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glaze being poured onto plate with cinnamon roll and chopped pecans

Vegan Sweet Potato Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Soft & fluffy sweet potato cinnamon rolls filled with an ooey-gooey cinnamon sugar & pecan filling and topped with a maple spice glaze!
4.75 from 4 votes
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Course: Vegan Sweet Rolls
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 10 cinnamon rolls

Ingredients 

Sweet Potato Rolls:

  • cup warmed almond milk not hot, just lukewarm
  • 2 ¼ teaspoon active dried yeast or instant yeast
  • ½ cup sweet potato purée
  • cup organic cane sugar
  • ¼ cup melted vegan butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 ¼- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Filling:

  • ½ cup butter room temperature; NOT melted but soft
  • cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans

Maple Spice Glaze:

  • 1 ½ Tablespoons maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon almond milk
  • ½ cup sifted powdered sugar

Instructions

Making the Sweet Potato Dough:

  • Begin by adding your warmed almond milk and yeast to a large mixing bowl. Let sit for 3-5 minutes to make sure the yeast is activated. You will be able to tell if it's bubbling. If using instant yeast, you can skip this step and add the yeast directly to the mix with the flour and salt.
  • Next, add the sweet potato purée, sugar, melted vegan butter, and vanilla to the large mixing bowl and whisk together to combine.
  • Once mixed, gradually begin adding in your flour about ½-1 cup at a time. Also, add in the 1 tsp of salt at this time.
  • Once all the flour has been added in, knead the dough. If using a standing mixer, switch the attachment to the bread hook and knead for 5-10 minutes until elastic. If you are kneading by hand, knead on a lightly floured surface for 10-15 minutes or until the dough is elastic and significantly less sticky. (Since the dough has sweet potato in it, it will be stickier than normal bun dough, but should firm up a lot during kneading). The dough is done being kneaded once it can be stretched without easily tearing, is smooth, and tacky but not sticky.
  • Once the bread is ready, add it to a well oiled bowl for the first rise. I prefer to coat my bowl in olive oil, but any oil works here. The dough will be sticky so you may want to lightly oil your hands before grabbing the dough.
  • Then, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a towel, place in a warm place, and let rise 1 hour or until doubled in size. I like to test my dough by "poking" it with a finger. If it doesn't bounce back and stays indented, it is ready. It is also important to not “overproof” the dough as it can turn sour from the yeast turning the sugar into alcohol, so do not let the dough sit too long.

Adding the Filling:

  • In a separate bowl, mash together the brown sugar, softened room temperature vegan butter, and cinnamon until a thick paste forms. This can also be done in a blender, food processor, or by hand with a fork. Then, set aside and turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface.
  • Roll the dough into a 1" thick rectangle that is around 9*14 inches in width and length. You don't want the dough to be too thin or you will have a hard time rolling it up once the filling is inside!
  • After the dough is rolled out, use a spatula to spread the cinnamon sugar filling evenly across the dough. Make sure to leave a ¼ inch border around the edges of the dough without filling. Then, sprinkle the chopped pecans on top of the cinnamon sugar filling.
  • Beginning with the longer side of the rectangle, tightly roll up the dough into a log. Lightly flour the dough as you go to help if it gets a bit sticky. Make sure to seal the roll by pinching the edges together. Then, flip the dough over so the pinched seal is facing down.
  • Once the dough is rolled into a log, trim the ends and discard. Cut the remaining dough into 10 evenly sized rolls using a very sharp knife. Place the rolls into a large ceramic pan (I used a 14.5” oval pan), cover with plastic wrap or a towel, and let rest for another 30 minutes at room temperature while you preheat the oven. (You can also let the dough rise overnight covered in the fridge for 6-8 hours and bake in the morning).

Baking The Rolls:

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Once the oven is preheated, remove the plastic wrap or towel from the pan of rolls and add the pan to the oven. Bake the rolls for 30-35 minutes or until cooked through. Then, remove the rolls from the oven and let cool slightly. While the rolls are cooling, make the maple spice glaze!

Making the Maple Spice Glaze: 

  • Add maple syrup, almond milk, and cinnamon to a small bowl and whisk together. Then, gradually add in the powdered sugar until a thick glaze forms. If needed, add in a little more milk for a thinner glaze or more powdered sugar for a thicker glaze. Overall, the glaze should be very thick.
  • Pour the glaze over the warm sweet potato rolls and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Notes

  • This recipe can be made refined sugar-free by subbing coconut sugar or maple sugar for the granulated and brown sugar, though the result will be slightly less sweet.
  • I like using my Kitchenaid Standing Mixer to knead the bread dough
  • If cutting the rolls smaller and baking in a larger pan (like a 9*13 inch pan with 12-15 rolls) decrease the baking time to 20-28 minutes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1roll | Calories: 596kcal | Carbohydrates: 95g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 2g | Sodium: 373mg | Potassium: 243mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 2698IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 4mg
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