Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting – Super moist and perfectly spiced sweet potato cupcakes are topped with the creamiest cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Move over, pumpkin – there’s a new spiced cupcake in town!
Guys. Pumpkin is taking over my life! Last week, I made an insane amount of pumpkin treats, including these cookies and these doughnut muffins.
After all that pumpkin, I was desperate to bake up some treats with all the essence of fall and maybe a little less pumpkin. So I set my sights on something new….but what?
I’d already tackled cinnamon in this maple latte and these chocolate muffins. And apple cider was a hit in these crumb doughnuts. What else encompasses the flavor of fall but hasn’t been explored much this season??
I got it! Sweet potatoes!
Now, I know I posted these hasselback sweet potatoes with sage browned butter earlier this fall, but I’m talking about sweets, people! I have yet to make a sweet potato dessert. So I set off on a new adventure!
I know sweet potato pie is a classic, but the texture isn’t my favorite. Therefore, I decided to make my sweet potatoes into little cakes. Cupcakes, if you will.
Check out my Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting!
Sweet potato cupcakes taste very similar to pumpkin cupcakes – super moist, warming and comforting, and perfectly spiced – but with a slight edge: sweet potato beats out pumpkin any day of the week. Sorry, guys. I just had to say it. Not only are they a little more starchy and thus, add more moisture and density to the cupcake, the flavor is 100x better in a sweet potato.
But if you are a die-hard pumpkin-lover, fret not – you can easily substitute pumpkin puree for the sweet potato puree.
What I am most proud of about this recipe is how the frosting and cupcake base work so well together. So often you have a cupcake that has frosting that is wayyyy too sweet that you almost rather just eat the cake. Or sometimes, you have a cupcake with killer fudge frosting but blah cake so you just end up eating the frosting. Yes, both of these have happened to me.
But not this cupcake – the spiced cake almost needs a little sweetness to balance it out, but not too much. That’s why I used cream cheese frosting – the combo of tart and sweet and creamy are just unstoppable.
If you have never made cupcakes before, here are some tips to remember when baking:
- Do not undercook the cupcakes. If they undercook, they will fall after baking, and you’ll have a little sinkhole in the center. If that happens, though, don’t panic! You can cover it up with more frosting.
- Speaking of frosting, I decorated these cupcakes all fancy by using a 2M tip from Wilton. But if you’re not comfortable icing them that way, you can simply dollop on some frosting and spread with a knife.
- I bought canned sweet potato puree for this recipe but you can also baked a sweet potato in the microwave until it’s cooked through and that should be about 1/2 cup of puree.
- The first time I made these, I scooped the batter to the top of the cupcake liner, which proved to be too much – it only made 10 cupcakes. If you want exactly 12, make sure you scoop only about 3/4 full, but no less, or else you’ll have too much paper liner hanging over the top.
And there you have it- your new favorite dessert to make this fall. Give it try for Thanksgiving this week and let me know how many compliments you get 😉
Here are all the kitchen tools and serveware that I used in today’s recipe. For each item sold below, I make a small commission. I only recommend items that I own and love so you can trust that each recommendation is tried and true. Thank you for supporting CPA!
Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
For the cupcakes:
- 1/2 cup butter unsalted, softened
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk discard whites or save for another recipe
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sweet potato puree (canned or homemade)
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup cake flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 cup milk whole
For the cinnamon cream cheese frosting:
- 4 ounces cream cheese full-fat
- 1/4 cup butter unsalted, softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 12 peacan halves for garnish (optional)
For the cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan with 12 cupcake liners. Set aside.
- In a bowl fitted for a stand mixer, cream butter and sugars together until fluffy, for about 3-4 minutes. Add egg and beat until combined. Add egg yolk and vanilla and beat until combined. Add sweet potato puree and beat until fluffy again, about 1-2 minutes.
- In another medium bowl, add flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg and whisk together. Add half of flour mixture to butter mixture and mix until combined. With the mixer on low, slowly pour in milk. Mix until combined. Add the rest of the flour and mix just until combined. Don't overmix!
- Scoop about 1/4 cup of batter into each muffin liner. They should be about 3/4 full. Place cupcakes in preheat oven and immediately reduce temperature to 325 degrees. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted.
- Remove cupcakes pan from oven and place pan on wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and let them finish cooling. Do not frost cupcakes until they cool completely! Frosting recipe below.
