These rolls turned out WAY better than I ever imagined. A friend actually said they were possibly the best dinner rolls he’s ever eaten. I’d say that’s a pretty incredibly review!
We had these rolls with a savory steak dinner and they were superb. But we also served them earlier in the day with my Whipped Cinnamon Pumpkin Butter and they were absolutely fabulous.
Since they go beautifully with both sweet and savory, they’re absolutely perfect for Thanksgiving!
Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls Recipe Tips
These rolls are super simple. No need to be intimidated by yeast baking! But I always like to include some extra tips and insights into the science of the recipe so you feel really confident walking into the kitchen.
The Sweet Potato
For this recipe, I simply use one medium-large sweet potato and microwave it until tender. The trick to ultra light and fluffy rolls is to mash the potato until it’s completely lump-free. I think this is best done in a potato ricer (which also makes the BEST mashed potatoes) or even with a blender or food processor. Just don’t over-process. If you have to mash by hand, just keep going until no lumps remain.
I always use instant yeast (also called rapid-rise or quick-rise) because it’s so incredibly easy as it doesn’t require any proofing. You can literally just throw it in with the rest of the ingredients. If you don’t have it, you can always use regular active dry yeast. You’ll need to combine the active dry yeast with the warm water for 5 minutes, or until frothy, before you can add proceed with the recipe.
There’s two tablespoons of honey in this recipe to enhance the sweet potato flavor without making the rolls super sweet. However, if you like sweeter rolls feel free to double that amount (1/4 cup honey) and add in about another 2 tablespoons flour to compensate for the extra moisture.
This not only acts as a tenderizer, but it also gives a very slight tang to the rolls to balance out the flavor profile beautifully. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make your own (get the substitution directions in my FREE baking sub guide here) or simply use whole milk. Full fat works best in this recipe.
Eggs & Butter
The eggs and the melted butter called for in this recipe help to add flavor, richness, and a soft and tender texture. An egg wash is also brushed onto the unbaked rolls to encourage browning and a beautiful shiny crust. I also love to sprinkle the unbaked rolls with flaky salt to really enhance the flavor, I’d definitely recommend you do the same!
Do I have to use bread flour?
The bread flour in this recipe has a higher percentage of protein, which helps the dough to develop stronger strands of gluten. Basically, that means it helps to form rolls with a nice tall structure and slightly chewy texture. If you don’t have bread flour, you can use the same amount of all-purpose, they just might not be as chewy and tall.
Another note about flour. I develop my recipes in Phoenix where it’s extremely dry. If you live in a humid climate, you’ll likely need to add more flour to the dough. Start by adding just a tablespoon at a time until the dough isn’t unbearably sticky. It’s better to have a sticky dough and beautiful rolls because adding too much extra flour can cause the rolls to become dense instead of light and fluffy.
I know this is important for holidays like Thanksgiving.
You can always let the dough rise for the first time overnight in the fridge. Simply refrigerate the dough after kneading in a container wrapped in plastic. Once you’re ready to proceed with the recipe, remove the dough from the fridge. Punch it down and allow it to rest and warm up to room temperature before shaping into balls, about 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the temperature of your kitchen. The final rise may take a bit longer since the dough might still be cool.
You can also refrigerate the shaped rolls ahead of time. Place the rolls in your baking dish, then spray a sheet of plastic wrap with nonstick cooking spray before using it to cover the rolls. Let them come to room temperature (should take about 30 minutes to 1 hour) before baking.
Although bread is always best eaten when it’s very fresh, you can also store the fully baked buns. Store rolls, well-wrapped, at room temperature for several days or in the freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost to room temperature then reheat in a 300°F oven until warmed through.
These rolls are absolutely delicious and so easy to make! This recipe is a KEEPER! Many thanks!
I like to make fresh bread for my kids instead of using the prepackaged stuff that’s full of preservatives, so I’ve made a LOT of dinner rolls. They are portable and portioned and kids love them! This is the best dinner roll recipe I’ve ever made, and I’ve made a lot of them. The buttermilk is awesome. Thanks!!
Wow, so happy to hear that, Abbie! Thanks so much for the comment 🙂
I love this recipe! Over the years I’ve gone thru many phases of baking breads and rolls. There’s just something rewarding about working with dough, the aroma thru the house, and sharing the results with others. This recipe is especially nice to make as it is all done in a stand mixer bowl with dough hook. No flour all over the kitchen, no proofing the yeast. The directions are easy to follow and the rolls are beautiful and delicious! I highly recommend! This recipe is going into my keeper collection. Thanks so much!
Yay! So thrilled to hear this is such a winner for you, Lorie! Tessa will be SO happy to hear this 🙂
Love these rolls so much! Question – is the weight listed for the sweet potato (250 grams) after cooking and discarding the skin? Or the weight of the potato before cooking?
