Yukon Gold Cinnamon Rolls with Perfect Icing {Step-by-Step Tutorial}

These Yukon Gold potato cinnamon rolls are fluffy and delicious, and the simple mashed potato mixture is worth the {easy} extra step. It keeps the dough so soft and moist for days! 

Amazing Yukon Gold Potato Cinnamon Rolls: Fluffy, Easy, Delicious!

I know I say this a lot, but I had no intention of posting another cinnamon roll recipe.

In December of all times.

The month notorious for overloading all of us with Christmas cookies and decadent treats.

But in honor of special holiday breakfasts AND general cinnamon roll cravings AND the ongoing  desire to provide you with the best of the best of the best, you should probably sit up and take note of this cinnamon roll recipe.

I understand that for many of you, trying a new cinnamon roll recipe feels very traitor-ish, especially if you’ve already found “the one” in Gloria’s perfect cinnamon rolls (that have quite the cult following).

Or maybe your cinnamon roll love is these vanilla pudding cinnamon rolls or these buttermilk cinnamon rolls or these crazy delicious biscuit cinnamon rolls.

Each one of those recipes, respectively, has a set of very loyal fans.

Amazing Yukon Gold Potato Cinnamon Rolls: Fluffy, Easy, Delicious!

As one who sincerely adores each of those recipes mentioned above, it takes a lot (a lot, a lot) to rock my cinnamon roll-loving life.

And these Yukon Gold potato cinnamon rolls have done just that.

Anna, a MKC reader, emailed me telling me that I should definitely try these cinnamon rolls to add to my already overflowing cinnamon roll recipe library.

When she told me they were THE SOFTEST cinnamon rolls she had ever had in her life, I knew I had to try them.

And…

Well, what can I say, I’ve made them five or six times in the last month and a half.

They are amazing. Amazing, amazing, amazing.

Amazing Yukon Gold Potato Cinnamon Rolls: Fluffy, Easy, Delicious!

If you’ve ever used a mashed potato mixture in bread dough before (these unreal buttermilk potato dinner rolls come to mind), you’ll know that it yields an incredibly soft texture in the dough.

And these Yukon Gold cinnamon rolls are no exception.

The dough is luxuriously soft and so easy to work with (see notes in the recipe about flouring the dough just right!).

Even after baking, the rolls stay amazingly soft and fresh for much longer than any other cinnamon roll recipe I’ve ever made.

Amazing Yukon Gold Potato Cinnamon Rolls: Fluffy, Easy, Delicious!

A couple other key changes to these cinnamon rolls (other than the mashed potatoes):

Theres a little bit of flour mixed in with the cinnamon and sugar. Kind of weird, I know!

But I actually really liked the effect! I get tons and tons of comments and questions about why cinnamon rolls sometimes gap after they are baked and cooled.

Has that happened to you?

There are a lot of factors that can contribute to this.

But a few things I’ve stumbled on in my research (cinnamon roll research is a very worthwhile endeavor, FYI) is that using too much butter in the filling can cause gappage.

As well as rolling them up too tightly (stretching the dough along the way) – this causes the dough to shrink as the rolls cool, and that’s when those gaps appear.

Another factor is the amount of brown sugar/cinnamon used in the filling (using granulated sugar can reduce gappiness, but I don’t like the flavor as much as brown sugar).

For this Yukon Gold potato cinnamon roll recipe, I think the addition of flour to that cinnamon and brown sugar filling helps with the gapping (I’ve never thought of adding it before now) so the rolls stay tight and picture perfect.

Amazing Yukon Gold Potato Cinnamon Rolls: Fluffy, Easy, Delicious!

The second change is the cinnamon roll icing. 

Each of the cinnamon roll recipes I have on my site have a slightly different cinnamon roll icing variation.

And I love them all for different reasons (that maple frosting is to-die for).

But in my quest to…well…reinvent the wheel…I’ve been wanting to find a perfect, go-to cinnamon roll icing.

One that is the perfect balance between a frosting and a glaze with a taste that is both creamy and sweet (without an overpowering cream cheese flavor).

Anyway, I suppose not everyone is as excited about these kinds of details as I am, but I’m happy to report that the frosting on these Yukon Gold potato cinnamon rolls is IT.

Like, the one.

The best cinnamon roll icing ever.

Amazing Yukon Gold Potato Cinnamon Rolls: Fluffy, Easy, Delicious!

Not to get all super cinnamon roll nerdy on you or anything, but the key is to let the cinnamon rolls cool for, oh, maybe 15-20 minutes and then slather on the icing.

The touch of warmth left in the cinnamon rolls ensures that the delectable icing melts down into all the nooks and crannies while still staying thick and creamy on top of the rolls.

Seriously, these cinnamon rolls are perfection.

Also, just like most cinnamon rolls, they can easily be made ahead of time!

Make them, shape them, and pop them on a baking tray. Cover and refrigerate overnight, and then take them out in time to puff and rise and then bake.

I’m guessing they would also freeze well, too (I share another great freezing tip in the directions of this recipe).

Amazing Yukon Gold Potato Cinnamon Rolls: Fluffy, Easy, Delicious!

