Tuesday, November 23, 2021

My Sweet Dumpling


Cinnamon Yam Dumplings, an interpretation of a holiday recipe inspired by a family favorite side dish. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #vegetables


 It started innocently. Yeah, they all say that. OK, it started with a blog post. Then a comment on that post. It spiraled from there. 
I'd published a Fly on the Wall post in October. It's a glimpse of the humorous conversations and situations at my house, told in little snippets. In the post, I was talking about having asked College Boy for some inspiration for a recipe. He was no help, all of his suggestions started with me baking all of my money into a dessert and giving it to him. Pass.

My friend Rena, of Technology-Therapist, a longtime blogging friend of mine, technology guru, and wearer of many (metaphorical) blogging hats, left a message for me on that post:
"Speaking of recipes, I need you to figure out those sweet potato dumplings. That's your challenge!"
Turns out College Boy wasn't my muse. But Rena was stepping up.
One problem, though, and not so minor. I don't know what a Sweet Potato Dumpling is. I googled it but that didn't clear much up. So I emailed Rena:

"I've never had a Sweet Potato Dumpling. I don't even know if it's a side dish or a dessert. I googled it and there seem to be a lot of recipes out there, most seem to call for crescent rolls and Sweet Potato Patties, something else I've never heard of. But I'm intrigued. What is it. Tell me more."

I was starting to feel like I'd been living under a rock. Sweet Potato Dumplings? Sweet Potato Patties? Where have these things been all my life?

At least I know what crescent rolls are . . .

Rena told me that it was a side dish that was a relative's contribution to Thanksgiving, using canned biscuits, pieces of sweet potato, brown sugar, and maybe butter. A relative who she hasn't seen in quite some time, and who will not share her recipe. Then she left me with this:

"I'd love to figure it out and make them for my daughter at Thanksgiving, she adores them."

My Sweet Dumpling, Challenge Accepted | graphic designed by, property of, and featured on www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphic #humor

Wait, there are people who won't share their recipes? What fresh hell is this? Recipes are meant to be shared with those who appreciate them enough to ask for them. Everyone knows that. Right?
OK, challenge accepted. Well, sort of.
Because if you know me, and you should by now, you know I don't do things exactly the way others do. Especially when it comes to recipes. I like to play with concepts and ingredients, make the end result my own.
Which actually is the catch-22 of this recipe. 
Because not only do I have no idea which of the many incarnations of Sweet Potato Dumplings her family so adores, but after reading about 20 of them, I'm going in a different direction from . . . well . . . all of them.
Putting in jeopardy, I'm sure, Rena's continued role as my muse. 
I tried to take my inspiration from that iconic sweet potato casserole with marshmallows that shows up on so many Thanksgiving tables. So in place of the unknown sweet potato patty, I went with mashed canned yams. I used cinnamon rolls instead of the crescent rolls, just because I thought they lent themselves to this dish. A lot of the recipes I saw included a sauce of butter, sugar, and cornstarch. I wanted to change that up, adding a touch of ginger to the sweet potatoes, and ginger ale to the sauce. And yes, I even added mini marshmallows. It's the holidays, after all.
My same question remains though, is this a side dish? A dessert? Spread the canned icing on it and call it a breakfast? Well, you can't say it isn't versatile.
Cinnamon Yam Dumplings, an interpretation of a holiday recipe inspired by a family favorite side dish. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #vegetables
Cinnamon Yam Dumplings

Definitely not the recipe I was tasked with recreating, but I'm happy with what I came up with (if I do say so myself). But the real test remains, what will Rena (and her daughter) think? Keep your fingers crossed for me, I may need a muse again some day. 

Baking In A Tornado signature | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Cinnamon Yam Dumplings      


Printable Recipe

1 can (15 oz) yams in syrup
2 TBSP brown sugar, divided
1/4 tsp ginger
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon, divided
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup mini marshmallows
1 tube (8 count) refrigerator cinnamon rolls 
4 TBSP butter
2 TBSP maple syrup
1/2 cup regular or diet ginger ale, room temperature
OPT: 1/4 cup chopped pecans
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 X 11 glass baking dish.
*Drain the yams well. Mash them lightly (they don't need to be smooth) with brown sugar, ginger, 1/2 tsp of the cinnamon, and salt. Mix in the mini marshmallows. Set aside.
*Open the tube of cinnamon rolls and separate them. On a piece of parchment paper, roll each out to about 5 inches in diameter.
*Scoop about a TBSP of the yam mixture into the center of each flattened roll. Fold in half, making sure the filling is completely encompassed. Pinch the edges closed and place in the baking dish.
*Melt the butter in the microwave. Whisk in the remaining 3/4 tsp cinnamon, maple syrup, and ginger ale. Pour over the dumplings. 
OPT: sprinkle with chopped pecans.
*Bake for 25 - 30 minutes until the dumplings are well browned.
OPT: you can drizzle with the canned icing, or freeze the icing for use in another application.


  1. Well now, what an interesting dish! / Carol C

  2. So many of my favourite things in one dish--how can it possibly not be delicious?!!!

  3. I was curious, and googled this; came up with a recipe right off that seemed to originate in Alabama. It would figure it's a Southern recipe as Southerners know how to make the best biscuits. Anyway,for me, this really would be sweet enough to be a dessert. In my years of living in the South, I never ran across this (or the "yam patties" the recipe writer said were available in the supermarket) I must have been in the wrong parts of the South! Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

    1. I agree, to me it's more a dessert or breakfast. Whatever it may be, I'm glad Rena clued me in.

  4. It sounds so good even my sweet potato haters would probably enjoy it!

  5. Actually I think you're version would taste so much better I mean come on cinnamon rolls!?! They look almost the same but then again there's cinnamon rolls which takes it WAY over the top. Can wait to try it.


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