Sweet Potato Benne Seed Biscuits

Prep Time: 
60 minutes
Number of Servings: 
6 biscuits


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for folding and cutting
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 12 tsp kosher salt
  • 14 tsp baking soda
  • 1 stick (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 cup mashed sweet potatoes, cold (about 1 medium potato)
  • 34 cup plus 2 Tbsp whole milk, cold
  • 2 Tbsp benne seeds (sesame seeds)
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter or honey, for brushing biscuit tops (optional)


  1. Adjust an oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 450˚.
  2. Place flour, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
  3. Using slicing side of a box grater, slice butter into flour mixture. Toss sheets of butter in flour until butter is thoroughly coated. Then lightly work butter pieces between your fingers or use a pastry cutter to break them up and coat them with flour. Stop when dough resembles coarse sand and there are still some small visible pieces of butter.
  4. Place biscuit mixture into the freezer for 15 minutes.
  5. Place sweet potatoes and 34 cup milk into a separate bowl. Whisk to combine. Add sweet potato mixture to chilled flour mixture. Stir gently with a spatula until dough begins to form into a ball and no dry bits of flour are visible. Dough will be shaggy and sticky.
  6. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and lightly dust with flour. With floured hands, gently pat dough into a 12-inch-thick 11x6 inch rectangle. Fold ends of rectangle toward center, one end on top of other, to create a trifold. Dust top lightly with flour, press out to same size rectangle again, and repeat folding. Repeat this process a third time. After third folding, pat dough to a 12-inch thickness and cut out biscuits using a floured 3 12-inch biscuit cutter. Be careful to press straight down and do not twist the cutter.
  7. Place biscuit rounds 1 inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Gather scraps, reshape them, and pat them out to a 12-inch thickness. Cut out as described above. Discard any remaining scraps.
  8. Brush tops of biscuits with remaining 2 tablespoons milk. Sprinkle with benne seeds.
  9. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, rotating pan once halfway through, until tops are golden brown. If desired, brush tops of baked biscuits with melted butter or honey. Serve immediately.


  • Sweet potatoes add an earthy, sweet flavor to more than just your favorite pie. They make for a tender and moist biscuit that is a great substitute for dinner rolls.
  • These biscuits are the soul sisters of the basic buttermilk biscuits. Make them whenever you have leftover sweet potatoes.
  • This recipe uses a larger biscuit cutter for the biscuits. If you opt for a smaller cutter, you’ll yield more biscuits.
Nutrition Info: 
356 Calories, 6 g Protein, 44 mg Cholesterol, 42 g Carbohydrates, 5 g Total sugars (2 g Added sugars), 2 g Fiber, 18 g Total fat (11 g sat), 294 mg Sodium, ★★★★★ Vitamin A, ★★★★ Phosphorus, ★★ Calcium, Vitamin B1 (thiamine)


Erika Council

Writer, Recipe Developer, and Photographer

Erika Council is the charismatic food writer, recipe developer and photographer behind the popular website, Southern Soufflé. It is here the reader is taken through a brilliantly southern focused epic, with tales of food, love and freedom.  Erika has become a fixture in the southern culinary world with her popular Bomb Biscuit Co. in Atlanta, GA.