Although the flavor might seem unusual for a cupcake, sweet potatoes have long been pureed and baked into desserts, such as sweet potato pie. This playful rendition of a traditional Thanksgiving side dish complete with mini marshmallows and candied pecans on top will appeal to anyone who loves the sweet, earthy flavors of root vegetables. Serve the cupcakes as one component of a holiday dessert buffet. If you like, bake and mash the sweet potatoes the day before you make the cupcakes; let cool completely and refrigerate, covered.
- Yield: 24
- 2 pounds (about 3 medium) sweet potatoes, scrubbed
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups miniature marshmallows
- Candied Pecan Pieces
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Pierce sweet potatoes with a fork and place on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake until completely soft and juices begin to seep from the potatoes and caramelize, about 1 hour. Remove from oven. Reduce oven to 325°F.
- When cool enough to handle, slice potatoes in half lengthwise and use a fork to scrape the flesh from the skin into a bowl, discarding skins. Mash potato with fork until smooth. (You should have about 2 cups.)
- Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and both sugars until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in mashed sweet potatoes and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add the flour mixture in three batches, beating until completely incorporated after each.
- Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until cupcakes are set and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 28 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored up to 3 days at room temperature, or frozen up to 3 months, in airtight containers. Make Topping
- Dividing evenly into 24 mounds, place marshmallows on a large baking sheet or nonstick baking mat. Using a small kitchen torch, brown marshmallows all over (or heat under the broiler). With an offset spatula, transfer mounds to cupcakes, and top with candied pecans, dividing evenly. Cupcakes are best served the day they are topped; keep at room temperature.