Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls [Holiday Recipe Exchange]

Breads, Christmas Recipes, Holiday Recipes, Recipe Exchange, Thanksgiving Recipes, Yeast Breads | 20 comments

I love to bake with yeast! There is nothing more comforting than a warming oven and the smell of freshly baked bread on a cold, fall day. Now that we’re finally though with the heat of summer, that is something I expect that we’ll be doing quite regularly around here.

I’ve been wanting to test out a sweet potato dinner roll version of the dough for our favorite Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls for a while and this week’s yeast themed recipe exchange sponsored by Red Star Yeast was the perfect opportunity!

sweet potato dinner rolls

Instead of pumpkin puree, this recipe features pureed sweet potatoes. The sweet potatoes give the rolls a beautiful golden, orange color that brightens up the dinner table. While these tender rolls will make an excellent addition to any Thanksgiving menu, they’re also a great way to use up leftover baked sweet potatoes for a post-Thanksgiving treat.

Just puree any baked sweet potatoes leftover from your big feast in the food processor. If necessary, add water to get a smooth puree; you’ll want this to be about the same consistency as canned pumpkin puree.

Sweet Potato Dinner rolls are versatile too. Not only are they great for dinner, but my kids loved these rolls in place of regular bread for cinnamon sugar toast for breakfast.

sweet potato dinner roll recipe

Tips for Making Rolls with Kids

Last week my kids were on fall break from school. We got together with friends for an afternoon play date and made these Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls together. Here are a few tips for making rolls with kids:

Start Early and Plan Ahead

Unfortunately we got started with our impromptu activity a little late after a morning dentist appointment. In the future, I’ll get started with the dough early on so the rolls come out right at lunch time.

Kids are impatient. Plan ahead by preparing the dough in advance so they aren’t waiting hours for it to rise before they get to the fun part of rolling. Or have another activity ready to keep them entertained until the dough is ready to be shaped.

Have Fresh Yeast

Using fresh yeast is incredibly important to successful yeast baking. Old yeast will take much longer to rise, or might not even fully rise at all. And in this case I think everyone, adults included, will be sorely disappointed.

Pre-Portion the Dough

Making rolls is a perfect afternoon activity for little hands. They love to roll the balls for the rolls and are pretty good at it most of the time. For uniform shaped rolls, first portion out the rolls into equal sized chunks.

Then, allow kids to do the rolling themselves. Otherwise you may find yourself with lots of interestingly shaped and sized dinner rolls.

Experiment with Different Shapes

Check out this Cook’s Illustrated guide to shaping dinner rolls in fun and interesting ways. Older kids will love trying their hand at different shaped rolls. For the younger, less coordinated crowd I recommend basic round rolls or dinner rolls baked in jars. Fine Cooking has a great tutorial on shaping basic round rolls.

Do you like to bake homemade rolls? What is your favorite recipe?

Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls

Yield: 1 1/2 - 2 dozen rolls, depending on the size

Prep Time: 2 - 3 hours, including rise time

Cook Time: 15 - 25 minutes

Print Save Recipe


2 packages (4 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1 cup warm buttermilk (about 110 degrees)
2 large room temperature eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cup sweet potato puree
6 tablespoons melted butter
6 - 7 cups (approximately) All-Purpose Flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt


Stir yeast into buttermilk to soften in a large bowl. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before stirring to combine. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the eggs, sweet potato puree, butter, sugar and salt together. Add the yeast mixture and whisk until combined.

Using the paddle attachment for your stand mixer, add 3 cups of flour - 1 cup at a time - until a thick dough begins to form. When the dough begins to thicken you will need to switch to the dough hook attachment.

Slowly add the rest of the flour, a bit at a time, until the dough is stiff enough to knead. Because each cup of flour measures differently, it is important to focus on the feel of the dough. Begin with 3 cups of flour and increase if necessary.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Continue to knead, adding flour as necessary, until you have a smooth, elastic dough. The dough should not feel tough or dry, but rather soft and pliable (but not sticky).

