1/2cupcoconut oil*(refined if you don't want mild coconut flavor)
1 1/2cupsunsweetened plant-based milk
1/4cuppacked brown sugar
1 1/2tspground cinnamon
1cupvegan semi-sweet chocolate chips
For the crosses:
For the glaze:
1-2 tspunsweetened plant-based milk
For the buns:
Line a 9 x 13 baking pan with parchment paper, or grease well.
In a small pot, melt the coconut oil over low heat. Add the plant-based milk, brown sugar and vanilla. Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. Turn off the heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, yeast, salt, and spices. Whisk well. Check the temperature of the milk mixture, it should be lukewarm (110-115°F) - if it's too hot, it will kill the yeast. Once cool enough, pour it into the flour mixture and stir to combine.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes or until smooth and elastic (if you have a stand mixer with a dough hook, you can use it instead of doing it by hand.) Knead in the chocolate chips. Some of them will rebel becoming part of the dough, don't fret, just press them back, kneading for another minute or so until they are mostly throughout the dough.
Rinse out the large bowl and grease well. Place the dough ball into the bowl, cover with a tea towel in a warm place for about an hour or until about 1.5 times its original size.
Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and roll them into balls, pressing in any chocolate chips dropping out. Place them in the pan, 3 across and 4 down. Cover again and let rise for another 30-60 minutes.
In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350° F. Whisk together the flour and water in a small bowl for the paste to make the crosses. Once no lumps remain, pour into a small zip-lock bag or piping bag fitted with a very small round tip. If using the bag, snip off a tiny corner (slightly more narrow than you want the lines of the cross to be) and slowly pipe a line down the middle of buns one way, and then the other way.
Bake for 25-27 minutes or until the buns are light brown. Let cool for 15 minutes before glazing.
For the glaze, mix together the confectioner's sugar, plant-based milk and vanilla in small bowl. Using a pastry brush, brush the glaze over the warm buns taking care not to smear the warm chocolate chips.
*Neutral vegetable oil (such as avocado, canola, sunflower, etc) can be used instead of coconut oil.