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Sweet Potato Scones

sweet potato scones

 A scone is a quickly made pastry, a mix of flour and butter that is baked in a hot oven until flaky and golden. Scones, at least here in the US, are rarely served plain. Instead of the basic perfect-with-jam-and-clotted-cream scone that you might find served at an afternoon tea, we’re a lot more likely to see them augmented with dried fruits, sugar or other flavorings and served with coffee for breakfast. Not that there is anything wrong with that – I personally like scones in just about any form they take (as long as it’s a good scone, of course) and am just as partial to traditional ones as some of the more creative varieties. These scones, for instance, are a take on a traditional pumpkin scone.

Pumpkin scones are pretty popular in Australia, where they are paired with savory dishes (like a biscuit) a bit more often than with sweet. I always enjoyed them when I had them there, so when I finally came across a good recipe for pumpkin scones, I couldn’t wait to try it. Unfortunately, I used up all my pumpkin making chocolate pumpkin pies for friends and family over the past couple of weeks and my desire to make the scones immediately was at odds with the ingredients in my cabinet.

Immediacy won out in the end and I opted to use sweet potatoes in place of the pumpkin. Cooked, mashed sweet potatoes (baked, then cooled) have almost the exact same consistency as cooked, mashed pumpkin, and they have the same appealing natural sweetness. The finished scones are both sweet and savory. As you might expect with such a lean dough, they are a bit denser than a very butter-rich scone, but that doesn’t detract from the overall taste or texture. You can serve these with butter and jam (I like pumpkin butter, personally), but they really work well when served in place of a more traditional biscuit with soup or a savory meal.

Sweet Potato Scones, with butter

Sweet Potato Scones
1 tbsp butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
1 cup mashed sweet potato, room temperature
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugar and salt. Beat in egg, then the mashed sweet potato. Stir until smooth.
Sift in flour and baking powder. Stir until flour is completely mixed in. Dough should be slightly sticky, but not wet. If it is wet (i.e. if your sweet potatoes were unusually moist) add an additional tbsp or two of flour.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead three or four times before shaping intoa rectangle and rolling out to 3/4 inch thickness. Use a 2 1/2 inch cookie cutter to cut rounds. Reroll dough once and continue to cut rounds. Place all on prepared baking sheet.
Bake for about 15 minutes, until golden.
Cool on a wire rack, or eat warm.

Makes about 12, depending on size of biscuit cutter used.

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  • Mary
    November 30, 2007

    Thanks for the idea! My husband loves scones and sw. potatoes, so he’ll be excited. Oh, and I also love reading your blog!

  • Adele
    November 30, 2007

    I’m Australian and I can’t say I’ve ever heard of pumpkin scones. Pumpkin (butternut squash to Americans) soup, yes. But rarely anything sweet. Never heard scones being paired with something savoury either… Maybe regional as opposed to Australian?

    Where I work (Australian coffee chain) we sell scones with sultanas in them. They seem to be the most common.

    Nonetheless, these look very tasty!

  • Lydia
    November 30, 2007

    Great use of sweet potatoes. I’m looking for ways to incorporate them into my cooking, and scones are one of the few things I actually bake from time to time. Will bookmark this recipe.

  • Cecilia
    November 30, 2007

    wow, I’m soo glad that you decide to make and enjoy them!! My family just love them as much as I do – esp with sunflower seeds in them! Adele, you can purchase pumpkin scones in Bakers Delight here in Aus, they’re sooooo good!!!

  • Adele
    December 2, 2007

    I’ve seen them at Baker’s Delight, but that doesn’t mean they are an Australian speciality. 😛

  • Michele
    December 13, 2007

    I have been admiring your vegan baking recipes — have you experimented at all making vegan scones? I am wondering whether I could simply omit the egg in these and rely on the sweet potato or pumpkin to hold it together?

  • Elissa
    March 29, 2009

    Hi Nicole!

    I made these scones on Saturday using yam instead of sweet potato. They’re a beautiful orange just like your picture! The result was not exactly a scone, but they were lovely with butter and jam.


  • Alison
    May 12, 2012

    My grandmother (in Australia) was famous for her pumpkin scones. We always had them with butter and her homemade plum jam. Pumpkin scones are very popular in Queensland, Australia.

  • Deanne
    August 17, 2015

    Pumpkin scones have been around in Australia since forever. I can’t believe Adele has never heard of them. I’m 45 and can remember my Grandmother making them all the time, as well as the fruit (sultana) scones. Getting back to sweet potato scones…I’ve got my sweet potato in the oven now ready to make scones with them.

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