I think I need bigger bowls.

Sweet Potato and Honey Dinner Rolls I howsweeteats.com

Actually, wait… I also think I need a bigger brain. Listen.

On Tuesday night before I was going to bed, at uh… midnight, I took out my contacts to sterilize them, washed my face, brushed my teeth, slathered moisturizer on my skin and then… put my contacts back in my eyes. You know… for bed?

This may not seem like a huge deal, but if you have to sterilize your contacts like I do, then you know that they absolutely cannot touch your eyes for at least 6 hours once they hit that solution.

Ouch ouch ouch.

Sweet Potato and Honey Dinner Rolls I howsweeteats.com

As I was screaming in pain with no one to help me since my husband was out of town, I managed to claw my eyelids open and practically scrape the contacts from my eyes.

I don’t know what had gotten into me, but it was like when you wake up feeling bright-eyed and bushy-tailed with boatloads of energy, take a shower, eat breakfast, get dressed, put on makeup, then get in the car to go to work and notice that the clock says 1:54.


We’ve all be there, right?

WHY DID I STUFF MY CONTACTS IN MY EYES AT 12:07 AM?! It wasn’t like I had just woken from a deep sleep. Or a deep bottle of wine. Or rum! I know what you think of me.

Sweet Potato and Honey Dinner Rolls I howsweeteats.com

Then I couldn’t fall asleep because my eyes were on fire. The only thing that kept me alive (drama!) was blinking 436 times per minute. And for the last two days, my eyes have appeared as though I’ve been ingesting large amounts of questionable substances… like all day long.

By 3AM that night, I was starrrrving. I was past the point of exhaustion and still couldn’t comfortably keeps my eyes opened or closed, so I hoofed it downstairs and sank my teeth into one of these fluffy rolls. I had made them on Saturday in between my pajama wearing, wine drinking, and related laying around, and they still tasted fresh in the middle of the night three days later. They soothed me enough to eventually pass out and forget about the flames under my lids until about 6AM, when I simply wanted to shove my head into a barrel of ice.

Sweet Potato and Honey Dinner Rolls I howsweeteats.com

Even though I crammed way too much dough into a little bowl, seeing dough rise still makes me giddy. Especially when it spills over the dish and makes the kitchen smell all yeasty. In a, uh… good way.

I’m not even a bread person (much more of a consume-an-entire-cheesecake person) and I couldn’t stop with these rolls. We ate them with chicken chili and spread them with butter and drizzled them with honey and shoved them in our face and made them our… you know. They were like sweet potato pillows. I want to bounce up and down on them.

Sweet Potato and Honey Dinner Rolls I howsweeteats.com


Sweet Potato and Honey Dinner Rolls

Yield: makes about 30 rolls

Prep Time: 3.5 hours

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours


1 large sweet potato (once peeled, mine was 12 ounces)
2 packages of active dry yeast
4 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
1 cup buttermilk
6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
4 teaspoons sea salt
6 cups of all-purpose flour, plus more for workspace
1 egg, lightly beaten


1. Peel sweet potato (or potatoes – you just want about 12 ounces), chop into chunks and place in a pot with cold water. Bring to a boil and and cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 20-25 minutes. Drain potatoes, then place in a bowl and mash.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine water, yeast, 2 tablespoons honey and olive oil. Mix with a spoon and let sit until foamy, about 15 minutes.

3. Once foamy, add potatoes, remaining honey, 4 tablespoons melted butter, buttermilk and salt. Gradually add flour with the mixer on low until a sticky dough forms, then knead with the dough hook for about 2-3 minutes. Brush a large bowl with melted butter, then place the dough in the bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place for about 2 hours.

4. Using a bit of flour, knead dough until silky then divide in half. Roll into a long rope, then cut off pieces of dough (about 2 ounces each) and roll into a bowl. Place them into a greased 9×13 baking dish – you should be able to fit about 15 in there (using 2 pans). If desired, you can freeze dough at this point for up to 2 months. If baking immediately, cover the baking dish and let sit in a warm place to rise for about 30-45 more minutes.

