Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sweet potato cupcakes with brown butter cream cheese frosting

If you would have told me as a child that I would like sweet potatoes as an adult, I would have laughed at you. My mom loves sweet potatoes and yams, and I vividly remember my brother and I telling her how gross they were when we were younger. Mom would bake sweet potatoes for herself while the rest of us had regular baked potatoes. I never did like them, and I thought I never would.

What was my turning point, you ask? Why, it was a birthday party! Our friends held a birthday party for their son when he turned one, and one of the treats that they had at the party was a sweet potato cupcake with cream cheese frosting. It was love at first bite! (Quick side note - I did have some sweet potato fries at a restaurant several years ago and thought they were good, but the cupcake is what did me in.)

Since that party, I've started to enjoy sweet potato in other forms like fries and sweet potato pie. With my newfound love of the sweet potato, I decided to make it the co-theme for this month's What's Baking challenge. Since I also love pumpkin for the fall, I threw that in for any remaining sweet potato haters (I know you're out there!). So as October's host for What's Baking, this month's theme is officially pumpkin and/or sweet potato!

There were a bunch of sweet potato cupcake recipes on the internet, but this one from Love and Olive Oil looked like it would have been similar to the cupcake we tried at the birthday party. I also opted for a brown butter cream cheese frosting that I found on Evil Shenanigans.

I was so happy that these cupcakes turned out just as I had hoped - moist, sweet, and full of autumn spices. The frosting was phenomenal, and you can definitely taste a bit of nuttiness from the brown butter after taking a bite. I topped my cupcakes with some extra cinnamon to make them extra pretty and fall-like.

I'll be posting a roundup with everyone's contributions soon.  Kim at Just Baked is next month's host for the What's Baking group, so be sure to pop by and see what theme she chooses for November!

  • 1 cup sweet potato puree* (fresh or canned)
  • 1/4 cup soy milk
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
* If using a fresh sweet potato, wash and fully dry your potato. Then prick holes all over the potato using a fork. Wrap tightly in aluminum foil and bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 60-70 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Slice the sweet potato in half lengthwise and scoop out the insides. For a smoother puree, you can use a blender or a food processor. Otherwise, if you like chunks, just mash with a fork or potato masher.

    • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, browned and cooled (Check out my link here if you need directions on how to make browned butter)
    • 1 block (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 3 – 4 cups powdered sugar
      Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.

      In a medium bowl, whisk together the sweet potato puree, soy milk, oil, sugars, and vanilla. Slowly add in the flour, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice and salt. Mix until just combined.

      Fill liners about 2/3 full (I used my medium cookie scoop). Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before frosting.

      For the frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer (or a medium bowl with a hand mixer), cream together the cream cheese and browned butter until well combined.  The mixture may look slightly curdled.  Add the vanilla, cinnamon and powdered sugar and mix until smooth.

      Yield: 12 cupcakes

      Source: Cupakes from Love and Olive Oil; frosting from Evil Shenanigans


      1. I always forget that sweet potato puree is an option as well as pumpkin. Mental note made! These look HEAVENLY! And the frosting is perfect!

      2. Thanks for the shout out, Eva! :D These look so amazing! Look at all that frosting. Yum! Great minds think alike. I made my What's Baking entry today, with browned butter frosting!

      3. The picture of these cupcakes really makes my mouth water. I love frosting and the ingredients in the frosting are divine! I have certainly enjoyed reading about all the wonderful fall creations my daughter-in-law, Eva, has been making. Hopefully, at Christmas time, she will fill my home with some of her fine baked goods!



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