Tag Archives: Cinnamon Roll

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls with Spiced Orange Maple Cream Cheese Icing

25 Aug

Some days I am conceited enough to doubt others’ taste preferences. This cinnamon roll is the case in point. Jess and I were talking about what we should create for breakfast this week. She was being the creative force of the week tossing out tons of ideas. I was struggling to be human that day, so when Jess brought up a fall-ish cinnamon roll with an orange cream cheese icing I doubted her. I had just made Orange Cream Cheese Muffins (post to come), and the glaze was refreshingly citrusy. I had in my mind that glaze, and could not see it on a cinnamon roll. Jess being the gracious friend that she is, found various icing recipes and I finally came to my senses.

Please note- this is not your typical cinnamon roll dough. Jess found a Quick Cinnamon Roll recipe that does not use any yeast (aka no need to make it the night before aka we can just mix it quickly in the morning and still have a tasty breakfast). So we started there. The idea of cottage cheese in the dough was intriguing and since we use our Friday Breakfasts to try out our crazy ideas, it fit the bill nicely. We wanted to change the recipe up a bit. So we thought (note- Jess thought… I wasn’t using the creative side of my brain yet) why not give it a pumpkin filling! Here is where my laziness.. ahem I mean creativity came in… I had a lonely sweet potato in my pantry begging for use. I asked my partner in crime her thoughts on that and we came to the agreement that here they could be used interchangeably. So Jess browsed some recipes and came up with a tasty spiced sweet potato maple mixture for the filling! Mmmm!

We didn’t use a food processor to make the dough because mine is a mini one, but used an immersion blender to process the dough. Random, yes, but it did a great job and once the dough was tacky, I hand mixed it the rest of the way. There is something so satisfying about getting your hands in dough and mixing it. Note- it is meant to be a wetter dough so don’t over mix. I used a glass (because I cannot find my rolling pin….) to roll out the very tasty dough (yes, we tasted it.. and it was good). Jess was preparing the sweet potato mixture. She spread the orange goodness on the dough. We decided it still needed more spices… so we liberally sprinkled cinnamon over the whole thing. Then Jess rolled it up because I lack the skills necessary to roll up dough without squishing the filling out all over the counter. We sliced the dough in half, and then made 8 slices per roll to fill two 9 inch round pans. After baking for 25 minutes they looked quite perfect and they were ready for the icing I had previously been doubting… don’t worry, I saw the light.

Jess had found THIS recipe for pumpkin spice cinnamon rolls with orange maple icing. We started with that recipe and then, as we usually do, added a bit here, tasted a bit there, added a little more and came up with an adapted version that tasted like Christmas Morning! We think it largely had to do with the addition of ground cloves. There is something about orange and clove that is reminiscent of the holidays isn’t there? We had created a spiced orange maple cream cheese icing that we could eat with a spoon! Luckily it was needed on our rolls, otherwise Jess and I might have made our selves sick with continued “tasting” of the delicious concoction. We iced the rolls and served our guests and thankfully- everyone was pleased (even our two and four year old guests who we knew might be our toughest critics!). We decided this was a keeper.

Jess made the smart executive decision not to ice the second pan that we didn’t eat Friday. The icing was stored in the fridge separate from the rolls. Reason being that the rolls would reheat better un-iced. They could be iced after and that way the icing would not be zapped and become super thin. It was definitely the right choice. I heated them this morning in fact and then iced them and enjoyed myself all over again!

Here is the “how to” of our tasty little rolls:

Quick Sweet Rolls with Sweet Potato or Pumpkin

For the dough:
3/4 cup cottage cheese (4% milk fat)
1/3 cup buttermilk (or milk/lemon juice)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 Tbs real butter, melted
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
9 oz. (2 cups) flour; more for rolling
1 Tbs. baking powder
1/2 tsp. table salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda

