This double-decker vegan bumbleberry bun cake is a sweet roll lover’s dream come true!
What’s better than a pan of sweet rolls? Two pans of sweet rolls, layered with icing, stacked on top of each other, with a sparkler candle. Today our blog turns three and we had to make something epic to celebrate. Cake is too conventional so we went with a pull-apart bumbleberry bun ‘cake’ with zesty lemon and juicy berries because spring is around the corner!
This week has made my heart so full. I got showered with love from friends and family as we celebrated my birthday and reminisced at all the opportunities and good times that have come out of Radiant Rachels’ three years of existence.
The weeks following reading week break were very hectic for me. With exams and assignments lined up back to back, I had no time to think about what I wanted to do this week for my birthday. My friends and parents kept asking when I wanted to celebrate and what I wanted to do; I didn’t have an answer for them. I’m the type to jump on any occasion to throw a party and usually would have a plan laid out weeks in advance. This is the first year in many years that I didn’t feel compelled to do anything in particular. I just wanted to relax with my friends and spend time at home with my family.
And relax is precisely what I got. After indulging in some heavenly ice cream at Rain or Shine (the cinnamon bun flavour is everything I want in life) we went to a unicorn mug workshop with two of our best friends. The skills Chew and I picked up from our high school ceramics class served us well that night. We had one and a half hours to construct a mug out of a ball of clay and paint it before it would be fired in the kiln. All my weekly worries momentarily disappeared as we slammed clay into the table (to get rid of air bubbles), rolled it out into a slab with squeaky rolling pins, scored ‘n slipped our pieces together, shaped our clay pieces, and added personal touches to each of our mugs. Each person’s mug was characteristic of its maker and adorable in their own way. We left the studio riding on the happy vibes of the art class, laughing and joking around endlessly until the night was over. Those vibes were strong enough to keep our hunger from turning into hanger as we waited impatiently for our take-out sushi at 10pm.
In the same way I feel super loved on my personal birthday, we feel so much love from our radiant community. The excitement and support ya’ll have for our recipes is what motivates us to keep the blog lively. It means so much to us when you pin our recipes, like our posts, and leave comments on our recipes telling us how much you enjoyed making and eating them. Our life goals revolve around this little corner of the Internet and in the past year, we have thought about what Radiant Rachels will look like in the future. The conversations we have when the entrepreneurial spirit is circulating through our system go deep into the night and we depart for our beds with a burning desire to do more with this life. This past year we began to steer our life boldly towards what we know we want to do. The future is hazy and we do not yet have a clear path to take us where we want to go, but we know that the final destination will be worth the effort. At this time we can’t spill the beans as to what we’re devising, but we promise it’ll be good. (Hint: carby vegan goodness)
Back to this monstrous pull-apart bumbleberry bun ‘cake’. Isn’t bumbleberry a fun word? I didn’t know what it meant until visiting Krause Berry Farms last summer and asking what was in their bumbleberry pie. Turns out it just means ‘mixed berries’ which makes this recipe that much flexible. Since it is a special occasion, I went all out and used blueberries and raspberries in the rolls and topped it off with strawberries and blackberries.
Make this vegan bumbleberry bun cake the centre piece of your next brunch party!
- 1 cup almond milk
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2¼ tsp traditional yeast (one 8g package)
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2¼ to 2¾ cups all-purpose flour + more for rolling
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3 tbsp soft coconut oil or vegan margerine
- ⅓ cup + 1 tbsp coconut or brown sugar, divided
- Zest of 1 lemon (save the juice for the glaze)
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 3 generous cups of fresh or frozen berries
- ⅔ cup confectioners sugar (i.e. icing or powdered sugar)
- 1 to 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Start by making the dough. Warm almond milk and maple syrup in microwave for 40 to 60 seconds, or until warm to the touch but not scalding. Stir in the yeast and allow it to bloom for 10 minutes. Activated yeast should be foamy.
- Mix 2¼ cups all-purpose flour and salt briefly in stand mixer to roughly combine.
- Pour the oil, vanilla extract, and activated yeast into the bowl of the standing mixer containing the dry ingredients.
- Mix on low speed until a thick and sticky dough forms. Increase to medium speed and knead the dough with the dough hook attachment for 5 to 7 minutes or until a soft dough forms and begins to gather around the hook. Add up to ½ cup more of all purpose flour after 2 minutes if dough still looks too wet. Finished dough will wrap around the hook like a ball and still be a bit sticky. Avoid over-kneading for soft and fluffy bread.
- Oil a large mixing bowl and transfer the dough into the oiled bowl. Turn the dough a few times to coat the surface of the dough with oil. This will prevent it from sticking as it rises. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a tea towel and store in a warm place and draft-free place (such as a microwave that isn't turned on) to allow dough to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
- While the dough is rising, mix the softened coconut oil with ⅓ cup of sugar and the lemon zest into a paste. Set aside.
- Once dough has expanded to twice its initial size, punch the dough and turn out onto a floured surface. Roll into a ¼ inch thick rectangle (about 10"x16") and spread the coconut oil and sugar paste all the way to the edges.
- In a separate bowl, mix the remaining 1 tbsp of sugar with cornstarch and berries. Gently mash berries to break up the large pieces. Then sprinkle this berry mixture evenly over the dough.
- Roll the dough up tightly starting from the long side. Slice into 14 to 15 even pieces and arrange in 2 greased 5" round cake pans; 6 with the cut-side facing the side of the cake pan and 1 or 2 in the middle with the cut-side facing the bottom of the pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a tea towel and let the dough rise again in a warm place for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350⁰F while the dough is proofing for the second time.
- After the second proofing, bake the buns on the center rack for 35 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for at least 30 minutes so you don't end up with a melting coconut whip mess in the next few steps.
- While rolls are cooling, make the icing. Whisk together the confectioners sugar with 1 tbsp lemon juice until smooth. Add additional lemon juice 1 tsp at a time to reach desired consistency.
- To assemble, flip one 'bun cake layer' out onto a serving tray (upside down is ok). Spread about ½ of the frosting on top. Stack the second 'bun cake layer' on top and spread the rest of the frosting. Decorate with fresh berries if desired.