Oooops! Just re-read the recipe and found where you give this info on the sweet potato weight 🙂
I love this recipe. I’ve made rolls. I’ve made it into hamburger rolls as well as hot dog buns. Yummy no matter how “you cut it!”
I would love to know the Nutritional information (1 of 15 sort of equal size rolls)?
Hi Charli! I’m so happy to hear you loved these rolls! Unfortunately, we don’t keep track of nutritional information, but you should be able to find a nutritional calculator online to help figure out what you need to know 🙂
Thanks for sharing this recipe Made it twice so far.
So happy you love them!
Can I fry it on oil
We would suggest making the recipe as written for best results, we haven’t tried frying them.
I made these rolls for Thanksgiving and Christmas 2020. I will make them for this Thanksgiving and Christmas. They are delicious!
So happy to hear that! Thanks so much for the comment 🙂
Hello, I am so excited about this recipe! I made it and the result incredibly amazing. I used all purpose flour with 2 sachets of dry yeast (as per recommendation from the producer for 600gr of flour). Thanks so much for the detailed recipe steps. Cheers. Cleide Duplan
So glad you loved this recipe, Cleide!
Made these for dinner (to go with pulled pork and corn) but had to sample as soon as they were cool enough. Excellent taste and texture, maybe next time more honey….maybe not. The discussion then turned to what else to have them with and we are having sausage sliders with maple butter for breakfast tomorrow. Cavenders pork roast or nice crispy fried chicken tenders would work too. I’ll freeze some next time, this batch will be gone by tomorrow night.
I’m salivating, Gary! WOW, your meals sound incredible! So happy you loved this recipe, thanks for the rave review!
These rolls are so yummy and the directions were so easy to follow. Thank you! Random question for you….I’m catering a party and need to make 120 mini country ham rolls with butter/brown sugar. I’d love to use these as the roll. Can you think of a way I could make them almost like focaccia without rolling them into rolls? I’d like to do a 9×13 pan flat, slice it in half horizontally, fill with the brown sugar mixture and country ham and replace the top. Then I’d just roll into 24-36 filled rolls. Does that make sense at all? Any ideas you have, I’d love to hear!
We haven’t tried that, so you’ll have to experiment with it. As these are already baked in a 9×13 pan, if I’m understanding you correctly, I wonder if using a baking sheet instead would help give you the results you’re looking for so you can easily roll them up? Let us know how it goes! It definitely sounds delicious!
This recipe looks absolutely amazing !
My question is : if using active dry yeast , do I use the same proportion ? Do I need to activate the yeast before adding the flour and other ingredients?
That would be fine, I actually talk about that in the pink box above the recipe 🙂
Made these with purple sweet potato and regular yeast. I bloomed it in about 1/4 c warm milk and these rolls are like little bread marshmallows. Texture is amazing. I didn’t need as much flour as this called for but I’m also in Phoenix so maybe an ultra dry day. Have you tried to freeze these? Thinking of doing them for holidays and making in advance. Thanks for great recipe. Next time I think I will try adding some caramelized onions and make sweet potato onion rolls. Can’t wait to make them again.
Sounds incredible, I’m so glad you loved them! Yes, you can freeze them for up to 2 months. I have more instructions in the pink box above the recipe 🙂
I love your recipe,in fact made 3 times already ,my kids and friends love it too.
I used purple sweet potato to give nicer colour,and I make the sweet potato a bit chunky for the texture,it came out really good..thanks for sharing your recipe.
Oh how fun! So glad everyone enjoyed these rolls 🙂
Your comments for active dry yeast say to combine with “the” warm water. The recipe never references warm water, and only includes a tablespoon for making the egg wash.
The warm water is only for if you are using the active dry yeast instead of instant yeast! There should be directions for how much water to use on the packet itself.
If we add water to activate the yeast, then do we need to reduce the liquid in the recipe by that amount?
Hi Beth! Yes, I’d recommend blooming your yeast in a couple Tablespoons of water (100-110°F) water, with a pinch of sugar, to give it a jump start – but then reduce the milk/buttermilk by a couple Tablespoons, too, to account for the extra liquid. This time of year, it likely won’t matter because of the dryness, but overly-wet doughs will take longer to proof and rise (especially in humid conditions), so it’s best to reduce the liquid just to be safe. Learn more about yeast types and how to substitute them here! Let us know what you think of these rolls once you’ve given them a try! 🙂
I am not a baker, however, I found this recipe right up my alley! I am going to post a picture later!
These are one of my new favorite rolls. I have made them three times. They are extremely moist and because of this they are really great as leftovers, even a few days after making them. I mashed by sweet potatoes by hand the first time but then purchased a ricer (I also use it for mashed potatoes and apple sauce) which has made it easier.
So glad you tried these rolls out!
