Sweet Potato Rolls

star rating (9) rate this recipe »
Recipe photo

Sweet Potato Rolls

star rating (9) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

Pureed vegetables give a lovely moistness to bread and rolls. This simple recipe—inspired by one appearing in James Beard's classic "Beard on Bread"—calls for half a cup of pureed sweet potato, but you may also use yams, squash, pumpkin or mashed potato (in which case you'll lose the distinctive orange color).

Make these rolls for Thanksgiving dinner, if you'd like; but they're especially apropos the day after, when you're faced with a tiny bit of leftover sweet potatoes, some squash, half a cup of mashed potato, etc. Serve rolls with leftover turkey in gravy, or use them to make bite-sized sandwiches—the turkey version of White Castle hamburgers.

2 tablespoons active dry yeast or 1 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast
1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (4 ounces) warm water, or 1/4 cup each warm water and warm milk
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) butter
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 large eggs
3 1/2 to 4 cups (14 7/8 to 17 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup mashed sweet potato, yam, squash, pumpkin, or regular potato

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water. Let sit for 10 minutes.

While yeast is getting started, melt butter and let it cool. Add cooled butter, salt, cinnamon, eggs, flour, and mashed vegetable to yeast mixture, stirring to blend; dough will be quite slack. Beat with the flat beater of an electric mixer, or stir by hand, for about 5 minutes. Place dough in a well-greased bowl, turning to coat all sides, and cover with plastic wrap; or scoop into a large, well-oiled plastic bag, sealing bag near the top. Refrigerate dough 8 hours, or overnight.

Next day, remove dough from refrigerator, and place on a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into 24 pieces, rolling each piece into a ball; being cold, the dough will be quite easy to work with. If it it's overly sticky, rub your hands with a bit of oil.

Place rolls in a lightly greased large, round pan—a 14-inch deep-dish pizza pan works well—or two lightly greased 9 or 10-inch cake pans. Set aside to rise for about 3 hours, or until rolls fill the pan.

Bake rolls in a preheated 375°F oven for about 20 minutes, or until they're lightly browned. Yield: 24 rolls.

Nutrition information per serving (1 roll, 37 g): 94 cal, 2g fat, 3g protein, 13g complex carbohydrates, 2g sugar, 1g dietary fiber, 38mg cholesterol, 158mg sodium, 55mg potassium, 1mg iron, 35mg calcium, 35mg phosphorus.

This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. XII, No. 4, Spring 2001 issue.


  • star rating 10/21/2014
  • KathyL from Seattle
  • I was looking for a sweet potato bread recipe for my bread machine; tried this one but have no idea how it tastes yet......still scraping the dough off the top and sides of the bread machine. Too much yeast????? I've never used that much yeast in any bread or bread machine recipe, but read the comment, and the reply from King Arthur and trusted them. Maybe the bread machine confined the bread too much, but then, my bread rising bowl wouldn't have been big enough either.
    I would try this recipe again but only use the dough cycle and bake in your own oven. The bread machine may have made it too warm plus the extra friction from mixing heats up the dough too. If you do try again in your bread machine be sure the pre-heat cycle is turned off and use cooler water. Elisabeth@KAF
  • star rating 12/25/2013
  • Kd from Baltimore
  • My rolls came out quite dry. I used 3-3/4 c flour ... Should have used less I guess. I also used left over roasted butternut squash instead of sweet potato. The flavor was good, though: sweet & cinnamon-y.
  • star rating 08/28/2013
  • from
  • These are really good rolls. I didn't make them as the recipe said to, and I don't really understand why the recipe says to go through all the steps it does. I used a normal amount of yeast and made it the way I normally make rolls. I didn't refrigerate the dough, etc.
  • star rating 11/17/2012
  • cookinfool from KAF Community
  • Love this recipe! It is simple and the rolls are so good and a nice change from plain white or whole wheat rolls. I love them the day after Thanksgiving for turkey sandwich "sliders"--turkey, mayo, and cranberry sauce on a sweet potato roll. Can't wait!
  • star rating 11/29/2011
  • mom244evermom from KAF Community
  • I made these on Thanksgiving. I really enjoyed them, and I loved that you can make them part-way through the night before.
  • star rating 11/24/2011
  • BlondoFondo from KAF Community
  • I've made these for two Thanksgiving dinners. The first time I used All Purpose flour, and the second time I used Whole Wheat flour. It works either way! I mash up one small sweet potato, including the skin (I like the flecks it leaves in the bun, adding a nice texture). The dough is incredibly sticky, though. When I take it out of the fridge after 8 hours, it clings to my hands and the bowl. Maybe it's the Florida humidity... but the mess is worth it!
  • star rating 11/24/2010
  • bakergal from oregon
  • This recipe must mean teaspoons of yeast, not tablespoons? They sound wonderful but the measurement sounds a little off!
    The recipe continues to prove successful using the tablespoon measurement. Please let us know if you encounter any troubles.-Amy
  • star rating 11/15/2010
  • Teresa F. from KAF Community
  • These are soooo delicious and easy to make! I would be interested in learning how to make the holes a little smaller for a smoother texture. But they are still wonderful and will be making these for our office potluck. Thanks!
  • star rating 12/19/2009
  • Steph from Baltimore
  • These were fantastic! I made them for two different Thanksgiving dinners and they were a huge hit at both. My sister just asked to have them again tomorrow! These couldn't be easier (or tastier!).