We guarantee this Sweet Potato Bread recipe will become your new go-to quick bread. It’s flavorful, lightly sweetened, incredibly moist, and healthy! Our recipe is made with 100% whole-wheat flour, naturally sweetened and made with heart-heathy olive oil. The incredible thing is you’d never know it!

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

Ingredients in Sweet Potato Bread

Whole-Wheat Pastry Flour

For recipes that are more delicate, like a quick bread or cake, we 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

We prefer coconut sugar over refined sugars (white sugar and brown sugar) because it’s less processed and has a lower glycemic index which means it’s metabolized slower in the body and causes a lower and slower rise in blood sugar levels. It also adds more flavor than white or packed brown sugar would. However, if you don’t have coconut sugar, you can also use granulated sugar.

Olive Oil

We like the bold flavor that extra-virgin olive oil adds to baked goods. If you don’t want to use olive oil, you can use vegetable oil.

Buttermilk

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

Sweet Potato

This recipe uses roasted and pureed sweet potato. The sweet potato adds natural sweetness, flavor and moisture to the bread, much like mashed banana or pumpkin purée would. 

Overhead image of sweet potato puree in a glass container set on a marble table

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. We also add dried rosemary for a flavorful surprise.

Dried Cranberries

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

Optional Topping

Finish the bread with a sweet and salty crunchy topping that makes it even more delectable. 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: Combine Dry Ingredients

Preheat your oven to 350ºF (177ºC). Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and spices.

Step 2: Combine the Wet Ingredients

In a separate bowl, combine the sweet potato, eggs, sugar, buttermilk, and oil.

Step 3: Mix Up the Batter

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix just until it starts to come together. There should still be pockets of dry flour. Fold in the cranberries just until combined.

Step 4: Bake the Bread

Transfer the batter to a loaf pan lined with parchment and smooth top. Sprinkle topping evenly over batter. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the bread cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.

Tips for Making the Best Sweet Potato bread

  • Be sure to roast the sweet potatoes instead of boiling. Roasting concentrates their flavor and removes excess moisture. If the sweet potatoes are boiler their flavor will become diluted and you risk throwing off the dry-to-wet ingredient ratio.
  • Keep an eye on the bread as it bakes. You don’t want to over-bake it! Bake until the top is nicely browned and just until a toothpick or skewer comes out clean. Use the bake time in the recipe as a guide—not a rule. All ovens are slightly different in temperature, so check the bread often in the last bit of time.

Storage & Reheating

Store this bread at room temperature wrapped tightly in foil for up to 2 days. Any longer and we recommend storing it in the refrigerator tightly wrapped in both plastic and foil.

Reheat slices of bread in a toaster oven or under the broiler in your oven. You can also give them a quick pan-fry in a nonstick skillet with a pat of butter.

For even longer storage can and freeze sweet potato bread. The bread will become slightly dry and won’t be as flavorful, but it is an option. To freeze this bread, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap followed by foil and finally place it in a large plastic bag. Sweet potato bread can be frozen for up to 6 months. When you’re ready to eat the bread remove it from the freezer and allow it to thaw at room temperature for a few hours.

sweet potato bread sliced and fanned out on a wood board

FAQs

Can I make this bread with all-purpose flour?

We haven’t tested this, but it should work fine. All-purpose flour weighs more by volume than whole-wheat pastry flour, so if you use all-purpose flour we recommend decreasing the amount of flour to 1 ½ cups. Let us know how it goes in the comments below!

Can I make this bread gluten-free?

We haven’t tested this recipe with a gluten-free flour blend, so we can’t guarantee it will work. But your best bet will be to try baking this with our favorite gluten-free flour blend. If you try it, let us know!

I don’t like dried cranberries, what else can I add to the bread?

Toasted and chopped pecans, walnuts or pistachios are a great addition to this bread. We haven’t test this, but white chocolate chips or dark chocolate chunks would also be delicious.

Can I make this with purple sweet potatoes?

We haven’t tested this, but we don’t see why not. Roast and purée the purple sweet potato just as you would with a regular sweet potato.

More Quick Breads to Try

Watch How to Make It

Healthy Sweet Potato Bread

Print Recipe
4.44 from 16 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Yield 1 loaf (8 slices)
Category Breakfast
Cuisine American

Description

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 kosher 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. 
    flour and spices in a mixing bowl with a whisk set in it
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together sweet potato purée, eggs, sugar, buttermilk, oil, and rosemary. 
    sweet potato puree in a bowl with a whisk set in it
  • Add flour mixture to sweet potato mixture and mix just until combined; fold in cranberries. 
    quick bread batter in a bowl with a rubber spatula
  • Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top. 
    quick bread batter in a loaf pan lined with parchment paper
  • Combine seeds, oats, turbinado sugar, and sea salt; sprinkle evenly over batter. 
    quick bread batter in a loaf pan lined with parchment paper
  • Bake bread until dark brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean,  55–65 minutes.
    Sweet potato bread_for web-2
  • Let bread cool completely in pan set on a wire rack.

Video

Notes

Storage: Store sweet potato bread at room temperature wrapped in foil or in a zipper-lock bag for up to 2 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!

  7. 5 stars
    Ms Lauren Grant…I have now made this delish Bread countless times…so GOOD!!! Importantly…your Print RECIPE is incredibly well written, with consistent reliable results, very detailed and properly organized…so nice to find this gem (and you!) ✌