Sweet Potato Rolls (Extra Soft)

5 from 1 vote
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Sweet potato rolls are the light and fluffy accompaniment your Thanksgiving dinner needs, with an extra soft texture and slightly sweet taste to pair with your favorite dishes. {Vegetarian}

Sweet potato rolls topped with nuts

Thanksgiving is full of family traditions and dishes that we all love to enjoy with our loved ones. While we often make the same things each year, it’s fun to add something new to the mix. That’s why your family is going to love these sweet potato rolls instead of those regular dinner rolls.

Golden Thanksgiving rolls

Extra soft sweet potato rolls

Sweet potato rolls are made with a milk bread dough, resulting in extra fluffy and soft buns. They have a super light, slightly sweet flavor and fragrance. Plus, sweet potatoes themselves are incredibly nutritious. Topped off with mixed nuts and seeds, you’ll be sneaking in something healthy with all those rich Thanksgiving dishes. And they taste so good, no one will notice, though if you don’t want to add the nuts and seeds or if someone has an allergy to them, they’re an optional addition.

Sweet potato rolls close up


You only need a few simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.

Another great thing about these sweet potato rolls is that you can use whatever sweet potatoes you’ve got to make them. Canned sweet potatoes, leftover baked sweet potatoes, and even steamed sweet potatoes all work beautifully in this recipe.

How to make sweet potato rolls

Your stand mixer will help you get these delightful sweet potato rolls ready to go.

  1. Mix the ingredients in the bowl of your mixer
  2. Knead for 5 minutes then add butter
  3. Sprinkle a bit more flour if the dough does not come together
  4. Keep kneading until the dough is springy
  5. Use your hands to make the dough round, then transfer it to a bowl
  6. Rest until the dough has doubled in size
  7. Divide the dough into 12 pieces, then pinch each dough ball together
  8. Roll the dough piece on the table to round it out
  9. Let the dough rise again
  10. Brush with the egg wash
  11. Add nuts on top
  12. Bake and serve!


The dough is very wet and I highly recommend a stand mixer. It’s possible to knead the dough without one, but you might need a dough scraper to knead it and you might need to add extra flour. The sweet potato dinner rolls will still come out soft.

How to make sweet potato rolls cooking step by step
Pull apart super soft sweet potato rolls

Serve and store sweet potato rolls

Brush them with some maple syrup and they taste like a treat in and of themselves, like a dessert to go with the meal. That sweet taste is a nice contrast to all those savory Thanksgiving dishes, too.

Once the sweet potato rolls have cooled down completely, you can store them in a ziplock bag in the fridge for 2 to 3 days, or in the freezer for 2 to 3 months. To reheat, you can use a microwave or oven to reheat the refrigerated rolls. But I recommend using the oven to reheat the frozen rolls at a low temperature (350°F) so they heat up evenly.

Final thought

And if you don’t want to take the classic dinner rolls out of the Thanksgiving rotation, you can always use my milk bread rolls recipe to make extra soft and fluffy white rolls!

Thanksgiving dinner rolls

Other Thanksgiving recipes

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Sweet potato rolls are the light and fluffy accompaniment your Thanksgiving dinner needs, with an extra soft texture and slightly sweet taste to pair with your favorite dishes. {Vegetarian}

Sweet Potato Rolls (Extra Soft)

5 from 1 vote
Sweet potato rolls are the light and fluffy accompaniment your Thanksgiving dinner needs, with an extra soft texture and slightly sweet taste to pair with your favorite dishes. {Vegetarian}
Author: Maggie Zhu
Course: Side
Cuisine: Fusion
Keyword: holiday cooking, thanksgiving
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Resting time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 12 dinner rolls



  • 1 3/4 cups (280 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon (3 g) instant yeast (*Footnote 1)
  • 1 teaspoon (3 g) salt
  • 1/4 cup (66 g) sweet potato , mashed (canned or boiled) (*Footnote 2)
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) water
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons (42 g) honey (or maple syrup)
  • 1/2 egg , beaten (reserve remaining egg for wash)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (20 g) butter , softened


  • 1 tablespoon canned sweet potato syrup (or 2 teaspoons water + 1 teaspoon honey, or 2 teaspoons maple syrup)

Topping options

  • Sesame seeds
  • Slivered almonds
  • Pumpkin seeds


To make the dough:

