If you have ever made homemade quick-breads from scratch, you need to try these Sweet Potato Biscuits! And if you never make quick breads from scratch, I hope that this recipe will inspire you to give it a try! These lovely Sweet Potato Biscuits are surprisingly light and fluffy and have that buttery, melt-in-your-mouth quality. They’re as tasty as they are beautiful.
The Super Powerful Sweet Potato
This recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart’s Sweet Potato Biscuits. My version differs slightly in that I always start with canned sweet potatoes, but you certainly can use leftover, mashed sweet potatoes. A 15oz can of sweet potatoes will yield about one cup after I mash them and this recipe calls for 3/4 cup.
Not only do sweet potatoes add some beautiful color to these biscuits, but they sneak some wonderful nutrition into your diet! Sweet potatoes are naturally low in fat and sodium, high in fiber, potassium, vitamins A, B-6 and C, iron and potassium.
So sweet potatoes are pretty awesome! But these are still biscuits, people. And biscuits are not super health food. Too bad butter isn’t recommended for every diet! These are just biscuits with super powers. Not as nutritious as a bowl of mashed sweet potatoes without butter or salt, but definitely more nutritious than your run-of-the-mill biscuit. And Sweet Potato Biscuits have it all over a bowl of the mashed stuff when it comes to beauty, flavor and delectibility.
There are a few things you should know about making biscuits if you’ve never made them before.
First, chunks of butter result in flaky layers. I use a pastry blender to cut my butter into the flour until I have small chunks, but many people successfully use a food processor for this step. The key is just to make sure you to do not thoroughly blend the flour and butter into a paste. Those small butter chunks are your friends. Just make sure your friends aren’t bigger than pea-size.
And with that in mind, beware of over-mixing. Don’t get too paranoid though. Biscuits are pretty forgiving. It’s just the less you can beat in that butter, the flakier your biscuits will be. If your Sweet Potato Biscuits end up hard or tough, it means you’ve overmixed.
Chunks of butter are also why chilled ingredients are preferred. They tend to stay solid. Always use cold butter for biscuits, never room temperature butter. And this recipe calls for chilled sweet potato mash which helps the butter stay cold. I do simply use my canned sweet potatoes at room temperature, but be sure that you never use hot sweet potatoes for this recipe.
The fewer times you reform the dough for cutting, the better. With that in mind, choose the proper size circle biscuit cutter (2″), and cut out the biscuits closely together. I always just use a drinking glass to cut my biscuits by dipping the rim in flour before I cut them.
Okay, that was really just the same rule in four applications – don’t beat in the butter.
Sweet Potato Biscuit Nuances
Sweet Potato Biscuits may be a little stickier than your average biscuit dough. That’s perfectly alright. As long as you have buttered your round cake pan.
Sweet Potato Biscuits need each other for support. Put those babies together in the pan. They’re going to grow together in the oven, pushing each other up instead of out.
- 1 ¾ cup flour
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 2 ½ tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- 6 Tbsp. chilled butter, sliced, plus more for topping
- ¾ -1 cup chilled sweet potato purée*
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 425ºF. Butter an 8-inch cake pan and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Cut in chilled butter with a pastry blender, leaving small chunks of butter, no bigger than pea-size. Whisk together buttermilk and sweet potato purée separately. Stir into dry ingredients only until well combined.
- Turn the biscuit dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until the dough comes together and shape into a disk. Pat out to 1-inch thickness. Cut out biscuits close together with a round cookie cutter (since you want to reform biscuits as few times as possible). Gather scraps, reform dough and cut out more circles.
- Arrange biscuits together in prepared cake pan. (Fitting snugly helps them to rise upward instead of outward.) Brush with ½ tablespoon melted butter. Bake until golden, 20-24 minutes.
*I use canned sweet potatoes and mash them. One 15oz can yields about 1 cup of mashed sweet potato.
And that’s it! Hope you LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these as much as I do! Be sure to rate and review.
Notes added March 6, 2023 – I’ve been playing a little with this recipe, and I’m convinced that the biscuits are even better if you add a little more sweet potato. The original recipe calls for 3/4 cup, but taking it up to 1 cup was a win for me. I’ve adjusted the recipe by changing the quantity to 3/4-1 cup.