Sweet potato cupcakes are tender, soft treats topped with fluffy marshmallow frosting. They’re a perfect addition to the Thanksgiving dessert table!
Ooh Thanksgiving… a day devoted to eating (and being thankful of course!). The dessert menu is my responsibility and this year I wanted to introduce a non-pie dish. I thought, “Why not try sweet potato cupcakes?”
For as long as I can remember, my family has never served sweet potato pie at Thanksgiving, but I always thought how perfect the sweet spuds would be as a dessert dish. After all, they are one of my favorite sides during the main meal!
Immediately my mind went to cupcakes. (Sorry pie, but you get the spotlight every year.) And more specifically mini cupcakes so those who are going for their usual slice of apple pie won’t feel too guilty reaching for a bite-size sweet potato cupcake.
Who am I kidding, the guilt is long gone after the second serving of turkey, right?
Any way, these sweet potato cupcakes are similar to carrot cake in that they both have a moist consistency and pair well with fall spices (think cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.).
The recipe calls for 2 1/2 cups of shredded sweet potato (I got all that from one rather large sweet potato). The bright orange pieces create a delightfully warm hue in these little treats. That paired with brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, you have all the seasonal flavors in one cupcake.
But what really makes these mini sweet potato cupcakes extraordinary is the marshmallow frosting. That inspiration came from the sprinkling of mini marshmallows on top of mashed sweet potatoes—a tradition that never made sense to me, but I just go with it.
Clearly my mind just works in terms of dessert because sweet potato cupcakes with marshmallow frosting makes complete sense to me.
The marshmallow creme frosting sits on top of these cupcakes like a sweet fluffy cloud. Light and airy, the frosting packs quite a bit of sweetness, which holds up well with the warm flavors in the spiced sweet potato cupcakes.
I must admit though, at Thanksgiving I usually go straight for a slice of pecan pie or my mom’s apple pie, but this year I will definitely be reaching for sweet potato cupcakes first. These sweet bite-sized treats are just what I’ll be craving after the savory Thanksgiving meal. And since they’re mini, I’ll definitely be going back for seconds!
Mini Sweet Potato Cupcakes
Sweet Potato Cupcakes
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- Pinch of ground cloves
- 2 eggs slightly beaten
- 2 1/2 cup (12 ounces or 340 grams) peeled, shredded, sweet potatoes*
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- Chopped pecans for garnish optional
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 7 oz. carton marshmallow creme
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1-2 teaspoons milk
Sweet Potato Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a mini (or regular size) muffin tin with cupcake liners. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the eggs, shredded sweet potatoes, brown sugar, sugar, oil and vanilla. Mix until well blended, about 1 minute.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and use a rubber spatula to stir together until just combined, about 20 seconds. Do not overmix.
Spoon batter into prepared cupcake liners until about two-thirds full. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes** or until top springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool completely.
In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the butter, marshmallow creme, salt and vanilla. Mix until creamy, about 1 minute. Add one cup of powdered sugar and mix until combined. Add remaining one cup of powdered sugar and mix until smooth and creamy. Add milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached (I used 1 teaspoon).
Transfer frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a tip. Frost cupcakes and garnish with chopped pecans (optional). Cupcakes are best when served the same day. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.
*It's best to grate the sweet potatoes on the medium or small side of the grater. If you use the large side, the sweet potatoes don't get as soft during baking.
**If making regular sized cupcakes, increase baking time to 20 to 22 minutes
Inspired by The Recipe Critic.