These sweet potato cinnamon rolls are fall scented buns stuffed with a cinnamon sugar filling, toasted pecans, and topped with a cream cheese frosting.
Total Time:2 hours 15 minutes
For the dough
1 cup milk (whole or 2%)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2–1/4 teaspoons (1 package) active dry yeast
3/4 cup sweet potato puree (see notes below)
3–1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the filling
1 stick of unsalted butter, softened slightly in the microwave but not completely melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1–1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans
For the glaze
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of cream or milk, plus more as desired
To prepare the cinnamon rolls
In a large pot, combine the milk, butter, and sugar over medium heat and allow to warm just before the milk is scalding. Remove from burner and allow to cool until luke warm. Add the yeast and allow to dissolve, about 2 minutes.
Add the sweet potato puree to the milk mixture, stirring gently to combine. Add 3 cups of the flour and stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel and allow to rest and rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour. If your dough hasn’t doubled in size within that hour, place the dough in a slightly warmer spot of the kitchen.
Combine the remaining flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and add to the risen dough. Stir to combine. At this point, you can refrigerate the dough overnight or roll out to use immediately. If you decide to save it, punch dough down into bowl if it over-rises.
Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface to a 12″x18″ rectangle. Combine the butter, brown sugar, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon in a bowl to create a paste. Spread softened butter mixture out across the dough , leaving a 1/2 inch border around the sides. Evenly sprinkle the pecans over the dough.
With one of the long ends closest to you, begin to roll the dough away from you, pinching the dough together at the end to seal your roll. Trim off any shaggy ends (no more than 1 inch) Using a sharp knife, cut 1″ slices from your log of dough.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place buns 1″ apart in a baking dish (I use 3- 8″x8″ baking dishes) and cover again with a sheet of plastic wrap or a tea towel. Allow to rise for 25-30 minutes, or until buns are puffed and rounded. Bake in the oven until buns are golden brown, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool on pan for 10-15 minutes and then top with glaze.
To prepare the filling
In a medium sized bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add the powdered sugar slowly and beat until combined. Add the vanilla and cream, beating until smooth. Add additional cream if you wish to have a more loose glaze.
To make sweet potato puree, peel 1 large sweet potato and cube it into 1″ pieces. Place cubes in a pot of water boiling over medium high heat and cook until tender to a fork, about 10 minutes. Drain water and set aside to cool slightly. Once cool enough to handle, place potatoes in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Be sure no large clumps remain, or your rolls will also have clumps in them. Allow to cool in the fridge slightly prior to adding to the cinnamon roll dough. The puree can be made and saved in the fridge several days in advance.