For the cinnamon cream cheese frosting:
- Add butter and cream cheese to a bowl fitted for a stand mixer. Beat on medium until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon and continue to beat for another 2 minutes, until fluffy and smooth.
- Place piping tip into a piping bag and add frosting to the bag. Pipe swirls or large roses on cooled cupcakes. Top with a pecan half in the center of each cupcake. Serve immediately or store in covered storage container for a couple days.
Pin for later:
Made these and they were good but crummy. What did I do wrong? I didn’t over mix or over bake. Maybe my sweet potatoes were dryer then yours? ♀️
Aw I’m so sorry to hear this. I think that may have been the issue. Maybe try boiling the potatoes next time so they stay moist?
Pralez McDonald-Lofton says
Does this recipe work as a layered cake?
I actually haven’t tried it so I can’t really give advice. I imagine you would have to double the recipe so get enough batter and icing for a layered cake but I haven’t tried it myself.
can you use regular flour instead of cake flour?
You cannot. However, here is a great link for making your own cake flour at home https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/cake-flour-substitute/
Tony Smith says
Having grown up in the South and then moving around the country, I learned decades ago that the sweet potato was far superior to pumpkin. I have used sweet potatoes in many recipes that call for pumpkin, including sweet potato bread, sweet potato stuffing, and sweet potato cake. I was looking for inspiration for some cupcakes, and I found your page! These look awesome.
Aw I’m so happy to hear this! Thanks for stopping by. I hope you like the recipe!!!
Cream cheese frosting.. Shouldn’t the cupcakes be store in the frig?
I don’t like cake that has been chilled so I don’t if I am serving them the same day. However, if saving them for the next day or two, I do recommend storing them in the fridge.
Pralez Lofton says
I made these and they were a hit!! Thanks for sharing!
Yay! So glad to hear it!
I love a good cream cheese frosting on cupcakes! I bet these are amazing!
These sound amazing! They are perfect for Fall weather. I adore baking during the holidays, and I cannot wait to try this recipe. Thanks.
What a great idea! I’m going to make this soon.
Jessica Wagner says
These would be the perfect addition to our Thanksgiving feast!! What a great idea! Thanks for sharing! XO
I don’t know if I agree with you on sweet potato beating out pumpkin because I am pretty much queen of the pumpkin people, but these cupcakes do look like they give pumpkin a run for its money!
The really do! Let me know if they change your mind at all 😉
Joan Cajic says
Love these and I know they taste heavenly.
They really do!
Need. These. Cupcakes. Notice I made that plural, because there’s no way just one of these bad boys could tide me over. Must try these soon!
So true! These little babies are addicting for sure!
Wow, these look absolutely delicious. What a unique pairing. I think I’m going to try and bake them for Thanksgiving!
Yay! I hope everyone loved them!
Ruth Ridley says
These look divine!!! I want to try!
Marlynn | UrbanBlissLife says
These look amazing. Perfect dessert for Thanksgiving time!
These look so good! Perfect holiday dessert!
Heather Margiotta says
I never knew you could use sweet potatoes in cupcakes!! I think I would love these since I’m not a cute pumpkin fan!
You totally will!!
Holly A Habeck says
So I definitely didn’t know that you could make sweet potato cupcakes! So glad I discovered this post, because they look amaze! xx
Thanks so much!!
That looks amazing! We don’t really cook/bake with sweet potatoes in Slovenia, but I’ll have to buy theme somewhere so I can try making these. I love everything with cinnamon! 🙂
I hope you can find them! Maybe you can find them canned?
Erica @ Coming up Roses says
Yum! These look delicious! Might need to fit these into my Thanksgiving menu this week.
Thanks so much!
Elise Cohen Ho says
These look so good. I love when there are vegetables in my treats.
That looks really good! I want some!
Belle | One Awesome Momma
This is a great Thanksgiving dessert alternative to the traditional pumpkin pie! I bet that frosting is amazing!!
Oh man, you have no idea!
The cupcakes look amazing and great for the holidays too! 🙂
Leigh Suznovich says
Ok, I know what I’m making as part of Thanksgiving dessert this weekend! I love using sweet potato in dessert, and these look incredible.
Thanks so much! I hope they were a huge hit!
I Love using sweet potatoes in desserts in the fall, and these look so good!!
Thanks so much! I love the presentation too 🙂