Moist sweet potato scones with a sprinkling of sesamee seeds


moist sweet potato scones with a sprinkling of sesamee seeds
The eye can fool the palate: these moist sweet potato scones look like they’re made with cheddar. But they aren’t.
Growing up there weren’t many days that we stayed at school for lunch so when we did it was a big deal.
Mom would make us the most delicious oddball lunches:
  • peanut butter and bacon sandwiches
  • peanut butter, wheat germ and lettuce sandwiches
  • and mini salami and cheese sandwiches on biscuits the size of one little round of salami.

On salami-sandwich days mom would make biscuits early in the morning so when we arrived at the breakfast table they’d be waiting for us, still hot enough to melt butter.

That was likely the beginning of my love affair with scones and biscuits. Fresh out of the oven they have always been my preferred treat, so I bake them a lot.

For years this sweet potato scone recipe was my signature scone. I found it in Food & Wine magazine in the early 1990s and to this day I still keep baked sweet potato puree in the freezer so I can make them on a whim. They’re that kind of scone…addictive.

Before I had kids I’d get up early on weekdays to make them for breakfast.  I made them the morning of my wedding for guests who were staying with us and I have given them as hostess gifts, wrapped in brown paper, still warm from the oven. I have served them to friends alongside a bowl of soup and had to convince them they weren’t made with cheddar cheese.


The trick to making these scones often is to bake several sweet potatoes at once, peel off the puffed out skin while they’re still warm and freeze the flesh it in ¾ cup portions. 

Sweet potato scones


  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 1Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 6 Tbsp. butter (cold)
  • ¼ cup milk or cream
  • ¾ cup mashed sweet potato (about one potato, baked at 375 for about 45 min)
  • 2-4 Tbsp. sesame seeds 


  1. Pre-heat oven to 425
  2. Combine dry ingredients and cut in butter.
  3. In a small bowl combine the mashed sweet potato and milk then add this mixture to the dry ingredients and mix very gently.
  4. When it has almost all come together, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
  5. Knead it gently a few times to incorporate the last of the flour-butter mixture. Pat it into a circle that’s about 1 ½ inches thick.
  6. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and gently pat sesame seeds into the top. 
  7. Bake 25-30 minutes, until it feels springy in the centre when touched.
  8. Remove from the oven and slide onto a cooling rack. Let cool then cut into wedges.  

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