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Milk Street Bowtie Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Cream Cheese-Caramel Frosting

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Cream Cheese-Caramel Frosting

12 cupcakes

1½ hours

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These ochre-toned, spiced cupcakes with a light orange scent are an adaptation of a recipe from “The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook” by Cheryl Day and Griffith Day, owners of Back in the Day Bakery in Savannah, Georgia. The frosting here is no ordinary cream cheese frosting. It’s flavored with a buttery, bittersweet caramel that brings out the earthiness of the sweet potato and the warm notes of the spices in the cupcakes. Store extras, if you have any, in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to three days; bring to room temperature before serving.

12

cupcakes

Tip

Don’t add the caramel to the cream cheese base if the caramel is still warm; it will make the frosting too soft for spreading onto the cupcakes. And as soon as the caramel is incorporated into the frosting, stop the mixer, as overbeating will also result in a goopy consistency. (If the frosting does end up too soft, refrigerate it for 10 to 15 minutes, or until it firms up enough to be spreadable.)

1½ hours

336 grams (12 ounces) orange-flesh sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½-cubes
130 grams (1 cup) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 large eggs, room temperature
109 grams (½ cup) packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup grapeseed or other neutral oil
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
107 grams (½ cup) white sugar
113 grams (8 tablespoons) salted butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces, room temperature, divided
2 tablespoons heavy cream
8 ounce package cream cheese, cut into rough ½-inch chunks, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
124 grams (1 cup) powdered sugar
For the cupcakes
  • 336

    grams (12 ounces) orange-flesh sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½-cubes

  • 130

    grams (1 cup) all-purpose flour

  • 1

    teaspoon baking powder

  • ½

    teaspoon baking soda

  • ½

    teaspoon table salt

  • ½

    teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ¼

    teaspoon ground ginger

  • ¼

    teaspoon ground cloves

  • ¼

    teaspoon ground cardamom

  • 2

    large eggs, room temperature

  • 109

    grams (½ cup) packed light brown sugar

  • ½

    cup grapeseed or other neutral oil

  • 1

    teaspoon grated orange zest

  • ¼

    cup whole milk, room temperature

For the frosting
  • 107

    grams (½ cup) white sugar

  • 113

    grams (8 tablespoons) salted butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces, room temperature, divided

  • 2

    tablespoons heavy cream

  • 8

    ounce package cream cheese, cut into rough ½-inch chunks, room temperature

  • 1
  • 124

    grams (1 cup) powdered sugar

Directions

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Cream Cheese-Caramel Frosting

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Reviews
Jonathan M.
November 7, 2022
Balanced spice and sugar
This is a very solid cupcake recipe. My 4-year-old approves. Daddy says, the cake is not too sweet, and balances with the frosting. The caramel in the frosting is subtle. Next time I'll up it to 1/2c.
Anne F.

I just made these and they are delicious. The cupcakes are fluffy and tender. I had a ton of frosting leftover so I think you could cut that amount in half and have plenty. I also used store bought caramel in the frosting and it seemed to work fine.

Keith T.

Please check your weight of brown sugar. I've been baking for years and weighing my ingredients. A half cup of brown sugar should be around 100 grams.

Lynn C.

Hi Keith -

Thanks so much for pointing this out! You're right, we had the wrong weight on this recipe. Our baking weight for brown sugar is 218 g. per cup, so 1/2 cup should be 109 grams. We have updated the recipe to reflect this. For more information on our sugar weight testing, please see this article https://www.177milkstreet.com/2017/12/sugars-measured-up.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Keith T.

Meanwhile, these were cupcakes were incredible! If you like spice cake, these hit the mark. And the caramel cream cheese frosting is to die for.

Keith T.

Meanwhile, these were cupcakes were incredible! If you like spice cake, these hit the mark. And the caramel cream cheese frosting is to die for.