The Boastful Baker

because every cook praises her own broth

Easily swayed by the power of suggestion.


365.3.4 : A very good excuse to eat some ham.

There are days when I come across a recipe in a magazine or online and want to make it as soon as I possibly can. In the case of these sweet potato biscuits with salty country ham, I had an actual conversation about someone else making them and absolutely had to have them for dinner that night.

I clipped this Molly Wizenberg recipe from her Bon Appetit magazine column quite some time ago and never got around to making the biscuits. Until about a month ago. Our wedding cake baker was at our house to discuss cake designs and flavors and we eventually started talking about other foods he’s been making for customers. Sweet potato biscuits with country ham were one of these foods. It was immediately agreed that I needed to make them for dinner.

As luck would have it, I already had the recipe in my pocket (okay, it was in the pocket of my recipe binder) and I already had a ginormous sweet potato in the house. All I had to buy was the ham.

I followed the recipe for the biscuits pretty much to the letter. If you do follow the instructions and use as large a sweet potato as the recipe calls for, you should actually have enough mashed sweet potatoes for a double batch of biscuits. I put the extras in the fridge and made a second batch the next day.

If you think the cayenne pepper seems weird, ignore your thoughts. The light touch of spice was a nice addition to these biscuits.

Finally, rather than serving the biscuits slathered with mustard and possibly dipped in honey, I whipped up a honey mustard sauce for slathering and/or dipping. Just whisk together some coarse ground or regular dijon mustard and honey. Add more honey or mustard if it’s too hot or sweet for you.

Sweet potato biscuits with Virginia ham

Sweet Potato Biscuits

Recipe by Molly Wizenberg, published in Bon Appetit magazine


  • 1 3/4-pound red-skinned sweet potato, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, plus 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup chilled buttermilk
  • Dijon mustard
  • 6 ounces thinly sliced country ham
  • Honey


  1. Cook sweet potato in medium saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, cool, and mash.
  2. Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 425Ā°F. Butter bottom and sides of 9-inch cake pan with 1 1/2-inch-high sides.
  3. Whisk flour and next 5 ingredients in large bowl. Add cubed butter to flour mixture; toss to coat and rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk 3/4 cup mashed sweet potatoes and buttermilk in medium bowl. Add to flour mixture; toss with fork. Gather mixture in bowl, kneading until dough comes together. Turn dough out onto floured work surface and pat into 1-inch-thick round. Using 1 1/2-inch round biscuit cutter, cut out biscuits, flouring cutter after each cut. Gather scraps; pat into 1-inch-thick round. Cut out additional biscuits (do not reuse scraps more than once).
  4. Arrange biscuits side by side in prepared cake pan. Brush with melted butter. Bake until puffed and golden on top and tester inserted into center biscuit comes out clean, about 22 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in pan. Turn biscuits out and gently pull them apart. Cut each biscuit in half crosswise.
  5. Spread bottom half of each biscuit with mustard, then top each with sliced ham and second half of biscuit. Serve with honey.


  1. I so love sweet potato biscuits. My grandma used to make them really often when I was a kid. I remember trying to give her a hand in the kitchen when she made them but I must admit I was slowing down the process a lot. Iā€™m going to try to make them for the first time on my own. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Yum! I especially love your creative sauces. and any excuse for using (and eating) sweet potato. Hope the wedding cake tasting/deciding went well too!

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