Place the dough into a greased bowl. Turn the dough in the bowl to coat the entire ball of dough with oil.

Cover with plastic wrap and rise until doubled in bulk, for 1 - 2 hours. See tips for understanding when your dough has doubled in bulk.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide the dough in thirds . Then divide each third into 6-8, depending on how small you would like your rolls. (Note: Alternatively, you can bake the rolls in greased round cake pans instead of on baking sheets).

Roll each piece of dough to form smooth balls. Divide the rolls between the baking sheets and cover with plastic wrap. Allow rolls to rise for 20-30 minutes, then discard the plastic wrap.

Cook the rolls in the 400 degree F preheated oven for 15-25 minutes, or until they are baked through and golden on top. Rotate the baking sheets halfway through baking if you cannot bake them all on the same rack.

If serving immediately, brush roll tops with melted butter.

How To Participate

Join Jamie and me this week in sharing your Yeast Recipes for a chance to win a great yeast baking gift set from Red Star yeast. Jamie is sharing Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting over on My Baking Addiction.

For a chance to win a Yeast Baking Gift Set (details of prize specifics below):

  1. Write and post a recipe on your blog featuring YEAST.
  2. Include “Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by Red Star Yeast.” in your blog post.
  3. No blog? Just leave your recipe in the comments section.
  4. Add your link to the widget on either GoodLife Eats or My Baking Addiction (we have the same widget code, so only add it on one site).
  5. Submit your post before Nov. 7, 11:59 PM.
  6. Anyone can participate in the link up, but the prizes will ship to US addresses only.
  7. More detailed info are available here.

Link Up Your Recipes:

Love any of the recipes featured in today’s Holiday Recipe Exchange? If so, be sure to to use the Ziplist Web Recipe Clipper to add your holiday favorites to your online recipe box.

This Week’s Prize:

$159.79 Value. Prizes provided by Red Star Yeast.

artisan bread in 5 giveaway

Recipe Theme Schedule:

Katie Goodman

About the Author:

Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

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  • 1
    Valerie - October 31, 2011 @ 7:09 pm

    This is the first time I’ve seen sweet potato rolls and they look divine. Wish I could taste them.


  • 2
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen - October 31, 2011 @ 9:55 pm

    I love that idea of having these with cinnamon sugar for breakfast!


  • 3
    Kayle - November 01, 2011 @ 6:45 am

    I love this recipe I got from Annie’s Eats!

    Olive Oil Pizza Dough

    Makes 4-1 lb loaves. (This recipe can easily be doubled or halved.)
    2-3/4 cups lukewarm water
    1-1/2 tablespoon granulated yeast (2 packets)
    1-1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt
    1 tablespoon sugar
    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    6-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
    1. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, or in a large (5 quart) bowl working with a wooden spoon, mix the yeast, salt, sugar, and olive oil with the water.
    2. Mix in the flour without kneading. I found this process to be incredible simple with my stand mixer, but it will certainly come together the old fashioned way. If you are not using a machine, you may need to wet your hands in order to incorporate the bit of flour.
    2. Transfer dough to large (5 quart) bowl or lidded food container. Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temperature until dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately 2 hours.
    3. The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 12 days.


  • 4
    Kristen - November 01, 2011 @ 7:14 am

    Such a delicious recipe. I have a pumpkin roll recipe but never thought to use sweet potato!


  • 5
    Rachel - November 01, 2011 @ 9:47 am

    Cinnamon rolls are my favorite yeast recipe, especially now with the cooler weather. These sweet potato rolls look heavenly, too!! Thanks for the opportunity to win!


  • 6
    Rebecca ~ Sweet Baby Yams - November 01, 2011 @ 9:27 pm

    I love sweet potatoes, but never thought I could use them in bread. I can’t wait to try out this recipe. Thanks!


  • 7
    Deanna - Teaspoon of Spice - November 02, 2011 @ 5:22 am

    I love baking with yeast too and this recipe looks and sounds divine!


  • 8
    Kita - November 02, 2011 @ 7:17 am

    These rolls sound perfect – and the only way I could sneak sweet potatoes into this house!


