Cupcakes, Dessert, Recipes

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Bruleed Marshmallow Cream

Yesterday I shared my dream Thanksgiving menu, for when one day, I host Thanksgiving in Brooklyn. I wouldn’t hold your breath on that one. Aside from confessing my love for the cranberry log, I also omitted sweet potatoes. I love sweet potato pies and fries, but sweet potatoes baked with butter and brown sugar? I just can’t get into it. And don’t even get me started on the ones with marshmallows. Completely inappropriate for dinner. But then I realized–sweet potatoes and marshmallows–completely inappropriate for dinner but dead on for dessert. And a recipe was born.

First I need to share what a a life changing cupcake making experience! Not so much because of the flavor. I mean, yeah of course they turned out AMAZINGLY delicious, but for the first time ever, I bought an ice cream scoop for filling the cupcakes! Sure, some of you are thinking, well of course. But I can be a bit stubborn sometimes. I heard it was a good method, but I already have my old fashion ice cream spoon scoop and I didn’t find the need to buy a trigger ice cream scoop just for cupcakes. Well. I might be stubborn but I can admit to mistakes (usually). I used an ice cream scoop for the first time during my class at Butter Lane Cupcakes. It amazed me how swiftly and evenly I could fill the cups without dripping. Then I went home to make my test batch of Sweet Potato cupcakes last week without said scooper, and I knew I just couldn’t do it the old way anymore. So now, ice cream scooper in hand (by the way, do you know how hard those things are to find?!) I can continue perfecting my cupcake skill. On to the recipe!

After my cupcake class at Butter Lane the other week, I was convinced they stumbled upon the perfect cupcake recipe. My station in particular was responsible for making banana cupcakes. So, I went ahead and subbed those bananas for sweet potato puree and spice it up a bit. You can use canned, or use fresh like I did. Simply peel and cut the potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes, then boil away for about a half an hour (like you would do for mashed potatoes, only cooking longer to make sure they’re EXTRA soft). Then puree. The puree can be stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator for several days.

My test batch was good but the spices got a bit lost, so this time I really bumped it up with a heavy dose of cinnamon and nutmeg plus some cloves and ginger. The biggest change to the recipe was the baking time. Given, my oven is a little strange and takes longer to bake, but if a recipe calls for 20 minutes, it might change to 25 minutes. Sweet potatoes have a lot more liquid than bananas. So rather than the 23 minute bake time, we’re looking closer to 40-50 minutes. As for the topping, I made marshmallow (OMG IT IS SO EASY TO MAKE MARSHMALLOW), pipped it on the cooled cupcakes, then bruleed them a bit with my mini blow torch (a gift from my AMAZING sister in law). Ta-da! Cupcakes!

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Bruleed Marshmallow Cream (Makes 32)

For the Cupcakes (Adapted from Butter Lane Cupcakes)

  • 1/2 c unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 c sugar
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 splash vanilla
  • 1 1/2 c buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 c cake flour
  • 2 c sweet potato puree
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp ginger

For the Marshmallow Cream (Adapted from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures)

  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 splash vanilla

Preheat oven to 300°F. Combine butter and sugar in mixing bowl. Staying on LOW speed, mix until sugar and butter forms a cream. Crack eggs into a separate bowl, add a splash of vanilla extract to the eggs, then trying to add one yolk at a time, add the eggs to the mixing bowl and mix until combined and fluffy. Combine baking powder, baking soda, and salt with flour. Add half of the flour mixture to the mixing bowl, followed by buttermilk, then add the rest of the flour mixture. Mix until combined, but be careful not to over-mix.

Continuing on low speed, mix in your in sweet potato puree and spices. Mix until combined, then remove from mixer and give a few stirs by hand to assure bottom batter is completely mixed. Scoop cupcakes and bake for 40-45 minutes.

Once cupcakes have cooled completely, prepare the marshmallow cream. Add the egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Heat, whisking constantly, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch. Attach the bowl to the mixer. Starting on low and increasing the speed to heat, beat the mixture for 5-7 minutes, or until you achieve stiff, glossy peaks. Beat in the vanilla.

Using a decorative icing tip, pipe marshmallow cream onto cupcakes.

Using a kitchen torch, lightly toast the marshmallow–be careful not to set the cupcake wrappers on fire! Cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

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