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Sweet Potato Cobbler

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Prep Time: 10 minutes     Cook Time: 40 minutes

5 from 9 votes

This Southern sweet potato cobbler is a heavenly pairing of spiced sweet potato and flaky pastry. It makes a fantastic dessert for the fall. This easy cobbler boasts nutmeg and cinnamon and tastes incredible served with vanilla ice cream.

A bowl of sweet potato cobbler.
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You’ll be pleased with how simple the recipe is to make. If you’re a sweet potato fan and also into rich, hearty desserts, then I’m sure you’re going to love this sweet potato cobbler. While it bakes in the oven, you can enjoy the wonderful aroma in the air. Served warm, this is one dessert you’ll want to make again and again.

Not only does this make a great dessert, but it doubles up as a side dish too! A casserole is always popular served alongside your turkey and ham at Thanksgiving, but you might prefer to make something different this year, in which case try this instead.

You could also try this fluffy sweet potato souffle or this amazing soul food sweet potato pie, both of which are great options for sides to go along with this sweet potato cobbler.

Main Ingredients

The ingredients used to make sweet potato cobbler laid out on a table.

Sweet potatoes are showcased in this mouthwatering cobbler. Whether you serve this with ice cream or whipped cream for dessert or try it as a side dish instead, there is no doubt the flavor is perfect. Let’s see which main ingredients you are going to need to make this sweet potato cobbler yourself:

  • Sweet potatoes: The star of the dish. Since the potatoes are added to the dish sliced, you can’t substitute canned potato puree here. Fresh butternut squash or pumpkin would also work since the flavors are so similar.
  • Ground spices: For earthy, aromatic appeal. Cinnamon and nutmeg go beautifully with the taste of sweet potatoes. If you prefer, you can use a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice instead of the cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • White sugar: To balance out the sweetness. Sweet potatoes are, well - sweet! That’s how they get their name. However, adding some sugar to the filling gets the sweetness level just right. Add less if you want a less sweet result though. Feel free to use brown sugar instead of white if you like.
  • Shortening: For the pastry. Butter doesn’t trap as many air bubbles as shortening plus it has a lower melting point. For this recipe, shortening is better because the pastry will hold its shape while cooked and rise a bit higher. The texture of the shortening-based pastry is also softer than a butter-based alternative.
  • All-purpose flour: To get the texture just right. This ingredient combines with the reserved potato cooking liquid in the filling to create a juicy sauce for the cobbler. It’s also a key component in the pastry topping.

Instructions Overview

At first glance, this looks like a pie, but pies always have a bottom crust and this delicious recipe doesn’t. It’s a cobbler and a truly delicious one at that!

So how do you make traditional Southern sweet potato cobbler? Whether your mother or grandmother used to make this amazing dessert or you’re new to it, you will be pleased to know the instructions are very simple.

First, cook the sweet potatoes until nearly tender then layer them in a greased baking dish.

Combine the flour, sugar, spices, and salt. Sprinkle this over the sliced potatoes in the baking dish. Add some of the liquid you cooked the sweet potato in and then dot the cobbler with cubes of butter.

Now you can work on the pastry topping. Combine the flour and salt before cutting in the shortening. Add water then roll out the dough and put it on top of the sweet potato layer. Cut some slits in there, for steam to escape during cooking, and then brush melted butter on top and sprinkle over some sugar.

Bake the cobbler for about half an hour or until golden then serve warm with whipped cream. I like to sprinkle some nutmeg on top too! Yum!

Cobbler in a baking dish with a wooden spoon.

Common Questions

Which has more sugar, pumpkin pie or sweet potato pie?

Although pumpkin is lower in sugar than sweet potatoes, there are more carbs, fats, and protein in sweet potatoes, which are all important parts of the diet. I firmly believe that a little of what you fancy does you good. So if you eat healthy most of the time, you’re allowed to enjoy a slice of sweet potato cobbler occasionally!

Can you eat pumpkin and sweet potato together?

I’ve tried mashing these together for great results. Because they taste so similar, you can also use slices of both in this sweet potato cobbler recipe if you happen to have both. I love the fact both of these ingredients can be used in savory as well as sweet recipes. They’re so versatile.

Why did my cobbler come out gummy?

Although you can use canned fruit or pie filling for cobbler recipes, this can lead to gummy results. Use fresh fruit or sliced sweet potatoes and you won’t be risking a gummy cobbler.

Why do they call it a cobbler?

This dessert dates back some 150 years and it’s believed the name "cobbler" is to do with the topping looking like a cobbled stone path. Another possibility is the word comes from cobeler, an old word meaning wooden bowl. Whichever, if either of those, is true, I’m pleased this delicious dessert has stood the test of time since it’s one of my family’s favorites!

What should I serve with a sweet potato cobbler?

