The Best Vegan Conchas (Mexican Sweet Bread)

October 19, 2018


By: Jasmine Briones 

It’s concha time! You ain’t ready for this sweet, fluffy, and melt in your mouth goodness. These vegan conchas are just like the ones I ate growing up, only free of all animal products. These are perfect to enjoy with or gift to your friends and family this holiday season!

Vegan Conchas Mexican Sweet Bread In Basket

This Mexican sweet bread (pan dulce in Spanish) is known for its crunchy topping and shell-like design, hence the name! Traditionally, conchas are far from vegan as they are loaded with eggs, milk, and butter. Today we are veganizing them and taking their deliciousness to a whole new level.

Vegan Conchas Mexican Sweet Bread In Basket with Girl

The secret ingredient we used to give these conchas some serious fluff is aquafaba, which is the liquid brine from a can of chickpeas! You’ve just got to whip it until it turns into a meringue-like consistency and it becomes baking magic. After many batches of testing, we found using aquafaba gives it the most realistic texture as it allows the bread to be nice and fluffy without having to use eggs.

Traditionally, the sweet roll flavor remains the same, while the crunchy topping can have different flavors. The coloring used for the topping is usually not so natural (mostly done with food colorings) so we colores ours with cocoa powder for the chocolate and turmeric for the yellow. We chose these colors in the spirit of Halloween…they were as close as we could get them to black and orange with natural coloring lol. Feel free to experiment with flavors and colors as you wish!

Vegan Conchas Mexican Sweet Bread Yellow and Brown

We partnered up with Bob’s Red Mill for this recipe and couldn’t thank them enough for the amazing high quality and minimally processed products that they put out on the market. All of their products are certified kosher and grown from non-GMO seeds. Their flour and other products have been a pantry staple of ours for years and we are stoked that we get to collaborate with such an awesome company to bring you new recipe creations each month! You can use our code SSV20 on the Bob’s Red Mill site for 20% off if you want to check it out 🙂

Vegan Conchas Mexican Sweet Bread In Basket

We recommend pouring yourself a nice hot cup of coffee or tea while enjoying these conchas, the flavor combo in out-of-this-world! They are enjoyed as a breakfast or afternoon snack.

Make sure you tag us on Instagram @sweetsimplevegan and @consciouschris and hashtag #sweetsimplevegan if you recreate any of our recipes, we love to see your photos!

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Vegan Conchas Mexican Sweet Bread In Basket

The Best Vegan Conchas (Mexican Sweet Bread)

  • Author: Jasmine @ Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12 conchas


Sweet. fluffy, and melt in your mouth good. These vegan conchas are just like the ones I ate growing up, only free of all animal products. These are perfect to enjoy with or gift to your friends and family this holiday season!



  • 1/2 cup lukewarm warm water
  • 1/3 cup Bob’s Red Mill organic sugar, divided*
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) Bob’s Red Mill active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup vegan buttery sticks, melted (we used Earth Balance)
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 4 to 4 1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the Chocolate Topping (see notes)

  • 1/2 cup vegan buttery sticks, softened but not melted (we used Earth Balance)
  • 2/3 cup Bob’s Red Mill organic sugar
  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Turmeric Topping (see notes)

  • 1/2 cup vegan buttery sticks, softened but not melted (we used Earth Balance)
  • 2/3 cup Bob’s Red Mill organic sugar
  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. In a large bowl, stir together the lukewarm water, 1 tablespoon of the 1/3 cup organic cane sugar, and active dry yeast  Set this mixture aside and allow it to activate for 10-15 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, whip the aquafaba. Grab a medium bowl and add in the aquafaba along with the cream of tartar. Mix using a hand mixer or a standing mixer, whip it on high for 5-10 minutes or until it is light and fluffy. Set aside.
  3. Once the yeast has activated, add in the remaining sugar along with the melted vegan butter, and vinegar. Gently mix that all together until uniform. Set aside.
  4. In another large bowl, mix together 4 cups of all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Slowly begin to pour the dry mixture into the wet mixture, mixing as you go so that it is easier to combine, and stop when there is about 1 cup of dry mixture remaining. Gently fold in the aquafaba, scraping down the bowl as needed to get every last bit. Add in the remaining dry mixture in to form a soft dough. If the mixture is still moist, add in additional flour, 2 tablespoons at a time (we found this unecessary). Once it becomes a soft and supple dough, transfer it to a floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes, or until smooth.
  5. Place the dough into a large greased bowl and flip it once in there to make sure it is coated and moist. Cover with a clean dish towel and set it in a warm place to rise for 2 hours.
  6. When there are about 20 minutes left for rising time, prepare the toppings.  Keep in mind that the topping ingredients are each for all 12 conchas. If you would like to use both colors, simply half the topping ingredients.In a medium bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugar using a hand mixer. Once creamed, stir in the flour and vanilla extract by hand. Split the dough-like mixture into 2 part and separate them into two smaller bowls. In one bowl, add in all of the ingredients for the chocolate topping, and in the other add everything for the turmeric topping. Using a spoon, mix the dough until everything is well combined. You will need to go in with your hands at the end to make sure they are well coated and the colors are well distributed and uniform throughout (you don’t want spots of white).  Set aside.
  7. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Punch down rising dough and divide it into 12 pieces. We used a scale to be sure they were all even. Roll each dough into smooth balls by tucking the dough under itself. If you need help, refer to the video in this post. Place 6 dough balls on each baking sheet, spacing them out as they will continue to rise.
  8. Divide each topping into 6 pieces. Grab a piece of parchment or wax paper and fold it in half. The folded piece should be a little bit larger than the width of the concha dough. Roll one of topping pieces into a small ball and place it in between the two pieces of parchment paper. using a rolling pin or a jar (we preferred the jar as it was easier) roll the ball out into a circle as wide as the concha dough balls. Place the round on top of a dough ball and gently press it in so that it is sticking to the dough. Continue with the rest of the topping dough. We recommend you use two sets of parchment paper to prevent the colors from mixing.
  9. Using a sharp knife or a concha mold, cut grooves into topping to resemble the grooves on a scallop shell. Refer to the photos and video of this post. It may be a little bit difficult at first but you will get the hang of it!
  10. Cover the rolls with two clean towels and allow them to rise in a warm place for another hour.
  11. Preheat the oven to 375°F when the rolls are almost done rising. Once risen, bake the conchas for 13-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from sheets and cool completely on wire racks before digging in.


