Single-Rise Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls

Mashed sweet potato adds sweetness, moisture, and a golden-orange hue to these whole grain dinner rolls. Just before baking the risen rolls, you can brush them with plant milk and sprinkle lightly with poppy seeds.

Tip: For 1 cup mashed sweet potato, peel one 12-oz. sweet potato and cut into 3/4-inch pieces. Place sweet potato in a steamer basket in a saucepan. Add water to saucepan to just below basket. Bring to boiling. Steam, covered, 10 minutes or until very tender. Remove potato; mash with a potato masher

By Nancy Macklin, RDN,


  • 3 to 3½ cups white whole wheat flour, divided
  • 2 packages quick-rising yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup mashed sweet potato (*See headnote)
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ cup unsweetened plant milk, such as almond, soy, cashew, or rice
  • 2 tablespoons pure cane sugar


  • In a large bowl stir together 2 cups of the flour, the yeast, and salt.
  • In a medium saucepan heat and stir sweet potato, applesauce, milk, and sugar until warm (120°F to 130°F). Add sweet potato mixture to flour mixture. Beat with a mixer on low 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high 3 minutes. Stir in as much of the remaining 1 to 1½ cups flour as you can.
  • Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (5 to 7 minutes). Cover and let rest 10 minutes.
  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide dough into 16 portions. Roll each portion into a ball and place 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. If desired make ¼-inch-deep decorative cuts across tops of rolls. Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly double in size (45 minutes).
  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake rolls 20 to 25 minutes or until golden. Cool slightly; serve warm.

Comments (15)

(5 from 6 votes)

Recipe Rating

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Sue Hanna

Can this be made gluten free?


Not just this recipe but I have used 1 for 1 gluten free flour in other receipts asking for wheat flour with success. Why not just give it a try?

Carrie Horejs

The entire family loved these rolls! They were tender, slightly sweet, and came together easily. I wasn't shy about using extra flour to handle the slightly sticky dough when it came time to shaping into rolls. I think the sweet potato keeps the rolls from drying out. I used freshly ground whole wheat. This recipe is going into my favorites folder.

Nancy Lopez-Ibanez

I have made many different kinds of bread. This recipe from your magazine of Fall 2020 page51 has extremely sticky dough which never pulled from the sides of the bowl. I added about 1/4 cup of all purpose flour but it is still very sticky. I put it in a warm place to rise...will get back to you on the finished product.

Nancy Lopez-Ibanez

The dough nevrr got dry enough to pull away from the sides of thr bowl. I added 1/4 cup all-purpose flour but it was very sticky dough. I covered it and let it rise. I havemade plenty of different kinds of bread..doesn't look like its going to be successful :(

Tracy Seifert

Can we use a gluten-free flour?

Tracy Seifert

Can I use gluten-free flour?

Judith Sparanese

Can you use regular whole wheat flour?

Judith Sparanese

Can you use regular (not white) whole wheat flour?


Have you substituted gluten free flour in this recipe?


Thinking about trying this with a can of pumpkin puree instead of the sweet potato- anyone try this?


Yes, I used homemade pumpkin puree. Worked well.


I would like to know about GF too. Also, can you use a bread machine? I don't knead.

Rebecca Lipscomb

Has anyone made a regular artisan bread instead of rolls using this recipe?

Lola & Harold Major

Best yet!

About the Author

Headshot of Nancy Macklin

About the Author

Nancy Macklin, RDN

Nancy Macklin has a bachelor of science in dietetics from Iowa State University and a Master of Science in health services administration from the University of Saint Francis. Macklin worked as a hospital-based clinical dietitian, providing counseling for diabetes, heart disease, and weight loss and as a food service director in health care dining sites. She now serves as a test kitchen dietitian, developing 500+ recipes per year. She is a member of the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics and International Association of Culinary Professionals. Find her on LinkedIn.
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