Sweet Potato Rolls

Soft, billowy, golden Sweet Potato Rolls are perfect for family meals, Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners.  These Sweet Potato Rolls will make your celebration meals even more special.  Your family and friends will be singing your praises as they enjoy these delicious, soft dinner rolls.

After Thanksgiving I had quite a bit of sweet potatoes left over.  We had so much food for Thanksgiving dinner we were eating leftovers for days but somehow the sweet potatoes got pushed to the back of the fridge and never got eaten. By the time I found them I knew I'd have to throw them out if I didn't use them immediately.  As I studied the bowl of potatoes I really didn't want to eat any more leftovers but I didn't want to throw them out either.  And then, just like that, the light bulb came on and I envisioned dinner rolls made with sweet potatoes.  

So, I got about making the rolls and had the dough rising when Don came home.  When he looked in the bowl he looked kind of surprised and said, "The dough is orange."  I laughed and informed him he was correct.  Sweet potatoes will make the dough orange but that's what makes them look and taste so good when they're baked.  I formed the dough into balls and put half of them side-by-side in a square pan and the other half in muffin pans.  They baked up light and airy and soft and delicious!  I rubbed butter on the hot rolls when I took them out of the oven so the top crust would soften.  And, of course, the butter gives the crust a wonderful flavour. 

I took my Sweet Potato Rolls to a church dinner and they were gobbled up in short order.  I even had several ladies ask me for the recipe.  I promised I would write out the recipe and here it is, for them and anyone else who'd like to make them.  You won't be disappointed in the flavour and texture of this dinner roll. 
Don't have any sweet potatoes?  Don't despair.  Cooked, well mashed carrots or pumpkin make a very good substitute for the sweet potatoes.

Sweet Potato Rolls
1 cup cooked, warm sweet potatoes, well mashed  (Carrot or pumpkin can also be used.)
1 cup warm water or ½ cup water and ½ cup milk
1 egg
¼ cup oil or melted butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar (¼ cup for sweeter rolls)
1 tablespoon instant yeast (1 package)
5 ½ - 6 cups all-purpose flour

You may make these rolls in a stand mixer or by hand.  You may use greased square or oblong pans or muffin pans to make these rolls.

In the bowl or a stand mixer or large mixing bowl, combine sweet potato, water/milk, egg, oil, salt and brown sugar together.  Add flour and yeast to the wet ingredients, beginning with about 5 cups of the flour, adding more as needed to make a soft but not sticky dough.  Knead 8-10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic.  

Place dough in large greased bowl, cover with clean tea towel or plastic wrap and let rise in warm place until double, about 1½ hours. Punch dough down and form into rolls and place in greased pans.  Cover pans with a clean tea towel or plastic wrap and put in a warm place. Let rise about 1 hour or until rolls are doubled in size.

Just before rolls are ready to be baked, preheat oven to 375 degrees.  When oven is ready, bake rolls 15-20 minutes, depending on size of rolls and pan.  Brush tops of baked rolls with butter when they have been removed from the oven.  

Makes approximately 24-30 rolls.  

Mix the mashed sweet potato, water/milk, egg, oil, brown sugar and salt together in large bowl or in bowl of stand mixer.  The mixture should be warm but not hot.

Add about 5 cups of flour and the instant yeast.

Add more flour until you reach the right consistency.  You want a soft but not sticky dough.

Knead the dough until smooth and elastic.  You may do this by hand or in a stand mixer.

Put about a tablespoon of oil in the bottom of the bowl that you will be using to raise the dough.
Place the mixed dough in the oiled bowl.  Roll it around it coat the top side with the oil.
Cover the bowl and place in a warm place to rise, about 1½ hours until dough has doubled in size.
This dough has risen twice its original size.

Shape the dough into rolls.  There are seveal sizes and ways to do this.  I made pan rolls on the left, plain tops and split top rolls on the right. These will be medium sized rolls when baked.

Cover the rolls with a tea towel or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in sized.
Bake until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes depending on size of rolls and pan.
When you remove the rolls from the oven brush the tops with butter for a lovely soft crust.
Tender and golden, ready for dinner.


  1. Just so happens I have an excess of roasted kabocha squash that needs a home!

  2. What do you do to make the split top rolls? Thanks!

    1. To make the split top rolls just make two smaller balls of dough and place them side by side in the muffin tin. The dough should fill the tins about half way.


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