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Small-Batch Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls {Vegan}

Small-Batch Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls {No Refined Sugar, Vegan}

I really think there’s some kind of biological cinnamon-roll clock in my body. I’ve been thinking about these rolls non-stop for the past 3 weeks.

Of course, cinnamon rolls are close to my heart because they involve copious amounts of my favourite spice. Thus, it was definitely necessary during my no-added-sugar recipe development phase to make a sugarless version. Like, I don’t mean a shitty #health version. I wanted them to be just as soft and sticky, with glaze and all.

Small-Batch Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls {No Refined Sugar, Vegan}

I’ve baked bread using pumpkin purée (specifically, these pumpkin spice pretezeeeellls!!!) and adored the golden hue and pillowy texture it added. Roasted sweet potatoes seemed like a good substitute. Due to their inherently saccharine nature, I thought I could get away with leaving sugar out of the dough.

Small-Batch Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls {No Refined Sugar, Vegan}

Onto the filling! Medjool dates = muscovado sugar, flavour wise. Plus they’re gooey and spreadable when blended. I just needed to jazz up them up with some creamy nut butter, a bit more sweet potato puree (to help make it a bit easier to spread) and of course CINNAMON.

Small-Batch Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls {No Refined Sugar, Vegan}

The glaze was a bit of a hassle (icing sugar is magical and also a pain to substitute) but I ended up with a pipable glaze once I realised the key ingredient to a sugar-free icing is coconut yogurt.

Oh, and I made these for my flatmates last week. There were none left by the end of the day. I think that confirms my legit cinnamon roll aims were met.

– dough recipe adapted from Oh, Ladycakes
– to make the sweet potato puree: poke holes all over a sweet potato using a fork. Wrap it in foil and then bake for 45-60 minutes, depending on the size of the sweet potato. Leave to cool then scoop the flesh out, discarding the skin, and blend until smooth.
– spare sweet potato puree can be frozen!

Small-Batch Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls {No Added Sugar, Vegan}

Small-Batch Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls {No Added Sugar, Vegan}


For the dough:

  • 1/2 cup (120 g) sweet potato puree (see notes)
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 3 tbsp melted coconut oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) oat milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 1 tsp active dried yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) all-purpose (plain) flour, plus more for kneading
  • 1 cup (120 g) wholewheat (wholemeal) flour

For the filling:

  • 4 medjool dates, , pitted
  • 2 tbsp sweet potato puree
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 heaped tsp nut butter, (I used pecan butter but cashew, almond or coconut would work well)
  • 3 tbsp chopped pecans

For the glaze:

  • 1 tbsp coconut butter, , melted
  • 1 tsp tapioca starch or cornstarch
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp coconut yogurt, (I used Coyo)


Make the dough:

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the sweet potato puree, flaxseed, coconut oil, oat milk and yeast. Add the salt and flours and mix well. Tip the contents of the bowl out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough, sprinkling with flour as needed, until smooth and only slightly sticky (about 6 minutes). Lightly oil the bowl you were using and place the dough in it, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place until doubled in volume (about an hour).

Make the filling:

  1. Cover the pitted dates with boiling water and set them aside for 5 minutes to soften then drain, discarding the soaking liquid. Place the soaked dates into a blender with the sweet potato puree, cinnamon, vanilla and nut butter. Blend until completely smooth (You could also put everything in a jug and use an immersion blender to blend up this filling mixture).


  1. Punch the risen dough down and roll out into a 9 x 10-inch rectangle. Cover the entire surface of the dough with a layer of filling. Sprinkle with the chopped pecans. Roll the dough up starting at the short edge so you end up with a 9-inch long log. Cut into 6 equal pieces and arrange in a lightly greased cake pan. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes to rise (20 minutes into the rising time, preheat your oven to 350 F (180 C)). Remove the plastic wrap and bake for 20 minutes. Leave to cool for 10 minutes.

Make the glaze:

  1. Stir together all of the glaze ingredients. Transfer to a sandwich bag and cut the tip of one corner off. Use like a piping bag to pipe glaze over the cinnamon rolls.

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  • Kristina October 28, 2015 at 8:34 am

    Oh nice, these look great. I always wanted to find a good recipe for healthier cinnamon rolls that still taste and feel like real cinnamon rolls. I never made them with sweet potato, definitely something I need to try.

