Healthier Yeast-Free Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rollsgo to recipe
Pressed for time but still want healthy and delicious cinnamon rolls? Look no further because these homemade sweet potato cinnamon rolls are yeast-free, healthy, and have no refined sugars.
Using active yeast is the element of traditional cinnamon rolls that require the largest amount of time. Creating a recipe without active yeast saves a ton of time but doesn’t affect the deliciousness one bit.
By using spelt flour, these rolls turned out a little lighter and less dense than a traditional cinnamon roll. Not to worry, though, because they still hold moisture and are ooey-gooey thanks to the sweet potatoes and butter. They’re also refined sugar free, which is so hard to find in a cinnamon roll recipe.
So why use spelt flour? I knew all-purpose flour wasn’t an option in our house, whole wheat flour would be dense, and a homemade gluten-free blend would require more ingredients. Spelt flour can easily replace ap flour or ww flour at a 1:1 ration. It has a sweet, nutty flavor but, unlike ww flour, doesn’t taste bitter or grainy. It is a light grain, which is part of why this version of cinnamon rolls are lighter, softer, and less dense.
What Is spelt flour? Spelt flour is ground flour made from an ancient grain that is close in comparison to wheat. Although similar to wheat, it does contain more protein and fewer calories than wheat. As mentioned earlier, it carries a light, sweet, and minimally nutty flavor. It is a good source of fiber, protein, and tons of vitamins and minerals like magnesium, manganese, iron, zinc, phosphorus, and B vitamins. Our bodies quickly absorb this grain’s vital nutrients due to its high water solubility making it easier for our bodies to digest. For people with wheat sensitivities and even those with a gluten-intolerance, this flour is sometimes a suitable substitute.
If you aren’t a fan of coconut butter, other suitable options for icing include a combo of cream cheese, butter, honey or maple syrup, and vanilla extract. A simple glaze is also an option, although it uses refined sugar, that includes powdered sugar mixed with milk of choice until desired consistency is reached.
- 3 cups + 1 tbsp spelt flour, plus more for kneading & rolling - (see note)
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup cooked sweet potato - skin removed, mashed (about 1 medium)
- 5 tbsp unsalted grassfed butter, melted & divided - (see note)
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk - (see note)
- 1/2 cup coconut butter
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup milk of choice, at room temperature - (see note)
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Make the filling by stirring together all of the ingredients until well-combined (it will resemble a paste, that’s ok).
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk sweet potatoes, 4 tablespoons melted butter, and buttermilk until smooth.
- Pour wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients. Stir gently with a spoon, just until dough comes together.
- Knead the dough with your hands (make sure you put flour on your hands to prevent sticking) for a few minutes and form a ball. Cut the ball in half.
- Lightly flour a large, flat surface and roll one half of the dough into a rectangular shape (a little larger than a sheet of paper or about ¼ inches thick.
- Spread ½ of the filling in the middle of the dough (leave about ½ inch space on all sides) then gently roll as tightly as possible.
- Pinch the seams then cut into 8 rolls. Place rolls (flat side down) into a greased 12”x 8” rectangle glass baking dish (or pan).
- Repeat those steps, starting at #6, and place 8 more rolls into the pan.
- Brush the tops of rolls with the remaining 1 tablespoon melted butter and bake in the oven for 18-22 minutes. Let cool for 5-10 minutes.
- For the icing, whisk melted coconut butter with maple syrup. Add milk, one tablespoon at a time, while whisking until desired consistency is reached. Spread the icing on top of rolls and serve immediately.
- Substitute spelt flour with all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, or any gluten-free baking flour mix of choice using a 1:1 ratio.
- These cinnamon rolls can simply be made vegan by substituting grassfed butter with vegan butter of choice and buttermilk with nut-milk of choice (I recommend cashew or almond – full fat).
- If you notice the dough isn’t holding its shape well ( or more flakey) during the kneading process, add a little more buttermilk (or milk of choice), 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough is thick and sticky. You want the dough to be sticky. If it’s easily moldable and thin, add a little more spelt flour to reach the right form of dough.
- I recommend the milk used in the icing be full-fat. Regular whole milk, almond milk, and cashew milk are great options.
- If you aren’t a fan of coconut butter, other suitable options for icing include a combo of cream cheese, butter, honey or maple syrup, and vanilla extract. A simple glaze is also an option, although it uses refined sugar, that includes powdered sugar mixed with milk of choice until desired consistency is reached.