Vegan Chocolate Caramel Rolls


I have been telling myself that I wanted to make some sort of sweet rolls since before the Holidays, and I finally got around to it last weekend.  They are a bit of a project, since the dough requires rising time and whatnot and time is something I have not had a lot of lately. It has now calmed down though, and so I am happy I get to make more fun things like sweet rolls! I have never made them with chocolate before, so I thought I would try it this time!  I decided on caramel rolls, because I love the chocolate and caramel combo.

Don't let the yeast dough intimidate you. I admit, it used to intimidate me back in the day because it wasn't something I had a lot of experience with, but once I started using it, I was pleasantly surprised that it was pretty easy! There is something kind of enjoyable and relaxing about kneading bread dough that I love!  I used the dough I normally make my sweet rolls with and added in a bit of cacao powder to make them chocolate. 

For the caramel, I know I could have made a traditional caramel with vegan butter and brown sugar, but I prefer date caramel, because it has more nutritional benefits to it.  I am obsessed with dates, they are like nature's caramel!  I can't believe that I didn't want to eat them when I was little because I thought they looked weird.  Man I was missing out!  Anyways, they make the most amazing caramel when blended up with a few other ingredients.  

I wanted these rolls to have another chocolate element as well, so I rolled chocolate chips into them, and sprinkled some on top. Because melty chocolate chips are amazing in baked goods! These smelled so good while baking, I could not wait to try them!  I waited just long enough to cool then I had to have one!  They were sooo good!  Chocolaty, and gooey with plenty of caramel and melty chocolate chips!  These would make the perfect weekend brunch treat! 

Vegan Chocolate Caramel Rolls 

Makes 12


  • 1/2 cup warm water ( 105-110F degrees)
  • 1 packet active dry yeast (1/4 oz)
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 3/4 cup warm coconut milk (I warmed it up on the stove)
  • 1/4 cup maple sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax seed, mixed with 3 Tbsp filtered water
  • 3 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or as needed


Caramel Filling/Topping:

  • 1 1/2 cups soft, pitted medjool dates (if not soft, soak them in filtered water 30  minutes and drain well before using)
  • 3/4 cup pecan butter (raw cashew butter or almond butter would also work if you don't have pecan)
  • 1/2 cup filtered water (or as needed)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt


To Finish: 

  • 1/2 cup vegan dark chocolate chips



  1. To make the dough, combine the yeast and the warm water (about 110F degrees, you don't want to kill the yeast) plus a pinch of maple sugar and stir to dissolve. Let sit 5-10 minutes until it starts to foam.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the coconut milk, maple sugar, vanilla extract, salt and flax mixture and mix together to combine.  Add the yeast, and 2 cups of flour and mix to combine.  Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of flour and mix until you have a smooth dough (you may need to use your hands at the end to mix it in).
  3. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead for 5-10 minutes until smooth and supple. If it is too sticky add a little flour but you want to add as little as possible because if you add too much the dough gets tough.
  4. Place in an oiled bowl, and cover. Let rise for about 1 1/2 hours until doubled in size.  When it is ready, turn out onto the counter or a board and roll out into a 9x15 inch rectangle.
  5. Meanwhile to make the caramel, add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until completely smooth (if it is too thick, add a touch more water, you want it spreadable at this point, but will add more liquid later for topping the rolls with half the mixture).
  6. When it is ready, turn out onto the counter or a board and roll out into a 9 x 15 inch rectangle.
  7. Spread about half the caramel evenly over the dough, and sprinkle with 3/4 cup chocolate chips 
  8. Roll it up, then cut the roll into 12 pieces.
  9. Oil an 8x8 inch square baking pan, and place them in the pan.
  10. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes.
  11. Meanwhile heat the oven to 350F degrees.
  12. When the rolls have risen for 45 minutes, place them in the preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes until starting to brown and cooked through.
  13. Remove from the oven and let cool 15 minutes.
  14. Whisk a little more maple syrup or water into the remaining caramel if it seems too thick to pour over the rolls.
  15. Pour the caramel over the rolls, sprinkle with more chocolate chips and enjoy!

These keep covered at room temperature for up to 3 days, or refrigerated for up to 1 week.

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