  • Franziska Glauser October 28, 2015 at 8:47 am

    Oh, these little sweet potato cinnamon rools look so delicious and pretty, perfect for a little break from work on this rainy day!!!
    Have a wonderful day, Franzi

  • Tori October 28, 2015 at 10:18 am

    These look amazing but what’s more amazing is that you did it without sugar! Major props, girl! If I was your flatmate these wouldn’t have lasted more than a few minutes, much less a whole day!

  • Ksenia @ At the Immigrant's Table October 28, 2015 at 10:50 am

    Good, gooey cinnamon buns remain one of my all-time weaknesses. I am also avoiding raw sugar now, and these look incredible! Kudos on the fall twist with the pumpkin flavour.

  • Karen @ Seasonal Cravings October 28, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    What a great twist on a regular cinnamon roll. I love that they are not covered in icing. No sugar! Wow.

  • Sarah | Well and Full October 28, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    GENIUS making the icing glaze with coconut yogurt. I always get so excited when you post vegan baking recipes because I know they’ll be delicious!! 😀

  • Kathryn October 28, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    Two of my favourite things: sweet potato and cinnamon rolls. Clever spin on the icing, must give these a go! 🙂

  • SAUL October 28, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    Made with sweet potato and they’re vegan! Amazing!

    Have a look at our new collection:

  • Mahée Ferlini October 28, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    This recipe is amazing! Finally a cinnamon roll I can eat and not feel guilty. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Ingrid - Let's talk evergreen October 28, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    Hi Izy, what a great idea! I’ve been thinking about cinnamon rolls too coincidentally. This is very clever, I like the idea of using sweet potato. Perhaps I should make these very soon! xo

  • Liz October 28, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    I am such a fan of your blog and now really enjoying your creative recipes as you explore the “no sugar” approach with a sensible, even-handed, rather than a fanatical, approach. Thanks so much for sharing & I am now DESPERATE to try these as I am a lover of cinnamon in everything too! (Can’t go past peanut butter, cinnamon and sliced apple on grainy sourdough for a breakfast hit – nom!)

  • Izzy | Common + Comfort October 28, 2015 at 10:02 pm


  • haley @cupcakes and sunshine October 29, 2015 at 10:50 am

    WOW! I’m going to try making these with gf flour. Do you think that will work!? these look incredible.

  • E October 29, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Ooooh this looks crazy delicious!!

  • Abbie E. October 29, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    Saving,trying, & eating!
    Abbie E.

  • Nina October 31, 2015 at 10:14 pm

    Very delicious recipe! I made them gluten-free and it worked fine! Just the icing was not my cup of tea… The coconut flavor just too much

  • Emily November 1, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    These look so delicious!! Could I use pumpkin puree instead of sweet potato??

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  • Marieke November 2, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    Hi Izy! Just wondering, for the glace, you really meant coconut butter right? Not coconut oil? Thank you for the recipe!

    • Izy November 2, 2015 at 3:14 pm

      yep! it’s coconut butter 🙂

  • emily ellis November 4, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    do you know if i can let them sit over night then bake them when i get up the next morning

    • Izy November 4, 2015 at 4:08 pm

      You could probably let the shaped rolls sit in the fridge overnight. Then in the morning let them sit out in a warm spot for 30-60 minutes until doubled in size and bake as usual 🙂

  • leighchorscraft November 5, 2015 at 8:43 pm

    These look amazing, think I might just have to give them a try! Perfect to eat on the sofa with a blanket watching a film – toastie!

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  • Emily November 10, 2015 at 3:17 am

    Hey Izy!
    This recipe is awesome, but I’m a little confused.
    There’s non-dairy milk in the ingredient list, but I can’t seem to find it in the instructions.
    I seem to be the only one having trouble, so it may be my stupid mistake….

    • Izy November 10, 2015 at 2:57 pm

      Hi Emily!! So sorry, the oat milk goes in with the other wet-ish ingredients at the beginning. Amended it now! 🙂 x

      • Emily November 11, 2015 at 2:10 pm

        Oh, thanks! Can’t wait to try this recipe

  • Kate Ramos (@holajalapeno) November 10, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    Bravo! Can’t wait to try these. I’m thinking they might go over well this weekend with the wee ones!

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  • Silverglass April 16, 2016 at 2:21 am

    I’m confused. Doesn’t coconut yogurt have sugar in some form?

    • Izy April 16, 2016 at 2:39 am

      Coconut yogurt does contain a small amount of naturally occurring sugar – but far less sugar than is even found in plain cow’s milk yogurt! The amount of sugar in the brand of coconut yogurt I used (‘Coyo’) is only 0.5g per 100g 🙂

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