"These are sweet enough to make you remember what a mess you’d make with the icing from a cinnamon roll as a little kid," writes Jenne Clairborne of Sweet Potato Soul about her vegan rolls. "They're also delicious enough to put your 'healthy diet' rules on suspension for a few minutes, and then reject any bit of regret."
Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls
- 1/4 cup vegan butter like Earth Balance, melted
- 3/4 cup unsweetened plain soy milk or other unsweetened plain non-dairy milk
- 2-2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
- 3 tablespoons water (for the "flax egg")
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar, or a mixture of both as desired
- 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/3 cup vegan butter like Earth Balance
- 3/4 cup chopped raw pecans
Sweet Potato Frosting
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup sweet potato puree
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter like Earth Balance
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. In a small saucepan, melt the vegan butter in the milk on medium-low heat and stir to combine.
3. In a small bowl, add the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Stir to combine. Set aside.
4. In a medium bowl, add the flax seeds and 3 tablespoons of water to create a "flax egg." Stir to combine. Add the warm milk and butter mixture, and use a whisk to stir. Add ¼ cup water and stir to combine. Add the dry ingredients and stir to combine. If you have a standing mixer, you can use that instead. Once it's too hard to whisk, use your hands.
5. Transfer to a floured workspace, and knead until you've got a smooth dough ball. Place the dough ball into a lightly greased mixing bowl, and cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel, and allow it to rise for at least one hour.
6. Make the filling for the rolls. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon. Melt ⅓ cup of vegan butter.
7. Once the dough has doubled in size, you can press out the air, then transfer it back onto your floured work space. Roll the dough until it is about ⅙- inch thick, and about 12-by-16-inches.
8. Brush the dough with the melted butter, top with cinnamon sugar mix, and then top with your chopped pecans. Roll the dough tightly. Carefully cut the roll into 1 inch slices, you'll have about a dozen. Place the rolls onto a greased 10-by-10-inch skillet or baking dish. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes (less if your oven runs hot).
9. Make your sweet potato icing. In a food processor, add the powdered sugar, sweet potato puree, vegan butter and vanilla extract. Blend until creamy and smooth. Refrigerate until you're ready to top the cinnamon rolls.
10. Remove rolls from oven and allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Top with sweet potato icing, and serve immediately.