I guarantee this Sweet Potato Bread recipe will become your new go-to quick bread. It’s flavorful, lightly sweetened, incredibly moist, and even healthy! It’s made with 100% whole-wheat flour, naturally sweetened and made with heart-heathy olive oil.

someone picking up a slice of seeded bread off a stack of slices

What is Sweet Potato Bread

Sweet potato bread is a quick bread recipe that utilizes quick-acting leaveners, such as baking soda and baking powder. Using these quick-acting leaveners allows you to bake bread immediately. Think banana bread but instead of the banana we’re using mashed sweet potatoes.

Watch How to Make Sweet Potato Bread

Ingredients in Sweet Potato Bread

Whole-Wheat Pastry Flour

For recipes that are more delicate, like a quick bread or cake, I like to use whole-wheat pastry flour. It’s lighter and finer than regular whole-wheat flour and makes for an easy swap with all-purpose flour.

Baking Soda & Baking Powder

The combination of these two leaveners is important for giving the bread lift and keeping it light.

Coconut Sugar or Granulated Sugar

I prefer coconut sugar over refined sugars (white sugar and brown sugar) because it’s far less processed. Coconut sugar does have a lower glycemic index which means it’s metabolized slower in the body and causes a lower and slower rise in blood sugar levels.  If you don’t have coconut sugar, you can also use granulated sugar.

Olive Oil

I prefer to use extra-virgin olive oil instead of vegetable oil. Not only is olive oil more flavorful, but it’s far healthier than canola or veg oil. 

Buttermilk

Buttermilk is important for keeping this bread nice and moist and also activates the baking soda.

Sweet Potato

This recipe uses pureed sweet potato (you’ll need to roast and mash a tater prior to making this recipe). The sweet potato adds natural sweetness, flavor and moisture to the bread, much like mashed banana or pumpkin purée would. 

Eggs

Make sure you’re using large eggs (should measure about ¼ cup each or 50 grams).

Spices

Dried ginger, salt and nutmeg are the perfect mix of spices for this bread, but feel free to add your favorite warm spies like cinnamon, allspice and/or cloves. I also add dried rosemary for a flavor surprise.

Dried Cranberries

These are optional, but I like the pop of sweet-tart flavor they add.

Optional Topping

I like to add a sweet and salty crunchy topping to this bread. It’s totally optional but makes the bread in my opinion. The topping is made with raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds), raw sunflower seeds, oats, turbinado sugar and flaky sea salt.

sweet potato bread sliced and fanned out on a wood board

How to make sweet potato bread

Aside from whipping up a sweet potato purée (which is totally hands-off), nothing is out of the ordinary here. Follow the visual step-by-step guide below for perfect sweet potato bread!

Step 1 & 2: Preheat oven to 350 ºF (177ºC). Combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl combine wet ingredients.

grid of images showing how to mix up a quick bread batter

Step 3: Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix just until it starts to come together. There should still be pockets of dry flour.

grid of images showing how to mix up a quick bread batter

Step 4: fold in dried cranberries just until combined.

Step 5: Transfer batter to prepared baking pan and smooth top. Sprinkle topping evenly over batter.

Step 6: bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

grid of three images showing a orange-colored batter in a quick bread pan, another image with seeds on top and a third image showing it baked in the pan

More Quick Bread to Love…

sweet potato bread sliced and fanned out on a wood board

Healthy Sweet Potato Bread

Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Yield 1 loaf (8 slices)
Category Breakfast
Cuisine American
Author Lauren Grant

Directions

This sweet potato quick bread is flavorful, lightly sweetened, incredibly moist (but not gluey), and even healthy! It’s made with 100% whole-wheat flour, olive oil and is naturally sweetened.

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ cups (180g) whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried ginger
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup sweet potato purée (click for recipe)
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup coconut sugar or regular cane sugar
  • cup buttermilk
  • cup olive oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried rosemary optional, crumbled
  • ½ cup dried cranberries

Grain and Seed Topping

  • 1 tablespoon raw unsalted pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon raw unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon old-fashioned oats
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar or coconut sugar
  • ½ teaspoon flaky sea salt

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 350°F (177ºC) with rack set in middle position.
  • Coat a 8½ × 4½-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray. Line pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides.
  • Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, salt and nutmeg; set aside. 
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together sweet potato purée, eggs, sugar, buttermilk, oil, and rosemary. 
  • Add flour mixture to sweet potato mixture and mix just until combined; fold in cranberries. 
  • Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top. 
  • Combine seeds, oats, turbinado sugar, and sea salt; sprinkle evenly over batter. 
  • Bake bread until dark brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean,  55–65 minutes.
  • Let bread cool completely in pan set on a wire rack.

