These sweet potato cinnamon rolls are an easy yeasted dough recipe that is perfect for beginners. They are make-ahead and freezer-friendly!
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Author: Whitney Reist | Sweet Cayenne
For the dough:
1cupbuttermilk (I use low fat)
¼cupunsalted butter (4 tablespoons)
3 ½teaspoonsactive dry yeast
½cupwarm water (100-110℉)
5 ½cupsall purpose flour, divided (recommend: King Arthur brand)
1cupcooked and mashed sweet potato
1largeegg, lightly beaten
For the filling:
1cupdark brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
¾cupbutter, softened to room temperature (12 tablespoons)
Maple cream cheese glaze:
8 ouncescream cheese, softened
1 ½cupspowdered sugar
1-3tablespoonshalf and half
For the dough:
Melt the butter into the buttermilk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occassionally until the butter is melted. Be careful not to let it scorch. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the yeast, water, and granulated sugar. Mix on low for about 10 seconds to combine. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.
Add 1 cup of the flour, then mix on low speed just to combine.
Add the sweet potato, egg, buttermilk and butter mixture, salt, and baking soda. Mix on low speed to combine, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Add 4 cups of flour and mix on low speed until a loose dough ball forms.
Replace the paddle attachment with the dough hook, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the last cup of flour. Knead in the remaining ½ cup of flour on medium speed for 5 minutes until a smooth mound forms. The dough will be very soft and sticky. Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead by hand for 2 minutes until a smooth ball forms.
Transfer the dough to a clean bowl coated with cooking spray. Place the bowl in a warm, draft-free area and cover loosely with plastic wrap or a tea towel. Let rise until doubled in size, which should take about one hour. While the dough rises, prepare the filling.
For the filling:
In a medium bowl combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar and cinnamon by stirring with a whisk. Set aside until ready to use.
Rolling out the dough:
Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and transfer to a well-floured surface. Use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough out into a rectangle that is 2 feet/24inches long and 12 inches wide, or about ¼ of an inch thick.
Spread out the softened butter over the dough,leaving a 1-inch border on all sides. Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture on top.
Starting from one of the long ends, roll the dough towards the opposite width end, tucking in dough and filling as you roll. Use your hands to gently shape the dough into a log that is even in size from end-to-end once it is rolled.
Use a serrated knife or unflavored dental floss to cut the dough into 15 rolls.
Place however many rolls you’d like to bake right away or the next day in a greased baking dish. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and place the dish on the stovetop and preheat your oven to 400℉. Alternatively, chill the pans of rolls in the fridge overnight.
Let the rolls rise for 45-60 minutes in a warm place while the oven heats. If the rolls were chilled, they will need to sit out at room temperature for 75 minutes before baking.
Bake the rolls for 18-25 minutes until the rolls are light golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of dough comes out clean. If they start to brown too much, cover the top loosely with foil and continue baking. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes while you make the topping.
Topping the rolls:
While the baked rolls cool slightly, make your topping.
For the maple glaze, combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar and maple syrup in a medium bowl by stirring with a whisk. Add half and half as needed until the glaze reaches a thick, pourable consistency. Drizzle over the warm rolls.
This recipe yields 15 round cinnamon rolls. You can divide the unbaked rolls amongst however many pans you like. I
To freeze: simply cover the unbaked rolls in a greased baking dish with a layer of plastic wrap, followed by a layer of foil. OR freeze on layers of parchment paper in an airtight container, then remove rolls as you need them and place in a greased baking dish to thaw. Use within 3 months.
To bake from frozen: place the frozen pan of rolls in the fridge to thaw overnight. The next morning, let the rolls sit on a warm stovetop for 1 hour prior to baking. Preheat your oven about 30 minutes before the rolls are baked.
Substituting pumpkin for sweet potato: yes, you can do this! Simply add an additional ½ cup of flour, and know that the final dough will be a bit stickier than it is when made with sweet potato.