Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow Frosting

Okay, you may be thinking the same thing as I was when I first heard of these cupcakes – ew, sweet potato cupcakes?!  Gross!  I initially saved the recipe because I knew that Ben likes sweet potatoes and I thought he might enjoy these.  Since I had never been a sweet potato fan, I figured I would be making these just for him.  But since making countless batches of sweet potato baby food, and these baked sweet potato fries, I decided to give them a chance.  After all, it’s still cake – how bad can it be?  Turns out, not bad at all.  In fact, very good!  The sweet potato flavor is definitely there, but not overwhelming, and with the usual fall spices, this reminded me very much of a pumpkin or carrot cake.

My friend Shanon came over for a fun baking day, and we whipped up these cupcakes together.  They were not at all difficult to make.  You could use the canned sweet potato puree, but I opted to make my own because I think it is more flavorful.  If you decide to do this, keep in mind that the weight of the potatoes after baking will be significantly less than before baking due to evaporation of water as steam, so you want to start out with more than 17 oz. of potatoes.  (I used two large sweet potatoes, and it was just barely enough.)  I didn’t get around to trying it this time, but I think a little sprinkle of brown sugar on top of the marshmallow frosting would also look great.  These would be a wonderful unique dessert to add to your Thanksgiving spread, or an alternative way to incorporate sweet potatoes into your meal other than the traditional forms.  Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow Frosting
Printer-Friendly Version

For the cupcakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1½ cups sugar
3 large eggs
17 oz. sweet potato puree
½ tsp. vanilla extract

For the frosting:
8 large egg whites
2 cups sugar
½ tsp. cream of tartar
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; stir together with a fork and set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition.  Mix in the sweet potatoes and vanilla extract, beating just until combined.  Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners.  Bake for about 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, combine the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in the top of a double boiler. (Note: I just set my clean, dry mixer bowl over simmering water, to avoid dirtying two bowls.) Heat the mixture, whisking frequently, until it reaches 160° F with an instant-read thermometer. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk starting at low speed and gradually increasing to medium-high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form. Mix in the vanilla until combined. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired. Brown with a kitchen torch and garnish with a sprinkle of brown sugar, if desired.

Source: cupcakes from Better Homes and Gardens, frosting adapted from Lovin’ From the Oven

57 Responses

  1. oh these sound delicious! is the marshmallow frosting hard to make? i’ve never tried it before

    • Helen,
      As my husband would say, “hard” is relative – something that seems easy to me in the kitchen can be very difficult for him. To me, it is not difficult. But, I think a stand mixer is a must.
      🙂 Annie

  2. I am a huge sweet potato fan (could eat ’em everyday!) so I was actually very excited to see this recipe. The finished product is beautiful!

  3. Every day I am convinced more and more that I need a kitchen torch.

  4. STUNNING STUNNING STUNNING!! So fun that you got to bake these with a friend, too 🙂

  5. I have been waiting for you to post these ever since you mentioned making these on the Nest last week or the week before. Thanks for the recipe. I know what I’ll be baking this weekend.

  6. Love everything sweet potato! These came out gorgeous….must try. Perhaps with some chocolate chips.

  7. Yummy, they look great, I love all the recipes from your site, great job :))


  8. I love sweet potatoes (sweet potatoe pie being my fave fall dessert!) and marshmallow so am certain I’d love these cupcakes!

  9. Wow, 2 sticks of butter sounds like an awful lot more when you say 16 Tbsp!! I’m thinking of making these into mini muffins without the frosting to have on the table as pre-thanksgiving breakfast nibbles!

  10. Simply beautiful picture! The idea of sweet potato cupcakes it not something that I would’ve thought of either as I am not a big sweet potato fan. But that toasted frosting sounds amazing. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Delicious! I have a quick question. Did you manage to actually find sweet potato puree in a can or did you have to puree up your own sweet potatoes? I have only managed to find sweet potato chunks in light syrup. Is that what you used and then pureed? Thanks! 🙂

    • Nutmegnanny,
      I didn’t even look for it because I knew I would make my own. But I’m pretty sure that canned yam puree is an equivalent (I consider yams and sweet potatoes the same thing, though I think some people do not). I think most stores carry that – I thought it was a Thanksgiving staple!
      🙂 Annie

  12. As usual, beautiful cupcakes! We just made these for the Martha Stewart Cupcakes Club this month, also, glad ot hear you enjoyed them too. My husband totally loved them!

