Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls with Nut Butter Icing

TGIF, am I right?  We’re so close to the weekend so it’s a perfect time for me to share this recipe for Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls!  These babies would be a great way to impress friends you’re having over for brunch or if you’re like me and the boyfriend, split between two people. πŸ˜‰

Now I have to say, cinnamon rolls are not usually my thing.  I usually find them to be too doughy or dry for my liking and the icing is always way too sweet!  If I’m craving a sweet start to the day, I’d choose pancakes or a donut over cinnamon rolls every time.  Boyfriend, on the other hand, loves him some cinnamon rolls!  I’ve selfishly never made them for him though, simply because I’m not a fan.  Something I am a fan of, however, is sweet potato!  I could eat sweet potatoes all day long.  I like ’em baked, roasted, mashed, as french fries, in pie…you name it!  A few weekend’s back, I got overzealous in the kitchen and tried to create a savory sweet potato waffle to add to my sweet potato recipe collection.  If you follow me on Instagram (and you should!), you’ll know that it was a major fail.  Womp, womp.

In an effort to redeem myself after that #recipefail and make something Boyfriend could enjoy for Valentine’s Day weekend, I decided to try my hand at a sweet potato cinnamon roll. I remembered reading about how adding potatoes to cinnamon rolls makes them super soft, which is just what I want in a cinnamon roll!  Sweet potatoes for me, cinnamon rolls for the boyfriend. Done and done!

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Bun Pan

My recipe is non-traditional in the sense that it calls for sweet potatoes, but it also is different because it does not require yeast like most cinnamon roll recipes.  The end result is a fairly dense but moist roll and bonus–you don’t have to wait around for the dough to rise.  Don’t worry, the drizzle on top is still sugary, but I solved the overly-sweet icing issue by adding my go-to nut butter: Nuttzo!  {Get 20% off your Nuttzo order with my code khn-20!} Finally, the chopped pecans inside the rolls and sprinkled on top give it a little crunch as well as some fiber and protein. 

These cinnamon rolls do contain sugar, but not a ton, and I tried to focus instead on amping up the flavors of the sweet potato, cinnamon and nut butter.  As a dietitian I do try to minimize added sugar when baking, but the occasional sweet treat is fine by me.  Especially since these types of food are not something I eat everyday.  Plus, research shows cinnamon can improve insulin resistance and glucose metabolism! Basically, cinnamon helps to slow down that sugar spike in the blood from sweets and carbs.  πŸ˜‰

SP Cin Roll

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls

Yields 8
Brighten up traditional cinnamon buns with sweet potato puree and a nutty sweet drizzle!

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Prep Time
25 min

Cook Time
25 min

Total Time
50 min

Prep Time
25 min

Cook Time
25 min

Total Time
50 min

For the Dough
  1. 1 cup mashed sweet potato
  2. 1.5 cup whole wheat flour
  3. 1 Tablespoon sugar
  4. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  5. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/2 cup whole milk
For the Filling
  1. 1/2 cup sugar
  2. 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 2 Tablespoons butter, softened
  6. 1/2 cup chopped pecans
For the Icing
  1. 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  2. 3 Tablespoons whole milk
  3. 2 Tablespoons nut butter (I used my favorite Nuttzo PowerFuel)
  4. Optional: additional chopped pecans for topping
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease pan or casserole dish.
  2. To prepare dough, mix mashed sweet potato, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add milk slowly and knead with hands until dough is formed.
  3. Cover pastry slab (or clean countertop) well with flour and place dough in center.
  4. Use a well-floured rolling pin to roll dough out to a rectangle, approximately 1/4-inch thick.
  5. In a separate bowl, stir together sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, butter and pecans until crumbly.
  6. Spread cinnamon mixture evenly on sweet potato dough.
  7. Starting at the long end (adding flour as needed when dough becomes sticky), roll dough and slice into 8-10 sections.
  8. Place buns onto prepared pan/dish and bake for about 25 minutes or until edges become slightly brown.
  9. While cinnamon buns are baking, make the icing by combining powdered sugar, milk and nut butter in a small bowl.
  10. Drizzle nut butter glaze over hot cinnamon buns, top with chopped pecans (optional) and serve.
KH Nutrition http://khnutrition.com/

Cinnamon Bun Close Up

Wishing you a very happy sweet potato-filled weekend.  Let me know if you give these cinnamon rolls a try!


16 comments on “Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls with Nut Butter Icing

    • Definitely give it a shot! I think depending on what GF flour you choose, they might come out a little more dense. But I’m guessing still yummy! πŸ™‚

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