  • Combine the flour, yeast, salt, mashed sweet potato, water, cream, honey (or maple syrup), and egg in the bowl of a mixer (*Footnote 3). Mix with a pair of chopsticks or a fork until a shaggy dough comes together.
  • Attach the dough hook and knead on setting 4 for 5 minutes.
  • Add the softened butter to the mixer bowl. Continue kneading for another 5 to 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and clinging to itself. If the dough is too wet and keeps sticking to the bowl after 3 to 4 minutes of kneading, slowly add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. And scrape off the dough from the wall of your mixing bowl. At the end of the kneading, the dough might be still sticking to the bottom of the mixing bowl and very soft, but you should be able to lift it with your hands.
  • Grease a bowl and your hands with butter or oil. Lift the dough from the mixer. Round the dough and tuck it under itself to create a smooth ball. Place it in the greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, 1 hour or so depending on your room temperature.

Second Kneading:

  • Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and flip it onto a well oiled working surface. Flatten the dough into a large square, about 10”x10” (25cm x 25cm). Cut into thirds in strips. Then cut each strip into four equal pieces to create 12 pieces of dough in total. You can also weigh the dough to create more evenly sized pieces – each dough ball should weigh 43 g.
  • Prepare a 11”x7” (28cm x 18cm) baking pan (*Footnote 4). Line it with parchment paper or grease the pan with butter or oil.

Shape the bread:

  • One piece at a time, pinch the edges of the dough into its center to create a tight ball. Then place it onto the working surface, seam side down. Cover the dough with your hand, shaped like a dome, so the dough touches your palm and fingers. Gently roll the bun in a circular motion to help seal the seam and further smooth the bun. Place the buns in the prepared baking pan.
  • After forming all the buns, cover the baking pan with plastic wrap. Let rise until the dough becomes 1.5 times the previous size, 30 to 45 minutes.
  • While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C).

(Optional) To make the syrup:

  • If not using canning syrup, combine the water and honey in a small bowl, stirring until the honey is fully dissolved.

To make the egg wash:

  • Add half of the syrup to the remaining half an egg. Stir to mix well.

To bake the buns:

  • Once the rolls have fully risen, gently brush them with the egg syrup mixture. Sprinkle the toppings onto the buns if desired.
  • Bake at 350°F (176°C) for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops of the buns turn a rich golden color.
  • When the buns come out of the oven, brush them with the remaining syrup.

To store and reheat the buns:

  • Transfer into a ziplock bag once the buns are cooled completely, then store in the refrigerator for a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, microwave or warm the buns in the oven if refrigerated. Warm the frozen buns in the oven until thawed and warmed up throughout.


  1. You can also use active dry yeast for this recipe. If using active dry yeast, heat the water or sweet potato syrup to 110°F (40°C) and add the yeast. Let the yeast activate for about 5 minutes until foamy and thick.
  2. To cook from a fresh sweet potato: Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add one small peeled and chopped sweet potato. Cook until fork tender, about 10 minutes, then drain. Mash the sweet potato until a smooth consistency is reached.
  3. This dough is very wet so I do not recommend kneading it by hand. However, if you do not have a mixer, you can slightly increase the flour and knead the dough by hand. The bread will turn out less soft but still very tasty.
  4. If you do not have the exact size, a larger baking dish will work as well.


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 128kcal, Carbohydrates: 22.2g, Protein: 3.2g, Fat: 2.9g, Saturated Fat: 1.6g, Cholesterol: 21mg, Sodium: 118mg, Potassium: 51mg, Fiber: 0.8g, Sugar: 3.3g, Calcium: 10mg, Iron: 1mg
Did You Make This Recipe?Don’t forget the last step! Leave a comment below, and tag me @OmnivoresCookbook and #OmnivoresCookbook on Instagram!

Lilja Walter is a part of the Omnivore’s Cookbook team and worked closely with Maggie to develop and test this recipe.

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Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Margaret says:

    Some of my guests are vegan. Can I do anything to replace the Cream?

    • Maggie Zhu says:

      I think you might be able to use plant-based yogurt to replace the cream.
      PS. for your vegan friends, you still need to replace the butter and the eggs.

  2. Diane says:

    Hi Maggie, do you think this would work with canned pumpkin instead of sweet potato?

    • Maggie Zhu says:

      Yes canned pumpkin totally works!

  3. Natasha says:

    5 stars
    Loved this so much!! Made a double batch for Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit!

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