Sweet Potato Cinnamon Buns

I’ve got 99 problems but a cinnamon bun ain’t one.

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Buns by katyskitchen.ca #vegan

Have you ever purchased a cinnamon bun from a bakery that looked mouthwatering-drool-worthy-awesome, but then became totally disappointed at the lackluster filling inside and overpowering dough?

Welcome to every single cinnamon bun purchase in my life, ever.

Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating just a little. But to me, the best part of the cinnamon bun is the ooey-gooey centre. When I saw Sarah’s recipe, I was intrigued.

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Buns by katyskitchen.ca #vegan
The filling for these cinnamon buns is a simple date paste. It eliminates the need for loads of sugar and butter, and amps up the sticky, goey factor.

The dough blends whole-grain spelt and oat flour with a not-so-secret ingredient: sweet potato puree. I’ve used sweet potato puree in brownies to add a hint of sweetness without the fat. The taste is just barely noticeable – in fact, my taste testers didn’t even know it was there.

As for the glaze – my coconut butter addiction comes full circle. All you need to to is thin out some coconut butter with a little almond milk, add a touch of maple syrup, and drizzle away.
Sweet Potato Cinnamon Buns by katyskitchen.ca #vegan
Sweet Potato Cinnamon Buns by katyskitchen.ca #vegan

I’ve always thought of cinnamon buns as one of the more complicated baked goods endeavors, but they’re actually super easy and came together in 20 minutes (plus baking). I don’t think I need to tell you that the nutritional value of these guys probably kicks bakery cinnamon buns’ butts clear out of the water.

Just be warned – if you bring them into work, you might set a standard for everyday. 😉
Sweet Potato Cinnamon Buns by katyskitchen.ca #vegan

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Buns
Author: Katy’s Kitchen
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12 buns
A healthier, vegan cinnamon bun, loaded with filling and a coconut frosting.
  • [i]The Filling[/i]
  • 1 and ½ cups chopped dates
  • ½ cup to ¾ cup water
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • pinch nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoons sea salt
  • [i]The Dough[/i]
  • 1 and ½ cups whole spelt flour (plus about ¼ cup more for rolling)
  • ¾ cup oat flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut palm sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons coconut oil, softened
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup sweet potato puree*
  • ¼ cup applesauce*
  • [i]The Glaze[/i]
  • 3 Tablespoons <a title=”Coconut Butter” href=”http://mydishisbomb.com/coconut-butter/”>coconut butter</a>
  • 5 Tablespoons almond milk
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  1. Begin by making the filling. In a small saucepan, add the dates and ½ cup of water. Turn the heat to medium high. Stir often to break up the dates and form a thick, sticky paste. Add a little more water if necessary.
  2. When the date paste is smooth with only a few chunks left, add the cinnamon, nutmeg, and sea salt. Stir. Turn off the heat and set the paste aside to cool.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  4. Make the dough. Add the flours, baking powder, and sugar to a large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the coconut oil and mix it into the dry ingredients with your hands until the oil turns into small, crumbly, pea-sized shapes.
  5. Add the sweet potato puree and the applesauce and mix with your hands to form a ball of dough.
  6. Dump out the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead a few times. Form into a disc. Dust a rolling pin with flour, and roll out the dough into a rectangle (about 6 x 18 inches.) Spread the paste evenly across the rectangle. Starting from the bottom, slowly roll up the dough until you have a large roll.
  7. With a sharp knife, slice the roll into 12 even slices. Place the rolls into a small casserole dish or a 9-inch pie plate.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the rolls are golden-brown.
  9. Make the glaze. In a small bowl, combine the coconut butter (you may need to warm it in the microwave first for about 20 seconds), almond milk, and maple syrup with a whisk. Drizzle over the rolls. Serve.
*alternatively, use pumpkin puree or omit and use 3/4 cup applesauce

Recipe adapted from My New Roots

You might also like:

1. Herbes de Provence Cornbread

2. Cinnamon Toast Cookies

3. No-Bake Chocolate Cream Pie

Published by

Katy MacKinnon

Katy MacKinnon is a food photographer and recipe developer, and Food Fight! co-host.

13 thoughts on “Sweet Potato Cinnamon Buns”

  1. Oh Katy, I was sold by the title, but then I checked out that bomb ingredients list, and it was total love! Every single component!! I love all of the real ingredients that provide sweetness and fat naturally! These really do sound incredible!

    1. Wow, thanks so much Ari! 🙂 It can be hard work sometimes but I really do love when a recipe comes together with natural, wholesome ingredients and also tastes delicious. 🙂

  2. I love this take on cinnamon buns! They sound so much better for you than all those stuffed with so much butter and sugar (one of the reasons I still have yet to make my own – I just don’t need an entire pan of that in my house!). But these … these look delicious!

    1. I agree – it’s tough when you want to make desserts at home but the recipe yields so many! I was lucky to share these with some friends, but they’re definitely a treat I don’t feel one bit guilty about 🙂

  3. If I want cinnamon rolls (one of my all-time favorites), I would definitely make these. I’ve never liked the yeasty ones. What I used to make was bisquick dough spread with butter and cinnamon sugar, which I then rolled up and baked. No glaze. Just plain. I really like how you’ve done your glaze. Seeing recipes like this one could get me back into baking, even though I don’t want to… 🙂

  4. I have a pumpkin-cinnamon roll recipe (not on my blog) that I’ve made and have also made rolls with sweet potatoes (dinner rolls, not cinn rolls) and can attest to how wonderful it makes the dough. These look so good!

    1. Sweet potato dinner rolls sure sound delicious. Sweet potato & winter squash are magical in dough, that’s for sure!

  5. Yum, I love cinnamon rolls and these look so good Katy! I love your sweet potato version. I just made the regular cinnamon rolls not too long and had to give so many away since they were loaded with so much sugar and butter. I would definitely not feel as guilty if I had made these 🙂

    1. I like the idea of being able to eat one, two, or three, without feeling guilty! 🙂 It’s great to see you back, Kelly, 🙂

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