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Sweet Potato Cupcakes

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Prep Time: 25 mins    Cook Time: 20 mins

5 from 20 votes

Sweet potato cupcakes are perfect for a special occasion. Whether you’re on the lookout for Thanksgiving or Christmas treats or you simply want to try your hand at something new and unusual, you need to take a closer look at this recipe.

A close up of 5 sweet potato cupcakes on a plate.
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Sweet potatoes pair up with vanilla and warm, aromatic spices in the fluffy cupcake batter, while the creamy frosting is based on marshmallows and finished off with a kiss of vanilla. Is your mouth watering yet?

If you’re typically the first in line for sweet potato casserole at Thanksgiving, I’m pretty sure you’ll love the decadent, sweet flavors in this cupcake. And even if you aren’t, these are still so good!

Lemon cranberry bars and this easy apple crisp are a couple of other fall favorites of mine. I just love to snack on the warm and earthy flavors as the weather gets cooler. It makes this time of year so much more enjoyable.

Main Ingredients

Although this isn’t one of those cupcake recipes with a mere handful of ingredients, it’s still well worth making because the flavor is sure to impress. Here are the main ingredients used to make them:

  • Sweet potatoes: The main flavor. You need to cook and mash the potatoes before proceeding with the recipe, so if you have some leftover (plain, not salted, or flavored!) this is a nice recipe for using them up. If not, you can make some. Pumpkin would work too in this recipe.
  • Vanilla extract: Complements the sweet potato taste. A hint of vanilla goes really well in the cupcake batter and it’s also good in the frosting. Vanilla is one of those versatile flavors that suits so many dessert recipes.
  • Ground spices: Always good with sweet potato. I like to use cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves, but if you want to mix and match (or omit whichever you aren’t keen on) that’s perfectly fine too. A pinch of allspice would also work in this recipe or maybe a (very small!) pinch of ground mace.
  • Marshmallow crème: For the frosting. The kids might love their fluffernutter sandwiches (that’s marshmallow crème with peanut butter) but there’s another reason this marshmallow fluff is in your kitchen cupboard, and that’s to make a sweet, delicious frosting for sweet potato cupcakes. It might be labeled as marshmallow fluff or marshmallow crème. Don’t worry - it’s the same thing.
  • Baking powder: To make the cupcakes rise. Teamed with baking soda, the baking powder adds air into the batter helping your sweet potato cupcakes to rise. The potato has a certain heaviness to it, so adding baking powder to the mix gets the finished texture just right.

Instructions Overview

Whether you’re a diehard sweet potato fan, a marshmallow lover, or just a home baker looking for a brand new, easy cupcake recipe, you’ve found a great one to try! The first thing to do is beat butter with brown sugar before adding the eggs, one at a time.

Next, you will mix in the vanilla and mashed sweet potatoes. Mix the flour with the baking powder and soda, salt, and spices in a second bowl, then add half of this to the sweet potato batter. Add the rest of the flour mixture and the milk too.

Divide the batter between cupcake liners in a muffin tin and bake for 20 minutes. Once cool, you can frost the cupcakes. Make the frosting by beating the sugar, egg whites, water, cream of tartar, and salt.

Once you get stiff peaks, mix in the marshmallow crème as well as some vanilla and beat the mixture again. Add the frosting to the sweet potato cupcakes and (optionally) broil them for a minute or use a kitchen blowtorch to char the marshmallow frosting.

A handful of sweet potato cupcakes on a plate on a table.

Common Questions

Do you need to peel sweet potatoes?

If you’re new to using this ingredient in dessert recipes, you might be asking yourself the same question. Although peeling sweet potatoes is optional when baking them, you do need to peel sweet potatoes before making cupcakes with them.

Can I prepare sweet potatoes ahead of time?

If you start off with mashed, cooked sweet potatoes, this recipe won’t take long to make. Leftover mashed sweet potatoes are ideal for this recipe, as long as you haven’t added any salt!

What goes well with sweet potatoes?

Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves are wonderful with sweet potatoes. Pretty much any spice that suits pumpkin will also suit the flavor of sweet potatoes because they’re very similar. Allspice would also be a good addition to these sweet potato cupcakes.

Can you use melted marshmallows instead of marshmallow fluff?

You can if that’s what you have. Use 6 regular marshmallows or 60 mini ones instead of half a cup of marshmallow crème. You can optionally add a couple of teaspoons of corn syrup to the melted marshmallows for extra sweetness.

How long does marshmallow fluff last?

Marshmallow fluff, or marshmallow crème, lasts for about 3 months after opening, so if you have some to use up this is the ideal dessert to make!

Can I make sweet potato cupcakes ahead?

Yes, these keep for a few days in an airtight container, so make them a day or so ahead if you like.

How should I store them?

Keep these refrigerated because you’re using egg whites in the frosting. They will keep for a few days but are best enjoyed within a day or so.

Can I freeze the cupcakes?

They will freeze, but it’s best to freeze them unfrosted. Let them thaw in the refrigerator. They will be good for up to a month in the freezer.

