Sweet Potato Pull-Apart Rolls


The longer I blog the more I realize that some very special recipes get buried in the Free Eats archives.  Over the next week I plan on revisiting some of my favorite seasonal recipes so that new subscribers can give them a try.

Ok, so I can’t tell a lie…when it comes to Thanksgiving, I have an ulterior motive.


I make sure to cook enough food to satisfy a college football team twice over.  Go big or go home.

Hands down though my favorite leftover combination is a turkey sandwich on a soft roll, piled high with cranberry chutney and spicy brown mustard.  These sweet potato rolls transform my leftover turkey sandwich into a divine experience.  Comforting and absolutely delicious.

This recipe makes rolls that are just a bit sweet with a hint of orange.  The flavor of sweet potato is very delicate, but it does impart an earthy complexity and gorgeous orange hue to the rolls.  Soft and rich, these rolls are the perfect accompaniment to your holiday table.

Sweet Potato Pull-Apart Rolls


  • 1 packet active dry yeast (I use Red Star active dry yeast in packets since it’s free of corn additives)
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour mix (click here for the mix I use)
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch (also referred to as tapioca flour)*
  • 3 tablepoons ground golden flax **
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (Authentic Foods has a corn-free variety)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons light tasting oil of choice
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup orange juice (from the zested orange)
  • 3/4 cup smoothly mashed sweet potato (bright orange flesh with darker skin) ***
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 1 lightly beaten egg (for egg wash)


  • 1. Grease a 10 inch cake pan or 9 x 13 inch metal baking pan. Set aside.
  • 2. In your standing mixer (paddle attachment) combine the flour, tapioca starch, ground flax, xanthan gum, sea salt, brown sugar, and yeast. Mix briefly to combine.
  • 3. Add the the oil, eggs, warm water, orange juice, sweet potato puree, and orange zest.
  • 4. Mix for 2-3 minutes on medium speed (adequate mixing is very important for gluten-free breads). The batter will be very thick and sticky and should NOT clear the sides of the mixing bowl (gluten-free dough is more like a “batter” because it shouldn’t come together like wheat bread dough). Add an additional tablespoon or two of warm water if the dough looks too dry.
  • 5. Using a greased muffin scoop, or large spoon drop rounds of dough (4 tablespoons each) into prepared pan. Nestle the dough 1 ½ inches apart so it has a bit of room to rise. (see picture below)
  • 6. Cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap and place in a warm (80 degree) place (I put mine on top of a warm toaster oven). Allow the rolls to rise until they are almost double in size: 60-75 minutes .
  • 7. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • 8. Bake the rolls on the center rack for 10 minutes. Remove the rolls from oven and quickly brush the tops with a beaten egg.
  • 9. Return rolls to the oven and bake for 40 more minutes or until deep golden brown. So that the tops of your rolls don’t get too dark, loosely drape a piece of aluminum foil over the top for the last 10-15 minutes.
  • 10. Allow the rolls to cool in the pan briefly, then carefully turn them out and cool on a rack (to avoid soggy bottoms) for 20 minutes before serving. Serve warm.
  • Freeze leftover rolls in heavy duty plastic freezer bags. I make mine a few days ahead, freeze, then thaw, wrap in foil and warm in the oven for the big day.
  • * Arrowroot starch, or cornstarch would work too, depending on what your diet allows.
  • ** I used golden flax, but you could also use regular ground flax, millet flour or sorghum flour.
  • *** Resist the urge to add more sweet potato! The rolls just won’t rise enough with the weight of the moist sweet potatoes.



8 thoughts on “Sweet Potato Pull-Apart Rolls

  1. Thanks for the tip on the corn free xanthan gum. I can’t wait to make these. They look amazing. For anyone new to corn free, watch out for the oranges with the wax on the outside, the wax can be made from corn, as I have learned the hard way.

  2. I made these today, leaving out the zest. I substituted 1 heaping tsp powdered psyllium for the xantham gum and also added 1 tsp unflavored gelatin. I used milk instead of water. They are baking right now. Will see how they come out.

  3. These looked so good I had to try them today. They are delicious! I’ve tried so many GF recipes for rolls that have no flavor, so I was so excited to see your recipe! I had a couple problems though. The batter was too runny, they didn’t rise to double, and if I would have left them in the oven for the 40 minutes they would have been hockey pucks! 20 minutes was enough. Can you give me some advice? I followed the recipe exactly.

Comments are closed.