  • 9
    Tessa - November 02, 2011 @ 9:25 pm

    I’ve been working with yeast this year too. So far, so good here as well. These are such a great idea for this time of year. They sound like they’d be great for everything from a bowl of chili to Thanksgiving dinner!


  • 10
    Tracy - November 03, 2011 @ 4:12 pm

    Oh I love this recipe Katie! Despite fluffy dinner rolls being my kitchen kryptonite, I am going to try these!


  • 11
    Kristen M. - November 05, 2011 @ 10:47 pm

    My favorite sweet yeast dinner roll recipe is adapted from this Allrecipes.com recipe submission:
    1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
    1/2 cup warm milk
    1 egg
    1/3 cup butter, softened
    1/3 cup white sugar
    1 teaspoon salt
    3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
    1/4 cup butter, softened
    1. Place water, milk, egg, 1/3 cup butter, sugar, salt, flour and yeast in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select Dough/Knead and First Rise Cycle; press Start.
    2. When cycle finishes, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a 12 inch circle, spread 1/4 cup softened butter over entire round. Cut each circle into 8 wedges. Roll wedges starting at wide end; roll gently but tightly. Place point side down on ungreased cookie sheet. Cover with clean kitchen towel and put in a warm place, let rise 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
    3. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden.
    I’ve only made them into crescent style rolls once. I find it easier, and just as delicious to make regular round rolls.


  • 12
    Donna B. - November 06, 2011 @ 6:18 pm

    I usually use the recipe on the back of the yeast packet, but my mom shared this recipe for English Muffin Bread with me a few years ago and it’s become a favorite of ours.

    5 cups all-purpose flour, divided
    2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
    1 tablespoon sugar
    2 teaspoons salt
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    2 cups warm milk (110 to 115 degrees F)
    1/2 cup warm water (120 to 130 degrees F)

    In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups flour, yeast, sugar, salt and baking soda. Add warm milk and water; beat on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat on high for 3 minutes. Stir in remaining flour (batter will be stiff). Do not knead. Grease two 8-1/2-in. x 4-1/2-in. x 2-1/2-in. loaf pans. Sprinkle pans with cornmeal. Spoon batter into the pans and sprinkle cornmeal on top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees F for 35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans immediately to cool on wire racks.


  • 13
    Rachel @ Bakerita - November 15, 2011 @ 3:46 pm

    These look fantastic!!
    Wonderful pictures, and I love the idea of using sweet potato in the rolls.
    Can’t wait to try making this.


  • 14
    Vivianne - November 15, 2011 @ 4:29 pm

    Hi! These look delicious! What if I used butternut squash instead? Would I need to make any other adjustments?


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — November 15th, 2011 @ 6:19 PM

      No other adjustments. I made them with canned pumpkin tonight since I was out of sweet potatoes. Turned out great!

  • 15
    Whitney - November 23, 2011 @ 6:54 pm

    I’m making these for Thanksgiving tomorrow because thet reminded me of a recipe my mom used to make. I noticed that the recipe calls for sugar but the instructions don’t say where to use it. Did I miss something? I’m guessing that it was supposed to go in with the yeast and buttermilk but I didn’t do that. I added it to the mix after I added the yeast. Fingers are crossed that they turn out because they look delish!


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — November 23rd, 2011 @ 8:09 PM

      Sorry, yes add in with the yeast normally but what you did should work just fine too. Enjoy!

    • Whitney replied: — November 24th, 2011 @ 7:16 AM

      They still turned out perfect! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  • 16
    Julia in West Des Moines - February 29, 2012 @ 8:18 am

    We love scratch dinner rolls. that’s all my 14yo wants for thanksgiving most of the time. i’m trying your recipe this evening with our roasted chicken. Thanks for sharing.


  • 17
    Buffy - November 22, 2012 @ 10:10 am

    I too am making these for thanksgiving, and I forgot to add both the sugar and the salt (oops!), but wound up kneading them into the finished dough. I hope it comes out ok. thanks for sharing the recipe, it sounds great.


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