What should I serve with them?

I love these at Thanksgiving and often bring them out when serving the after-dinner coffee. Everyone is usually full by then, but can always find a little room for one of these!

Can I use canned sweet potato?

Fresh is best, but if you’re in a rush to make these, sure you can go ahead and use readymade sweet potato, as long as you have 100% puree and not sweet potato pie filling or anything sweetened already.

Chopnotch Tips

  • Take the time to add each egg one at a time to ensure the best mixture, beating after each one is added.
  • The frosting is simpler to make than you might imagine. Just keep beating it until you have stiff peaks and then it’s ready.
  • Don’t add the frosting until the cupcakes are completely cool. Otherwise, the frosting will start to run and look messy.
  • Not everyone is a marshmallow fan. If that applies to you, a vanilla cream cheese frosting would also be really good here as well.

Sweet potato cupcakes are perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas. They are sweet, light, and fluffy and topped with a wonderful marshmallow frosting.

Let us know what you think! Give this recipe a rating in the comments section below.

Recipe

How to Make

Sweet Potato Cupcakes

Light and moist, these cupcakes are flavored with earthy, warm spices, then finished off with an easy toasted marshmallow frosting.
SCALE THIS RECIPE
Prep Time: 25 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Servings: 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 cup sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup milk, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves

For the frosting:

  • ½ cup marshmallow creme
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • teaspoon salt
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Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a muffin tin and line the cavities with liners.
  • In a large bowl, beat brown sugar and butter. Add eggs one at a time and beat well to combine. Add sweet potatoes and vanilla extract.
  • In a separate bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, baking powder and soda, and salt. Add half of this mixture to the batter and stir well to combine. Add milk and remaining flour, and stir well to combine.
  • Add batter to the muffin tin and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool.
  • In a pan, beat the cream of tartar, sugar, egg whites, cold water, and salt and place over boiling water, beat until stiff peaks form. Add marshmallow crème and vanilla extract, then beat well to combine.
  • Top the cooled cupcakes with frosting and enjoy!
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Notes

  • Take the time to add each egg one at a time to ensure the best mixture, beating after each one is added.
  • The frosting is simpler to make than you might imagine. Just keep beating it until you have stiff peaks and then it’s ready.
  • Don’t add the frosting until the cupcakes are completely cool. Otherwise, the frosting will start to run and look messy.
  • Not everyone is a marshmallow fan. If that applies to you, a vanilla cream cheese frosting would also be really good here.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 319kcal (16%), Carbohydrates: 56g (19%), Protein: 4g (8%), Fat: 9g (14%), Saturated Fat: 5g (31%), Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 49mg (16%), Sodium: 273mg (12%), Potassium: 213mg (6%), Fiber: 1g (4%), Sugar: 37g (41%), Vitamin A: 1866IU (37%), Vitamin C: 1mg (1%), Calcium: 79mg (8%), Iron: 1mg (6%)
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Dessert
cuisine:
American
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Comments & Ratings

  1. 5 stars
    This is an interesting idea for sweet potato's. These sound very tasty, going to try these soon.

    Reply
  2. 5 stars
    I love the idea of roasting sweet potato and then adding it to this recipe, yum!! These cupcakes look like they would fly right off the table. Well done!

    Reply
  3. 5 stars
    First time making sweet potato cupcakes, and boy were these delicious! So soft and fluffy too.

    Reply
  4. 5 stars
    I love sweet potatoes but I've never thought about using them in cupcakes!

    Reply
  5. 5 stars
    I never tried potato cupcakes, but this looks gorgeous. Definitely going to try one.

    Reply
  6. 5 stars
    I am so intrigued by this recipe. I love sweet potatoes but would never have thought of making them into cupcakes with frosting. Wow, what a wonderful combination. I look forward to trying it soon.

    Reply
  7. 5 stars
    I have leftover sweet potatoes from Thanksgiving. So glad I found this recipe!

    Reply
  8. 5 stars
    Yummy! This looks so delicious and tasty! I can't wait to give this recipe a try!

    Reply
  9. 5 stars
    You had me at sweet potato! These are so fun, easy, and I can think of them as a healthier dessert option. Thanks!

    Reply
  10. 5 stars
    Love the idea of sweetpotato cupcakes. These look awesome infact. Thanks for sharing this.

    Reply
  11. 5 stars
    WOW! These cupcakes look amazing and sound like a healthy option. As a sweet potato lover, I would really appreciate one or two. Making it very soon!

    Reply
  12. 5 stars
    I want to dive right into the marshmallow frosting. My mother used to make that and I hardly see it on cakes.

    Reply
  13. 5 stars
    Oh I am so trying these cupcakes and definitely with the marshmallow frosting! What a great combination!

    Reply
  14. I love sweet potato cupcakes - yours look delicious - remind me of the sweet potato cake I enjoyed at Brik Street cafe in SC!

    Reply
    • Glad this recipe brings back those memories, Shashi!

      Reply
  15. 5 stars
    Love the idea of these cupcakes! All my favorite flavors and spices in one lovely bite!

    Reply