If you have been following me for awhile you know that I am solidly on “team sweet potato is better than any and everything pumpkin flavored”. While a pumpkin flavored item will never grace my dinner table, I do take some inspiration from the constant onslaught of pumpkin flavored foolery every fall! If they can add pumpkin to stuff then I surely can make it better with sweet potato. Hence my new favorite recipe, Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls.
The inspiration for these was simple. Sweet potatoes come to life when you throw in some butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. And what do you know?! Those are key components to a great cinnamon roll. I toyed around with this idea for awhile debating on where the sweet potato should make its presence known. After a few test runs, it is clear that cinnamon roll filling and icing are upgraded with the addition of sweet potatoes!
Also, if you think homemade cinnamon rolls are complicated rest assure it is very simple! I was pleasantly surprised with how great the final products came out. I should note, I still can’t make my dough look like the ones I grew up eating at Cinnabon, but guess what? It still tastes good. After much teasing on Instagram, here are my Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls. Enjoy!
Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls
Sweet Potatoes come to life with the addition of butter, sugar and cinnamon so it only makes sense that they would pair well with cinnamon rolls. With sweet potatoes added to the filling and frosting, you have Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls!
Cinnamon Roll Dough
- 2 1/4 tsp Active Dry Yeast (1 packet Fleischmann's Original)
- 1 Cup Whole Milk Warm
- 2/3 Cup Brown Sugar Packed
- 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 Eggs
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter (softened)
- 4 1/2 Cups Flour will need a few more tablespoons for dusting
Cinnamon Roll Filling
- 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter (almost melted)
- 1 Cup Brown Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Cinnamon
- 1/2 Cup Mashed Sweet Potato* See note below
Cinnamon Roll Frosting
- 1/3 Cup Mashed Sweet Potato* See note below
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/8 Tsp Cinnamon
- 4 Ounces Softened Cream Cheese
- 2 Cups Powdered Sugar
- 1/3 Cup Unsalted Butter (softened)
Pour warm milk in to stand mixer bowl. Then add in packet of active dry yeast. Let stand for a minute so the yeast can begin to dissolve.
While mixing with a paddle or whisk attachment, add eggs, brown sugar, salt and vanilla. Slice butter in to 1/2 inch chunks and add to mixture.
Next add in flour, one cup at a time mixing as you go.
Switch to the dough hook after all of the flour has been added. Continue until completely combined. Once complete, the dough should take on a ball form and most of the dough on the sides of the bowl should be incorporated in to the ball.
Spray a large bowl with cooking spray to prevent sticking. Transfer the ball of dough to bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1-2 hours or until it doubles in size.
While the dough as rising, prepare the cinnamon roll filing. Start with butter (almost melted), brown sugar and cinnamon. Combine in a medium sized bowl until it forms a spreadable paste. Set aside.
Once the dough as doubled in size, prepare counter for rolling out the dough. Sprinkle flour on counter and on rolling pin. Roll out dough in to a rectangle like shape (does not need to be perfect). Spread until desired thickness (1/4 of an inch is what I used)
Next, take the filling and spread over the entire piece of dough using a pastry brush. Repeat this step using the mashed sweet potato, spreading on top of the filling. Spread evenly throughout.
Roll the dough from the long side. Roll tightly to ensure more swirls and to keep the filling securely inside. Dough should be shaped like a snake. Place the rolled dough on a baking sheet to put in the fridge for about 20 minutes to chill.
While the dough is in the fridge, prepare your frosting. First, combine cream cheese, butter, vanilla and mashed sweet potato until combined. Then add in powdered sugar. Frosting will be ready within a few minutes. Continue blending if you prefer a thicker consistency.
Remove the dough from the fridge and prepare to slice into rolls. Slice dough in to rolls of about 2-3 inches long.
Place rolls in to a deep casserole pan (be sure to spray with cooking spray beforehand). Space the rolls out in the pan allowing room to expand. Bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes.
Spread the frosting on the cooked rolls while they are still hot. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
A few Recipe Notes:
- For the mashed sweet potatoes you will likely need 2 medium sized sweet potatoes for this recipe. Cook the sweet potatoes at 400 degrees until they are soft when lightly squeezed. This can take over two hours so plan accordingly. Once cooked, use a food processor to mash the sweet potatoes. Using the food processor will remove many of the strings and ensure a creamy consistency.
- When slicing the rolls, it is best to pinch the rolled dough in a manner that makes it take a rounder shape. Over time the dough will flatten out and a flat roll does not make very round cinnamon rolls. Also, use your fingers to manipulate the cut rolls in to a rounder shape.
Hope you enjoy this recipe! If you make it, please back here to comment and rate it :).