  • These are best enjoyed the day of as that is when they are the fluffiest, but you can keep them for up to 4 days 🙂
  • 1 tablespoon of the 1/3 cup cane sugar will be used with the yeast. The remaining of the 1/3 cup will be added later on into the dough.
  • If you would like to use food coloring, do the following:
    • 1⁄3 cup sugar
    • 1⁄4 cup vegan butter
    • 1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1⁄4 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • Food coloring as needed (start small)
  • Prep Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Baked Goods, Desserts, Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: Mexican, Baking, Baked Goods, Desserts, Bread, Conchas, Sweet Bread, Pan Dulce

Nutrition facts label provided by Nutri Fox.

Disclaimer: The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional’s advice. This page may contain affiliate links, which simply means that we earn a commission if you purchase through those links, but your price remains the same. Thank you for supporting Sweet Simple Vegan!

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Recipe rating

  1. I haven’y had a concha in YEARS. More than ten years, specifically. Anyhow, these look unbelievably incredible. If you told me these were vegan, I NEVER would believe you!

  2. JoAnn says:

    Which Bob’s Red Mill GF flour would work best?

  3. Lauren Calabrese says:

    Can I color the topping with food coloring gel??

    • Yes! We have not tested it but you can do the following with the same directions as the recipe:
      1⁄3 cup sugar
      1⁄4 cup vegan butter
      1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
      1 teaspoon cinnamon
      1⁄4 teaspoon vanilla extract
      Food coloring as needed (start small)

  4. Andrea Carriedo says:

    once made, how long will they last? (If made a day or two in advance)

  5. Johanna Royo says:

    I made this recipe on Christmas morning, and it was AMAZING! My family grew up eating the non-vegan ones and were blown away! They even tasted good the next day, which was never the case with the non-vegan ones.

    I have some feedback: the written recipe misses the step of adding in the vegan butter and remaining sugar to the yeast mixture (fortunately it was on the video). Otherwise, amazing! I’m definitely making these again!

  6. Margie Jones says:

    Thank you soooo much for this recipe and for all your hard work! I ate so many conchas when I was growing up. I found your recipe and made vegan conchas. I made them exactly like you said and now that I have become vegan and others in my family have as well, I wanted a vegan recipe for conchas. My grandkids ask me to make these all the time! Thank you again!

  7. Deidre says:

    We are so excited to try this recipe. We will be taking them to a plant-based potluck tomorrow. Also, I can’t help but notice that there are only 11 conches in the basket in your picture. I suppose they were so good that one got eaten before the photo shoot?? 😀
    Thanks for your hard work in developing yummy vegan dishes!

  8. Deidre says:

    So, I made these yesterday and they are amazing!! I have never even had conchas before so I didn’t know what to expect. Since I was taking them to a potluck I made them half-sizes (24 per recipe rather than 12). Whew! That was a lot of work!! Thanks for the yummy recipe. My kids want me to make them again already.

    One note…I was reading the instructions as I was making them and they say “ If you would like to make a single color, just double the chocolate or turmeric toppings” so…for both colors, both topping recipes are required…got it!! Then I looked back to the notes and they say “ The topping ingredients are for all 12 conchas. If you would like to use both colors, simply half the topping ingredients.” Oh no, I wasn’t sure how thick the topping needed to be or how much to make being my first time making them. I erred on the side of caution and made full batches of both colors which turned out great. Just thought some clarity would be great for the next person.

    Thanks again!!!

  9. Hi! I just want to say that this recipe is AMAZING! I am a young teenager and all of my life pan dulce has been a family tradition. When my mom and my sister became vegan they couldn’t have it anymore so I wanted to make them some, so I used this recipe and they LOVED it. My mom has been eating conchas all her life so I’m really glad she liked them. So, thank you so much for sharing this recipe, I’ll be using it again for sure!! ????

  10. Manny says:

    What if my dough was very crumbly? I followed the recipe to the t and couldn’t figure it out!

    • Chris Petrellese says:

      Hey Manny,

      If the dough is too crumbly, you can add a little bit of plant-based milk by the teaspoon until it’s the right consistency.

  11. Deidre says:

    Just made these for potluck again. Church got cancelled due to snow last time so my family had to eat them ALL!! This time I made them 1/3 size (36 per batch). It’s a lot more work but they are super cute. So so very tasty! Thanks again for the recipe…and no confusion on the topping this time! YAY!!

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