  • Process wet ingredients in a bowl (use a food processor if you have one big enough). Once combined add in dry ingredients and process until combined. Do not over mix. The dough will be soft. Knead a few times until the dough forms a ball.
  • Roll out dough on floured surface (12×15).
  • Note- you need to use the 4% cottage cheese- the fat helps with the texture of the dough.
For the filling:
3/4 cup sweet potato or pumpkin (if using fresh, it will need to be cooked first)
spices to taste (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves)
1/3 cup maple syrup
2-3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp room temperature butter
  • Mash sweet potato (or pumpkin), butter and maple syrup together. Add in brown sugar and spices. Mix well.
  • Spread mixture on rolled dough
  • Roll dough, slice log in half. Slice each half in 8 and fill two 9 inch round pans.
  • Bake in oven preheated to 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until lightly browned.
For the icing:
2 tbsp room temperature butter
1/2 cup room temperature cream cheese (4 oz)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp grated orange zest (the zest of an entire navel orange)
1 tsp vanilla
3/4-1 cup sifted powdered sugar
ground cloves (to taste)
  • Mix together butter and cream cheese. Add maple syrup, orange juice, orange zest and vanilla. Add powdered sugar until it is desired consistency. Add cloves to taste.
  • Once the rolls are out of the oven try to let them cool for a minute or so. Then, once you can’t wait any longer spread icing on and enjoy!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

1 Jun


These might be the best pancake I have ever put in my mouth. In fact, we loved these pancakes so much that they have made several appearances in the last few weeks. And I think all of our friends would agree that they are wonderfully delicious and relatively easy to make!

I’ve seen quite a few variations of the cinnamon roll pancake on different food blogs that I read. I happen to love all things pumpkin and knew that I had to make this version when I stumbled on this recipe by Recipe Girl. I was also inspired by the flavors of this Gingerbread Cinnamon Roll Pancake from Recipe Girl. So Laura and I made some minor flavor adjustments and came up with what we consider the best pancake recipe. Ever. It’s a bold statement for sure but we think you’ll agree.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

Makes: 8-10 pancakes (depending on how big you make them)

The Ingredients:


  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar

Cinnamon Filling:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Cream Cheese Icing:

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) salted butter
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted (added slowly until desired consistency; may not use all of it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

The Method:

1. Prepare the cinnamon filling: In a small bowl- mix butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Whisk the filling ingredients together and then pour it into a sandwich-sized zip baggie. Zip up the baggie and place it in the fridge while you prepare the pancake batter. You want this to have time to set.

2. Prepare the icing: In a medium microwave-safe bowl, heat butter and cream cheese 30 to 60 seconds, just until butter has melted and cream cheese has softened. Whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla and combine until smooth. Set the icing aside.

3. Prepare the pancake batter: In a large bowl, whisk together milk, pumpkin, eggs, oil, and vinegar. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, salt and brown sugar. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and stir just until all is moistened.

4. Check on your cinnamon filling: Open up the baggie again and give it a good stir to re-incorporate any butter that may have separated. You want the mixture to thicken a bit- it’s best when it’s similar to the squeezing texture of toothpaste. Don’t try to use the filling for the pancake swirl unless it has thickened as it will be too runny! Snip off a small piece of the corner of the baggie.

5. Cook the pancakes: Pre-heat a large skillet or griddle to medium, and spray it with nonstick spray. Use an ice cream scoop (or ladle) to add the batter to the pan. Use the bottom of the scoop or ladle to spread out the batter into a nice, even circle. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Pick up your cinnamon filling baggie and squeeze the filling into the corner. Starting at the center of the pancake squeeze the cinnamon filling on top of the pancake batter in a swirl (just as you see in a cinnamon roll). Cook the pancakes 3 to 4 minutes, or until bubbles begin popping on top of the pancake and it is golden brown on the bottom. Slide a thin spatula underneath the pancake and gently but quickly flip it over. Cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes, until the other side is golden as well. When you flip the pancake onto a plate, you will see that the cinnamon filling has created a crater-swirl of cinnamon. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel, and repeat with the remaining pancake batter and cinnamon filling. Serve pancakes topped with a drizzle of cream cheese icing.

What we learned:

Well, I will say it again. These pancakes are delicious! When we first made the cinnamon filling it was very runny (melted butter will have that effect). We let it set in the refrigerator while we prepped the other components and it was the perfect consistency when we were ready to use it. The spices are definitely to taste. We happen to like lots of spice so we were generous with those. And the cream cheese icing is pretty quick to mix together but you may not need all the powdered sugar. Just add the sugar until you get a nice drizzle-able consistency.

We hope you enjoy this phenomenal morning treat… and we apologize in advance if you find yourself addicted to these!