Cakes and Cupcakes

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

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Sweet potatoes are so versatile and often found in sweet and savory dishes alike. I have always loved sweet potato desserts. These moist and tender sweet potato cupcakes are full of fall flavor! Topped with a silky, light, maple frosting, they are sure to please. Enjoy!

sweet potato cupcake with bite taken out

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 12 cupcakes
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes

Moist and tender cupcakes topped with silky buttercream frosting are the perfect fall dessert.

Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sweet potato puree (about 1/2 medium sweet potato or use canned)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons milk

Frosting

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring or maple extract
  • Milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Instructions

Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Place cupcake liners in a standard 12 cup muffin tin.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and sweet potato puree and beat until well combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
  5. Add half of the dry ingredients and gently combine. Add milk and remaining dry ingredients and mix until no large lumps remain (be careful not to overmix).
  6. Evenly divide the batter into the 12 cups of your muffin tin. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tops spring back when touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs.
  7. Allow to cool in the muffin tin for 3 minutes, then carefully remove and place on a wire rack to finish cooling. Make sure your cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

Frosting

  1. Use a hand mixer to beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth.
  2. Slowly add the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, mix well before adding more powdered sugar.
  3. Add the vanilla and maple extract and mix well. If needed, add milk until your frosting is the correct texture.
  4. Frost your cupcakes and top with chopped pecans.

Notes

I like to spray the inside of the cupcake liners with a little bit of cooking spray. This makes the liners easier to remove when you are ready to eat your cupcakes.

While the frosted cupcakes should be stored in the fridge, I recommend letting them sit out at room temperature for about 1 hour before serving.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 402Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 103mgSodium: 342mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 1gSugar: 18gProtein: 4g

Nutrition information is an estimate only.

Storage

Sweet potato cupcakes should last for 3-4 days. If they are unfrosted, store the cupcakes at room temperature and the frosting in the fridge. If your sweet potato cupcakes are frosted, they should be stored in the refrigerator. Unfrosted sweet potato cupcakes will keep in an airtight container in the freezer for 1-2 months. The maple cream cheese frosting should last up to a week in the fridge and 2-3 months in an airtight container in the freezer.

Maple Flavoring vs Maple Extract

In the US, at least, Mapleine is the most common maple flavoring I’ve seen. Maple flavoring does not contain any maple. Most maple flavoring gets its flavor from a compound called sotolon/sotolone. Sotolon comes from fenugreek. Fenugreek seeds and leaves are frequently used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. However, the aromatic compound sotolon that fenugreek contains also gives a maple and caramel-like flavor used in maple flavoring. Once extracted from fenugreek, sotolon is an oily substance that works well for providing a concentrated flavor that remains strong for an extended period of time. It is typically listed as “natural flavoring” in the ingredient list.

Unlike maple flavoring, maple extract actually contains maple syrup. The maple syrup is mixed with alcohol, propylene glycol, or vegetable glycerin. This removes most of the sugar from the syrup while keeping the maple taste.

Both maple extract and maple flavoring usually have caramel coloring added to give it more of a “maple syrup” look. Extracts are weaker than maple flavoring, so you may need more to get the same level of flavor. Some brands of maple extract contain sugar, often in the form of maple concentrate, while maple flavoring doesn’t typically contain sugar. Maple extract may also contain alcohol, while maple flavoring usually does not.

You can use either maple extract or maple flavoring to give your desserts that extra maple taste. I recommend trying them both out and seeing which you prefer!

If you made this recipe, I’d love to hear about it! Please leave a review or a comment letting me know how things turned out. Happy baking!

Hello! I'm Nichole and I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. I have a bachelor's degree in Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Science and a master's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. I love cooking, baking and anything food related. I look forward to teaching you more about food and sharing my favorite recipes with you. Enjoy!

2 Comments

  1. These look delicious! Can’t wait to make them. One question, how much powdered sugar goes into the frosting?

    • Oh, thanks for catching that! It is 4 cups and I have now added that to the recipe. Enjoy!

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