Sweet potato cupcakes are the perfect treat if you're looking for a tasty and elegant looking dessert! They're moist and filled with warm spices. My favorite part is the toasted meringue frosting. I love any dessert that gives me an excuse to break out my torch!
What's your favorite Thanksgiving dish? Growing up, I always avoided sweet potato casserole just because the thought of sweet potatoes grossed me out! However, I've thankfully matured and realized how delicious they are! They're also super easy to turn into a puree. You can't always find pumpkin puree in the stores (especially as of late), but you can always rely on sweet potatoes to be there! I think the best way to use them is to turn them into these sweet potato cupcakes!
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What You Need to Make These Cupcakes
- Sweet potato puree
- Light brown sugar
- All purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
- Vanilla extract
- Vegetable oil
- Granulated sugar
- Cream of tartar
Step by Step Instructions
STEP ONE (Picture 1 below) - Sweet potato puree (optional).
In order to make your own sweet potato puree, puncture a sweet potato all over with a fork and bake it on a foil-lined pan until it's very soft (400F for ~50 minutes). Then, let it cool for at least 10 minutes. Once it's a touchable temperature, peel off the skin, chop it up and puree it in a food chopper.
STEP TWO (Picture 2 below) - Mix the dry ingredients.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
STEP THREE (Pictures 3 below) - Combine the wet ingredients.
In a separate medium sized bowl, mix together the oil, eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, and sweet potato puree. Pour this wet mixture into the dry ingredients and stir just until the flour streaks are all gone.
STEP FOUR (Picture 4 below) - Fill & bake.
Using a large scoop, fill the liners with batter until they're about ⅔ full. Bake the cupcakes at 350F until a toothpick comes out of the center clean (about 20 minutes).
Marshmallow Meringue Frosting & Toasting
STEP ONE (Picture 1 below) - Gather your ingredients.
You only need 4 ingredients to make the frosting - egg whites, granulated sugar, cream of tartar and vanilla extract.
STEP TWO (Picture 2 below) - Make the meringue.
Over a double boiler (or a saucepan with an inch of simmering water), whisk all of the ingredients together in a very clean stand mixer bowl. When the temperature of the mixture reads ~160F on a thermometer, transfer the bowl to the stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Whisk the mixture while gradually increasing from low to high speed until it reaches stiff, glossy peaks.
STEP THREE (Picture 3 below) - Pipe the frosting.
If you don't want the cupcake liners on while torching, I recommend removing them before adding the frosting.
Transfer the meringue to a piping bag with a tip. I like to use a large closed star piping tip! Swirl frosting on top of the completely cooled cupcakes.
STEP FOUR (Picture 4 below) - Toast the tops!
Using a culinary torch, carefully toast the marshmallow meringue frosting all around. Do this with the cupcakes on a nonflammable surface (like a baking sheet) and try not to get the flame too close to the cupcake liners.
FAQ & Storage
This could be that your equipment isn't clean enough, some egg yolk got in the mix or the egg whites weren't at room temperature. Try wiping the bowl and whisk with vinegar and letting them dry before adding the ingredients.
You could try marshmallow fluff, but it likely won't hold its shape well enough for the piping. Another tasty option would be cream cheese frosting!
No, but I'd love to hear how they turn out if you try them with gluten free ingredients!
I recommend storing them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, but they can also be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Did you try this recipe?
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Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Toasted Meringue Frosting
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ cup vegetable or canola oil
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- ¾ cup light brown sugar packed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup sweet potato puree ~1 medium sweet potato
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 egg whites room temperature
- Preheat oven to 350°F and fill a cupcake pan with liners.
- Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger in a large bowl.
- Whisk together the oil, eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, and sweet potato puree in a separate bowl.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until all flour streaks disappear.
- Fill cupcake liners about ⅔ full with cupcake batter and bake at 350°F until a toothpick comes out of the center clean (about 20 minutes).
- After ~10 minutes of cooling, remove the cupcakes from the pan and place them on a cooling rack. Prepare meringue frosting while they cool.
- Heat the sugar, cream of tartar, vanilla, and egg whites using a double boiler (I use my heat-resistant stand mixer bowl over a pot of simmering water). Stir constantly until the mixture reaches 160°F, then remove from heat.
- Starting at a low speed and gradually increasing to high, whisk the mixture with a stand or electric mixer until there are stiff, glossy peaks (~5-10 minutes).
- Pipe frosting on the completely cooled cupcakes and toast the tops using a culinary torch!