Delicious vegan sweet potato cinnamon rolls! These homemade cinnamon buns are pillowy soft, with a touch of sweetness and earthy depth from the sweet potato, and are packed with gooey cinnamon filling!
A fun twist on the classic pastry, where addition of sweet potato mash creates not only extra-moist and fluffy dough, but also adds a pop of colour, and guarantees to have you hooked from the first bite.
Sweet potato sticky buns filled with warm and fragrant cinnamon sugar are a perfect cosy bake, especially during autumn and winter months. They can be enjoyed plain, with simple sugar glaze, or with (dairy free) cream cheese frosting.
This recipe is very similar to my Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls, but it's adjusted to make a slightly smaller batch of 8-10 buns.
The ingredients to make this easy sweet potato cinnamon rolls recipe are very similar to any other cinnamon rolls, apart from using couple of vegan substitutes (milk and butter).
Here's what you will need to make these vegan sweet potato rolls:
- Sweet potato - You can use cooked or roasted sweet potato mash in this recipe. Boiled sweet potatoes will have more water in them, and will add more liquid to the dough, so you will have to use a little more flour to balance it out. Alternatively, you can also use canned sweet potato puree.
- Flour - Plain, all purpose flour or strong white bread flour.
- Yeast - Active dry yeast, instant yeast or easy bake yeast will work great in this recipe.
- Milk - Any type of dairy free milk will do: soy, almond, oat or coconut.
- Butter - Plant based, dairy free butter to enrich the dough with, and to add to the cinnamon sugar filing.
- Sugar - Small amount of granulated or caster sugar for the dough, and soft light brown sugar for the filling (but you can use white sugar for the filling too, if you prefer).
- Ground cinnamon - For the filling.
Additionally, you may also need dairy free cream cheese alternative and icing sugar (for the frosting or glaze on top of your buns).
Scroll to the bottom of this post for the recipe card and the full list of the ingredients.
Start by warming up the milk of choice and vegan butter together in a small saucepan. Once the butter is melted, allow the mixture to cool until it is lukewarm, then add yeast.
Use a large bowl to combine flour, sugar (granulated or caster) and salt, then pour in the liquid with yeast and add the sweet potato mixture. Mix everything together until you have smooth dough.
Allow the dough to double in size, then roll it into rectangle, roughly about 20cm x 36cm (8 x 14 inches).
Spread softened butter on top of the dough and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Roll the dough into a log, starting with the wider edge. Cut into 10 even rolls.
Place the rolls into baking dish, leaving roughly about 1cm (½ inch) of space between each.
Prove the rolls for 30 -40 minutes or until they have doubled in size. Bake for 23-28 minutes or until golden brown.
- Icing or frosting - Sweet potato cinnamon rolls are delicious on their own, but you can also serve them with simple icing sugar glaze or soft cheese (cream cheese) frosting. For a simple sugar glaze, mix 80g of icing sugar with 1-2 tablespoons of dairy free milk, then drizzle over the buns. For the frosting, mix 130g of dairy free soft cheese (at room temperature) with 80g of icing sugar and spread on top of slightly warm rolls.
- Non-vegan sweet potato cinnamon rolls - Use traditional butter and milk, instead of dairy free ones.
- Extra toppings - Try sprinkling some chopped pecan nuts or toasted hazelnuts on top of the buns. You can also sprinkle them with some extra cinnamon or any other warming spice like nutmeg or cardamom.
- Freestanding mixer - Use stand mixer with the hook attachment. You can knead this dough by hand too, but using a standing mixer will make it much easier and quicker.
- Baking dish - This recipe makes about 8-10 rolls, depending on how thick you slice them. You can use deep baking tray, roughly 20 x 30 cm in size (8 x 12- inches) or round baking dish/ baking pan, roughly 25cm (10- inches) big. Pie dish or Pyrex style dish will work really well too!
If you have more than 10 buns, because you slices are thinner, opt in for a bigger dish. If your baking pan is too small, the rolls will be too squished and will likely pop out while baking.
These vegan sweet potato cinnamon rolls are best eaten fresh, while still slightly warm and on the day they were made.
Store any leftover rolls (frosted or plain) at room temperature, for up to 2 days. Cover them tightly with plastic wrap or place in an airtight container to prevent from drying.
