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Purple Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls by Baking The Goods

Purple Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls

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These tender, fluffy Purple Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls have an undeniably moist and buttery bite with subtle sweet notes and a pretty in dusty pink-ish purple hued interior, topped with a crunchy sprinkle of poppy seeds.


  • 1 3/4 cup purple sweet potatoes (peeled & chopped into 1/2" cubes)
  • 1 cup whole milk, divided
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (- plus 3-4 tablespoons for brushing)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 large eggs (- at room temperature)
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoons olive oil (- or other preferred oil)
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds


  1. Place chopped sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan, add about 4 cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and continue to cook until fork tender, 8-ish minutes.
  2. Drain the sweet potatoes and return them to the saucepan. Add 1/4 cup of the milk and mash until smooth and fluffy. Set aside to cool. You should have about 1 cup of mashed sweet potatoes.
  3. In a small saucepan, melt 6 tablespoons of butter over low heat. Remove from heat and whisk in the honey. Then slowly stir in the remaining 3/4 cup milk. Whisk mixture together. It will need to be at about 100°F - 110°F. If it's too cool, warm it on the stove over low heat until it reaches temperature. If it's too warm let it sit (off of the heat) until lowered to temperature.
  4. Add the yeast to the bowl of a stand mixer and pour the warm milk mixture over the yeast. Allow to stand until it begins to bloom and become foamy, about 8-10 minutes.
  5. Add 1 cup of the cooled, mashed sweet potatoes, eggs, flour, sugar and salt. Attach the dough hook and knead the dough on medium speed for 5-8 minutes.
  6. Once the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl and cling to the hook, gently remove it (a bowl scraper or spatula comes in handy here). Gather the dough and shape it into a ball shape in your hands or on a very lightly floured surface.
  7. Use olive oil to lightly oil a large bowl, then place the dough ball in the oiled bowl. Loosely cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and store in a warm area of your kitchen for about 1 1/2 hours until the dough ball doubles in size.
  8. Generously butter a 9" x 13" cake pan or casserole dish or two 8" or 9" round cake pans. Divide the dough into 18 equal chunks (using a kitchen scale if you have one). Roll each chunk of dough into a little round ball and evenly space the balls in a 6 x 3 grid in the rectangular pan or 9 in each round pan (with one in the center and 8 around the outside).
  9. Melt the remaining butter and brush the dough balls gently and abundantly with 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Then cover loosely with plastic wrap and let them stand until they puff up, about an hour.
  10. With the rack positioned in the middle of your oven, preheat to 375°F. Bake the rolls until they are a warm golden on top, about 18 minutes.
  11. Immediately brush them again with 1-2 more tablespoons of melted butter. Sprinkle with poppy seeds. Best when served right away while they are still all warm and squishy.