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Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls

At work, we were featuring a “ham and yam” melt for the holidays. But now with the new limited time offers coming, we’re no longer serving these sandwiches and we had tons of sweet potatoes left over in the freezer. I personally don’t like sweet potatoes so I originally said I wouldn’t take any but after giving it some thought, I figured I could find some good baking recipes using sweet potatoes so I took home two 40 ounce bags. This recipe was a result of the sweet potato madness.

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls

Sugar Plum


  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar, plus an additional 1/4 cup
  • 1/4 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees F)
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup finely mashed cooked sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 -3 cups all-purpose flour


  • 6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1/3 cup jumbo raisins, soaked in hot water
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Stir together 1/2 teaspoon sugar in warm water, in bowl of mixer. Sprinkle yeast over water and mix; let stand 8 minutes until foamy. Add the additional 1/4 cup sugar, sweet potato, 1/2 cup milk, 2 tablespoons melted butter, egg, and salt to mixing bowl and mix with dough hook, on low speed, until just combined. Add 2 1/2 cups flour, and mix on medium speed for 8-10 minutes, until elastic, adding the additional 1/2 cup flour, if necessary. Dough should be sticky, but pull away from the bowl
  2. Pat dough into a ball, and lightly dust with flour. Place dough in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place, 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Stir together 6 tablespoons butter pieces, 1 cup brown sugar, pecans, raisins, and cinnamon, until well combined
  4. Grease a 13×9-inch baking dish
  5. Punch dough down; turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and roll into a large rectangle, with a 1/4-inch thickness, using a rolling pin. Spread evenly with filling, leaving a 1-inch border. Roll up dough, jelly-roll fashion. Trim off ends, cut into 12 equal slices, and line up in baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes
  6. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan, over medium heat. Stir in 1/2 cup brown sugar, maple syrup, and 1/4 cup milk, until well combined, and bring mixture to a boil; remove pan from heat, and whisk in vanilla
  7. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  8. Remove plastic wrap from baking dish, and bake rolls for 10 minutes. Remove rolls from oven; drizzle glaze evenly over rolls
  9. Return rolls to oven, bake for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cover with foil, and bake an additional 5 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving

This is what Cosi’s sweet potatoes look like once they’re baked. I had to put them in the oven with 2 tablespoons of butter for 40 minutes, stirring them up half-way through. From here, I just mashed them and measured 3/4 cup and I reserved the rest for the sweet potato pie I’m going to make next 🙂

Here is the yeast mixture and the rest of the bun ingredients before mixing for 8 minutes

And the dough after having been mixed for eight minutes

The dough after rising for an hour and a half

Rolling out the dough is my favorite part!

Filling, rolling, and cutting


A close-up of the glaze. I was considering whisking in a couple tablespoons of honey or pumpkin butter but since I was making them for the first time, I didn’t want to risk ruining them although I don’t think I could have done much damage with those flavors

After ten minutes of baking

Adding the glaze

Finally they’re complete!

These are supposed to be a thank you to my boss for letting me have the sweet potatoes but I gave one to my mom and dad anyway. My mom, who also is not a fan of sweet potatoes (or any vegetables for that matter) loved them and said you can’t even tell they’re made with sweet potatoes


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