Need a sweet potato & chocolate fix? No need to answer that: of course you do! And if you're not sure, this roll will convince you, I am certain. Sweet potatoes and chocolate are a classic autumnal flavor pairing and it wouldn't be the first time this duo makes an appearance on the blog...
In fact, strangely enough, even though I'm extremely surprised myself, one of the most popular desserts people search for on this blog is this oldie sweet potato cake with a chocolate pudding frosting. Funny, looking at that older recipe & photos I hardly even recognize that it's my own work -- kind of like looking at a photo of yourself when you're a teen and questioning "is that really what I looked like back then? What was I thinking wearing that outfit?!" Just kidding, it's not so bad -- that cake is actually very delicious and the memory of it is what inspired these sweet potato chocolate rolls this year (that and a lot of leftover sweet potato puree... ;) ).
So back to these rolls. They need explaining because they're the kind of thing that's both very familiar and very foreign at the same time because they are quite unlike any "traditional" dessert I've ever tried, except maybe some equally difficult to describe Asian pastries I've sampled in the past... But then again, I don't see why food has to be like some other food or need a justification... Suffice it to say these rolls are delicious, autumnal, and a good way to sneak veggies into your dessert :) (queue a corny "I yam what I yam" line here...) (...which reminds me, by sweet potatoes in this recipe I mean the ones labeled "yams" at the grocery stores -- the orange kind!).
You just need to know before you go for these that they are NOT a cinnamon bun, nor a wannabe. I never intended them to be so. Just saying because a friend saw them fresh out of the oven and was instantly craving them. Took a huge mouthful before I could say what they are and had a contorted look on his face because he was expecting a cinnamon bun.. Once I told him it's not a cinnamon bun he actually really liked it and even asked for some to go besides the ones he finished while here -- so it was all good :) . I mean they don't look like cinnamon buns to me, but given that experience just putting it out there in case that's what you're thinking too while looking at these photos...
Instead, what you're getting here is a soft and chewy cinnamony sweet potato pastry balanced by a good dose of chocolate, all tied together with an amazing toffee sauce. While the rolls were baking away I contemplated what kind of a drizzle to put on them. After briefly contemplating a cream cheese drizzle, a toffee or caramel topping seemed to make more sense so I whipped one up on the fly with the leftover sweet potato mash I had on hand (and inspired by a pumpkin caramel toffee sauce in my upcoming book I'm really excited about and can't wait to show you soon!). The sauce turned out incredibly delicious and really makes these rolls come together <3
I've been nibbling on these rolls for breakfast and they're the perfect cozy autumnal treat with a hot cuppa. I like mine warmed up so I've been re-warming them in the toaster, but they're quite good chilled as well. One thing I will say is that they are a lot more filling than you'd expect, despite being completely oil-free. By virtue of them being grain-free, the almond and coconut flour make them quite satiating. So see how I sliced them in the photos? You want to cut those in half. That's all I can personally manage in one sitting anyhow (can't say the same for my dessert-hungry friend above though ;) )... More portions are always better anyhow, right? Oh, last thing I'll say is that they are great to take with btw. Had some packed up on a road trip and they were great on the go.
A soft, chewy gluten-free cinnamon pastry accented by a chocolate swirl and topped with dairy-free toffee caramel drizzle.
- 2 cups sweet potato puree (I boiled 2 large sweet potatoes, then strained and mashed them into a puree -- skins included)
- ½ cup maple syrup (or agave, coconut nectar, yacon syrup, etc.)
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- ½ cup tapioca starch
- 1 ¾ cup almond flour
- 1 cup coconut flour
- 1 ⅓ cups melted dairy-free chocolate chips or chunks
- 2-3 tablespoon maple syrup
- dash of salt
- 4 tbsp sweet potato puree
- 6 tbsp maple syrup (or liquid sweetener of choice)
- 1 tbsp unsulphured blackstrap molasses
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp carob powder (important for that toffee caramel flavor)
- dash of salt
- 3-4 tablespoon non-dairy milk (depending on how thick / think you want it)
- Optional: coconut milk powder for dusting (make sure it's dairy-free!)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Oil or line with parchment a 9"pie plate or any oven-safe baking dish and set aside.
- Place sweet potato puree, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt into a large mixing bowl and blend into a smooth consistency using an immersion blender (a hand mixer will work too or a proper food processor). Add all remaining roll ingredients, except the coconut flour and mix with a wooden spoon to combine. Then begin to add the coconut flour ¼ cup at a time, kneading the mixture in between each addition with your hands to incorporate it. Once all the flour is in, continue to knead until you can shape the dough into a ball. It should be moist and pliable, but still delicate. (Note depending on how wet your sweet potato puree was you may need to add a bit more coconut flour as needed. Conversely, if the dough ball seems too dry, add a bit more liquid sweetener to add moisture.)
- Flatten the dough into a disk (don't worry if it cracks a little around the edges). Place on a flat surface in between two large sheets of parchment paper and roll out into a flat rectangle, about ¼" thin. Lift off the top sheet of parchment and set aside. Cut into a straight rectangle shape by trimming off any uneven bits all around the edges.
- Melt the chocolate (double boiler or microwave on short bursts), stir in sweetener and salt. The mixture should be thin enough to spread comfortably but not runny. If it seems a little too thick stir in a bit more sweetener. Spread this chocolate mixture over the rolled out dough, leaving about 1" unfrosted all around.
- Roll up the dough into a roll by lifting up the dough along with the parchment paper on one of the wide sides and begin to roll, separating the dough from the parchment as you go. Roll as tightly as you can.
- Once the roll is done, trim off the ends. Cut into 10 sections (I cut mine into 6 as pictured and found them to be too big, so I recommend going for 10 instead). Place them into the prepared pan (as pictured) and bake in a preheated oven for 35 minutes. Remove and cool the pan on a rack.
- While the rolls are baking, prepare the sweet potato toffee sauce by blending all the ingredients in a blender until smooth (I used my magic bullet). Top rolls with sauce when ready to serve. Enjoy! (Refrigerate leftovers)