Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cake of the Week: Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls with Bourbon Vanilla Glaze

I just awoke to a very dreary, grey, cold, and ominously foggy Northern California morning. 

Later on I may psyche myself up to put on some real clothes, leave my book behind, and go on a bike ride or something. But for now I am settled into the warmth of my parents' kitchen, a hot cup of coffee, and the last Sweet Potato Cinnamon Roll left over from Christmas morning. 

The best thing about these cinnamon rolls is that there's no yeast involved, so you don't have to worry about them rising. I started these first thing in the morning on Christmas, and about 30 minutes later we were eating them while listening to Christmas music.


Sweet potatoes are relatively new to my family. For some reason I had never tried one until I went to college! But now we're converted -- sweet potato fries, roasted sweet potatoes, sweet potatoes in stew, etc. This is the first time I've baked sweet potatoes into a dessert and so far I am totally pro. The potato gives these cinnamon rolls a slightly pumpkin-y flavor. The rolls themselves are barely sweet, but with the sugary filling and bourbon vanilla glaze, I think they are perfect.

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls with Bourbon Vanilla Glaze (adapted from Chocolate & Carrots)

Go here for the printable recipe.

1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
dash of salt
2 medium sweet potatoes (I know this is vague - I did about 1 cup mashed sweet potato)
1 1/3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 skim milk
3 heaping tablespoons of buttermilk powder
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, melted and cooled
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon bourbon
milk as needed

  • Prepare an 8 inch square baking dish by spraying it with cooking spray and setting it aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  • Wash the sweet potatoes and poke them with a fork.
  • Wrap in a wet paper towel and microwave them for 6 minutes, or until tender.
  • Set aside to cool.
  • In the meantime, prepare your filling by combine all of the filling ingredients together in a bowl and setting it aside.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer (I used a spoon and bowl, and once all the ingredients were in I kneaded the dough), and then when , combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix just for a few seconds to combine.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the skim milk and buttermilk powder together and pour into the mixing bowl.
  • Scoop the potatoes out of their skins and mash with a fork and add it to the mixing bowl.
  • Add 4 tablespoons of the melted butter to the mixing bowl and mix with the dough hook attachment for about 2 minutes (this is the kneading part). The dough will be sticky
  • Turn out the dough onto a heavily floured surface.
  • Roll out the dough to a 9″ x 12″ rectangle.
  • Brush the dough with the last 2 tablespoons of melted butter, leaving a 1/2″ border.
  • Sprinkle the filling mixture over the butter.
  • Roll the dough up along the long edge (so that the dough is long).
  • Cut into 9 equal parts using a pastry scraper or serrated knife (You can also cut until 12 equal parts for smaller cinnamon rolls).
  • Gently reshape cinnamon rolls as your put them in the dish to be more circular (if they became more oval when cutting).
  • Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 12 minutes.
  • Uncover and bake for another 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
  • Whisk together glaze ingredients. Add milk as needed to thin it to a spreadable consistency. Spread the glaze over the cinnamon rolls. 

Serve warm and enjoy! Go here for the printable recipe.