Sweet potato cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

These unusual cupcakes would make a thoughtful offering for a friend's birthday or sweet treat for another special occasion. 

Top sweet potato cupcakes with a brown-sugar cream cheese frosting, a candied pecan, and sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar.

I suppose I should be posting recipes that help people keep their New Year’s resolutions, not actively attempt to break them. That will have to wait for another day.

I’m currently testing cupcake recipes for a friend’s wedding. These passed the test. The last time I made cupcakes for a wedding I vowed only to do one wedding every two years.

I’m a woman of my word, it turns out.

The original recipe for these cupcakes comes from some sort of Food Network cupcake challenge, but I’ve modified it to suit my tastes. (And the happy couple, of course.)

If you make them yourself, let me know how they turn out!

Sweet potato cupcakes
Makes 18 – 24 cupcakes

2 cups mashed and cooled sweet potatoes, or one 16-ounce can

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

Cinnamon sugar, if desired

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and line a few cupcake tins with paper liners.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, and nutmeg. In a large bowl, whisk together the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and eggs. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients and then the sweet potato purée.

3. Fill each cupcake tin cup three-quarters full of batter. Bake until the tops spring back when touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean – 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool.

4. Once cooled, frost the cupcakes with the frosting, top with candied pecans, and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Brown sugar frosting
Frosts 18 – 24 cupcakes

One 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature

2 sticks butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup light brown sugar

4 cups powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Beat the cream cheese until creamy. Add the butter and beat until well incorporated.

2. Add the light brown sugar and beat until fluffy, then stir in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating until combined. Add the vanilla extract until fully incorporated.

Candied pecans
Makes 4 cups

Canola/vegetable oil, for greasing

1 egg white

4 teaspoons water

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 pound chopped pecans

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet with oil.

2. Beat the egg white in a bowl until frothy, then whisk water and the vanilla extract into the egg.

3. Stir the sugar, cinnamon, and salt into the egg mixture, then stir in the chopped pecans until they’re fully coated.

4. Spread the pecans onto the baking sheet and bake in 20 minute intervals, stirring the pecans before placing them back in the oven. Continue baking for about an hour.

5. Allow the pecans to cool on the baking sheet.

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