I had the pleasure of tasting sweet potatoes cupcakes on my first visit to Washington, DC last year. Wow, what I had been missing out on! They were the perfect combination of flavor and not at all what I had in mind; although I’m not sure what I was expecting. I decided I needed to recreate these tasty bites. The recipe I found was from the Food Network. I tweaked an ingredient here and there but mainly followed the recipe, given that it was the first time I was making these. I made these delicious cupcakes for Thanksgiving and our guests couldn't get enough. You will not be disappointed.
1Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners, this recipe makes 18 but I made 12 regular sized cupcakes and mini cupcakes with the remaining batter.
2Make the sweet potato puree by processing the sweet potatoes in a food processor. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and soda, salt, ginger and nutmeg.
3In a large bowl, whisk together the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and eggs. Add the dry ingredients. Whisk in the sweet potato puree. Fill each cupcake in the prepared pan three-quarters full of batter.
4Bake until the tops spring back when touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool.
Assembly: Frost the cupcakes with the Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting. Sprinkle with the Candied Pecans.
5BROWN SUGAR CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
One 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
3 sticks butter, at room temperature (original recipe calls for 3 but I used 2)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
6 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until creamy. Add the butter and beat until well incorporated. Add the light brown sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating until well incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.
Nonstick cooking spray, for greasing
1 egg white
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
Beat the egg white in a bowl until frothy; whisk 4 teaspoons water and the vanilla extract into the egg. Stir the sugar, cinnamon and salt into the egg mixture. Add the chopped pecans, stir to coat completely. Spread the pecans onto the baking sheet. Bake the pecans, stirring about every 20 minutes, until the coating forms a glaze, about 1 hour. Allow to cool on the baking sheet. Pay attention while you’re baking from personal experience they can go from done to burned, in an instant.
7Tips: Feel free to use a regular cream cheese or vanilla frosting. For your topping add a sprinkle of nutmeg, or utilize crystalized/candied ginger. The pecans added a nice crunch, but you can modify as you like. Remember recipes are a guide; allow your imagination to flow!