Vegan Caramel Apple Kolaches

Recipe by Susan Reid

Native to central Europe (and particularly the former republic of Czechoslovakia), kolaches are lightly sweetened yeast buns with an open-face filling of fruit, cheese, or poppyseed spread. Thanks to European immigrants, kolaches have become popular in the American Midwest and Southwest — particularly Texas, which sponsors a number of kolache festivals each year. This vegan version features a nostalgic filling of caramel and apples, plus a sweet streusel topping.

45 mins
30 to 35 mins
10 hrs
20 kolaches
Vegan Caramel Apple Kolaches


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  1. To make the dough: In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the ingredients in the order listed, mixing and kneading to make a soft, smooth dough.

  2. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

  3. Remove the cold dough from the refrigerator and let it rest at room temperature, covered, while you prepare the caramel, filling, and topping.

  4. To make the caramel: Place the coconut cream, brown sugar, and flour in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened. Remove the caramel from the heat and set it aside to cool while you make the filling.

  5. To make the filling: In a medium saucepan, cook the vegan butter, apples, lemon juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the apples are soft.

  6. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of the prepared caramel.

  7. Strain the juice from the apple mixture and return the juice to the saucepan. Place the apples in a heatproof bowl and set them aside.

  8. Bring the juice to a boil over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until it's has become syrupy, about 5 to 7 minutes.

  9. Stir together 2 tablespoons of the reduced juice and 2 tablespoons of the caramel. Pour this mixture over the apples, stirring to combine. Cool the filling to room temperature.

  10. To make the topping: In a small bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Add the vegan butter, stirring until crumbs form. Set aside.

  11. To assemble the kolaches: Divide the chilled dough in half, then in half again to make four equal pieces. Divide each quarter into five equal pieces (to make a total of 20 pieces, about 55g each), and roll each piece into a ball.

  12. Place the balls on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving a little less than an inch between them. Cover and let the balls rise for an hour or so, until they’re touching.

  13. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  14. Using your fingers, make a wide, deep indentation in the center of each dough ball. You want to make an indentation deep enough that it doesn’t disappear as the buns rise and bake.

  15. Spoon a scant teaspoon of the caramel into the bottom of the indentation. Place a generous tablespoon of the apple filling on top of the caramel in each bun.

  16. Divide the topping evenly among the buns. It may seem like a lot, but it’s actually just right.

  17. To bake the kolaches: Bake the kolaches until they’re golden brown, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove them from the oven and serve warm or at room temperature.

  18. Storage information: Store any leftover kolaches, well wrapped, at room temperature for a couple of days; freeze for longer storage.

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