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While thinking of different Fall treats I could make, I wanted something different. Something that would stand out against the regular pumpkin and apple pies. While the side of my family that I went to for Thanksgiving, rarely has sweet potato pie (like my other grandmother used to make) we still love sweet potatoes. So I decided to try to incorporate that into one of my desserts. After perusing the interwebs for something that looked tasty, I landed on this wonderful recipe for Sweet Potato Cupcakes.

Although the cupcakes sounded wonderful (and ended up being quite moist), I didn’t think cream cheese frosting would be as good as a marshmallow topping. So once again I went back to the web to try and find some recipes that I could play around with. However, almost every marshmallow frosting recipe out there uses Fluff. I HATE Fluff. I think it tastes weird and it slightly creeps me out. So, I went back to my Moon Pie Cookie recipe and tried to play around with the recipe I used for marshmallow filling in those cookies. I did learn a few things:

  1. While normally any frosting I make has some powdered sugar, when mixing it with egg whites it will not get as thick as you need it to be for frosting.
  2. Regular cane sugar does work in getting those peaks that are necessary for keeping the frosting in one place.
  3. (And this is something I should have thought of when mixing the frosting), if you make this frosting early and then try to put them on the cupcakes later in the day, despite any refrigerating and late mixing, it will not return to a form of thicker frosting.

So, while the cupcakes I gave away in the morning with the nice frosting looked nice, the cupcakes I gave after dinner did not have as decorated of a top (which you can see in the pictures). My family and I were trying to talk about how you can keep it to stay, especially since meringues stay and those are egg whites. We came to the conclusion, that if you frost the cupcakes immediately and get a kitchen torch (usually used in creme brulee) to slightly toast the marshmallow frosting, it would last longer. I haven’t had a chance to try this, but if you get a chance let me know! 

Makes about 24 cupcakes

Total Time: 45 minutes                               Cook Time: about 17-20 minutes

Cupcakes

2 cups of All Purpose Flour

2 teaspoons of Baking Powder

½ teaspoon of Baking Soda

¼ teaspoon of Salt

1 teaspoon of Cinnamon

1 cup (2 sticks) of Salted Butter

1½ cups of Sugar

3 Eggs

1 29oz Can of Sweet Potatoes (drained of the syrup)

½ teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

Frosting

8 egg whites

2 cups of Cane Sugar

½ teaspoon of Cream of Tartar

1½ teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

A few tablespoons of Brown Sugar

(1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two cupcake pans with cupcake liners. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon together in a small bowl. In a food processor add the drained sweet potatoes and process just until it looks like mashed potatoes and there are no longer any big chunks.

(2) In a mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until combined and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the mashed sweet potatoes and vanilla until combined. Add the flour mixture in three different increments and mix until it’s just combined. 

(3) Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake tins. Bake for about 17-20 minutes. (I just moved and now have a MUCH better oven, so I think it cooks more like a normal oven. Therefore, I went the whole 20 minutes until mine were done. They may seem soft, but if you stick a toothpick or fork in and nothing comes out, rest assured they are done.) Remove from oven and let the cupcakes completely cool before starting the frosting. 

(4) Combine the egg whites, cane sugar and cream of tartar in a bowl on top of a double broiler (or as I do, in a bowl over a saucepan with water). I got a new handy dandy candy thermometer, so my egg mixture took about 10 minutes to heat up and it got to about 150 degrees. I stirred the mixture every two or three minutes.

(5) Pour the heated egg mixture into the electric mixer bowl. Begin whisking at the first speed and slowly up the speed, until stiff peaks begin to form. Add the vanilla until combined. (I highly recommend the use of a stand mixer here. It took me about 10 minutes on my stand mixer to get the stiff peaks to form. Doing 10 minutes with a hand mixer may be agony.)

(6) Frost the cooled cupcakes and sprinkle some brown sugar on top of the frosting. Serve immediately or try my idea of toasting the frosting with a kitchen torch to see if it lasts longer. Even if you let it sit out, it will be thick enough to put a coating over the cupcakes as seen in the pictures. My family still loved it, even though it wasn’t pretty enough for my standards. 

(7) Enjoy!!

Cupcake recipe adapted from Better Homes and Garden

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