Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls — Best Vegan Recipe!

This Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls recipe creates decadent, cinnamon-infused rolls, slathered with a yummy almond butter icing. This recipe delivers step-by-step instructions to make it easy to make these cinnamon buns. Grab a cup of tea and settle in for a lazy weekend morning with this indulgent breakfast treat!

Can’t get enough sweet breakfast ideas? Try these Vegan Chocolate Croissants (ready in minutes) or these delightful Cinnamon Muffins!

A hand holds a cinnamon roll. The text below it reads: Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls.

Cinnamon rolls are one of my favorite baked goods because it’s so hands-on. There’s a sense of fulfillment when something is more physical, like kneading the bread and rolling the dough. It’s like baking takes me to my happy place. Are you with me, friends?

Besides, we almost always have a few sweet potatoes sitting around (either cooked or ready to be cooked) which was the inspiration for making these vegan sweet potato cinnamon rolls.

I love the addition of sweet potatoes in my recipes, this one is no exception!

The thing is, we sometimes have a few house guests and I like pulling out all the stops for my people! These Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls are a perfect weekend or holiday baking treat!

Why This Recipe is a Winner

  • Adding sweet potato puree makes these cinnamon rolls tender, tasty, and colorful
  • An Almond Butter Glaze has a unique flavor and creates a golden-colored frosting, pairing nicely with these sweet potato sticky buns
  • My handy trick for kneading the dough in the bowl saves time, space, and achieves the desired result of big, fluffy buns!
A batch of freshly baked and frosted cinnamon rolls in a pan sit on a dark blue kitchen towel.

Recipe Ingredients

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:

  • For the Dough — You’ll need a medium-sized sweet potato (approximately 5″ long and 2″ wide), soy milk, vegan butter (I use Earth Balance), Brown sugar (Use dark or light or homemade brown sugar), all-purpose flour, instant yeast, salt, cornstarch, and ground flaxseed.
  • Cinnamon Filling — This is made of brown sugar, ground cinnamon, vegan butter, and almond butter.
  • Glaze — This simple glaze consists of powdered sugar, almond butter, soy milk.

Marly’s Tips

Soy milk has a higher protein content than other plant-based milks and therefore more closely resembles dairy milk. I highly recommend it for vegan baking, but. you can substitute other plant-based milks if necessary.

How to Make Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls Dough

When it comes to making these tasty cinnamon rolls, only a few steps are required. These are:

Step One: Make the Sweet Potato Puree

I start this process by cleaning the sweet potato and cooking it (with the skin) in the microwave for approximately 3 minutes. You want the sweet potato to be nice and tender. It will be hot so either leave it in the microwave to cool or use oven mitts to remove it.

A sweet potato mixture has been mashed in the bottom of a food processor bowl.

Add the milk, butter, and brown sugar to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse it once or twice to combine. Once the potato is done and cool enough handle, cut it into cubes and place them in the food processor with the milk mixture. Pulse until mostly smooth. Add the instant yeast and stir with a spatula.

Step Two: Mix Flour Ingredients

In a large bowl add the flour, salt, cornstarch and ground flax seeds. Stir to combine.

Step Three: Add Sweet Potato Mix & Knead

Add the sweet potato mixture and stir until combined. Next, knead the dough. Kneading helps activate the gluten to build structure for the rolls so it’s an important step.

The sweet potato mash has been added to the flour mixture in a large, glass bowl.

It helps to occasionally sprinkle flour over the dough ball and knead it right in the bowl. This saves cleaning up the countertop afterwards!

A ball of sweet potato dough is in a glass bowl with a kitchen towel beside it.

Cover the dough and set aside in a warm place to rest in a warm spot for about 15 minutes.

Marly’s Tips

My favorite place to let dough rise is in the microwave! Fill a pyrex measuring cup with 1–2 cups of water and heat it for 1–2 minutes. This creates steam in the microwave. Next, cover the dough and place it in the microwave and close the door. It’s a perfect environment for rising dough.

