These light and flaky sweet potato biscuits are a delicious Southern treat that you’re going to love. Made with mashed sweet potatoes and buttermilk, these biscuits are still light and fluffy. To achieve the perfect texture and taste, make sure to use cold butter and handle the dough gently.
Adding sweet potatoes to biscuits like when adding to cornbread, provides a natural sweetness along with a velvety texture to a Southern classic. A unique and tasty twist to a traditional buttermilk biscuit.
These delicious biscuits are the perfect addition to any Southern meal, but they’re especially great with pork tenderloin or an Easter ham. They’re just a little sweeter than other biscuits and pair well with meat but also are delicious with a breakfast quiche.
Although buttermilk biscuits will always be a classic, it’s fun to switch things up every now and then. This sweet potato biscuit recipe or even these cheddar bay biscuits are a great alternative to a traditional biscuit.
We make a lot of biscuits around here, and these are one of our favorite versions next to 7UP biscuits.
One of the unique things about this easy recipe is the addition of chopped pecans in contrast with the fluffy texture of the biscuit itself. They are scrumptious on their own with a little butter, but pretty tasty with a drizzle of honey.
Make them mini to add to a brunch buffet, or add a slice of ham and make them a meal.
How to cook sweet potatoes
The easiest way to cook sweet potatoes to use for biscuits, is to microwave them. Prick them with a fork, cover with a damp paper towel and cook on high for 3 minutes, turn and continue cooking for 3-4 minutes depending on the size and number.
Let them cool and the skins will just peel right off. For biscuits the sweet potatoes need to be completely cooled, so make them in advance.
Why sweet potato biscuits?
- Sweet potatoes add a unique flavor
- Chopped pecans add an extra crunch
- Sweet potatoes add lots of nutrients to your diet
- It’s a fun spin on classic biscuits that everyone will love
- Sweet Potatoes – you will need about 3 medium sweet potatoes to get 2 ½ cups of mashed sweet potatoes for this recipe. They need to be cold when added, so cook these in advance.
- Brown Sugar – You won’t need much brown sugar but a little helps enhance the sweetness.
- Buttermilk – If you don’t have any handy, you can easily make your own buttermilk with ingredients in your pantry. Buttermilk reacts with the leavening agent which helps the biscuits rise.
- Pecans – Pecans are totally optional but they add a nice crunchy texture that adds so much more than you might expect.
- Pantry Staples – flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and butter.
Easy steps for Southern sweet potato biscuits
Step 1: Get ready
Cook the sweet potatoes in the microwave or oven and mash them with a fork, then cool them in the fridge. You do not want to add warm sweet potatoes to your biscuit dough.
Step 2: Combine ingredients
Mix the dry ingredients with cold butter in a food processor or use a pastry cutter or a fork until the flour is incorporated but you still have pea size chunks of butter.
Step 3: Get sticky
Add mashed sweet potatoes and buttermilk to a medium bowl then combine with the flour mixture and pecans. The dough will be crumbly, but also a little sticky.
Step 4: Cut it out
On a lightly floured surface, roll the biscuit dough out and cut into rectangles, stack them and roll out again.
Repeat this three times then cut them into 2 inch circles.
Step 5: Bake!
Put them in the freezer for 10 minutes then bake until golden brown on top.
You can cook these in a cake pan or an iron skillet. They will cook faster in an iron skillet.
Pro tip: Cold ingredients are best for flaky biscuits. Make sure the liquids and sweet potato are cooled before incorporating!
What goes well with these biscuits
- These make a great side to cast iron skillet chicken for an easy weeknight dinner.
- For the perfect holiday meal, serve sweet potato biscuits with a pork tenderloin.
- You can never go wrong with a steak and biscuit combo.
- Try serving for breakfast or brunch with a quiche or with prosciutto egg cups.
The best biscuit tips
- Don’t overwork the dough – just barely combine the ingredients and try not to handle it with your hands any more than you have to.
- When cutting the biscuits, cut straight down, don’t turn the biscuit cutter.
- Seriously, chill the dough! – It can be tempting to skip this step, but it’s totally worth it. Allow the dough to chill in the fridge or freezer for best results.
Sweet potato biscuit FAQs
How long do sweet potato biscuits last?
Keep these old-fashioned sweet potato biscuits in an airtight container or ziplock bag at room temperature for up to 2 days. Reheat in the oven, not the microwave.
Why are my biscuits flat?
Biscuits can be flat if you have overly worked the dough. Try to barely incorporate the dry and wet ingredients, it should not look smooth.
Can you freeze these biscuits?
Yes, you can freeze sweet potato biscuits before or after baking. Just let them come to room temperature before baking or re-heating.
To freeze before baking, place biscuits on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze for at least one hour then transfer to a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Let them thaw before baking.
To freeze after baking, place the biscuits in an airtight container after they are completely cooled. They will keep well for up to 2 months.
More sweet potato ideas
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Buttermilk Sweet Potato Biscuits
- 2 ½ cups sweet potatoes cooked and mashed
- 3 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspooon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 8 tablespoons butter one stick, cold
- ½ cup pecans chopped
- ¾ cup buttermilk cold
- 1 tablespoon butter melted
- Cook sweet potatoes in the microwave. (Wrap in damp paper towel and microwave for 3 minutes, turn and microwave for 3 more minutes depending on the size of the potatoes) In the alternative, bake in the oven. Let cook, squeeze off the peelings and mash with a fork in a large bowl.
- Lightly grease a 10 inch iron skillet or 10 inch cake pan.
- In a food processor, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and brown sugar. Process to combine. Add cubes of cold butter and process until they are pea size. In the alternative, use a pastry blender or two forks to incorporate the butter.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the cooled sweet potatoes and buttermilk. Add to the dry ingredients along with the chopped pecans and mix until just combined, it should look crumbly but should be a little sticky. If too dry, add a little more buttermilk and if too wet, add more flour.
- Turn out the dough on to a floured surface and form into a rough rectangle. With a knife or bench scraper, cut the dough into 3-4 portions and stack them on top of each other. Roll out and repeat 3 times.
- Roll dough into a 1 inch thick rectangle. Use 2 inch biscuit cutter, cut the biscuits, going straight down, do not twist and place in the prepared pan next to each other. Roll up the scrapes one time and form into a biscuit.
- Place the skillet in the freezer for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 450º. Remove from the freezer and bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown on top.
- Remove from the oven and immediately brush with melted butter.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- Cook the sweet potatoes in advance so they have time to cool, you don’t want to add warm sweet potatoes to the biscuit dough.
- Try not to handle the dough with your hands any more than you have to, use a rolling pin to roll out the dough.
- Don’t leave out cooling the dough before baking, that will firm up the butter and help them rise.
- If using a cake pan, they will take longer to cook then an iron skillet.
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