Actually, we won’t even be baking anything on or for Thanksgiving day! We’re in Door County, where we spend Thanksgiving week with family friends every year. It’s too much hassle to lug a kitchen’s worth of cooking supplies – not just ingredients, but pots and pans and other utensils, because our rental condo’s kitchen is almost as poorly stocked as my dorm kitchen! – on a 10-hour car ride for the purpose of one meal. No matter how big a deal that meal may be. So we hit up a Thanksgiving buffet instead.
If the words casserole and cupcake together turned you off, you should try these, and then you will suddenly love the idea of casserole cupcakes and will be that much more of an adventurous eater. Take my philosophy- when it comes to food, everything (within reason), deserves a chance to be tried.
These cupcakes are everything you love about sweet potato casserole…but even better. Obviously. Because they’re dessert. Cinnamon rounds out the cake’s full-bodied sweet potato flavor, and the graham crust, which gets kind of intermingled with the bottom of the cake, is that extra special touch that takes a recipe from ‘good’ to ‘unique’ or ‘exceptional.’ The marshmallow frosting adds that classic complement. It’s both sticky and smooth, its sweetness given a little depth by the vanilla flavoring…as though you melted down homemade marshmallows to make it. (Spoiler: You didn’t. That elegance is just marshmallow fluff in disguise.)
Makes 12 cupcakes.
For the graham crust:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 teaspoon sugar
For the cupcakes:
1 1/3 cups loosely packed brown sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
6 ounces cooked, mashed sweet potato
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup milk
For the frosting:
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups marshmallow fluff
3 cups of powdered sugar
1-2 teaspoons milk, if needed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake tin with liners. In a small bowl, mix melted butter, sugar and graham cracker crumbs until moist, then press about 1/2-1 tablespoon of crumbs into the bottom of each liner.
In a large bowl, whisk egg and sugar together until combined and no lumps remain. Add in vanilla extract and butter, then whisk in sweet potato. Add in flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg, then add in milk and stir until combined and smooth. Drop about 1/4 cup of batter on top of each graham cracker crust. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until cupcakes are set and spring back at the touch. Let cool completely before frosting.
To make frosting: beat butter in the bowl of electric mixer until creamy. Add in fluff and beat for 2-3 minutes, then add in vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, add in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until fully incorporated. Once all the sugar has been added, beat on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes. If mixture if too runny, add a bit more sugar. If it’s too thick, add a bit of milk one teaspoon at a time. Frost cupcakes and enjoy!