5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush rolls with beaten egg, then bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are slightly golden brown. (If you want to bake both pans at once, set one on the lower rack and one on the upper rack in the oven, then switch half way through baking.) Let cool for a few minutes, then serve warm with butter and honey.

[adapted from martha stewart]

Sweet Potato and Honey Dinner Rolls I howsweeteats.com

You can eat all that butter in that bowl there. Because I said so.

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248 Responses to “Sweet Potato and Honey Dinner Rolls.”

  1. #
    Sherrie — October 10, 2011 @ 10:30 pm

    Wow, oh wow! These just became my “All-Time Favorite” yeast rolls! I mean to tell you they are BETTER than good ole Picadilly’s soft rolls, and I’m not kidding! I made your sweet potato dinner rolls this afternoon, to go along with my Chicken Fricassee, which I think was totally unnecessary at that point. Rolls and butter would have been all I needed to get by. They were SO FLUFFY and soft and squishy and tasty and yummy, just heavenly! I have seriously never made or eaten a roll so amazing like these before tonight. This recipe just ranked #1 in my book and I will toss out the rest of my dinner roll recipes. Do you think they could also be made from regular mashed potatoes? My son didn’t want to try them when he found out they were made with sweet potatoes. I insisted, and he LOVED them as much as me. Thank you so much sweetie, you made my day… maybe even the whole week!


  2. #
    Erin — October 11, 2011 @ 10:06 am

    Oh these look so heavenly! My mom has already put me in charge of bread for Thanksgiving, and these just might be the perfect solution!


  3. #
    Jen — October 11, 2011 @ 5:54 pm

    I’m in the middle of making these right now. If the rolls are any bit as delicious as the raw dough, we’re in business. Because I’ve already eaten half the batch. Just sayin’.


  4. #
    Tammy — October 12, 2011 @ 12:37 am

    These turned out yummy… I used half white whole wheat so I don’t think they came out as light as the original recipe – but they were still great. Thanks


  5. #
    Amy @ A Little Nosh — October 12, 2011 @ 2:40 pm

    Bet these would be good with canned pumpkin too….


  6. #
    Lee Sarver — October 13, 2011 @ 10:16 pm

    I tried these and it was my first time making rolls, I had no idea what knead was…I had to youtube videos… They weren’t bad..according to my husband but they also did not look like yours…mine were kinda dense…:( but still tasty. I will be trying it again sometime when I have replenished my flour canister.


  7. #
    Emily — October 15, 2011 @ 12:17 pm

    I’m thinking about making these for Thanksgiving, but I want to do a test run first…do you think I could make a half recipe, or is it risky to mess around with yeast dough recipes?


  8. #
    Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence — October 15, 2011 @ 6:57 pm

    These look delicious. I love the shot of the “escaping” dough!


  9. #
    Beth — October 18, 2011 @ 12:14 am

    As soon as I saw the photos, I knew I had to make these. Sadly, I didn’t have any honey or sweet potatoes. . .but I did have some leftover canned pumpkin that needed to get used up, as well as some maple syrup, and that combination was pretty amazing, too. I only made a half batch, but I still had to force my friend to take half of those home with him, in order to save me from myself. I’ll definitely make these again, but only when there are plenty of other people around to eat them. Thanks for the fantastic recipe!


  10. #
    Laura — October 19, 2011 @ 1:44 pm

    If I freeze these, should I thaw in the fridge or on the counter before baking? Or can I just put them in oven directly from the freezer?


    • Jenni — November 23rd, 2011 @ 12:36 am

      This was my question too… Did you ever find out about whether or not the dough needs to thaw before baking?


      • Laura — November 23rd, 2011 @ 9:34 am

        Haven’t tried the freezing yet…. Since there is a 2nd rise after thathawingt step, I think I’m going to try thawing the bread, covered and then baking as directed.

        • Jessica — November 23rd, 2011 @ 10:58 am

          Laura I think that is the best way to do it. I’ve never tried freezing bread but that is how I would do it.