One Year Ago: Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake
Two Years Ago: Streusel-Topped Cranberry White Chocolate Bread
Three Years Ago: Maple-Spice Cashew Brittle {Super Easy Microwave Version}
Four Years Ago: Roasted Cauliflower and White Cheddar Soup
Five Years Ago: Toffee Crunch Cupcakes

Yukon Gold Cinnamon Rolls

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Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes (about 3-4 medium potatoes), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon coarse, kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces, 1 stick) butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 5 1/2 to 7 cups all-purpose flour, divided, meaning you’ll use 1 cup first and the rest later (see note for UPDATE)
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons instant or active dry yeast

Filling:

  • 1 cup (7.5 ounces) light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces, 1 stick) butter, very soft

Icing:

  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick, 4 ounces) butter, softened
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups (7 ounces) powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the potatoes, water, and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, over medium heat until the potatoes are very tender, 15-16 minutes. Do not drain. There should be about 2 1/4 cups of water/potato mixture after boiling (UPDATE: If you have more than this, drain off a little water or mash the mixture together and measure out 2 1/4 cups).
  2. Off the heat, mash the potatoes with the water until coarsely mashed. Add the butter and mash until the butter is melted and the potatoes are fairly evenly mashed and smooth.
  3. Whisk in 1 cup of the flour and the eggs until smooth (a few lumps are ok, as long as they are small). Set aside and cool until room temperature (a slight warmth is ok, but room temp is best otherwise the mixture will absorb more flour).
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the 1/2 cup warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let the mixture stand until foamy (only needed if you are using active dry yeast, no need to proof if using instant yeast).
  5. Add the potato mixture and start gradually adding flour while mixing until the dough clears the bottom and sides of the bowl. It will be very soft and elastic. Knead for 3-4 minutes (it’s ok if you have to continue adding a bit more flour if the dough starts sticking to the sides and bottom while kneading). Don’t worry so much about the exact amount of flour as you do about the texture of the dough.
  6. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with greased plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled, 1-2 hours.
  7. On a lightly floured or greased countertop, roll or pat the soft dough into a 20X12-inch rectangle (doesn’t have to be exact).
  8. Spread the softened butter evenly on the dough.
  9. Combine the filling ingredients in a bowl until evenly mixed. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the butter and pat lightly.
  10. Roll up the dough, starting with one long edge, and pinch the seam to seal (I often don’t do this because I tuck the loose end under the roll on the pan).
  11. Using unflavored dentil floss, thread, or a serrated knife, slice the roll into 1-inch or slightly larger sections.
  12. Place the rolls on a parchment-lined baking sheet, about 1- to 2-inches apart, tucking the loose end under the roll, if desired. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise until puffy and almost doubled, an hour or so.
  13. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  14. Bake the rolls for 18-20 minutes until no longer doughy in the middle (but take care not to overbake!). Remove the rolls from the oven and let cool until warm.
  15. While they cool, prepare the icing by adding the cream cheese and butter to a medium bowl. Whip with a handheld (or stand) mixer until creamy. Add the salt, milk or cream, and vanilla. Mix again. Add the powdered sugar and whip until light and creamy.
  16. Spread the slightly warm rolls evenly with the icing. Serve immediately or let cool completely and serve at room temperature (or warm lightly before serving).

Notes:

I haven’t tried these cinnamon rolls with other varieties of potato (because I love the Yukon Gold’s so much), but I’m guessing you could easily experiment with pretty good results. 

As I talk about a lot, don’t get hung up on the exact amount of flour, and instead, focus on the texture of the dough. The flour amount in this recipe will vary based on how much water is left in the pan after simmering the potatoes and the exact amount of potatoes you start with in the first place (among other factors when making yeast doughs), so if you have to add more flour to achieve a very soft, elastic dough that isn’t overly sticky, that’s ok!

UPDATE: Ok, you guys, after many comments saying you had to add over 8 cups flour to the dough, I ran back into the kitchen to see what’s happening. For a bit of history, I’ve made this recipe probably 7-9 times and never had to add more than 6 1/2 cups flour (total). But there’s obviously some factor causing a lot of you to need to add extra flour, and I think I’ve figured it out.

First of all, it’s important to measure the potato/water mixture and ensure it doesn’t measure more than the recommended amount in the recipe (about 2 1/4 cups). Simmering vigorously at a high temp will reduce the water more – conversely, a lower simmer will leave more water with the potatoes. Keep it at a medium simmer and make sure the potatoes and water aren’t too far below or above the 2 1/4 cup amount.

Secondly, it is imperative that the potato/water mixture cools (almost completely or to a very lightly warm temp). I tested side-by-side batches of these and in the batch where I used the potato/water mixture right away, the dough absorbed quite a bit more flour (several cups). However, when I let the potato/water mixture cool (per the recipe; I’ve included a few more details about that in the directions), I stayed right around the 6 1/2 cups flour amount (that includes the 1 cup added to the potato/water mix). I’ve edited the recipe ingredients to indicate this, since the original flour amount was throwing people off. Mostly, keep an eye on the texture of the dough, like I describe in the paragraph above. This dough is going to be much softer than other yeast/cinnamon roll doughs, but it should definitely clean the sides of the bowl without leaving a lot of residue on your fingers (so even if you have to add 7-8 cups flour TOTAL, it’ll be fine as long as the dough isn’t overfloured – many factors, aside from the potato/water temp will contribute to flour amount, like humidity and elevation). 

When adding flour to the recipe, it’s also important to let it mix fully before adding more – high moisture doughs benefit from a longer mix to fully absorb the flour (before needing to add additional). Thanks to Liz, a frequent commenter, for helping me troubleshoot that portion!

All images and text ©.

Follow @melskitchencafe on Instagram and show me the recipes you are making from my blog using the hashtag #melskitchencafe. I love seeing all the goodness you are whipping up in your kitchens!

Recipe Source: cinnamon rolls adapted from this Bon Appetit recipe (after a reader, Anna, emailed me telling me I needed to try it!), icing slightly adapted from AllRecipes

Amazing Yukon Gold Potato Cinnamon Rolls: Fluffy, Easy, Delicious!

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