Sweet Potato Cloverleaf Buns

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Sweet Potato Cloverleaf Buns

star rating (8) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

These deep orange yeasted buns are memorable, both in appearance and taste. The flavor of the potatoes, combined with just a touch of honey, give these buns a natural sweetness which is truly delicious. These are a natural for the Thanksgiving dinner table.

1 medium to large sweet potato (about 10 ounces before cooking), skin on, scrubbed
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon active dry or 2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 cup water
3 to 3 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 egg white, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water, for glaze

Bake or microwave the sweet potato until soft. Cool to lukewarm, peel, and mash; measure out 1 cup and place in a large bowl.

Add the egg, honey, butter and salt; mix well.

Add the yeast and water, then stir in just enough flour to make a soft dough. Turn dough onto a floured work surface and knead, adding more flour if necessary, till smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Grease a large bowl. Place dough in bowl, turning to coat all sides, cover, and refrigerate overnight. You can also make the dough in your bread machine, using the dough cycle.

The next day, remove the dough from refrigerator and let it come to room temperature, about 1 hour. Deflate the dough, knead for 1 minute, then let rest, covered with a greased plastic or an inverted bowl for 10 minutes.

Divide the dough into 36 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Grease 12 muffin cups, and place three balls in each cup. Let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

When the buns are puffy-looking, gently brush with egg white glaze. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the buns are golden brown. Remove buns from pan and cool slightly on a wire rack; serve warm. Makes 12 buns.

This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. II, No. 9, September 1991 issue.


  • star rating 02/07/2015
  • mkurth51 from KAF Community
  • I love these. I make them in mini size and keep them in the freezer, very kid-friendly. I think the 1/2 cup of water referred to in a previous review was from an older version of the recipe, which had you boil the potato and reserve 1/2 cup of the boiling water.
  • star rating 11/20/2014
  • Marianne from Hampton, NH
  • There is an error in the way this recipe is written. There is 1/2 cup of water listed in the ingredients, but no mention is made of the water in the instructions. Can't recommend this recipe as written.

    Thanks for pointing that out Marianne, and I have contacted our web team to get that updated. Happy Baking! Jocelyn@KAF

  • star rating 06/12/2014
  • G. from KY
  • I made these for a wedding, but with a gluten free flour mix. They rose nicely, had a fantastic orange color, and tasted amazing. Good recipe.
  • star rating 12/01/2013
  • Julie from
  • Just had these last night as part of a large friendsgiving meal, shaped as regular dinner rolls. With everything I was making, these were pretty low on my priority list but they were a left field hit - so, so good. The overnight slow rise was very convenient and these were pillow soft.
  • star rating 03/27/2013
  • Jennifer from Charlestown, IN
  • AWESOME! We LOVE these rolls! So moist and beautiful! My kids like to make their own rolls when I do and they each made at least one cinnamon roll. They ended up great too!
  • star rating 10/04/2011
  • dkneipp from KAF Community
  • These rolls were great! I prepared them in the bread machine and did not use the overnight rest. I subsituted a cup of white whole wheat flour and a cup of high fiber flour to boost the fiber in the recipe. I decreased the yeast to 2.5 teaspoons. I also included 1 tsp of cinammon and 1/4 tsp of nutmeg and added some pumpkin seeds. My husband loved them!
  • star rating 10/10/2010
  • martibeth from KAF Community
  • I've made these 3 times in the last 3 weeks. They not only look real pretty with that golden-orange color from the sweet potatoes, but they taste great. And once you get the hang of it, cloverleaf rolls really don't take that long to make. They are so attractive placed in a towel-lined basket. I do have one small warning about baking these: Watch them closely. I slightly burned them the first time I made them. They were definitely baked for me in 20 minutes. Also, I can't remember now if the recipe gives an exact amount of sweet potatoes, but between 6 to 8 ounces worked for me, and I only had to add a tiny bit of water, not the 1/2 cup that is given. I boiled my sweet potatoes, and after they cooled, and I mashed them, they had a lot of moisture, so my advice is to not use the entire 1/2 cup of water. I plan to make these rolls often.
  • star rating 11/26/2009
  • E. Murphy from Massachusetts
  • It's a hit! They're light and delicious. And gone! For a dinner roll, though, they're huge and should be shared. I think next time, I'll try to make them smaller.