    • Amy — August 31st, 2012 @ 6:55 pm

      When I’ve done multi day bread in the past, I have thawed in the fridge overnight and then pull it out and do the 2nd rise. The Weekend Baker has a ton of these recipes that are multi day.


  11. #
    Victoria R — October 19, 2011 @ 3:48 pm

    These look amazing. They look like something that I would figure out a way to eat at every meal.


  12. #
    Nicole — October 23, 2011 @ 7:20 am

    Hooooooly moly- Made these for our Turkey dinner tonight and they were UNREAL!!!!


  13. #
    Ashley — October 23, 2011 @ 5:19 pm

    I have been looking years for a roll recipe that actually tasted good once baked! After many failed attempts with other recipes, these are the best rolls I have ever made! Thank you for the recipe!! And I’m totally counting these as a vegetable serving :)


  14. #
    MrsABC1016 — October 25, 2011 @ 1:46 pm

    When my eye doc suggested that I try that solution her exact comment was, “Follow the directions exactly. Never ever put this solution in your eye, or you’ll hate yourself for days!” I hope you’re feeling much better!!

    These rolls are baking in my oven right now and I cannot wait to try one! They smell sooo yummy! (c:

    Thanks again, Jessica, for another super recipe! (c:


  15. #
    donna — October 30, 2011 @ 2:13 pm

    hi Jessica – within this recipe you wrote you ate the rolls w/ chicken chili – where is that recipe?
    i have searched your site over and over… was planning on making w/ the rolls – for halloween ….
    quick but warm & yummy oh &….. healthy!? :) thanks Donna


  16. #
    renee — November 4, 2011 @ 7:02 pm

    I literally just covered these delicious rolls to wait for them to rise. Whilst doing so the buttermilk stared me in the face. I forgot to add it! Will they still be okay or is there something more I can add and add the buttermik after I already kneaded it?


  17. #
    sara — November 18, 2011 @ 11:58 am

    Ooooh, fantastic! Found these rolls on Pinterest – they look absolutely delicious! Perfect for the holidays. :)


  18. #
    Christine Habersaat — November 23, 2011 @ 4:47 pm

    Just made these fluffy babies for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow! They turned out nice and doughy in the middle and brown on the outside…just like Jessica’s photos. My only suggestion for others making this recipe is this: I used two medium sweet potatoes and I’m not exactly sure how many ounces that is so it’s possible I didn’t use as much as I was supposed to…but, they didn’t have that sweetness I was expecting. I added an extra tablespoon of honey because I wanted them to be on the sweeter side and also brushed the tops with a honey egg-wash as well, but even so they didn’t turn out sweet. Which, at the end of the day is totally fine because they’re so delicious and I know they’ll be a hit tomorrow!!!…but, just sayin if you want to make a “sweet” roll, I would suggest adding another few tablespoons of honey.


  19. #
    Molly — November 23, 2011 @ 5:37 pm

    I made these for Thanksgiving tomorrow and I have already eaten three…I don’t know if they’ll make it to dinner! They truly are delicious! Thanks!


  20. #
    Mary — November 24, 2011 @ 8:37 am

    Just made this recipe–they are rising right now and will be ready for our family Thanksgiving! It is one of the most beautiful doughs I have ever made, that is for sure!


  21. #
    Katy — November 24, 2011 @ 6:22 pm

    These were so delicious! I just made them for my family’s Thanksgiving dinner!


  22. #
    Tera — January 4, 2012 @ 2:57 pm

    These are absolutely fabulous made into cinnamon buns – so alterations to recipe needed. They are huge and puffy and super soft.

    Must. Do.


  23. #
    Hannah — February 3, 2012 @ 5:35 pm

    HOLY MOTHER OF GOD!!! great great GREAT!!!!! so delicious :D everyone loved them. Thank you :) I love your website, and intend to make every single recipe!


  24. #
    Pam — February 17, 2012 @ 7:31 am

    I loved that you wanted to jump up and down on them!


