Sweet Potato Cupcakes


I know what many of you are thinking, Sick! Sweet potato cupcake?  Well, set the thought aside, because you have to try these!  I was a bit skeptical myself before trying them.  They are amazing!  If you like pumpkin desserts, sweet potatoes, candied yams or cupcakes then you will love these.  A moist, tender sweet potato cupcake is topped with a sprinkling of brown sugar that bakes to amazing perfection (giving it a slight crispness on top), then it’s topped with deliciously browned gooey marshmallows.

I created this recipe because I had some leftover sweet potatoes from Thanksgiving and I wanted to try something new and exciting.  It took a few attempts for me to get the recipe just as I wanted it.  The first batch I tried with a whole stick of butter (rather than a 1/2 like this recipe) and they were way too dense and moist (I didn’t know there was such a thing but there is indeed =).  It was like eating a mashed potato.  So with this recipe I cut back on the butter and added more buttermilk and the texture is just right.  And bonus, that means less fat (the topping has less fat than your average cupcake too, marshmallows have no fat that’s a significant difference compared to your average cupcake frosting with a stick or two of butter).
Don’t snub these cupcakes just because of their title!  They are one of the best cupcakes I have ever eaten, with just the right amount of spice and that amazing brown sugar marshmallow topping I can’t get enough of.
You may also like my recipe for Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls.

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Sweet Potato Cupcakes

Such a fun way to use sweet potatoes! You'll love the finishing touch of toasted marshmallows.

Servings: 12
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup butter , softened
  • 2/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup sweet potato puree*


  • 2 Tbsp packed light brown sugar , divided
  • 3 cups mini marshmallows


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners, set aside. In a small mixing bowl whisk together, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip together butter and brown sugar until lighter and slightly fluffy about 3 - 4 minutes. Stir in egg and vanilla. Slowly add in dry ingredients alternating with buttermilk. Stir until well combine. Mix in sweet potato puree. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full (about scant 1/4 cup in each). Sprinkle 1/2 tsp brown sugar over each cupcake.
  2.  Bake 19 - 21 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in muffin tins before removing to wire rack to cool. Cool cupcakes on wire rack at least 5 minutes. Generously butter a cookie sheet. Spread mini marshmallows in a single layer on cookie sheet, keeping the marshmallows close together. Heat oven to broil. Place marshmallows in oven under broiler (DO NOT WALK AWAY FROM THEM), cook about 30 seconds-1 minute until they start to brown slightly. Remove from oven and using a buttered spatula scoop marshmallows over tops off cupcakes.
  3. *I use fresh sweet potatoes in mine:
  4. To do this preheat oven to 400 degrees. Poke 1 medium sweet potato several times, place on a baking sheet in the oven and bake until soft about 1 hour. Allow to cool slightly, then peel and puree potato in a food processor, or mash. You can also use canned pureed sweet potatoes if you'd like.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Sweet Potato Cupcakes
Author: Jaclyn

The Center of Attention


  • Jessica: Should’ve posted back when I made them, but I made mini versions of these around Thanksgiving and my students LOVED them! (they were a bit skeptical when I said ‘sweet potato’, but they were a good bunch of troopers and tried them anyways. ^_^)

    I had the same problem with the marshmallows as Jennifer. I tried various lengths of time, but the marshmallows would not stay fluffy at all! They would puff up but then deflate and get all hard and almost taffy-like. Ended up just leaving them off, but I think they look nicer with the marshmallows. Do you think cutting jumbo marshmallows in half would work in keeping the marshmallow fluffier during the broiling phase? January 3, 2013 at 1:43am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad that your students loved them! I also like to use half of a large marshmallow sometimes you can check out the link here to see the look you get:
      I like to call it more of a “modern” look but still very pretty. How could a golden toasted marshmallow not be pretty=)? Also I would recommend that you start out with a cooler oven and maybe move them down a few racks. I’m also really nit picky so when I buy the marshmallows at the store I always look for bags filled with air that have fluffy marshmallows. I hate the kind that are smashed down or stuck together. I hope that helps! January 5, 2013 at 1:43pm Reply

  • Deanna: I just baked these and they came out undercooked :( I had them in the oven for 45 minutes now and they still are not done. Im making these for my boyfriends parents and my mom on thanksgiving so its a real let down. the only thing i did different was double the ingredients for 24 cupcakes. any advice please? November 21, 2012 at 2:12pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: The only thing I can tell you is that after 45 minutes of baking it likely has something to do with your oven not baking properly or you may have accidentally added in too many liquids (so basically there wouldn’t be enough flour to liquid/fat ratio). If you don’t normally have difficulties with your oven baking things properly then I’d just recommend starting over as bad as that sucks. Doubling the recipe shouldn’t be a problem as long as it’s accurately doubled. I’m so sorry to hear about the issue! I hope things turn out for you! Happy Thanksgiving! November 21, 2012 at 4:53pm Reply

  • Amy/Sean: I am skeptical, but I’m going to bake these and see! November 12, 2012 at 10:31am Reply

  • Anonymous: Can I add more sweet potato? Or is the sweet potato taste very strong already? Thank you! November 12, 2012 at 5:52am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I wouldn’t recommend adding much more just because with baking if you change the recipe you never know what the outcome will be. I thought that they had enough sweet potato flavor in them so hopefully you’ll think so too =). Enjoy! November 12, 2012 at 11:16pm Reply

  • Jaclyn: Laurie – I just don’t want to dry the cupcakes out that’s why I do it separately.I think they may roll off anyway. I hope that answers your question =). September 15, 2012 at 7:04pm Reply

  • Laurie: Is there any reason why you can not put the marshmallows on the cupcakes and quickly broil tem instead of doing the marshmallows separately? September 15, 2012 at 3:01pm Reply

  • Jaclyn: Anonymous – yeah I think that would be fine, I would recommend using almond milk or soymilk along with 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice to give it the light tang that buttermilk gives. I hope that helps and I hope you enjoy! September 3, 2012 at 10:24pm Reply

  • Anonymous: “Best Cupcakes In NY said…

    These cupcakes are turned out to be utterly delicious. This recipe is naturally gluten-free. The decoration made above the cupcakes is quite simple and attractive. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe.”

    Flour has gluten in it.. sorry but they are NOT gluten free.. try to use almond flour if you want to go gluten free..
    September 3, 2012 at 5:31pm Reply

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