Have it with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Another option is serving it as a side dish for turkey, ham, green bean salad, and whatever else is on your Thanksgiving dinner table. Cobblers are typically for dessert, but this one is versatile!

If you’re serving it as a side, I recommend you leave the sugar out of the pastry topping and halve the amount of sugar in the filling. If it’s a side dish you can use half sweet potatoes and half regular white ones!

Is this good for preparing in advance?

Cobblers can be prepared ahead and this is always handy if you have 8 other Thanksgiving dishes cooking at the same time! You can always warm it back up in the oven.

How should I store the cobbler?

Keeping it covered stops moisture from forming which would make it go bad sooner. Keep the cobbler loosely covered at room temperature for the first day then refrigerated for up to 2 days more.

Can I freeze it?

Wrap the cobbler very well, using at least one layer each of plastic wrap and foil, and then thaw it overnight in the refrigerator. It will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months. I like to freeze the cobbler in portions so I can just thaw out as much as I need.

Can I use pumpkin instead?

Since pumpkin has such a similar flavor to sweet potato, you can use that in this cobbler if you prefer. Butternut squash is another option.

An overhead shot of cobbler in a bowl topped with whipped cream.

Chopnotch Tips

  • As the sweet potatoes are boiled and also baked in the oven inside the cobbler, don’t boil them for too long. Once they’re almost tender, drain them and add them to the cobbler. Too much boiling will make them too mushy.
  • Cut in the shortening using a pastry cutter to get the right texture. If you don’t have one you can use a fork instead.
  • Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes are better suited than the beige- or purple-fleshed kind. The orange-fleshed ones are moister since they have more amylase in, an enzyme that breaks down starch into sugar.
A person's hand serving a bowl of sweet potato cobbler.

Sweet potato cobbler makes a wonderful dessert for the fall. It’s rich and tasty and especially yummy served with whipped cream and nutmeg sprinkled on top.

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


How to Make

Sweet Potato Cobbler

Consider a juicy Southern dessert for Thanksgiving this year. The lightly spiced sweet potato filling and flaky crust make it so good!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 12 servings


  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced ¼-inch thick
  • 3 ½ cups water
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, cubed

For the pastry:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • teaspoon salt
  • cup shortening
  • 5 tablespoons cold water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 teaspoons granulated sugar
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  • Preheat the oven to 400°F and grease a 13x9-inch baking pan.
  • Add the water to a saucepan and cook the sweet potato slices for about 10 minutes until they are nice and tender. Then drain the cooked potatoes and reserve 1 ½ cups of the liquid from the saucepan.
  • Layer the cooked potato slices into the prepared baking pan. In a small mixing bowl, mix the sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together until combined, and then sprinkle this mixture over the potato slices.
  • Pour the reserved cooking liquid from the saucepan over the top and then scatter the cubed butter on top of that.

To make the pastry:

  • Mix together the flour and salt in a medium bowl and then cut in the shortening until the consistency of the mixture is crumbly. Then add the water one tablespoon at a time while tossing the mixture with a fork.
  • Roll the dough on a floured surface to form a 13x9-inch rectangle and then place it over the potato filling. Press the dough up against the inside of the pan around the edges. Cut 4 slits across the top, brush the top with the melted butter, and then finish by sprinkling the sugar over the top.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes until the top turns golden brown. Remove from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes. Spoon hot servings into individual bowls. Optionally, add a scoop of whipped cream on top and sprinkle lightly with nutmeg. Serve and enjoy!
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  • As the sweet potatoes are boiled and also baked in the oven inside the cobbler, don’t boil them for too long. Once they’re almost tender, drain them and add them to the cobbler. Too much boiling will make them too mushy.
  • Cut in the shortening using a pastry cutter to get the right texture. If you don’t have one you can use a fork instead.
  • Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes are better suited than the beige- or purple-fleshed kind. The orange-fleshed ones are moister since they have more amylase in, an enzyme that breaks down starch into sugar.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 469kcal (23%), Carbohydrates: 59g (20%), Protein: 4g (8%), Fat: 25g (38%), Saturated Fat: 11g (69%), Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Trans Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 36mg (12%), Sodium: 286mg (12%), Potassium: 284mg (8%), Fiber: 3g (13%), Sugar: 30g (33%), Vitamin A: 11138IU (223%), Vitamin C: 2mg (2%), Calcium: 34mg (3%), Iron: 2mg (11%)
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Comments & Ratings

  1. 5 stars
    My mother use to make sweet potato cobbler. I have made it with sweet potatoes and yams. My husband and mother in law never heard of it. My husband enjoyed it but he always wanted extra butter when I made it.

    • Thanks for the feedback, Jackie! I can relate to your husband. I always like extra butter on pretty much any sweet potato dish!