Step Four: Rolling Cinnamon Roll Dough

The next step is to roll the dough. Lay out a sheet of plastic wrap over a working surface. This helps with cleanup and doesn’t require adding additional flour to the dough as well.

Place the dough ball on top of the plastic wrap sheet and tear off another sheet and place that on top of the dough ball. Use your rolling pin to form the dough into a 22 by 9-inch rectangle.

Marly’s Tips

Place a wet paper towel or a non-skid pad underneath the bottom sheet of plastic to prevent it from sliding as you roll the dough.

Filling has been spread out over a rectangle of rolled dough.

Step Five — Add the Filling

There’s two options for adding the filling over the dough:

  • Mix the filling ingredients together and spread it across the top of the rolled out dough and then roll it up.
  • Spread the melted vegan butter across the dough then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the top.

To roll the dough, beginning at the long end closest to you, roll it tightly. Then pinch the end seam to seal it.

Step Six — Cutting the Rolls

There are a couple of ways to slice the dough. I use a serrated knife, but there’s also a handy thread trick I’ve used to “cut” cinnamon rolls in the past.

Using a serrated knife to cut cinnamon rolls.
This is an apple cinnamon roll, illustrating how to slice cinnamon buns.

Step Six — Final Rise and Baking

Place the sliced rolls in a round baking pan. Cover the pan and set it aside to rise in a warm spot. Use my microwave tip from above! You’ll want the rolls to rise for about an hour, until doubled in size.

When they’re ready to bake, preheat the oven first. Then carefully remove the covered rolls and bake them for about 20–25 minutes. They will be golden around the edges.

Step Seven — Frosting

Prepare the glaze while the rolls are baking. In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and almond butter. Then, add soy milk one tablespoon at a time until you reach a spreadable consistency.

When the rolls are ready, remove them from the oven and allow to cool for about about 10 minutes before adding the glaze.

A hand reaches in with a spatula to spread frosting over the freshly baked sticky buns.

Storage Tips

Store cinnamon rolls in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 7 days. These can be frozen for up to 2 months. To serve, cook in the microwave until heated through.

Can you make cinnamon rolls with instant yeast?

You can instant yeast when making sweet potato cinnamon rolls to keep things simple. Why? Because making homemade cinnamon rolls is a little more work than your average recipe. Not much, but a little. One step to make the process go more quickly is to use instant yeast, but you don’t need to proof the yeast.

Can you make cinnamon rolls without milk?

You can make cinnamon rolls without milk by substituting plant-based milk like soy milk or almond milk in this recipe. The cinnamon rolls turn out perfectly fine. You may be worried that you won’t achieve a soft, tender roll without milk, but I assure you, it’s not necessary. In fact, I make a sweet potato dinner roll without milk as well and they’re a great addition to our dinner routine.

Are cinnamon rolls healthy?

Making cinnamon rolls healthy takes a little purpose in the process. Cinnamon rolls are known for being highly caloric and low fiber. These sweet potato sticky buns add fiber and nutrients from sweet potatoes to make them a bit healthier. Either way, cinnamon buns are a great indulgence from time-to-time.

There’s nothing like knowing that your family will wake to the smell of cinnamon rolls baking in the oven. It reminds me what the holidays are really all about — feeling thankful for another year with family and friends.

Love Vegan Bread Recipes?

Sure, these vegan cinnamon rolls are amazing! How about adding some more tasty vegan bread recipes, perfect for breakfast, to your breakfast routine!

A sweet potato cinnamon roll on a black plate sits in front of a plate with several more cinnamon rolls.

I hope you love this recipe for Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls! When you make them, be sure and snap a photo and share them with me using #namelymarly on Instagram. I love seeing your photos!

A batch of freshly baked and frosted cinnamon rolls in a pan sit on a dark blue kitchen towel.

