Potato cinnamon rolls have the perfect soft and fluffy texture. The potato in the dough may sound strange, but I promise they are delicious. The centers are just a bit gooey, and the outside is airy, making perfect cinnamon rolls.
These potato dough cinnamon rolls are so soft and delicious. They make waking up something you will look forward to!
If you like Cinnabon cinnamon rolls, you are going to love this recipe. And if you have never used some potatoes in a yeast dough, you are just going to have to go with it for a second.
I know it sounds really strange, but I promise you the mashed potatoes don’t add any strange flavor or texture. In fact, they make the texture extra amazing.
The yeast loves that potato starch, and I think it helps to keep the cinnamon rolls soft even longer. It works in a very similar way to making potato rolls or buying potato bread.
They are the best breakfast or brunch treat you can ask for. You absolutely have to make a batch to find out for yourself!
About the Recipe
This recipe came from Maida Heatter’s Cakes. We fell in love with this recipe back in 2015, and we still love it all these years later.
They do take a little bit of time, but no more than most recipes that include yeast. And just wait until you see the yeast react with the water you used to boil the potatoes.
They get so happy and bubbly. It is amazing to watch them go to town.
You can boil a potato or two just to make the mashed potatoes, or you can save a little water from making mashed potatoes for dinner. Then, pull a cup of plain mashed potatoes before you season them up for the meal.
Use those potatoes and the water to make the best cinnamon rolls of your life. It is totally worth the effort!
Once you have made them once, you won’t ever question it again. You will be buying potatoes just to make cinnamon rolls!
Making the Best Potato Cinnamon Rolls
The dough is really soft. That is normal and part of having the potatoes mixed in.
You want to add enough flour so that it comes together, but not so much that it makes an actual ball of dough. Take a look at the picture of the dough in the mixer for an idea of the correct texture.
It should still be a little bit tacky but will mostly hold its shape. You will need to use a spatula to get it all out of the mixer bowl and off the dough hook.
Put the dough in a greased bowl so that you can get it out later. Then, cover it with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let it double in size.
The dough is really soft and easy to work with because the gluten isn’t too tight. Punch it down and let it rest for a few minutes before rolling or patting it out into a square.
Now brush it with melted butter and sprinkle it with cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar. Now roll it up, using a bench scrape to help as needed.
Cut it into twelve equal pieces. I like to use a measuring tape to cut it into fourths, then I just eyeball cutting each of the four pieces into three smaller pieces.
That should get you twelve pretty close to equal cinnamon rolls. Put them on a greased sheet pan and cover them with a dish towel or greased plastic wrap.
Make sure the cover is loose so they can expand again. Once they have doubled in size, go ahead and pop them in the oven.
They are done when the tops are golden brown. Go ahead and make the icing while they are hot.
That way, it can kind of melt down between the layers of the cinnamon roll. That helps to make those centers even gooier and more delicious.
The hardest part is waiting for them to cool. They are wonderful warm, but Maida suggested they are even better if you let them sit for a couple of hours.
Frosting Your Cinnamon Rolls
The icing recipe included in the recipe card below is a double batch of the frosting Maida suggested in her cookbook. We like a lot of icing, so double feels a little bit like restraint.
You can make half if you don’t like a ton of icing.
You can also mix up the flavor profile. Sometimes, I add maple extract instead of the almond for maple cinnamon rolls.
Every once in a while, I add a few Tablespoons of cream cheese to the icing. It is delicious, but adding cream cheese means you should technically refrigerate the leftovers.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you store homemade cinnamon rolls?
You can store potato dough cinnamon rolls at room temperature for 3-5 days. Just keep them wrapped or in an airtight container so they don’t dry out.
You can also freeze them for up to 3 months. I generally don’t recommend refrigerating baked goods unless they frosting you use requires it, as the refrigerator can dry them out and make them go stale more quickly.
Can these cinnamon rolls be made the night before?
Yes. You can either go ahead and complete them the night before and just warm them a bit in the morning.
Or, you can take them to the point where you cut the log of dough into cinnamon rolls and place them on a greased pan. Then, wrap them with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.
In the morning, remove them from the oven and loosen up the cover. Allow them to sit out for about an hour before preheating the oven.
Once they have risen, go ahead and bake them as normal. They will be fabulous, and it will make the morning go a lot easier.
What effect does adding potato to the dough have?
The starch in the potatoes contributes to the structure of the dough and holds more moisture than just wheat flour. Plus, it works without developing more gluten. So the end product turns out nice and light and tender.
More Sweet Breakfast Recipes
I liked these mashed potato cinnamon rolls so much that I used the recipe as the base for my coffee and cream cinnamon buns and they were a smashing success. If you want to try a twist, check out that recipe.
Potato Cinnamon Rolls
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 Tablespoons butter melted
- 2 Tablespoon butter softened
- 1½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 drops almond extract
- 3 Tablespoons milk
- Start by getting your potatoes ready. Use as many potatoes as you think it will take to make 1 cup of mashed potatoes. Peel the potato(es), cut into cubes, and boil it until soft enough to mash.
- Reserve ¼ cup of the water that you used to boil the potatoes, then discard the rest of the water. Mash the potato until smooth and measure out 1 cup.
- Stir 1 Tablespoon of sugar into the potato water and let cool to about 110°F. Once the water is cool enough, stir in the yeast and set aside.2½ teaspoons active dry yeast
- Return the mashed potatoes to the saucepan. Add the milk, butter, salt and ½ cup of sugar to the mashed potatoes. Stir and warm over low heat until the butter is melted.1 cup milk, ½ teaspoon salt, 4 Tablespoons butter, ½ cup granulated sugar
- Place the warm potato mixture in the bowl of your mixer. Stir in the egg, vanilla, and yeast mixture.1 large egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Slowly add in the flour. You want to stop adding flour while the dough is still sticky, but it should at least come together into a dough. With the dough hook attachment, allow your mixer to work the dough for about 5 minutes. The dough will still be a bit tacky, but not super loose or sticky.4 to 5 cups all purpose flour
- Put the dough in a large greased mixing bowl. Be sure to scrape everything off of the mixer bowl and hook. Cover and allow to rise to at least double its size, about an hour.
- Punch down the dough and give it a couple of quick kneads to make sure it is deflated.
- Place on a lightly floured surface. Let rest for about 10 minutes, then use a rolling pin or your hands to form an 18″ square.
- Brush melted butter over the dough.2 Tablespoons butter
- In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Sprinkle over dough. You can add hydrated raisins in this step if you want to.2 Tablespoons granulated sugar, 1½ teaspoons cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- Roll dough into a log and cut into 12 equal pieces.
- Grease a 10x15x1-inch jelly roll pan. (You can use two 9×13-inch pans or a 13×18-inch pan. Each will have slightly different results, but all will be good.)
- Place cinnamon rolls on prepared baking dish. Cover loosely and let rise until doubled, another 45 minutes to an hour.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Bake for 20 minutes, rotating the pan half way through. The tops should be a light golden brown. (check a few minutes early if using 9×13-inch pans or 13×18)
- Let sit for about 5 minutes, then put together the icing.
Cinnamon Roll Icing
- In a small bowl, use your hand mixer to beat together the butter, powdered sugar, salt, vanilla, almond extract. Mix in milk or cream. It should be a relatively thick consistency, barely thin enough to pour.2 Tablespoon butter, 1½ cup powdered sugar, 1 pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 drops almond extract, 3 Tablespoons milk
- Drizzle glaze all over warm cinnamon rolls, then let cool.