Recipe: Sweet Potato Cupcakes

Our contributor, Lauren Kapeluck of Crave. Indulge. Satisfy., is back with a delicious new recipe for fall….

Well November is here, and that means Thanksgiving is just around the corner! One of my favorite sides from the turkey day feast is always the sweet potatoes. We’ve done them several ways in my family over the years, baked with marshmallows on top or as a souffle with a brown sugar pecan topping. So as a spin off to the always popular sweet potato casserole I’ve created a Brown Butter Sweet Potato & Candied Pecan Cupcake topped with a Marshmallow Buttercream! Whew, what a mouthful right! Well, yes it is, but a very tasty mouthful that’s for sure!

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream  |  by Lauren Kapeluck  |

This may sound like a complicated recipe, but in reality it is really quite simple. The first step is to make a batch of cinnamon sugar pecans to use in the cupcake and for the topping. They can be made a few days in advance and there will be plenty left over for munching! Then it’s time to make the cupcakes and one of the secret ingredients in this recipe is the brown butter which really enhances the flavor, giving the cupcakes a rich nutty taste which also pairs perfectly with the pecans. And the best part, you don’t even need a mixer to whip up these cupcakes, just grab a whisk and get to stirring.

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream  |  by Lauren Kapeluck  |

These cupcakes are pretty delicious on their own, but the marshmallow frosting takes them to a whole new level! The frosting is a little bit sweeter than a regular buttercream since it uses marshmallow fluff, but it is absolutely necessary since it’s being paired with sweet potatoes! Garnish with a candied pecan and you’ve got one festive, simple and sweet dessert that all your family will love.

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream  |  by Lauren Kapeluck  |

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream  |  by Lauren Kapeluck  |

Brown Butter Sweet Potato & Candied Pecan Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream
recipe by Lauren Kapeluck
(makes 22-24)

For the cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 15oz can sweet potatoes, pureed
1 cup Cinnamon Sugar Pecans, chopped (recipe below)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin pans with cupcake liners.
  2. In large bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  3. Melt butter in saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook for 7-8 minutes until butter turns brown. Remove from heat and let cool.
  4. In large bowl combine butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla and whisk until combined.
  5. Whisk in dry ingredients.
  6. Add sweet potato puree and mix well.
  7. Fold in Cinnamon Sugar pecans.
  8. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full with batter.
  9. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  10. Let cupcakes cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to wire racks to finish cooling.
  11. Once cupcakes are completely cool frost with Marshmallow Buttercream and garnish with a Cinnamon Sugar Pecan.


For the icing:

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
7 oz jar Jet Puffed Marshmallow Fluff
4 cups confectioner’s sugar
2 Tbsp milk

  1. In bowl of stand mixer beat butter and marshmallow fluff on medium speed until creamy about 2 minutes.
  2. Add in confectioner’s sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing and scraping bowl as necessary.
  3. Add milk and continue to mix on medium speed 3-4 minutes until fluffy.
  4. Place icing in piping bag and frost cupcakes.


Cinnamon Sugar Pecans:

1 egg white
1 Tbsp water
1 lb pecan halves
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Grease baking sheet with butter.
  2. In medium bowl whisk together egg white and water until frothy.
  3. In separate bowl mix together sugar, salt and cinnamon.
  4. Add pecans to the egg white mixture, and stir to coat evenly.
  5. Pour pecans into the sugar mixture and stir until coated.
  6. Spread pecans onto prepared baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
  8. Store in airtight container.

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream  |  by Lauren Kapeluck  |

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream  |  by Lauren Kapeluck  |

Lauren Kapeluck , CONTRIBUTOR

Lauren is a monthly contributor for The Cake Blog. She is a self-taught baker and lover of all things sugar. Read more about Lauren on her bio page.


  1. 1

    Leana says

    These look great, do they have to be kept in the fridge. Your butter 12oz of butter ratio to 64 oz of powder sugar makes me think they do not need it.

  2. 3

    Heather Thomas says

    These are beautiful! I can’t wait to try the recipe, but how did you manage that frosting? Is it just a much larger star tip? I don’t think I’ve seen one that big before.

  3. 5

    Dani says

    These look yummy! What kind of can sweet potato do you use? I bought the kind in syrup, is this okay or should I keep looking? Its one of the desserts I’m going to make for thanksgiving, my family is super excited. Thanks for sharing this wonderful idea, Dani

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