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls

Sweet potatoes are not just for french fries! Try these Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls and delight your taste buds first thing in the morning!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Rising Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 294kcal
Author: Marly

Ingredients

For the Dough:

  • 1 medium-sized sweet potato
  • ¾ cup plant-based milk
  • 4 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast one packet
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds

For the Filling:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons vegan butter softened
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter

For the Almond Butter Glaze:

  • 1 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk

Instructions

  • Wash and scrub the unpeeled sweet potato, removing any undesirable areas. Pierce the potato a couple of times with a knife and cook in a microwave for 2 minutes. Use your fork to test it for doneness. If it’s still firm, cook in the microwave for another minute until the potato is tender. Once it’s cool enough to handle, chop it into large chunks and place them in a food processor along with the milk. Pulse until smooth. 
  • Add mashed sweet potatoes, vegan butter, and brown sugar to a microwave-safe bowl (or use a saucepan over medium heat). Heat until mixture is warm to the touch (about 110F works here). 
  • In a large bowl add the all-purpose flour, yeast, salt, cornstarch, and ground flax seeds. Stir to combine. Pour in the sweet potato mixture and stir to combine. Knead the dough in the bowl for 2 -3 minutes. Add 1 – 2 tablespoons of additional all-purpose flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking too much. Spray the top with vegetable cooking spray, cover with a kitchen towel and set aside to rest, about 15 minutes. 
  • Once the dough is ready, cover a working area with a sheet of plastic wrap. Place the dough on top of the plastic wrap and cover it with another sheet of plastic wrap. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to approximately 14X9 inches in size. It helps if you pull the top layer of plastic wrap off the dough and cover it again with the same sheet. It also helps to place a anti-slip pad to keep the dough from sliding as you roll it. 
  • Combine the filling ingredients in a separate bowl. Pour this over the rolled dough, covering all of it except for about a half inch of the long edge furthest away from you. Starting from the long end closest to you, roll the dough until you’re left with one long roll. Cut into 12 evenly sized rolls. 
  • Prepare your baking dish by spraying a 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place rolls in prepared pan. Cover with a kitchen towel, and set aside to rise in warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, about one hour.
  • When the rolls have doubled in size, preheat oven to 375ᵒF. Place pan in a center rack and bake about 20 – 25 minutes until the rolls are golden in color.
  • While the rolls are baking, prepare the glaze. In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and almond butter. Once combined add milk one tablespoon at a time until you reach a desired, spreadable consistency.
  • When the rolls are ready, remove them from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before adding the glaze. Serve warm.
  • Store cinnamon rolls in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 7 days. These can be frozen for up to 2 months. To serve, cook in the microwave until heated through.

(The products above contain sponsored links to products we use and recommend)

Nutrition Facts
Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls
Amount Per Serving
Calories 294 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Sodium 179mg7%
Potassium 163mg5%
Carbohydrates 46g15%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 21g23%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 1950IU39%
Vitamin C 1.3mg2%
Calcium 67mg7%
Iron 1.7mg9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

This post was originally published in 2013 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2020.

Featured Posts

11 Responses to Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls — Best Vegan Recipe!

    • Hi Tiffinie. This is a great question! I noted that it should be a medium sweet potato, but I did not measure the exact amount once it was mashed with the milk and added to the rest of the ingredients. I know sweet potatoes can vary greatly in size. A medium sweet potatoes can be defined as being around 5″ long and about 2″ wide. I hope this is helpful!

    • Hi Deb. To answer your question, for the dough I would use coconut oil instead of butter. For the filling, you could definitely use some kind of nut butter. I hope this helps!

  1. These look amazing but I’d like to prep the dough the day before to make the next morning. Could I refrigerate the prepped rolls and take out an hour or so before baking?

    • Hi Melissa! I haven’t tried GF flour with this recipe, but I think it could work with a few modifications. I would probably add 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (unless your GF flour already has that in the mix…some of them do). Also, don’t expect the dough to rise as much. Finally, I would roll the dough between sheets of plastic wrap. GF dough can be more sticky and fragile, but it’s well worth the final results!

Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.