I’ve never been the biggest fan of sweet potatoes but over the past few years, I’ve started coming around to them in the right recipes. The rest of the family loves them so I’m always brainstorming new ways to incorporate them into foods that we will all enjoy. And if there is one thing that we all enjoy all the time, it’s a freshly baked scone or muffin for breakfast. Especially in these chilly winter months, it is one of the best ways to start the day.

Sweet potato can be really wonderful in baked goods, adding some moisture and a softness similar to pumpkin. This recipe takes advantage of those characteristics in making a superb whole grain scone that is still as tender as can be. I don’t normally eat scones with additional butter but I decided to make a maple cinnamon butter to go with these and it was a really nice addition. This is a perfect recipe to have in your repertoire for feeding any house guests that come to visit for the holidays. As with all scones, these can be made in advance, frozen, and then baked directly from the freezer. Paired with some yogurt granola parfaits, they would make a lovely and impressive breakfast.

PS – Get ready, the gift guide so many of you have asked for is coming tomorrow! This one will be about regular gifts and I will do a separate post full of edible gift ideas early next week. Thanks for all of your suggestions!

  • Yield 8 scones


For the scones: 

  • 8 tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, frozen whole
  • ¾ cup mashed sweet potatoes*
  • ¼ cup greek yogurt
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp. grated nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

For the butter: 

  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened but cool
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2-3 tsp. real maple syrup
  • Pinch of coarse salt


  • 01

    Adjust an oven rack to middle position and preheat to 425˚ F.  Grate the frozen butter on the holes of a large box grater.

  • 02

    Stir together the mashed sweet potatoes and greek yogurt in a medium bowl; refrigerate until needed.  Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in a medium mixing bowl.  Whisk to combine.  Add the grated butter to the flour mixture and toss with fingers until thoroughly coated.

  • 03

    Add the sweet potato mixture to the dry ingredients and fold with a spatula just until combined.  Transfer the dough to a generously floured work surface.  Dust the top of the dough with flour, and knead with well floured hands, 6-8 times, just until the dough holds together in a ragged ball.  Add small amounts of flour as needed to prevent sticking.

  • 04

    Shape the dough into a 12 by 4-inch rectangle. (If at any time during shaping the dough becomes warm or sticky, transfer to the freezer to chill for 5-10 minutes.)  Using a sharp, floured knife, cut the rectangle crosswise into 4 equal rectangles.  Cut each rectangle diagonally to form 2 triangles.  Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with melted butter and sprinkle lightly with sparkling sugar if desired (I omitted but it would look lovely.)*  Bake until the tops and bottoms are golden brown, 18-25 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

  • 05

    To make the butter, combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until well blended. Place on a piece of parchment or wax paper, roll into a log and freeze about 15 minutes to set. Serve with the warm scones.

  • 06

    * If making in advance and freezing, place on the baking sheet and freeze for 20 minutes, then wrap individually and store in a freezer bag until needed. Bake directly from the freezer, adding just a few minute onto the baking time.

    *To make mashed sweet potatoes, heat the oven to 400˚ F. Prick 1-2 sweet potatoes all over with the tines of a fork. Wrap in foil and bake about 40-50 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and pieced easily with a fork. Let cool, then slice open, scoop the insides into a bowl and mash with a fork until smooth.