If regular cinnamon rolls could get any better, they would surely be found within these sweet potato cinnamon rolls. Perfectly tender, rich, and beaming with sweet brown sugar flavor. Finished with a delicious maple cream cheese icing; makes such a sweet treat to whip up on those cozy relaxing weekends!

sweet potato cinnamon rolls in white baking dish

How are you? Because, as you know, we are currently living in unprecedented times. Everything feels off, the noise of it all is loud, and I can hardly find flour on the shelves. Okay, that last one is the very least of my worries but I gotta keep it on brand, right? Ha. I hope you and your loved ones are doing well in all of this.

One thing that keeps me grounded and is a much needed respite from any outside noise is baking. My latest sweet treats include this chocolate stout layer cake and this apricot snacking cake. Ain’t it fun to turn flour, sugar, and other ingredients into something magical? Maybe it’s just my nerdy self idk. But what I do know is that cinnamon rolls are becoming my most favorite y’all! Like, for real, for real. I can’t get enough.

sweet potato cinnamon rolls with icing

What Are Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls?

Well silly, sweet potato cinnamon rolls are just like regular cinnamon rolls but with real sweet potato flavor built into the dough. For this recipe; I roasted one large sweet potato and then mashed the flesh. The sweet potato gives these rolls a gorgeous orange-ish hue, makes them even more soft and tender, and also amps up the overall flavor! Because sweet potato and brown sugar are literally made for each other. YUM.

How To Make Cinnamon Rolls (Video)

The video above illustrates how to make my regular cinnamon rolls but for this sweet potato version, there are just a few slight adjustments. Instead of 3 eggs, you’ll use only one egg in this recipe as the mashed sweet potato sort of behaves as an egg would. Baking is interesting like that huh. So, right along with the egg and butter, you’ll add the mashed sweet potatoes. Additionally, I’ve added some ground nutmeg and cloves as spices to go along with the cinnamon in the filling. And that’s it, everything else remains the same!

Ingredients For Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls:

  • Active Dry Yeast: the star of the show! Did you know that yeast is a living organism? Yup, it’s alive. Liquids that are too hot can destroy your yeast too, and always make sure that you’re using fresh yeast and NOT some that’s been sitting in your pantry for a few years: so check that expiration date, peeps! Most grocery stores have them in the little convenient packets that are in perfect measurements of 2-1/4 teaspoons.
  • Whole Milk: for the yeast dough (needs to be warmed but not scalding hot, tip= as if you would give it to a baby) + in the maple cream cheese icing!
  • Butter: unsalted, please: this goes in the yeast dough, the filling, and the maple cream cheese icing.
  • Sugar: two kinds for this recipe; white granulated (for the yeast dough) and brown sugar (for the filling).
  • An Egg: yes, only one, for the yeast dough…and be sure it’s at room temperature!
  • Sweet Potato purée: 1 large sweet potato, roasted, should give you enough for 3/4 cup.
  • Salt: I highly recommend kosher salt but any salt will do.
  • Flour: unbleached all-purpose flour, please!
  • Cinnamon: duh, we are making cinnamon rolls, right? Other spices for this recipe include ground nutmeg and cloves.
  • Cream Cheese: used in the maple cream cheese icing that’ll top these beauties.
  • Powdered Sugar: also used in the maple cream cheese icing.
  • Vanilla Bean Paste: it has a more vivacious punch than vanilla extract, I’m just keeping it real with you: it gives us super robust vanilla flavor + those gorgeous vanilla bean flecks are everything, trust me!
  • Maple syrup: the sweet touch of maple compliments these rolls so nicely.
unfrosted sweet potato cinnamon rolls in white baking dish

Difference Between Overnight And Same-Day Cinnamon Rolls?

So, really you can prepare and bake the rolls any way you want.

This means that if you want to bake the rolls the same day, they just require a second rise; one rise for the initial dough and the second rise for the rolls after you’ve rolled/cut them. Otherwise, after you’ve rolled/cut them, place them into the refrigerator overnight. Then, take them out on the day of, let them come back up to room temperature, and then bake. The overnight option just makes for less tasks in one day.

sweet potato cinnamon rolls in baking dish with one roll missing

What Kind Of Frosting/Icing For These Rolls?

