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Sweet Potato Casserole Cupcakes: The New Thanksgiving Classic

These sweet potato casserole cupcakes are like your favorite holiday casserole, but in cupcake form.

The greatest food debate in Jewish cuisine and possibly the greatest Jewish debate of all time (though that’s debatable) is whether the passover matzoh balls should be sinkers or floaters. My family traditionally always served both kinds, each grandma at the table making up a batch that her mishpacha would most enjoy.

My mother-in-law who had served rock hard, you-need-a-fork-and-knife-to-eat-them, sinkers before me has now also switched to a combination of sinkers and floaters. Goodbye, conflict.

There is a less documented though equally pervasive debate surrounding the Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole. Some like their casserole topped with marshmallows, while others (myself included in this second camp) prefer a sugary nut topping. Who needs white mush when you have sweet orange mush? What you need is crunch!

My all time favorite sweet potato casserole is the one my mother-in-law makes. I like it hot or cold and with a fork, a spoon, or hands. The recipe is at the bottom of this post.

The truth is, I like sweet potatoes in all formats. I like them so much that my brother even mentioned them in his wedding toast to me.

I’ve been plotting to make a sweet potato cupcake for months. This month was the time. Garrett of Vanilla Garlic and Chockylit of Cupcake Bakeshop are hosting a cupcake roundup with the theme of a classic dish redefined. I decided to model my cupcake after the sweet potato casserole.

I wanted to impart some of my favorite casserole flavors into the cupcake (brown sugar and maple syrup). I opted for the sweet potato flavor in the cake, a maple mascarpone filling, and a brown sugar frosting.

The results? This cupcake was light and fluffy (I had to point this out for those who didn’t like my last two super dense ones) and tasted like Fall in a cupcake wrapper. I would not hesitate to serve this to my family at Thanksgiving dinner or any other day for that matter.

The Recipes

The Cake

I got the cake recipe from a Cupcake Bakeshop recipe for pumpkin cupcakes (reposted below). She got the recipe from Martha Stewart. I simply replaced the pumpkin with mashed sweet potato. I went the lazy route and got my sweet potato from a can. However, I’m sure you could make your own.

The Filling

For the filling, I simply whipped together 8 oz of mascarpone cheese with 2 T of pure maple syrup. When the cupcakes were done baking, I stuck the pastry bag right into the center of the cupcake and squirted some filling in. This, BTW, is much easier than the cone method (cutting out a cone, putting the filling in, and replacing the top) and it’s more sexy, too. However, it does not work well with dense cupcakes.

The Frosting

I used another one of Chockylit’s top-notch recipes for the frosting (reposted below). She used a caramel frosting on her “Peanut Butter-Banana Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel Glaze and a Caramelized Banana Disk.” I’ve had these cupcakes before at a friend’s house minus the peanut butter, since I’m not a fan, and they were awesome! My favorite part though was the caramel frosting. This was the perfect cupcake for me to try it out on.

What’s On Top?

To please both the marshmallow and the nut camps and because I can’t use nuts at the wedding, I made some cupcakes with toasted mini marshmallows (any excuse to use my culinary torch!) and some with candied walnuts.



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Print Pin
5 from 1 vote

Sweet Potato Casserole Cupcakes

Sweet potato casserole in cupcake form!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword sweet potato casserole, sweet potato casserole cupcakes, sweet potato cupcakes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 24 cupcakes
Calories 248kcal


Cake Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour all-purpose
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter melted and cooled
  • 4 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 15 ounces sweet potato puree

Frosting Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons half and half
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Cake Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and eggs. Add dry ingredients, and whisk until smooth. Whisk in sweet potato purée.
  • Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway. Bake until tops spring back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool.

Frosting Instructions

  • In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.
  • Add milk and brown sugar, stir to combine.
  • Boil vigorously for 1 minute.
  • Remove from heat and beat in 1/2 cup powdered sugar.
  • Cool slightly then and beat in the vanilla and remaining powdered sugar, add more half in half if necessary.
  • Quickly spoon over cupcakes before glaze sets.


Adapted from Martha Stewart's Pumpkin Cupcakes.
See post for filling and topping instructions


Nutrition Facts
Sweet Potato Casserole Cupcakes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 248 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 14%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 51mg 17%
Sodium 174mg 7%
Potassium 146mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 38g 13%
Sugars 27g
Protein 2g 4%
Vitamin A 74.4%
Vitamin C 4.2%
Calcium 3.7%
Iron 4.8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Have you tried this recipe?Click here to leave a comment and rating!

