Sweet potato rolls are made with classic dinner roll ingredients and sweet potato puree, giving a traditional recipe additional flavor and warmth!
What better time than Mid-November to introduce you to this new sweet potato recipe? These rolls are holiday season approved and will certainly be on my Thanksgiving menu this year.
Classic dinner rolls are all well and good, but there is something so comforting about a sweet, cinnamony (and buttery!) sweet potato dinner roll.
The best part? Making sweet potato dinner rolls requires the same basic steps as classic dinner rolls.
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To make these rolls you will need a few traditional ingredients:
- Active dry yeast
- All-purpose flour
- Light brown sugar
- Unsalted butter
And, of course, sweet potato! We will also add cinnamon for additional warmth.
You can either roast sweet potato and puree it in a blender to make sweet potato puree, or use canned sweet potato puree. One medium to large sweet potato yields about 1 cup of pureed sweet potato.
Tips and tricks
- For a heartier roll, use half all-purpose and half whole wheat flour.
- Make these rolls savory by omitting the cinnamon and replacing with roasted garlic and rosemary. Use regular sugar in place of table sugar for a more neutral flavor.
- Make vegan by swapping out cow’s milk for a neutral non-dairy milk like unsweetened, unflavored soy milk or almond milk. Choose a vegan butter in place of traditional butter.
Dough kneading tips
- To avoid using too much flour, spoon flour into a measuring cup instead of dipping the measuring cup into the flour bag. Use the back of a knife to scrape excess flour off of the measuring cup.
- If the dough is too wet while kneading, add additional flour 1/4 cup at a time.
- If the dough becomes too dry, add milk 1 tablespoon at a time while kneading. It will be sticky at first but as you work the dough it will get less dry.
- New to kneading? America’s Test Kitchen has a great step-by-step tutorial on how to knead dough.
Step by step instructions
Step one: If making your own sweet potato puree using roasted sweet potato, add 3/4 cup of sweet potato and 1/4 cup of warm milk to a blender. Blend until pureed.
Step two: Add 3/4 cup of warm milk to a large mixing bowl (if you did not puree your sweet potato with milk, use 1 cup warm milk). Sprinkle with active dry yeast. Cover with a dish towel or plastic wrap and let proof for 10 minutes.
Step three: When the yeast is bubbling, stir in the sweet potato puree, brown sugar, cinnamon, melted butter and salt.
Step four: Using a wooden spoon or stand mixer, stir in 1/2 cup flour at a time. Add flour until the dough is just holding together.
Step five: If kneading by hand, sprinkle a clean surface with flour. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes. If using a stand mixer, set your stand mixer to low and work until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 2-3 minutes.
Step six: Lightly oil a large mixing bowl with cooking oil. Add the dough, flipping to grease. Cover tightly with plastic wrap or a towel and set in a warm place. Let rise until doubled in size (step 6b), about an hour.
Step seven: Once doubled in size, use your fist to deflate the dough. Knead lightly a few times to fully deflate.
Step eight: To make the rolls, divide the dough into four equally sized pieces. Divide each of these pieces into three so that you have a total of 12 pieces of dough. To form into a ball, cup each piece lightly in your palms and roll into a ball.
Step nine: Line the twelve rolls evenly in a lightly oiled 10×10 or 9×13 baking dish. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Step ten: Brush tops of the rolls with melted butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes, or until the tops are lightly golden.
My favorite baking tools
You don’t need fancy tools to make yeast rolls, but I have found that using these gadgets makes the experience more enjoyable and easier.
- A large mixing bowl. Even better, a stand mixer with a large mixing bowl. I use my grandma’s old Kitchenaid stand mixer, which is a tried and true brand.
- Digital food scale for creating equally sized rolls (this is the one that I use)
- Digital food thermometer for testing the temperature of the milk and butter
- When kneading by hand, I knead the dough on this baking mat to cut down on counter-top cleanup
These rolls make the perfect side at a potluck, but they’re also great with weeknight dinners like instant pot chili, chili mac or vegan broccoli mac and cheese. They also go well with soup. My personal favorites to pair these with are hearty lentil soup or creamy vegan white bean soup.
Or just slather with butter and jam and enjoy a soft sweet potato all on its own!
Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls
- 3/4 cup sweet potato puree see note
- 1 cup milk 108-110 degrees F
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons melted butter divided
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3-4 cups all-purpose flour more as needed
- If making your own sweet potato puree, add 3/4 cup of roasted sweet potato (skin removed) and 1/4 cup of warm milk to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and pureed.
- Add 3/4 cup of warm milk to a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle with active dry yeast.
- Cover with a dish towel or plastic wrap and let proof for 10 minutes.
- When the yeast is foamy, stir in the sweet potato puree, 1/4 cup melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.
- Using a wooden spoon or stand mixer, add flour 1/2 cup at a time. Mix in flour until the dough is just holding together. If kneading by hand, sprinkle a clean surface with flour. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes. If using a stand mixer, set to low and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 2-3 minutes.
- Lightly oil a large mixing bowl with cooking oil. Add the dough, flipping to coat with oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap or a towel and set in a warm place. Let rise until doubled in size, about an hour.
- Once doubled in size, use your fist to deflate the dough. Knead lightly a few times to fully deflate. To make the rolls, divide the dough into four equally sized pieces. Divide each of these pieces into three so that you have a total of 12 equally sized pieces of dough. To form into a ball, cup each piece lightly in your palms and roll.
- Lightly oil a 10×10 or 9×13 baking dish. Evenly space the 12 rolls in the dish. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size, about 20-30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Once doubled in size, brush the rolls with 2 tablespoons melted butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes, or until the tops are lightly golden.
- Warm milk in the microwave until 108-110 degrees F. Use a food thermometer to check the temperature.
- Use a total of 1 cup of milk in this recipe. If you don’t make your own sweet potato puree you will stir 1 cup of milk with the yeast instead of 3/4 cup milk.
- 1 packet active dry yeast = 2 and 1/4 teaspoons yeast.
- I recommend using a kitchen thermometer to temp your milk and butter after heating. You want the milk to be between 108-110 degrees; any warmer may kill the yeast and cooler may prevent the yeast from activating. Temp the butter to make sure that it isn’t over 110 degrees (this may scald the yeast).
- Yeast dough rises best in a warm environment. If your kitchen is cold (less than 75 degrees), set your oven to the lowest temp (180-200 degrees). Once heated, turn the oven off and place the dough in the closed (and off) oven to rise.