Sweet Potato Cinnamon Buns
by Meredith Steele of In Sock Monkey Slippers
One morning while eating a piece of low-cal pita bread but craving cinnamon rolls, I was reminded of my nanny, who always cooked something homemade and sweet for
breakfast. Then memories of Sunday dinner with my enormous southern family flashed in front of me, with visions of heavenly, mouth-watering sweet-potato casserole topped with a brown-sugar cinnamon pecan crust. This caused me to drool over my poor dog that was laying at my feet, and thus Sweet Potato Cinnamon Buns were created. Now these are a favorite sweet, sticky, and oh-so-delicious breakfast treat at the Steele house.
Makes enough for 12
- 2 teaspoons rapid rise yeast
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 cup sweet potato, cooked
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup milk
In a large bowl, combine yeast and granulated sugar. Add the warm water (100°F to 110°F), stir, and set aside to rise for 15 minutes.
In another bowl, beat the eggs and vanilla until combined. Add the melted butter and stir.
To the yeast add the egg mixture and sweet potato. Gently stir to mix.
In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, combine flour and salt. Add the yeast, egg, and sweet potato mixture to the flour and mix on medium-low speed for a couple of minutes until combined. The dough will be wet.
Switch to a dough hook and knead on medium-low (level 2) for 7 minutes. Add a touch more flour if the dough is too wet to form a ball.
Grease a large bowl with butter and transfer the dough to it. Cover with a towel and let rest for 1 hour and 30 minutes until the dough has doubled in size. You can also allow the dough to rise overnight by covering the bowl with plastic wrap and placing it in the refrigerator for 8 hours. Then allow the dough to rest 30 minutes at room temperature before working with it.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Place three bowls on the counter to create a “work station.” In one bowl add the 1/2 cup melted butter. In the next bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon. And in the last bowl, place the chopped pecans.
Grease a large muffin tin and set aside.
Gently punch down the risen dough. With your fingers pinch golf ball-sized dough balls (this is made easier by using a small ice cream scoop) and roll the dough in your hands to create a ball. Place the dough ball into the butter, then sugar/cinnamon mixture, and then roll in the pecans. Place the ball into a muffin cup. Repeat with the remaining dough, placing three dough balls into each muffin cup.
Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes until the dough has cooked through. After removing from the oven, allow the “buns” to rest in the muffin tin for 5 minutes. Then remove from the muffin cups and allow to cool on a cooling rack.
To create the icing, combine the powdered sugar and milk and stir until thick and creamy. Pour 1 tablespoon of icing over the buns and devour immediately.