Nancy’s Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

Print Pin
5 from 1 vote

Sweet Potato Casserole

A delicious crumb-topped sweet potato casserole.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword crumb-topped sweet potato casserole, sweet potato casserole
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 16 servings
Calories 203kcal


Base Ingredients

  • 2 lb. sweet potatoes
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • ½ cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup margarine
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • cinnamon

Top with a mixture of:*

  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup margarine
  • ¼ cup flour


Casserole Instructions

  • Peel, cut, boil sweet potatoes until soft.
  • Mix everything together and put into 9 X 12 greased pan.
  • Add topping and bake at 350° for 30 to 40 min.


Double topping for Stefani*
*That is actually in the recipe my mother-in-law sent. Isn't she sweet?


Nutrition Facts
Sweet Potato Casserole
Amount Per Serving
Calories 203 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 12%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 20mg 7%
Sodium 144mg 6%
Potassium 225mg 6%
Total Carbohydrates 29g 10%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 15g
Protein 2g 4%
Vitamin A 166.5%
Vitamin C 1.6%
Calcium 3%
Iron 4.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Have you tried this recipe?Click here to leave a comment and rating!



For those astute readers among you, you may note that Nancy’s casserole does not contain any maple syrup, my cupcake filling flavor. Many sweet potato casseroles do, including this recipe from a fellow St. Louis blogger.

I’m done justifying my use of maple now. Does maple ever really need justification anyway?

Some final words on sweet potato casseroles: My Texas friend, and fellow sweet potato casserole fanatic, makes an outstanding one which uses Bourbon. A sweet potato and bourbon cupcake would also be sensational. I’m adding it to the lengthy to-bake list in my mind.

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16 comments on “Sweet Potato Casserole Cupcakes: The New Thanksgiving Classic”

  1. gigisays:

    mmm, I wish I could smell them! The look awesome!

  2. dnsvmsays:

    I was SO thinking of trying the same thing for chockylit’s contest! These look delish! Back to the idea board for me :)!

  3. Garrettsays:

    Insane. I kid you not I was actually developing a recipe for just this. I was going to do marshmallow topping, but this sugared nut topping is way better in my opinion.

  4. Stefsays:

    Thanks so much! Glad I didn’t delay in making these. Bizarre that we all had the same idea at the same time.

  5. Nancysays:

    FROM Aunt JO:
    Where is my taste? Gone already? Remember I love sweet potatoes too!

  6. Cedarsays:

    This looks in-freaking-credible! I am saving this recipe, and plan on trying it in a few weeks!

  7. …….definitely going on my “Things-To-Bake” list!

  8. Anonymoussays:

    Thought you might like to know- you can send a virtual cupcake for a good cause:

  9. These look awesome and sound really good.
    I am on Maui right now and just wish I could bring so many yummy ingredients back with me to make cupcakes. :)

  10. Stefsays:

    Ceder – Thanks! Let me know if you try them.

    HTEAC – Same goes for you. I’m off to your site after this to vote for your cupcake of the week.

    Little Ivy – I’m so jealous! I’m going to North Dakota next week. Not nearly as exciting.

  11. Nicolesays:

    I was on the lookout for a twist on my normal sweet potato casserole when I arrived at your blog with these amazing cupcakes on them. I am going to bite the bullet and prepare them for my family for Thanksgiving.
    They sound DELICIOUS!!

    We are going to be away from home for Thanksgiving, so I’m glad I found them now and I can get everything tomorrow before we leave.

    Thanks for such a yummy recipe!

  12. Stefsays:

    Good luck Nicole! Hope your family likes them!

  13. i can’t tell you how excited i am to make these for taste & create!! there were so many cupcakes to choose from–you do nice work! i, on the other hand, have only a handful of recipes posted. sorry about that, but i hope you can find something worth making!

  14. Rodneysays:

    These turned out great….ridiculously scrumptious and gorgeous as well!!

  15. olivia Lauren Hawksays:

    i can’t wait to try these! also, for your sweet potato casserole, try corn flakes or frosted flakes mixed into the nut filling on top… thats how i do mine and the crunch is perfect with the sweet orange mush!

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