Pretty Sweet Potato Buns in Purple

It’s baking time! How else to make baking interesting than to use an ingredient that I’ve never used before? This sweet potato bun was originally meant to be orange in colour, if one uses the normal orange ones. I’ve decided to try the recipe using the Japanese purple sweet potatoes instead and I am really glad I did! The purple colour of the buns was amazing – bright and colourful. It looked much more appetising and pretty than I thought it could be.

Pretty buns in purple – that’s what I would like to call this recipe. I think the next colour I should try is blue. And what kind of food would that be… ?


  • Japanese purple sweet potato: 400g (after peeling)
  • High protein bread flour: 400g
  • Milk powder: 25g
  • Instant dry yeast: 10g
  • Sugar: 50g
  • Salt: 6g (1tsp)
  • Egg: 1, large (70g) + 1 beaten for egg glaze
  • Cold water: 30g
  • Softened butter: 80g


  1. Steam sweet potatoes for 15min. Drain away excess water from the steam.
  2. Mash and leave to chill in fridge overnight.
  3. Combine bread flour, milk powder, instant dry yeast, sugar & salt with a dough hook on low speed.
  4. Add sweet potatoes, egg & cold water. Mix at low speed for 1min. Increase to medium speed and continue mixing for 5min.
  5. Mix in softened butter in 3 portions. Mix on medium speed for 7-10min till dough is fully developed.
  6. Round up dough on floured surface. Leave to proof in airtight container for 1hr.
  7. Divide dough into 50g pieces (20 pieces). Round up and place in greased baking tray for 10min to rise. Round up again and return to tray. Proof another 1hr.
  8. Brush with egg glaze. Bake in preheated oven at 200 degrees Celsius for 15-20min till golden brown.
  9. Cool on rack before serving.


  • Ensure that you drain away the excess water from the steamed sweet potatoes so that this does not go into the dough batter and affect its quality or texture.

  • Add in some kaya or red bean paste in the middle of the bun to make a nicer, sweeter bite into the buns!


  • This recipe was kindly adapted from Don Yong’s Celebrity Chef’s Cookbooks: Bread Winners.

  • The original recipe called for an additional pinch of dry wheat gluten (8g) in step 3 above. I did not add this in and I believe it didn’t affect the quality of the bread much.

  • The recipe also called for a lesser amount of butter, at 50g. It might be that I was using purple sweet potato, instead of the usual sweet potato, which is slightly dryer in texture. This led to a much dryer dough and hence a need to increase the amount of butter to develop the dough. 80g butter worked perfectly for this recipe, but you can keep to 50g if you are using the orange sweet potato.

20 small buns

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