- Boiled sweet potatoes will have higher water content than roasted sweet potatoes. If using cooked sweet potatoes for the mash, you may have to add some extra flour to your dough, to balance it out (only about 2-3 tablespoons).
- The dough is ready when it no longer sticks to your hands or the sides of your bowl. If it feels to sticky and wet, just add little more flour to it.
- Choose the right size baking dish. If it's too small, the buns will be overcrowded, and will more likely pop out while baking.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, they can! Bake the rolls as per the recipe instructions and allow them to cool completely. Wrap in a double layer of clingfilm, then place in the freezer. They can be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw them in the fridge overnight, and warm up in the oven before serving.
To make ahead, simply prepare the dough the night before through step X. Cover and store in the fridge overnight. The next day, remove from the fridge and bring to room temperature for an hour. Continue with step X as per recipe instructions.
Unfortunately, I have not tested this recipe with gluten free flour. If you tried, I would love to hear about your results!
To pin this recipe and save it for later, use the button on the recipe card or on the photos above.
If you try this recipe, or any other recipe on Anna Banana, please take a moment to rate the recipe and/ or leave me a comment. I love hearing from you, but it also helps other readers who are thinking of making the recipe.
Vegan Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls
- small saucepan
- stand mixer with hook attachment optional
- large mixing bowl
- baking dish
- 150 ml dairy free milk of choice
- 50 g dairy free butter room temperature
- 7 g active dry yeast
- 380 g plain (all purpose) flour
- 50 g granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 100 g mashed sweet potato cooled
For the filling:
- 70 g dairy free butter softened
- 80 g soft light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- Make the dough. Place the milk and butter into a small saucepan over a small heat. Warm it up and allow the butter to melt completely. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, until the mixture is lukewarm. Add yeast and stir it. Set aside.150 ml dairy free milk of choice, 50 g dairy free butter, 7 g active dry yeast
- In a large bowl, or in a bowl of your standing mixer, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Pour in the liquid with yeast, and add the sweet potato mash. Use a spatula to bring the dough together, then transfer into a lightly floured surface and start kneading with your hands or start mixing on a low speed using the freestanding mixer with hook attachment. Keep kneading/ mixing, until you have a smooth dough that no longer sticks to your hands or the sides of the bowl. If the dough feels too sticky, add a little more flour.Place the dough into an lightly oiled bowl and cover with clingfilm. Allow to rise for an hour or until doubled in size.380 g plain (all purpose) flour, 50 g granulated sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, 100 g mashed sweet potato
- Roll the dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into rectangle, roughly about 36cm x 20cm (14 x 8-inch).
- Add the filling. Spread the softened butter on top of the dough. In a small bowl, mix together the cinnamon and the sugar, then sprinkle on top of the butter in an even layer. Use your hands to gently press the cinnamon sugar into the dough.70 g dairy free butter, 80 g soft light brown sugar, 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- Shape the buns. Starting at the wide edge, roll the dough into a tight log. Use a sharp knife or unflavoured floss to cut it into 8-10 equal slices. Transfer the rolls into a lightly greased baking dish, spacing them roughly 1cm apart, then cover loosely with clingfilm or clean tea towel and allow to rise for 30-40 minutes, or until doubled in size.
- Bake the rolls. Preheat the oven to 170°C (fan) (338°F). Bake the rolls for 23-28 minutes, or until golden brown. If they start browning too much while baking, cover them loosely with aluminium foil. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.
- Spread the frosting or drizzle with simple glaze (if using), while the buns are still slightly warm. Enjoy!
Please note that all my recipes are developed and tested in metric grams. I recommend that you use digital scales for a more accurate results. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.
- When using boiled sweet potatoes, remember that they will have higher liquid content, so you will likely have to add more flour to your dough, as it will be more wet.
- The dough is ready when it no longer sticks to your hands, or to the sides of the bowl. Add a little more flour, until you have smooth, non-sticky dough.
- Choose the right size baking dish. This recipe makes about 8-10 rolls, depending on how thick you slice them. You can use deep baking tray, roughly 20 x 30 cm in size (8 x 12- inches) or round baking dish/ baking pan, roughly 25cm (10- inches) big. Pie dish or Pyrex style dish will work really well too!
This post was originally published in November 2017. It has been updated with new photos, revised recipe and tips in January 2024.