Mini Sweet Potato Pecan Sticky Buns

We are definitely not hurting for sweet potatoes around here!  Week after week they kept coming in our CSA box—and not just a few small ones, but big bags of them.  Fortunately, we both enjoy sweet potatoes and for the most part I’ve been able to keep up with the steady influx by making a few pots of this soup, some of these empanadas,  and several batches of these fries.

However, these last few weeks, due to several work and personal projects, our kitchen has not seen much cooking action.  As a result the sweet potato basket is now overflowing with large orange tubers.   In addition to resorting to my old stand by recipes (mentioned above), I’ve been trying to find some creative ways to use up our abundant supply.

Today’s recipe was my attempt to bake something sweet with our sweet potatoes.  Unfortunately, I only ended up using one large sweet potato for the recipe though.  I guess if I look on the bright side, we’ve got one less sweet potato and 30 tasty little sticky buns!

Mini Sweet Potato Pecan Sticky Buns

I adapted the recipe for the buns from Vegetarian Times and the pecan topping from the Pioneer Woman.  I actually was quite frustrated with the dough for the buns and was about to toss it out when it wouldn’t rise the first time around.  The recipe said that it should double in size in about an hour, but after several hours, mine was still the same size!  I thought that maybe the yeast I used was too old, but decided to try putting it in a warmer place (on top of the stove after I had finished baking something in the oven), just to see what happened.  Thankfully the dough got bigger and I was able to proceed with the recipe. 


  • 1 package (0.25oz) active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 2 1/3 cups all purpose flour, plus more for kneading the dough
  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 ½  teaspoons salt
  • 2/3 cup mashed cooked sweet potato
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for bowl and brushing
  • ½ to ¾ cup of sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon

Stir yeast into the warm water until it has dissolved. Let stand 10 minutes.

Combine flour, sugar, and salt in bowl of stand mixer with the dough hook.

Stir sweet potato and oil into the water and yeast mixture.  Turn the stand mixer on to the slowest speed and slowly add the sweet potato mixture into the stand mixer bowl.

Continue to knead the dough in the stand mixture until smooth.  If the dough is sticky, add small amounts of extra all-purpose flour to the dough until the dough feels tacky, but not sticky to the touch.   

Place dough in oiled bowl and cover with a towel.  Let rise 1 hour, or until doubled in size. 

Once the dough has doubled in sized, roll it out into a long rectangular shape.  Brush the dough with vegetable oil and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Starting at long edge, roll up dough.  Slice about an inch off each end and discard.  Cut the roll crosswise into ½ inches slices with a knife or cut with a piece of dental floss.  To cut with dental floss, take the floss and place it below the roll where you want to cut it and then bring the two ends of the dental floss together at the top of the roll, cross them and pull tight.

Preheat the oven to 375°.  Spray a mini-muffin pan with a little cooking spray and add about ½ to 1 teaspoon of the pecan topping (see recipe below), into each of the mini-muffin tins.  Place one of the pieces of the cut roll on top of the pecan mixture in each of the tins.  Press them in a little, so that there is not a space between the roll and the topping.  Bake for about 18 minutes or until golden brown. 

Let the cooked buns cool for about 20 minutes and then remove them from the pan.  If any of the topping falls off, spoon it out of the muffin tins and place on top of the buns.


  • 5-6 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • ½ cup of light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Melt the butter in a medium sized skillet.  Stir in the pecans, corn syrup, and vanilla.  Once combined, remove from heat. 

Tasty Easy Healthy Green Recipe Ratings:

Recipe Report Card Notes About Recipe Ratings

Tasty Rating


Four Chefs (Delicious!)

The pecan topping is delicious and the flavor of the buns is great.  The texture of the bun was a little on the dry side and not quite as tender as I would have liked, but the topping added some nice moisture to it.  I might try experimenting with the dough a little more next time.

Easy Rating


Two Easy Chairs (A Long March…)

This recipe does take sometime to pull together—even without the challenges that I had with the dough.

Healthy Rating


One Apple (This Might Take A Year Off Your Life!)

Unfortunately adding sweet potatoes and a little bit of spelt flour does not make this recipe a healthy one.

Green Rating


Three Leaves (Average Environmental Friendliness)

The sweet potato was local and organic and some of the other ingredients were organic.
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