Lastly, these sweet potato cinnamon rolls get slathered in a delicious maple cream cheese icing. I mean, flavor from sweet potato, brown sugar, vanilla, AND maple…if y’all haven’t caught on already; these rolls are completely insane in all the best of ways! All you need is a hot cuppa coffee and you’re set!

Listen, I just know you all will love this recipe. Make them on the weekends, make them for someone you love, or heck, make them just because! If you’re looking for more sweet potato-inspired recipes, check out this no-churn sweet potato pie ice cream and these buffalo chicken stuffed sweet potatoes.

sweet potato cinnamon roll on speckled ceramic plate

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UNTIL NEXT TIME…LOVE AND BUTTER,

Q.

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sweet potato cinnamon rolls in baking dish with one roll missing

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls

  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 30m
  • Cook Time: 30m
  • Total Time: 1hr
  • Yield: 812 rolls 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These sweet potato cinnamon rolls are perfectly tender, rich, and beaming with sweet brown sugar flavor. Finished with a delicious maple cream cheese icing!


Ingredients

Scale

Yeast Dough:

  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active-dry yeast
  • 1 cup whole milk, lightly warmed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sweet potato purée, from 1 large roasted sweet potato
  • 4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Filling:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Maple Cream Cheese Icing:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese (brick-style), softened to room temperature 
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Instructions

Yeast Dough:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer: add yeast, milk, and sugar. Let sit for 5-7 minutes to activate. Mixture will be bubbly and somewhat fragrant. Then add in butter, egg, and mashed sweet potato. Attach dough hook attachment to mixer and add in flour and salt.
  2. Knead/mix on medium-low speed until dough begins to come together. Add in more flour, a tablespoon at a time, only if needed to make sure dough does not stick to bowl. Knead dough until smooth but still soft, about 6-7 minutes. Alternatively, knead dough by hand if not using a stand mixer. 
  3. Shape the dough into a ball. Then butter (or use baking spray) a large bowl. Add the dough into bowl and turn to coat dough. Cover dough tightly with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a warm place until it doubles in size, about 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
  4. Once dough has risen, punch dough down and turn out onto a floured work surface. Roll out dough into a rectangle (about 14×9 inches) with the longer side facing you. Use a little extra flour if dough is sticking. Filling: spread the butter over the dough and then sprinkle brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt evenly over the dough leaving a 1 inch border at the top and bottom. 
  5. Roll up the dough into a log starting with the longest side furthest from you. Pinch seams of dough to seal. Cut the log crosswise into 8 equal slices using a sharp knife.
  6. Butter/spray a 9×13 inch baking pan. Arrange the slices with the cut side up in the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and transfer to refrigerator overnight, 8-12 hours. Alternatively, to make the rolls same-day, simply allow for a second rise after you roll/cut the cinnamon rolls by letting rolls sit out to reach room temperature for 1 – 2 hours, until puffy, before baking.
  7. If making overnight rolls, remove from refrigerator and let rolls sit out to reach room temperature for 1 – 2 hours, until puffy, before baking. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the plastic wrap and bake rolls until lightly golden brown, about 30 minutes. While cinnamon rolls bake, prepare icing.
  8. Once rolls are done, immediately pour icing over rolls and serve. Enjoy!

Maple Cream Cheese Icing:

  1. Beat butter, cream cheese, and vanilla bean paste together until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add powdered sugar and slowly add in milk and then maple syrup. Mix until everything is fully incorporated.

Notes

  1. Cinnamon rolls can be kept covered in plastic wrap in refrigerator for up to one week.
  2. This recipe can also make 12 rolls if rolls are cut smaller.
  3. To make the rolls same-day, simply allow for a second rise after you roll/cut the cinnamon rolls.

Keywords: breakfast, cinnamon rolls, yeast