Absolutely love these, has anyone worked out the calories
First off, these tasted amazing! Due to COVID, we had to forgo our large family celebration as many families had to do this year. So I needed to find a recipe for sweet potato rolls and wanted to do something a little different than the usual ones my aunt makes. These were fluffy and delicious and my nephew declared them his favorite part of the meal! When I baked them, they didn’t seem to want to bake where they joined each other in the pan and I ended up keeping them in the oven for longer than the recipe called for. I also ended up flipping them out of the pan and baking them upside down on foil to get the bottoms brown. It seems like they were a bit doughy. What did I do wrong? Any suggestions?
I made these yesterday for Thanksgiving, they were perfect! So delicious and soft. I didn’t measure/weigh my sweet potato but just held back on adding all the flour, I ended up needing less than the recipe called for so I assume my sweet potato was a bit too small. It worked out great though! Thanks for this recipe!
Hooray! So glad you tried these rolls out for Thanksgiving.
I love your recipe and would love to make it for thanksgiving this year, which is an adventure since I haven’t made dinner rolls before
I don’t have a stand mixer, how do I make it by hand ?
Advice sincerely appreciated!
Hey Luci, check out my post on How to Knead Dough without an electric mixer! Good luck with your rolls!
Wonderful chewy bread rolls!!! Huge success
Yay! So glad to hear that.
These are delicious and love how well they came together! My entire family loves them!
Hi, can I use sugar instead of honey? And how much sugar? Thank you.
These rolls are wonderful! They were great with Peruvian corn chowder for a Saturday night supper and also grandkid-tested and approved on Thanksgiving in a vegan version.
These rolls were unbelievably good, easy well written directions, smell great! Made for thanksgiving, making again for Christmas! Fluffy, pillowy, delicious!
How many rolls does this make again? 600g of bread flour is a TON of flour! My eyes popped out of my head when I saw that LOL. I have never seen any recipe call for that much flour and I want to avoid making military sized batches of these! Because you say to divide into 15 pieces – but with 600g of flour plus all the other ingredients they must be massive, no?
I am at 5400 ft up, do you have any hints for making these rolls at high altitude? I know to decrease the yeast & honey but anything else?
Thanx for your time
What a great article. it was really valuable. thanks a lot
How far ahead can you make the dough and keep it in the refrigerator?
Thanks for sharing this! I’m totally going to make these for thanksgiving this year!!!
After baking, it looks like “special” butter! Did you make a cinnamon butter or other? If so, can you share the recipe??
Carb lovers unite!!!
You mention in the ingredient list the sweet potato is 200g, but in the directions you say “You should have about 230 grams of sweet potato.” How much do I use, 200g or 230g?
Is there a missing step? Does the yeast get activated though it is not mixed with a warm liquid as a first step?
Is the sweet potato amount, in grams, supposed to be 230 after putting in microwave and potato ricer? I have 123 grams and want to make sure i am doing the recipe correctly.
if I’m preparing these a couple days in advanced, when should I freeze them? before baking or after baking?
OMG!! The best bread rolls – delish. Definitely keeping this recipe. Thank you for sharing!!
These were absolutely delicious!!! Mr. D brought them over for our fellowship group last night, and OH MY GOODNESS!!! I could not stay away from them!! If I could have eaten half a dozen of them or more, I would have!!!
What should I do if I only have salted butter?
Can you use GF flour in these?
Some of my family can’t tolerate gluten
I’ve never tried, Sandy. Since gluten is the backbone of any bread’s structure and shape, you might have better luck finding a recipe that was specifically developed to be gluten free :/
Oh my Word, these look incredible, swear the smell & taste jump right off the page! Since bread is the 1 thing I’ve never had any luck making but you mentioned no proofing & able to throw in the yeast – plan to try my hand at them. Thank you for sharing your recipe & making me hungry for hot rolls n’ butter.
Haha! Instant yeast makes everything easier. Hope you enjoy the recipe!
These rolls look yummy! It has been a while since I have baked with yeast, so I want to give your recipe a try.
Could you give an estimate of how much the potato weighed or how much using a measuring cup.
I’ve corrected the recipe to include that now 🙂
Is it weird that dinner rolls are one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving dinner. They can be so underrated, but warm, fluffy dinner rolls are just SO GOOD. This recipe sounds incredible, and I can’t wait to give it a try!
I feel the same way!! Carb lovers for life 😉
How much is that amount of sweet potatoes in cups? Thank you and I love your recipes.
Can these be made using a bread machine? Love your ideas! Thanks for sharing!
Yummy! Does this same recipe work using regular potatoes?
I don’t see why not!
Can these be prepped the day before then refrigerated before the second rise? I do that with cinnamon rolls for holiday mornings. The rule at our house is whomever is up first is tasked with getting them out of the fridge so they can come to room temp then rise before baking. It’s always worked and am hoping you will say it will work here too. Thanksgiving is just a too labor intense holiday to add this to it.
Yes! I actually have a free make-ahead baking guide you might find helpful: https://handletheheat.com/make-ahead-baking-guide-facebook.html
OMG — i have to try these… they sound awesome!!!