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Sweet Potato Bread

Asian bread sold in Chinese/Japanese/Korean bakery typically use the same dough, but made into a wide variety of bread using various creative filling, be it sweet or savory.

The bread sold come in many different forms, from the plain round bread, braided bread, open sandwich bread (i.e. all the topping on top), knotted bread, to spiral bread like the one in this post. I am sure I need a longer list to include all the different forms.

This time, let’s make some spiral bread with sweet potato paste as filling.

Sweet Potato Spiral Bread Rolls.
Sweet Potato Spiral Bread Rolls.

Sweet potato paste for bread filling

I start by making the paste first since we need to cool it down before using.

Take one sweet potato (about 300 gram), peel and steam until soft.

Mash the sweet potato and mix with sugar, sweet condensed milk, butter, and some cinnamon powder to make sweet potato paste. You can adjust the sweetness to suit your taste since each sweet potato will obviously have different level of sweetness.

Sometimes the sweet potato paste can be a bit runny and we don’t want that, in which case you can cook it in a frying pan over low heat and stir every so often until the paste is thicker.

Let the paste cool completely before using. You can make this ahead of time and make it in big batches too if you like the paste.

Just like red bean paste, you can use this not only as bread filling, but also as daifuku (mochi) filling, manju (Japanese steamed/baked bread) filling, and Chinese steamed buns filling.

Sweet Potato Bread
Sweet Potato Bread

Bread dough

Next, we need to prepare the dough. This dough is my standard bread dough for both sweet and savory filling, and most of the time I almost always have all the ingredients at home.

You will need all purpose flour, egg, butter, milk, active dry yeast, salt, and sugar.

I knead with my hands, and typically at around 15-20 minutes, the dough reaches a stage where it becomes smooth, soft, and elastic.

Then we need to leave the dough to proof in a covered bowl (wet kitchen towel/saran wrap) for 1 hour, or until the volume doubles.

In winter time, you can place the covered dough and a small pot of hot water in your oven so the proofing time is not too long. In summer when the weather is sweltering, just leave the dough in the kitchen counter top.

Sweet Potato Bread
Sweet Potato Bread

Shaping the bread

Once the dough has finished proofing. Punch to release air bubbles, knead again for 2 minutes. Roll the dough into 10"x15" rectangle, with the short side closer to you.

Spread a layer of sweet potato paste on the dough, leaving 0.5" margin along the edges.

Roll the dough from bottom to top, like rolling a towel (or cinnamon rolls if you ever make that), pulling the dough slightly as you roll. You will get a log, and if you pull the dough ever so slightly while rolling, you should be able to get a 12" log.

Cut into 12 pieces. Place the cut up dough on a parchment paper lined baking tray, cut up facing up, and proof again for 45 minutes. They should become 50% larger.

Baking the bread

Preheat your oven to 200 Celsius (400 Fahrenheit). Prepare an egg wash by mixing one egg with one teaspoon of milk or water. Brush the top surface of the dough liberally with the egg wash. Bake in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Sweet Potato Bread
Sweet Potato Bread

Sweet Potato Bread

5.0 from 4 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 3 hours

Serves: 12

Print Recipe


  • Sweet potato filling
  • 1 sweet potato (300 gram / 10.5 oz)
  • 25 gram (0.8 oz or 2 Tbsp) sugar
  • 25 gram (0.8 oz or 1.75 Tbsp) butter
  • 35 gram (1.23 oz or 2 Tbsp) sweet condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • Dough
  • 150 ml warm milk (38 Celsius or 100 Fahrenheit)
  • 5 gram (0.17 oz or 1.75 tsp) active dry yeast
  • 5 gram (0.17 oz or 1 tsp) sugar
  • 300 gram (10.5 oz or 2.5 cup) all purpose flour
  • 10 gram (0.35 oz or 2 tsp) sugar
  • 4 gram (0.14 oz or 3/4 tsp) salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoon butter, room temperature
  • Egg wash (mix together)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon milk/water


  • Sweet potato filling
    1. Peel and cut the sweet potato into wedges. Steam until soft.
    2. Mash steamed sweet potato with sugar, butter, sweet condensed milk, and cinnamon powder.
    3. If the paste is runny, cook in a frying pan over low heat until thick and no longer runny.
    4. Let the paste cool completely before using.
  • Dough
    1. Mix together warm milk, active dry yeast, and 5 gram sugar. Let rest for 20 minutes until foamy.
    2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all purpose flour, 10 gram sugar, and salt. Make a well, then pour the foamy yeast solution, egg, and butter. Knead into a smooth, soft, elastic, and non-sticky dough. If the dough is too sticky, you may add 1-2 tablespoon of all purpose flour. Kneading time is 20 minutes.
    3. Place the dough in the bowl, wrap with wet kitchen towel or saran wrap. Let it proof until the volume is doubled, about 1 hour in warm kitchen.
  • Bread
    1. Roll the dough into 10"x15" rectangle. Spread a thin layer of sweet potato paste on the dough, leaving a 1/2" margin along the edges.
    2. Roll from bottom to top into a log, pulling the dough slightly while rolling. You should be able to get a 12" log. Cut into 12 pieces.
    3. Place the cut up dough onto a parchment paper lined baking tray, cut side up, and proof for 45 minutes.
    4. Preheat oven to 200 Celsius (400 Fahrenheit).
    5. Brush the top of each bread liberally with egg wash. Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
    6. Best served warm when out from the oven. The bread should be fresh for up to 3 days.


  • anon anon says:

    Hi, how long can we refrigerate the filling?

    • Anita Anita says:

      It should be okay for 1 week, at least. I know since I have stored it up to 2 weeks in advance. If you use sterilized glass jars for canning purpose, it may even last for 1 month (unopened of course).

  • Julie Julie says:

    These are sooooo good! I used sweet purple potato and skipped the cinnamon and they turned out so well. Deliciously fluffy and sweet.

  • Grit Grit says:

    Can I use almond milk?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Yes, you can use almond milk for the bread dough.

  • Caren Caren says:

    Do I need to adjust the temperature if I make into a smaller bun size?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Caren, these 12 buns are not that large, and even if you make them into 18 buns, you should still be able to bake at the same temperature. Perhaps start checking at around 10 minutes instead of 12 minutes. :)

  • Daphne Du Daphne Du says:

    How long should I steam the sweat potato wedges?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Daphne, it depends on how big you cut the wedges. Try steaming for 15 minutes, if you can easily mash the steamed potato with your fork, then it is done. Otherwise, continue steaming until soft enough to mash.

  • Celina Farlow Celina Farlow says:

    Sooo, my “ball” hasn’t risen much at all :(. I was afraid something wasn’t right earlier when kneading but kept on goin Has this happened to anyone else?? I’m Going to continue on as recipe calls and I’ll let y’all know what happens 😬

  • Debbie Wherry Debbie Wherry says:

    I would love to make this recipe but I need it converted. Can you help me? Thanks Debbie

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Debbie, I've added the conversion in the recipe card. I hope this helps.

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