  13. Annie, these are the cutest cupcakes I’ve just about ever seen! I’ve been contemplating making either sweet potato muffins lately, or a sweet potato pound-cake that I saw in a new cookbook, but I am greatly tempted to try this recipe. I just adore the marshmallow topping idea too. This is a great one, and your photo is really beautiful! Love it!

    Jane 🙂

  14. These cupcakes look incredible! The frosting is just absolutely gorgeous. Gorgeous!

  15. These sound wonderful. I’m gonna try to squeeze them in my Thanksgiving line up!

  16. What a photo, I want to bite my screen!

  17. These look delicious!

  18. I love the idea of marshmallow frosting. Brilliant.

  19. These look adorable – and so creative! My husband is also the sweet potato fan in our family. This seems like the perfect “compromise”! Love your blog!

  20. Wow! I almost ate my computer screen! I wonder if this frosting would also work for Smores cupcakes? Fantastic!

  21. Oh you never let me down, Annie! I LOVE sweet potatoes and this is a unique recipe that sounds great. I’m soooo making these! Thanks for another great idea!

  22. Wow, so beautiful! I love the idea of turning this classic Thanksgiving combo into a dessert! Yum. 🙂

  23. Annie, what kind of camera/lens do you use to take your food pictures? Your photos are always so stunning and SHARP!

  24. Thanks, Annie! I have the 50mm 1.4, but it seems like a lot of your shots are focused closer than 18 inches (the minimum focusing distance). Are you focusing manually?

  25. I love this recipe. The cupcakes are soooo adorable!

  26. I take my pictures manually, but definitely prefer to auto-focus. I’ll have to give it a go, thanks!

  27. Are you a professional photographer or someone does those shots for you? I mean they look just so professional

  28. What a beautiful recipe! I just found your blog, and I’m so glad I did. Your recipes and photographs are absolutely wonderful. Happy Thanksgiving!

  29. don’t you need to add milk?

    • Anne,
      No, you don’t. There are many cake recipes that don’t require the addition of milk and this is one of them. The sweet potato puree provides plenty of moisture.
      🙂 Annie

  30. How do you get the sweet potato puree?

    • Jason,
      Either buy it at the store in a can, or bake sweet potatoes and then puree them (that is what I did).
      🙂 Annie

  31. These were amazing! I made them for Thanksgiving dinner, and they were the first thing to go. Imagine that. My 12-year-old nephew had four, and would have eaten them all, but his mother stopped him. I also, wanted to nominate you for a Kreativ Blog Award. Your recipes are wonderful, and I love your extra insights! You can see the directions on my blog: rtatum0.blogspot.com. Thanks!!

  32. WOW! Those look splendiferous. Sweet potatoes is actually not a bad idea for cupcakes. GOOD JOB, ANNIE! 🙂

  33. These look delicious! I am so glad I found your blog!

  34. When in the recipe preparation do you add the 3 large eggs, those were left out.

    • Pamela,
      Just after creaming the butter and sugar together, as with most cake batters. I have corrected the recipe. Thanks for catching that!

  35. […] Swine Flu Recovery Chocolate Cupcakes from 17 and Baking Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow Frosting from Annie’s Eats […]

  36. Hi!

    Great recipe. Do you add milk to your sweet potatoes when you puree them?


  37. I made some for a potluck, and they are delicious! The frosting didn’t really turn out, but it appears that I am incapable of making my own frosting. It just looks lumpy and dumpy. Tastes delicious though, lol. Thanks for all the awesome recipes.

  38. I love cupcakes and sweet potatoes so this is perfect for me. I’m always baking something keeping a few for the family then sending the rest to my daughters school. I so see these being a big hit and everyone wanting the recipe.

  39. I was curious about the texture of these. I’ve made sweet potato cupcakes before, and I liked them, I just prefer a less dense cake. Is this a light, springy texture?

  40. Thanks!

  41. These are a HUGE favorite around my house! Out of all the cupcakes I’ve made my kids (8,6 & 4) say these are their favorite…which I think is pretty funny.

  42. Hi Annie! First of all, just wanna say I love your blog! I’m on it everyday! I recently made your S’mores cheesecake bars, they came out perfectly! I browned the tops of the marshmallows with my oven broiler, I was also wondering (I don’t have a kitchen torch 😦 ) if I can brown the marshmallow meringue/frosting with the broiler as well? Thanks!

  43. Annie,

    I made these in miniature for Thanksgiving, and no one could get enough. The cake was so moist and flavorful, and the topping was both easy to make and delicious. My compliments to you and your many glorious recipes!


    P.S. For any of your readers who couldn’t find canned puree, I cheated and used jars of baby food, adding some additional flour to counterbalance the extra water. It certainly did the trick!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: