What a terrific day to bake a treat… A rainy day with dark skies. Yes!!! Fall seems to be announcing its arrival. A small, comforting treat giving off its wonderful aroma in the oven will make me smile. This is why I’ve decided to bake cupcakes today. But I am not talking about some ordinary cupcakes. This is serious business, kids! We are baking Candied Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow Topping.
Does this make you smile? I hope so!!! These sweet potato cupcakes were inspired by my favorite Thanksgiving casserole… A side dish consisting mainly of candied sweet potatoes prepared with brown sugar, orange juice, spices, maple syrup, and toasted marshmallows or pecan-streusel. Although my favorite American celebration is about 2 months away from now, this is what I am craving… but instead of making the casserole, a light bulb came on in my mind to convert it into sweet potato cupcakes.
My sweet potato cupcakes have the warmth of the blend of spices and maple syrup, the rich flavor of the pecans, and the comforting sweet taste of the marshmallows. A treat truly fit for autumn!
In order to not forget the best Sweet Potato Pie ever, the recipe for which was adapted from the legendary Dookie Chase restaurant in New Orleans, Louisiana:
I hope you enjoy my sweet potato cupcakes as much my family and I did– and my sweet potato pie as well.
Candied Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow Topping
Yield: About 12 stardard-size cupcakes
For the Cupcake Batter:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1-1/2 cups light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup canned candied sweet potatoes, drained and mashed
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons apple pie spice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons fresh orange peel
1/2 cup buttermilk**
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons real maple syrup
** If buttermilk is not available, you can substitute 1/2 cup whole milk mixed with 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar for buttermilk.
For the Toasted Marshmallow Topping:
1 bag mini marshmallows
1. Preheat oven to 350 º F (177 º C). Line a 12 standard-size muffin tin with cupcake liners.
2. In an electric mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar with a paddle attachment on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to blend into the butter mixture before adding the next. Blend in vanilla extract and mashed sweet potatoes.
3. In a separate medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, apple pie spice, ginger, cloves, and orange peel. Add half the flour mixture to the batter mixture, beating on low speed just until incorporated. Beat in the buttermilk and the remaining flour mixture. Stir in both the chopped pecans and maple syrup.
4. Scoop batter with a standard-size ice cream scooper into prepared cupcake pan (fill to 3/4 full) and bake sweet potato cupcakes in preheated oven for about 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool on a rack.
5. For the Toasted Marshmallow Topping: Create a small mound of mini marshmallows (about 7-10 marshmallows) on top of each cupcake. If you have a crème brûlée torch, you can use that to brown the topping instead of your oven’s broiler. If you don’t have a torch, preheat oven broiler and place topped marshmallow cupcakes on a baking sheet. Brown the marshmallows under the broiler for about 30-60 seconds or until the tops of the marshmallows are golden brown, watching carefully to prevent the marshmallows from burning. Remove from oven and place baking sheet on a rack to cool slightly. Use a metal spatula to transfer cupcakes to a platter. Enjoy!
Note: Only top Sweet Potato Cupcakes with the toasted marshmallows on the day they are served. Keep at room temperature.
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