end around it. It should look like you’re looking down on a flat cinnamon roll.
- Repeat this step for all six buns.
- Preheat your air fryer to 320 for 5 minutes.
- Grab a piece of parchment paper (cut to shape if needed) and place your honey buns on it.
- Lightly brush your buns with melted coconut oil or butter *optional but recommend, before baking.
- I baked my buns in two batch for 6 minutes each.
- Whisk together the ingredients in a medium bowl. Once the buns are cool to the touch, dunk each bun in the glaze and tap/shake the bun to rid of the excess.
- Let the glaze set completely before eating.