It’s holiday season! Is anyone else as excited as I am? I love this time of year, there’s so much good food, people start putting up decorations and the festive spirit is all around. Is anyone else still full from Thanksgiving though? I know I am! We usually have leftovers for days (like everyone else does I imagine) but this year I think the only leftover was our candied yams. Mmmm they are my favourite! What other time of year can you have a sugar covered vegetable and call it dinner??
Thinking about Thanksgiving last week got me thinking about food and then thinking about my favourite Thanksgiving food then about candied yams/sweet potato casserole (not sure if people call it candied yams anymore??) and then I started thinking about cupcakes… Not entirely sure how my brain works it’s all just very weird! BUT the thought train did get me thinking about how to turn a staple Thanksgiving dish into a baked good… I mean that’s what happened to create my Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes right? Although that was already a dessert turned into another amazing dessert… But still, the flavour pairing of sweet potato and marshmallow is just so good, I thought it must taste even better
in cupcake form! And it totally does. You have the sweet and savoury vegetable flavour made even better by roasting it with sugar and spice plus the pillowy toasted marshmallow on top, heaven in your mouth! The sweet potato really keeps the cupcakes fluffy and moist too without using any butter or anything, which actually makes these cupcakes dairy-free, crazy huh? There is a guy at work who’s dairy free and usually he can’t eat any of my butter laden goods that I take in, so he was super excited when I brought these in! He took three back upstairs with him and said they were for others, but I’m not so sure…
Fun fact for today’s recipe: in New Zealand, sweet potato are called kumara? You say it koo-ma-ra and it’s a Maori (indigenous culture of New Zealand) word which is what they called the root vegetables that they brought over and grew from Polynesia apparently. We get three different sorts – purple which have purple skin and white insides, gold which have brown skin and golden inside and orange, which is most similar to an American sweet potato and is orange inside and out. When I was growing up I totally didn’t know what a sweet potato was (although as I have a massive sweet tooth and also love potatoes I thought they sounded like heaven!) and I thought candied yams were like actual sugared yams. Which would have been gross as I really dislike yams! Then I eventually learned that sweet potato are the same as kumara and that you make candied yams out of them and they are so amazing, who would have known right? 🙂
For the cupcake + frosting you use a whole dozen eggs, sorry it’s so many! But I promise it’s totally worth it. Plus, with the leftover yolks you have exactly the right amount to make my Peanut Butter Oreo Ice Cream, how fortuitous! You could also use up any leftover candied yams that you have from Thanksgiving (like there will be leftovers! But just in case…) to put in the batter so really, this cupcake recipe is saving you from food wastage. Kind of… These are so great for cold and/or rainy and/or gross weather because the flavours just warm you right up, plus if you eat enough of them, you could create an extra layer of fat that’ll keep you warm all the time! Just kidding! But they do give you a chance to use a blow torch if you have one or to buy one if you don’t! This one is the one that I have, and it’s so handy even if I don’t use it often it’s pretty small so doesn’t take up much space and every time I do use it is so much fun! I haven’t tried it, but I’m pretty sure you could quickly grill these in the oven too, just keep an eye on them and have your temperature at the highest setting. Or you can also eat it as is, even without toasting the marshmallow it still tastes pretty damn good! Happy baking!
- 2⅔ cups flour
- 2 tspn baking soda
- 2 tspn baking powder
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup oil (canola or vegetable or similar)
- 4 large eggs
- [b]Baked Sweet Potato[/b]
- 800g (28oz) sweet potato, peeled and chopped into cubes
- 3 tspn cinnamon
- 2 tspn nutmeg
- 2 tspn mixed spice
- 1 tspn ginger
- ½ tspn salt
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 75g (5 Tbspn) butter, or margarine for dairy free
- [b]Marshmallow Frosting[/b]
- 8 large egg whites
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 tspn cream of tartar
- 2 tspn vanilla extract
- Make the sweet potato purée before starting the cupcakes.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line muffins tins with paper liners.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl with an hand mixer), blend together the sweet potato purée, sugar, brown sugar and oil.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in two additions, mixing just until incorporated.
- Fill the cupcake liners about three-quarters full. Bake until the cupcakes are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 18-20 minutes.
- Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes, then remove the cupcakes from the pans and let cool completely before frosting how desired.
- The cupcakes will keep up to 4 days stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 190°C. Line a casserole dish with baking paper and put the cubed sweet potato into the dish.
- Melt the butter or margarine completely, then add the brown sugar, spices and salt to the butter and mix until all combined. Pour the butter/sugar/spice mixture all over the sweet potatoes, making sure that they’re all covered.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until you can easily stab through the middle with a fork. Put the sweet potato in a bowl and mash until very liquidy, or process in a food processor.
- Place egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the heatproof bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl and use an electric hand mixer to whip). Set over a saucepan with simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are warm to the touch, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer bowl to stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat, starting on low speed, gradually increasing to high, until stiff, glossy peaks form, 5 to 7 minutes. Add vanilla, and mix until combined. Use immediately.