Friday, October 24, 2014

The smells of autumn: Maple sweet potato cupcakes with whipped cream cheese frosting

Pumpkin is everywhere right now. I've seen pumpkin toaster pastries, pumpkin coffee drinks, pumpkin cakes and cookies and crisps... now don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of pumpkin, but these are a nice change of pace. Sweet potato and spices give these a perfectly autumn taste and the dollops of so-light-you-can't-believe-it frosting sit on top like little clouds. I made these for Halloween topped with candy corn, but they'd be equally well-suited for Thanksgiving or Christmas, too.

Maple sweet potato cupcakes with whipped cream cheese icing (makes 2 dozen)

  • 2 cups of cooked sweet potato, mashed smooth
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (you can substitute applesauce to make these lower fat)
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease muffin pans or use liners.

Blend together sweet potato, oil, sugar, syrup, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl. If the sweet potato doesn't seem quite smooth, use an immersion blender for this step.

Sift together flours, spices, leaveners and salt and fold into the wet ingredients.

This recipe rises high, so fill cups half full. Bake for 20 minutes or until cake springs back when pressed.

Whipped cream cheese frosting (makes enough for 1.5 to 2 dozen cupcakes, depending on  how much you use)
Note: Instead of vanilla, you can use cinnamon, caramel, or any other flavoring that sounds good to you.
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a chilled bowl, whip cream until soft peaks form. Add in sifted sugar and  continue beating until peaks hold. Put the whipped cream into the refrigerator to keep it chilled.

In another bowl, beat the cream cheese, salt and vanilla until soft and fluffy. Very gently fold in the whipped cream and then blend together with the mixer until completely blended. Pipe onto cupcakes as desired.

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