The Bread Machine: Potato Cinnamon Rolls

Sunday November 20, 2016

Cinnamon rolls are the touch that turns a cranky riser into a purely good-natured, civilized human ready to meet the day.  This recipe is made by placing the separate rolls in an oversized Texas muffin tin; they rise up into a plump spiraled mushroom rather than spreading out or being a pull-apart roll (If you don’t have the pan, you can place them 2-inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet, but they will look very different.).  Everyone loves cinnamon rolls and wants to make them.  While the addition of mashed potatoes may seem surprising, the yeast loves the starch in potatoes and you will be rewarded with an extra fluffy, tender roll.  This filling just has pecan pieces, my particular preference, but you can add anything you like, such as golden raisins, chopped dried apricots, or dried cranberries, if you like dried fruit better. This is a bread machine recipe.

Makes 12 rolls


  • 1/3 cup instant mashed potatoes
  • 1/2 cup boiling water


  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, softened cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons bread machine yeast or 1 1/2 teaspoons SAF instant yeast

Cinnamon Filling

  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup pecan pieces


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


1.  In a small bowl, combine the instant mashed potatoes and the boiling water and stir until thickened.  Let stand 10 minutes, until warm.

2.  Place all the dough ingredients, including the warm mashed potatoes, in the pan according to manufacturer’s instructions.  Program for the Dough cycle; press Start.  The dough ball will be very soft, almost sticky, yet at the same time smooth and springy.  Line a baking sheet with parchment and lightly sprinkle with some flour.  After the rising cycle ends, at the beep immediately remove the dough and place it on the baking sheet and pat into a thick rectangle (dip your fingers into some flour if the dough sticks to them).  Cover with two layers of plastic wrap and refrigerate 6 hours to overnight.  Check once and press down on the dough to deflate it.

3.  Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand on the counter for 20 minutes.  Grease the sides and bottom of the cups of two 3 1/4 inch diameter muffin tins (12 cups total) with melted butter or butter-flavored nonstick vegetable cooking spray.  Combine the sugars and the cinnamon in a small bowl; set aside.

4.  Sprinkle the top of the dough with some flour to avoid sticking and press down on the dough to deflate.  Transfer the dough to a work surface and, with a rolling pin, roll into a 18-by-12-inch rectangle.  Leaving a 1-inch border all around the edges, using a plastic spatula, spread the surface evenly with the soft butter, then sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon-sugar and pecans.  Press in the pecans with your fingers or a metal spatula to help them adhere to the dough.  Roll up jelly-roll fashion starting from the long edge, and pinch the long seam to seal.  Straighten out the roll so that it is even.  With a sharp chef’s knife using a gentle sawing motion, trim the ends.  Divide the roll in half, then in half again to make 4 even portions.  Cut each portion into 3 sections to make 12 equal slices, each separate portion being about 1- to 1 1/4-inches thick.  Place one slice in each muffin cup, spiral cut side down.  (Tuck the excess dough pieces from the ends around a few of the rolls.)  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let the rolls rise at room temperature for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, or until puffy.  (The rolls can be refrigerated before this last rise, covered tightly with a double layer of plastic wrap, to be baked in the morning.  Remove the pans from the refrigerator to the counter and let rise 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes before baking.)  Twenty minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 375º.

5.  Place the pan on a large sheet pan to catch any drips.  Bake the rolls in the center of the preheated oven until the tops are dark brown and filling is bubbling, 18 to 22 minutes.  Slide the hot rolls out of the muffin cups with a metal spatula onto a wire rack.  Spoon out any nuts clinging to the bottom of the cup and stick them on top of the roll.  Let cool until warm, about 25 minutes.

6.   Make the glaze:  Heat the butter, milk, and water just to boiling in the microwave.  Place the sugar in a small bowl and stir with a whisk to get out some of the lumps.  Add the hot liquid and vanilla, beating until smooth, about 1 minute.    Using a large spoon, drizzle each roll with some glaze (if you glaze too soon, the icing will just melt and slide off the rolls).  Let cool at least 20 minutes to set the frosting.  Eat the day they are made, warm or room temperature, or place each roll in a sandwich-size plastic freezer bag and freeze for up to 1 month.

7.  To reheat:  Remove from the freezer and let thaw in the bag at room temperature.  Remove the roll from the bag, place on a heatproof plate, and microwave for no more than 30 seconds to warm, or bake in a preheated 350º oven for about 7 minutes.  Serve immediately.

Excerpted from The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook, by Beth Hensperger. (c) 2000, used by permission from the Harvard Common Press.

Recipe and text copyright Beth Hensperger 2016

Please enjoy the recipe and make it your own. If you copy the recipe and text for internet use, please include my byline and link to my site.

Your Comments

1 comments Comments Feed
  1. Kate 05/05/2015 at 3:23 pm

    The book sounds very good! Thanks for sharnig something that actually works, saves time, and money. You are awsome for testing a great new for the rest of us.

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