I plan to make sweet potato biscuits for Thanksgiving this year. Requiring only a little extra effort than regular biscuits, mashed sweet potatoes will add color, flavor and a flair that is sure to impress guests.
Classic biscuits always hit the spot, but I often find myself drawn to more creative or seasonal takes on the flaky pastry. A few years back, I made pretzel biscuits for Thanksgiving, and now I'm excited to bring these sky-high sweet potato biscuits to the table.
How to Prep the Sweet Potatoes
The sweet potatoes need to be cooked, mashed and cooled before the biscuit dough is prepared. There are many ways to cook potatoes, but Taste of Home culinary producer Sarah Tramonte recommends steaming the sweet potatoes, then scooping out the cooked flesh from the skin. However, peeling, chopping and boiling the sweet potatoes is a perfectly acceptable alternative if you don't have a stovetop steamer basket. Baking or even microwaving the sweet potatoes until they're cooked through works just as well.
However, if you're looking for shortcuts, we'd recommend avoiding canned sweet potato puree. Simply put, the canned puree will likely be thinner than homemade mashed sweet potatoes, which would result in a difference in texture in the biscuit dough.
Ingredients for Sweet Potato Biscuits
- Mashed sweet potatoes: Without sweet potatoes, these wouldn't be sweet potato biscuits! Make sure you use mashed sweet potatoes that don't have butter, cream or other seasonings already in there before starting this recipe.
- Flour: We use all-purpose flour for this biscuit recipe. However, if you need a gluten-free sub, you can use your favorite gluten-free flour blend in its place.
- Baking powder: Baking powder helps the dough to rise tall without needing yeast. Learn how to test baking powder to double check that it hasn't expired before you add it to the other dry ingredients.
- Shortening: Shortening acts as the fat for this recipe and binds the ingredients together.
- Half-and-half cream: Rich, creamy half-and-half adds both moisture and fat to the biscuits.
- Sugar: A few teaspoons of sugar add enough sweetness to the recipe to balance out the other ingredients.
- Butter: What's a biscuit without a pat of butter? We make a sweet compound butter with honey and cinnamon to bring out the hint of spice in the dough.
Step 1: Combine the dry ingredients
Preheat oven to 400°F. In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Step 2: Cut in the shortening
Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Editor's Tip: If you don't have a pastry blender, you can use a fork or a food processor instead.
Step 3: Whisk the cream into sweet potatoes
In a small bowl, whisk together the mashed sweet potatoes and cream, whisking until fully combined.
Step 4: Add to the crumb mixture
Stir the sweet potato mixture into the crumb mixture just until moistened.
Editor's Tip: Overworking the dough results in tough biscuits, so pay attention to how much you stir, and try to keep it to a minimum.
Step 5: Knead the dough
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Gently knead 8 to 10 times with your hands.
Step 6: Cut out the biscuits
Pat or roll out the dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut out biscuit rounds with a floured 2-1/2-inch biscuit cutter. Reroll scraps, and repeat just once—this will prevent you from overworking the dough.
Editor's Tip: Don't twist the biscuit cutter as you cut out the biscuits! Doing so seals together the dough layers and inhibits the formation of the flaky, tall, layered biscuits we all strive for. This is just one of several biscuit tips to keep in mind as you work your way through the recipe.
Step 7: Bake the sweet potato biscuits
Arrange the biscuits 1 inch apart on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown.
Step 8: Make the honey butter
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat the softened butter, honey and cinnamon until blended. Serve honey butter with the warm sweet potato biscuits.
Sweet Potato Biscuits Variations
Although you should typically follow biscuit recipes very precisely, there are a few tweaks you can make to these sweet potato biscuits.
- Use a different type of sweet potato: Purple sweet potatoes would make biscuits that are beautifully and naturally purple-y.
- Make savory biscuits: Omit the cinnamon and nutmeg, and add a combination of garlic powder and dried rosemary, thyme or sage.
- Swap out the honey butter: Other homemade spreads like honey almond butter, cranberry honey butter and cinnamon-orange honey butter would all be wonderful sweet alternatives if you want to experiment.
What to Serve with Sweet Potato Biscuits
If you want to serve these sweet potato biscuits for breakfast, give your guests the option of drizzling a little maple syrup on top of the honey butter.
Sweet potato biscuits would make a wonderful and seasonal addition to the spread of Thanksgiving side dishes at your holiday celebration, joining foods like mashed potatoes, stuffing and cranberry sauce.
If you've got leftover honey butter, put it to great use on top of pancakes, toast or banana bread.
How to Store Sweet Potato Biscuits
These sweet potato biscuits are best served fresh and hot from the oven. However, if they aren't gobbled up right away, keep them in an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag at room temperature for up to three days.
You can also store the honey butter at room temperature, covered, for one to two days, since you'll want it to be soft and spreadable when you polish off the rest of the biscuits. If you have some butter left after you finish the biscuits, you can store it in the fridge for up to three months.
How to Freeze Sweet Potato Biscuits
If you know you won't finish the baked sweet potato biscuits in a few days' time, freeze them for later. First, let them cool completely to avoid trapping any steam in the freezer container. Then, for best results, wrap each biscuit tightly in aluminum foil, and keep them in a resealable plastic freezer bag or airtight freezer container in the freezer for two to three months.
When you're ready to eat them again, pull the biscuits from the freezer, and reheat them in the oven at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes or until warmed through.
You can also freeze unbaked sweet potato biscuits. After cutting out the biscuit rounds, arrange them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and cover them with plastic wrap. Then, place them in the freezer until they're frozen. Then, transfer them to a resealable plastic freezer bag or freezer container, and store in the freezer for up to three months. When you're ready to eat, bake them on a greased baking sheet in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes at 425°.
You can freeze any leftover honey butter in a freezer container for up to six months.
Sweet Potato Biscuits Tips
Can you make sweet potato biscuits ahead of time?
Sweet potato biscuits are easily made ahead of time. Bake off the biscuits and whisk together the honey butter the day before, then reheat the biscuits in the oven until warmed through.
What can you use if you don't have a biscuit cutter?
You can use a round cookie cutter if you don't have a biscuit cutter. Just be sure to pull it straight up after you've cut each one. Twisting the cutter will result in biscuits that don't rise as well.
However, you don't need round biscuits—you can make square ones as well. Some of our Test Kitchen pros use a bench scraper to cut rectangles for biscuits that are similarly sized and equally delicious.