  25. #
    Holly — May 6, 2012 @ 6:45 pm

    Wow, since I stumbled upon your website yesterday, I have made these rolls and your crispy chicken tacos…and for dessert will be your lovely red velvet cookies. The rolls are THE BEST. I want to make every taco recipe on here, they look so good. You have some amazing things on here, and I can’t wait to make so many more things you have posted. I love this site. Keep up the great work! These are totally cookbook worthy. If you don’t have one going yet, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone offers you something. Thanks so much for sharing your recipes.


  26. #
    Holly — May 6, 2012 @ 6:49 pm

    Ooh sorry, I meant I made your crispy *shrimp tacos. They were splendid!


  27. #
    Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) — November 12, 2012 @ 10:03 am

    I adore the sound of these. They remind me of the rolls I grew up on but with such a fantastic twist. I added them to my Thanksgiving desserts round up: http://www.grandbaby-cakes.com/2012/11/thanksgiving-everywhere.html


  28. #
    amanda june — November 22, 2012 @ 10:49 pm

    Made these for Thanksgiving this year — my FIRST time working with yeast ever! They turned out pretty well — not as fluffy as one might have hoped, I think because I hand-kneaded them (no stand mixer) and stopped too soon…the tops also got a bit more browned than I’d have liked (I’m working with a tiny toaster oven — I live in China and big ovens aren’t really a thing)… in any case, I was fairly pleased and thanks to you the world of yeast is now opening to me (which for a serious carb fanatic is a pretty exciting deal) ;) you’re the best.


  29. #
    lisa — November 28, 2012 @ 2:01 am

    I made these for Thanksgiving this year and they were so amazing and I laughed out loud reading your hilarious post. I am going to feature your recipe on my blog tomorrow. Thanks so much! You can find it here: http://allthingsgraceful.com/sweet-potato-honey-rolls/


  30. #
    Rachel — December 2, 2012 @ 12:38 am

    OMG! these were amazing! Highly recommend slathering them with honey butter


  31. #
    Robin Gerardi — December 25, 2012 @ 11:55 am

    I know this recipe was posted last year, but I had to comment because I am so excited to share what I did with your wonderful recipe. First I used instant yeast and heated the milk, water, honey and oil to 110 degrees and added it to all the other ingredients in my mixing bowl with a dough hook then followed remaining directions. The dough rose beautifully and then I divided it and did half for rolls and the other half I rolled out into big rectangle and brushed it with butter and sprinkled brown sugar and cinnamon all over it, then rolled it up and cut into 1.5 ” slices and put into a 9″ square pan. Then put the other rolls in another pan. I covered them both and refrigerated them. That was at 3 pm Christmas Eve. This Christmas morning I took them out when I awoke( then went back to bed). When I got up I preheated the oven to 375 and baked them for about 25 minutes and then glazed them with a mixture of butter, confectioner sugar and orange juice. They were unbelievable!!! Will make my cinnamon rolls this way from now on!!! I am going to bake the rolls for our dinner. It’s funny, because my husband requested sweet potatoes with Christmas dinner and he’s gotten a sweet potato pound cake, SP cinnamon rolls, SP rolls and SP souffle. He should get his fill of sweet potatoes!!! Thanks for the recipe and I hope this encourages others to try it.


  32. #
    Tara — December 28, 2012 @ 7:18 pm

    This was my first time making bread without a breadmaker, and Wow!! I could not stop eating these rolls and may have to never make them again…in the interest of my waistline. The other miracle that these rolls brought about was my four year old son calling them “awesome” and eating more than one. This from a kid who never, and I mean never, eats bread (I know, it’s weird, it’s possible he was switched at birth :) thanks so much for a great recipe, I just started following you on pinterest and I love your blog!


  33. #
    Barbara hammond — November 27, 2013 @ 7:27 am

    You are too funny. And unfortunately I have done the same thing and put contacts on before they were sterilized ..ugh. And chopped a giant bowl of jalapeños and then stuck my hands in my eyes to take the contacts off. The sweet potato recipe sound yummy.


  34. #
    Amy — November 16, 2015 @ 11:15 pm

    I know this post is from many years ago, but I used your recipe two years ago and they were great. I was wondering…if i freeze them as recipe says…what do I need to do once I’m ready to bake the frozen rolls?



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