Soft and buttery, my sweet potato rolls are a delicious golden-hued alternative to traditional dinner rolls, kissed with a touch of natural sweetness. Prepared with smooth, mashed sweet potato, a touch of honey, rich butter and a little half and half, this pillowy sweet potato rolls recipe is irresistible when served warm with an additional spread of softened butter and a drizzle of honey or preserves!
Buttery Homemade Rolls Brimming with Sweet Potato
Part of the joy of preparing for holiday spreads is coming up with all of the tasty morsels that I'd like to share with those that I love and care for.
For me, all of the little sides that I like to prepare are just as important as the main dish, and I love for these sides to have varying textures, colors and flavors to help bring balance and eye appeal to the dinner table.
Homemade rolls are a side that I typically like to prepare from scratch when I'm planning a festive holiday meal at our home, as they bring that ultra comfy-cozy, rustic and warm touch to the meal.
But when I'm after a light, fluffy, pillowy roll with a slightly sweet slant, on those occasions I prepare these sweet potato rolls which have a natural sweetness and texture similar to Hawaiian rolls.
Brimming with real sweet potato, honey, half and half, and butter, these delicious rolls are like tender little pillows, letting out a little wisp of steam when hot out of the oven and split open—so enticing!
They not only offer that warm and cozy touch to our meal—paired with softened butter and extra honey they're absolutely divine—but they also add a splash of festive golden color to a holiday spread.
My Recipe for Sweet Potato Rolls
When preparing my sweet potato rolls recipe, I like to start by getting my sweet potato ready...
To do that, I simply prick a medium-large sweet potato a few time with a fork, then microwave it for a few moments until completely soft.
Then, I scoop the flesh out, discard the skin, and either mash the flesh very well until completely smooth, or use my ricer to press the orange flesh through for a totally lump-free result.
After that, it's just a matter of adding the star ingredient, the sweet potato, to the other dough ingredients, allowing the dough to rise, shaping the rolls, then allowing them to rise once more before baking.
It's the “slow-food” type of baking project that I really adore, one with such scrumptious results!
Here's a sneak peek at my sweet potato rolls recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get started, I prick a sweet potato a few times with my fork, then microwave it for a few minutes until soft. I scoop out the flesh and pass it through a ricer (or use a masher), for lump-free texture.
- Next, I heat my wet ingredients together until melted and warm, and set those aside while I activate my yeast.
- To prepare the dough, I add my smooth sweet potato, along with my wet ingredients and my eggs to a large bowl, and mix until completely smooth.
- Next, I add in my flour, followed by my yeast mixture, and mix that in to incorporate.
- I knead the dough until very smooth and elastic, then allow it to rise/proof for 1 ½ hours in a draft-free, warm place.
- Next, I portion out the dough and form each into a smooth roll shape, and allow the rolls to rise/proof once more for 45 minutes.
- Then, I bake my sweet potato rolls for 22 to 24 minutes, and serve them warm with butter and extra honey on the side, or preserves for slathering.
Sweet Potato Rolls
by Ingrid Beer
These soft, buttery sweet potato rolls are naturally sweet and tender, brimming with real sweet potato, rich butter, and a kiss of honey!
Yield: 20 rolls
Nutrition Info: 187 calories per roll
Prep Time: 2 hours 25 minutes (this includes the “rise” or “proof” times for dough)
Cook time: 22 minutes
Total time: 2 hours 47 minutes
- 1 medium-large sweet potato, washed and scrubbed, and patted dried
- 1 cup half and half
- ½ cup unsalted, organic butter
- ¼ cup plus 1 teaspoon granulate sugar, divided use
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 ½ teaspoons salt
- ¼ cup water
- 1 (¼ ounce) packet active dry yeast
- 2 eggs
- 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
- 1 egg, whisked for egg wash
- Flaky salt, for sprinkling over tops
- Begin by gathering and prepping all of your ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- To cook your sweet potato, poke it few time with the tines of a fork. Place into the microwave and cook for a few minutes (use “baked potato” setting, if you have one) until completely soft. Once cool enough to handle, split open the sweet potato and scoop out the flesh, discarding the skin.
- Place the sweet potato flesh through a ricer to create smooth, lump-free flesh, or use a masher to mash very well. Set aside for a moment.
- Next, add the half and half, the butter, the ¼ cup sugar, the honey, and the salt into a small saucepan, and place over low heat just until the butter is melted. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly for a few minutes.
- While the half and half/butter mixture cools, heat the ¼ cup water to 115° (lukewarm temp), then add the teaspoon of sugar and mix to dissolve. Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water slowly, and using a fork, gently mix the yeast to dissolve it. Let stand for about 8-10 minutes until foamy.
- Then, to a large bowl, add the half and half/butter mixture, the riced sweet potato, and the 2 eggs, and using a hand mixer, mix together for a minute or two until completely smooth and well-blended. Add to this 2 cups of the flour, and continue to mix for another moment or two until combined and smooth.
- Then, add in the yeast mixture, and again, mix to combine and blend that in.
- Add the remainder of the flour, and now, using a wooden spoon, mix together until a shaggy dough forms.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, and knead the dough for about 5 to 6 minutes, or until smooth and elastic, adding a little more flour as needed if the dough is too sticky.
- Place the dough into a large, oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place into a warm, dark place to rise and double in size, for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
- Once the dough has doubled, punch it down well, and turn it out onto a floured work surface. Take equal-size portions of the dough (about 2 ½ ounce portions), and roll each into a round, dinner roll shape (you should have 20 to 22 rolls). Place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Cover the rolls with plastic wrap, and, once again, allow them to rise for another 45 minutes in a draft-free area. Then, during the last 10 minutes of this rise time, preheat your oven to 350°.
- Remove the plastic wrap from the rolls, and brush each with some of the egg wash, and sprinkle some of the flaky salt over top. Bake the rolls until golden-brown and pillowy, about 22-24 minutes.
- Allow the rolls to ever so slightly cool (just a few minutes) before serving. Serve with extra butter and honey and the side for spreading.
Tips & Tidbits for my Sweet Potato Rolls recipe:
- Use the microwave to cook your sweet potato: Using the microwave to cook your sweet potato makes things quicker and easier. Just poke the potato with a fork a few times for steam to escape, then microwave until the sweet potato is very tender. Scoop out the flesh, discard the skin, and proceed with the recipe.
- Half and half for richness, or milk: I really like to use half and half for this roll recipe, as it adds a terrific richness and a bit more fat to the dough. If you don't have half and half, you can substitute milk, preferably whole milk, because you do need some fat.
- Prepare the sweet potato rolls ahead: If you'd like to simplify things, you can prepare these sweet potato rolls the day before you plan on serving them up. Just portion out and shape the dough into rolls, and place them onto a baking sheet. Then, wrap your baking sheet very well and very tightly in plastic wrap, and place into the fridge. On the day you want to bake, remove the rolls from the fridge about 2 hours before baking them to allow them to warm up, then egg wash and bake according to the recipe.
Hungry for more comfy-cozy sides? Check out these Homemade Rolls with Everything Seasoning, these cheesy, garlic-y Dinner Rolls, this Focaccia with Rosemary, this Cornbread, these Twice Baked Potatoes, these Smashed Potatoes with Parmesan, or these Cheesy Potatoes!
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2015, and has been updated with even more love!