I saw canned organic sweet potato puree in Wegmans a few weeks ago. And then I judged a cupcake contest in which one of the cupcakes was inspired by Thanksgiving flavors (and bacon), and contained sweet potato, among things. I decided to go old school and conjure up some nostalgia, with a twist—in the form of cupcakes.
Full and complete disclaimers needed here! I’m posting this because people have been asking for a recipe. The cupcake part is easy, but the frosting, I just eyeballed. So I am going to try to recreate from memory what I did, which shouldn’t be too hard. As they say with diet programs: results may vary. In the meantime….
This recipe was adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, but they are decidedly NOT vegan. Again, NOT vegan, on account of the gelatin in the marshmallows. And the butter. But you can find vegan butter and vegan marshmallows if that’s how you roll.
Sweet Potato Casserole Cupcakes
- 1 cup sweet potato puree
- 1/3 cup oil
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup almond milk (or soy)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- About 1 cup of marshmallow fluff
- About 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 2-4 Tbsp. milk, as needed
- 6 large marshmallows, pulled apart in half (no need to get knives involved here)
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake/muffin pan with liners or grease well with butter and flour.
- Stir together the sweet potato puree, oil, sugar, almond milk and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. Sift the flour and rest of the dry ingredients right over the bowl. Mix together with a spatula; do not use a stand mixer for this or you will render these cupcakes tough.
- Fill the liners about 2/3 full and bake for about 18-20 minutes. I always check mine a few minutes before I think they will be done because I don’t want to serve dry, overbaked cupcakes. The tops should spring back lightly when touched and a cake tester should come out fairly clean. Transfer to a wire rack and remove from pan after 10 minutes, allowing them to cool completely before frosting.
- Preheat your oven to the broiler setting.
- Cream the butter for a minute or so until it gets a bit fluffy. Add the marshmallow fluff and mix at low speed until combined with the butter. Add the vanilla extract and then slowly add the confectioner’s sugar, mixing on medium-low speed until it’s all combined. Drop in a couple of Tbs. of milk if necessary to thin it out. Keep in mind, though, that this frosting is going to be thick, almost paste-like, but still spreadable. That’s the consistency you’re looking for.
- With a small offset spatula or a non-serrated knife generously spread the frosting over the cupcakes. You’ll notice that it won’t get completely smooth but instead will form little tufts and peaks like tiny mohawks all over your cupcake. Repeat.
- Put your cupcakes on a wire rack over a baking sheet in your oven to catch possible marshmallow-y drips and globs. Break off a large marshmallow and put each half, ripped side down, on top of the cupcake, and repeat until all cupcakes are covered. (You could also easily do this with mini marshmallows; whatever you’ve got). Put in the preheated oven/broiler and set your timer for a minute. You will know though if that’s too long because it will start to smell like burned s’mores in your kitchen.
- Remove from the oven when the marshmallows turn golden brown. If you like a more charred effect, keep it going until it’s darker than that.
The serendipity of this recipe? There was just enough fluff in the frosting to allow it to melt and congeal with the butter and confectioner’s sugar but without getting too gloppy. The cupcakes wound up being gently, smoothly enrobed in the frosting.
If you make these, please please let me know in the comments field. I’m curious about the frosting!