Cupcake Series: Baked Sweet Potato Cupcakes



I have to say, I have been super excited about making this recipe since like mid-September, which is kind of sad considering how long it’s been since September, and what that says about my hobbies and how generally uninteresting my life is and whatnot.

(It’s been a long semester.)

At any rate, it is finally the last week (day!) of November, which means that it’s cupcake week again. This week, we have a very fall-appropriate sweet potato cupcake. Every bite is more or less the dessert equivalent of an autumn getaway to a cabin in the woods spent by the fireplace in cozy flannel pajamas.

It’s pretty glorious.


At any rate, I’ve been contemplating sweet potatoes lately with my mother (completely independently of these cupcakes), and I honestly can’t really think of any context in which sweet potatoes don’t make a better alternative to actual potatoes in potato-related recipes. Except, of course, for teeny tiny roasted fingerling potatoes because I just don’t think regular sweet potatoes even come in that particular skin-to-interior ratio.

So rather than presenting you with a normal baked potato recipe (partly because frankly, sour cream, cheddar, chives, and uncandied bacon seem like very questionable cupcake toppings), this week we have baked sweet potatoes in cupcake form. Now granted, have I ever actually had a baked sweet potato topped with maple butter, candied bacon, and chopped walnuts? No. But does that sound fantastic? Um, absolutely yes.


Also, this recipe is actually nearly identical to my pumpkin cupcakes, minus a few spices and plus a few extra special ingredients. So if you’re not quite feeling up to the not-terribly-involved-but-still-more-involved-than-opening-a-can process of making your own sweet potato puree, this recipe also works fantastically with canned pumpkin or butternut squash.

So if you’re wondering what to do with all of the glorious sweet potatoes that are available on the market until winter’s end, boil up a sweet potato, pulverize it to oblivion (and freeze the excess because you can make like 3 dozen cupcakes from one large sweet potato), and bake up fantastically gourmet fall cupcakes. Hope you enjoy!

Happy Wednesday,


Baked Sweet Potato Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes


Sweet Potato Cupcakes:
150 g (about 1 1/4 cup) flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sweet potato puree (boil a sweet potato until easily pierced by a fork, then puree)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Maple Buttercream Frosting:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

Maple Candied Bacon:
3 slices of uncooked (preferably low-sodium) bacon
1/3 cup maple syrup

To Serve:
Chopped walnuts


Pumpkin Cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ºF. Line a cupcake pan with 12 cupcake liners.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and paprika, then set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer or with an electric mixer, mix together the oil, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until well combined.
  4. Beat in the eggs, sweet potato puree, and vanilla extract until fully incorporated.
  5. Dump in the flour mixture in 3 additions and whisk until just combined.
  6. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners and bake for 20-24 minutes, or until the top of the cupcake springs back when squeezed slightly.
  7. Set aside to cool!

Maple Buttercream Frosting:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer or with an electric mixer, beat together the butter, maple syrup, and vanilla extract until fluffy and fully incorporated.

Maple-Candied Bacon:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 ºF.
    Tip: You don’t actually have to wait for the oven to reach the temperature before popping the bacon slices in. Bacon really isn’t as temperature sensitive as your average baked good.
  2. Set up a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, then lay the bacon slices on the baking sheet.
  3. Brush about 1/2 of the maple syrup on top of the bacon slices, flip, and brush the remaining 1/2 over the other side.
    Tip: Don’t worry of the maple syrup drips off – you can baste later.
  4. Cook to desired crispness, basting the tops of the bacon slices with the maple syrup drippings every 2-3 minutes as desired.
    Tip: The hardened maple syrup candy at the bottom makes for an amazingly delicious treat and easily pried off of the aluminum foil because of the bacon drippings.


  1. Using a piping bag fitted with a large French tip (I used the Wilton 4B!), pipe a large, thick swirl around the top of the cupcake, spiraling from the outside inward. Top with a sprinkling of chopped walnuts, maple-candied bacon, and maple candy pieces (if you don’t keep them all for yourself!), and serve. Enjoy!



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