So I have shifted over from pumpkining-all-the-things to getting into sweet potato mode, and, let’s face it, it’s not such a big move, flavor-wise but I am finding new ideas. Sweet potatoes are to November what pumpkin is to October so the time is right for more orange beta carotene in a new form and that is what these Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls offer. I learned in the classic Simple Treats cookbook what a game-changer sweet potato purée is in vegan desserts, bringing a silky, creamy egg replacement for baked goods, and I’ve been hooked ever since.
Don’t mistake them for health food, though – I didn’t promise you a miracle. They are cinnamon rolls. This treat is easy and simple to make, though you will mess up a few bowls. ‘Tis the season, amirite? And the cinnamon belly buttons in the middle make it all worthwhile.
I personally loved adding dried cranberries to boost the holiday connection even a little more but they would work perfectly well without them, or with raisins, or nuts or whatever you like.
Dough 2½ cups gluten-free, all-purpose flour blend (my favorite) ½ teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon ground ginger 1 cup sweet potato purée ⅔ cup plain, non-dairy milk, warmed 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup 2 tablespoons melted vegan butter or neutral cooking oil 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Filling 3 tablespoons vegan butter softened (not melted) ⅓ cup brown sugar 2½ teaspoons ground cinnamon ¼ cup dried cranberries, raisins or currents (optional)
In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and ginger and whisk. In a smaller bowl, stir together the sweet potato purée, non-dairy milk, maple syrup, vegan butter and vanilla until incorporated. Pour into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir until all the dry ingredients and wet ingredients are folded in together. Put in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a rectangular baking part.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and lightly flour a rolling surface. Put the dough ball on the rolling surface and lightly flour the top. Roll out to a basic rectangular shape. Spread the softened butter over the top, avoiding the inch around the edges. Mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon. (Put aside a couple of tablespoons for sprinkling on the top later if you like.) Distribute evenly over the buttered top and sprinkle the optional dried cranberries or other extras over that.
Starting at the long end farthest from you, roll in towards you bit by bit, pressing gently as you go. When the whole dough is rolled, slice with a small, very sharp knife into pieces about 1 - 2-inches wide and place in your prepared pan with the rolled part facing up.
Bake for 35 minutes. Make the icing just before you remove the rolls from the pan. In a medium bowl, stir together the powdered sugar and non-dairy milk until smooth.
Remove from the pan and allow to cool for about five minutes, then ice. Sprinkle with reserved sugar-cinnamon if you like.