Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls are decadent, cinnamon-infused rolls, slathered with a yummy almond butter icing. This vegan recipe delivers step-by-step instructions with photos to make this classic, cinnamon-infused roll. Grab a cup of tea and settle in for a lazy weekend morning with this indulgent vegan breakfast treat!
We almost always have a few sweet potatoes sitting around (either cooked or ready to be cooked) which was the inspiration for making these decadent Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls.
I love the addition of sweet potatoes to many 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!
Can you make cinnamon rolls with instant yeast?
I used instant yeast in these sweet potato cinnamon rolls because it helps 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.
How to Make Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls Dough
These are the ingredients you’ll need for the cinnamon roll dough: a sweet potato, plant-based milk, vegan butter, brown sugar, flour, instant yeast, salt, cornstarch, ground flax seeds.
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.
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 those cubes in the food processor with the milk mixture. Pulse until mostly smooth. Add the instant yeast and stir with a spatula.
In a large bowl add the flour, salt, cornstarch and ground flax seeds. Stir to combine.
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.
I find it helps to add a tablespoon or so of flour over the dough ball and simply knead it right in the bowl. This saves cleaning up the countertop afterwards!
Cover the dough and set aside in a warm place to rest for about 15 minutes.
Rolling the Dough
The next step is to roll the dough. I like to lay out a sheet of plastic wrap over a working surface. Again, this greatly 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.
It helps to place a non-skid pad underneath the bottom sheet of plastic because otherwise the whole thing will slide back and forth as you try to roll it.
Spread the filling across the top of the rolled out dough and then roll it up.
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.
Place the sliced rolls in a round baking pan and set aside to rise for about an hour, until doubled in size. Then bake them for about 20-25 minutes.
Cinnamon rolls are one of my favorite baked goods to make 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.
There’s also pinching involved. I can’t seem to get enough of that.
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.
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!
Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls
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
- 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.