Sweet Potato Muffins With Pecans

If you cringe at the thought of zucchini bread or gag at the sound of carrot muffins, Stop. Reading. Now. This recipe is for the very few of us who still celebrate veggies…in desserts. A dying breed.

Straight out of the oven

I’ve been wanting to make something sweet with yams for years. Every Thanksgiving I think “why are sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows then served as a side and not a dessert?” And every year I say to myself, “I’m making a dessert out of this one day”.

Cooling muffins

Then I began pureeing sweet potatoes for my daughter and I was re-inspired by their beautiful color and their unmistakeable fall-ish smell. And so I began searching for ways to make dessert out of sweet potatoes.

Delicate and moist

I experimented with a recipe for the first time today. It wasn’t sweet enough for my taste, so I increased the amount of sugar in the recipe below. I used 2/3 cup in my version, but I think 1 cup would’ve been perfect. For those with a real sweet tooth, I recommend 1 1/4 cups. The pecans add a great, nutty crunch and go well with the sweet potatoes, but you can substitute them with walnuts or even scratch the nuts all together and use raisins or cranberries.

Sweet Potato Muffins with Pecans

As a side note, I used 2% milk and canola oil instead of butter for a healthier twist. They came out quite tasty. This is a great treat for kids too. They’ll think they’re having dessert. You’ll know they’re eating their veggies.



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup brown sugar (or 1 1/4 if you have a sweet tooth)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup pecans (or 2/3 if you like a lot of crunch)
  • 1 cup sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed (boil the peeled sweet potatoes for 20 minuts or until you can easily prick them with a fork)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Position a rack in the center of the oven. Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.

Grease a standard 12-muffin pan or line with paper liners. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl with a whisk (flour, sugar, baking powder, nuts, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon). In a separate bowl, whisk the wet ingredients until just combined (milk, vanilla, eggs, sweet potatoes, canola oil). Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients making sure not to over mix or the muffins will be tough. You want to mix until the dry ingredients are barely wet. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a fork inserted into the middle comes out clean. The muffins should have a spring to them when you touch the center. Place them on a cooling rack to cool completely.

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