Notes

Storage: store sweet potato bread at room temperature wrapped in foil or in a zipper-lock bag for up to 3 days. For longer storage, pop the bread in the refrigerator.
Bake into muffins: Heat oven to 400°F and line standard muffin tin with paper liners. Divide batter among muffin cups, sprinkle topping over batter. Bake muffins until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the centers come out clean; 15–20 minutes. Let muffins cool in pan 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
How to make sweet potato purée: prick the surface of two medium sweet potatoes with a fork. Arrange on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast at 425ºF (218ºC) for 50–60 minutes until a knife easily slides into potato. Let cool slightly, then peel and discard skins. Transfer potato flesh to a food processor or blender and process until completely smooth.
DAIRY FREE: Swap the buttermilk for vegan buttermilk. To make vegan buttermilk combine ⅓ cup unsweetened almond or soy milk with 1 teaspoon white vinegar. Let the mixture rest for 5–10 minutes until curdled. Use as directed in the recipe.
EGG-FREE/VEGAN: Use vegan buttermilk noted above and swap the egg for a chia for flax egg. To make a chia or flax egg grind 2 tablespoons flax or chia seeds in a spice grinder. Combine ground flax or chia with ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons water and let rest 15 minutes in the refrigerator. Use as directed in the recipe.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 269kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 5gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1.7gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 362mgFiber: 4gSugar: 14g
Keywords healthy quick bread, quick bread, Sweet potato bread, whole wheat bread
Did you make this recipe?Leave a comment below and tag @ZestfulKitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #zestfulkitchen!
stack of sweet potato bread slices on a wood board

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This recipe and article were originally published on October 16th 2019.

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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Comments

  1. This bread looks so soft, fluffy and amazing! I love the presentation with the seeds on top too – just stunning.

  2. 5 stars
    This bread is SO amazing and hearty!! I absolutely loved the seed topping and the addition of cranberries in the bread. I will definitely be making this at Thanksgiving too.

  3. I made this last night and it was great! When I mashed the potatoes the mash was really sweet so I cut the sugar in half and it is sweet enough. Thank you for sharing the recipe 🙂

  4. Would I need to change the ingredient ratios to substitute butternut squash for the sweet tators? I still have a couple dozen of them from my garden.

    Thanks

    1. Hi Stephen! Great question—I have a butternut squash in my pantry right now and I’m intrigued to try it this weekend. If I do, I will report back!

      In the meantime, I anticipate the butternut squash will have a higher moisture content than sweet potatoes. My first thought was to decrease the buttermilk, but the more I think about it I would instead leave the ratios the same and add a few tablespoons of flour as needed. I would make the batter as directed, and if it looks and feels too loose I would add a couple tablespoons of flour (and no more than 3 or 4 tablespoons). It should be pretty thick (thicker than banana bread batter), the video and step shots will be a good reference for showing the thickness of the batter.

      I hope that helps, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  5. OMG! I just made this bread and cannot be happier, as well as my kids! It turned out so well and I used a local heirloom course salt for the topping and it just elevated it! Thank you so much for this incredibly yummy recipe! My kids are asking to have it for breakfast tomorrow!

    1. Yay! Hi Valerie! I am SO happy to hear you and your kids loved this bread. And that local salt sounds amazing! Always a good day when you can sneak some veggies into a tasty bread 😉

    1. Absolutely, I recommend adding a teaspoon of vinegar to the 1/3 cup of milk and letting it rest for 5 minutes before using it in the recipe. This will essentially create buttermilk. I hope that helps!

  6. 5 stars
    This is incredible! Beautifully moist and fluffy. Love the crumb. Rosemary is a nice touch too. We threw ourselves at it, a little while out of the oven and almost devoured the whole thing. I made a double batch, subbed some of the flour for oats, added some cinnamon and turmeric and also subbed the cranberries for sliced pear. Decadent.

    1. Absolutely! Not sure how the color will change during baking, but the bread will work just fine with purple potatoes!