These sticky buns are the business.
And you know that when I say that, I do not lie.
The not-secret, but totally magical ingredient is sweet potato. This was a hard-sell for me, because the gentleman in my life is not a fan of orange coloured vegetables showing up in his baked goods.
But I say life is too short not to try everything! I’m a total glutton for experiences. And I am SO GLAD that I tried adding a little sweet potato into my sticky buns. As Edith Piaf would say, ‘je ne regrette rien’.
In all honesty, if you didn’t know there was sweet potato in these, you probably wouldn’t guess it (my boyfriend certainly didn’t – he ate two before I told him). There is only the merest hint of bright sweet potato flavour. But there is a layer of earthiness and complexity, highlighted by a pinch of cardamom, that regular sticky buns just don’t have.
The true benefit of the sweet potato, though, is in the texture. These sticky buns have the most silky, downy, buttery texture imaginable. All the better to soak up that sweet, brown-sugar-and-maple goo.
Alright, so this isn’t the healthiest way to get some beta-carotene in your diet. And alright, so the recipe takes a little time from beginning to end. But just look at these! The pillowy dough, the cascading stickiness! What better way could there possibly be to spend a lazy Saturday morning?
I hope you all had a fabulous weekend! Do you have a sticky bun secret? Let me know your tips and tricks in the comments!
- 6oz (150g) raw sweet potato (or ½ cup sweet potato puree)
- 3 cups (450g) plain flour
- ¼ cup (50g) caster sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp dry active yeast
- ¼ tsp ground cardamom
- ½ stick (50g) butter, melted
- ¼ cup milk, warm
- 1 stick (115g) butter
- 1 cup (220g) brown sugar
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 cup chopped or flaked nuts of your choice, optional
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- Peel and chop the raw sweet potato into small chunks. Place in a small saucepan, cover with water and bring to a slow boil for about 20 minutes, or until completely tender. Drain and thoroughly mash.
- Place the mashed sweet potato, and all the remaining dough ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Work on a low speed until the dough comes together. It should ball up around the dough hook, and be slightly sticky. You may need to splash in a little extra milk, if the mixture is too dry.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave in a warm spot for about an hour or until doubled in size.
- While the dough is rising, make the goo by melting all the ingredients together in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil for approximately 30 seconds, and then set aside to cool.
- Mix together the filling ingredients in a small bowl and lightly grease either a 12-cup muffin tin (that's what I used) or a 9x13inch baking dish. (22x33cm)
- When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down in the bowl (so satisfying), and then scrape it out onto a lightly floured surface. Pat and stretch the dough out into a large rectangle, about 13 by 15 inches. (33x38cm)
- Pour ¼ cup (4 tbsps) of the goo onto the dough, and spread it to cover the entire surface very thinly. Sprinkle over the brown sugar and cinnamon filling, and then roll the dough up tightly, starting from the short side.
- Divide the rest of the goo between the holes of your muffin tin, or just pour it into your baking dish. Sprinkle about 2 tsps of chopped or flaked nuts per bun over the goo (if using).
- Slice the rolled up dough into 12 pieces, and place them on top of the goo, with their swirls facing up. Leave to rise again for 30 minutes or until puffy. While they are rising, preheat the oven to 375F/180C.
- Place the sticky bun pan on a lined baking tray (just in case it overflows), and bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown, risen and springy when quickly and carefully pressed (they're hot!). Turn them out of the pan and onto a clean tray immediately, as they will stick if you leave them in there. And then leave them to cool for as long as you can bear it, before diving in!