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!
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.
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!
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 🙂
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Cover the rolls with two clean towels and allow them to rise in a warm place for another hour.
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:
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!
Hi, we’re Jasmine and Chris! We share fresh and fun recipes to show you that vegan cooking is easy, approachable and delicious. When we’re not blogging, you will probably find us enjoying live music, tending to our backyard garden or playing with our dogs Berry and Louie