This week I made sweet potatoes for dinner. I got distracted and left them in the oven for way too long and they kind of turned into mush. We ate them anyway, but I couldn’t bring myself to eat the leftover mushy sweet potatoes as they were. When I looked for sweet potato recipes everything I found was flour free or sugar free in an attempt to be “healthy.” I just wanted a regular old dang muffin made with sweet potatoes, so I made my own recipe. They turned out beautifully on the first try and I can’t wait to make them again.
These sweet potato muffins are not overpoweringly sweet. They are truly a muffin, not a cupcake in disguise. The chocolate balances the homey, earthy taste of the sweet potatoes and the cinnamon adds a little depth and heat.
A note on yams vs. sweet potatoes
I grew up referring to both the yellow and orange variety of sweet potatoes as “sweet potatoes.” I remember one Thanksgiving where a relative enlightened me and explained, with great passion, that the yellow ones are sweet potatoes and the orange ones are yams. So, for about a decade I called the yellow ones sweet potatoes and the orange ones yams and felt very proud of my knowledge. I decided to check my facts before posting this recipe, partly because “yam muffins” don’t sound as appetizing as “sweet potato muffins.” I was expecting a confirmation, but it turns out that I was wrong!
In the United States orange sweet potatoes are often called yams. However, this is incorrect. After many heated discussions with family and friends I decided to do a little research before I posted this recipe. Sweet potatoes come from South and Central America and smooth skin and pointed ends (you know, the ones that jab through grocery bags). Yams come Africa and have a rough skin with rounded ends. So whether you prefer yellow or orange or garnet, they’re all sweet potatoes.
Sweet Potato Muffins
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup butter
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1¾ cups cooked, mashed sweet potato
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare muffin tin by lining it with muffin papers or greasing it. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together ½ cup butter and 1 cup sugar. Add the egg, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1¾ cups mashed sweet potatoes and mix until combined.
- Add ½ teaspoon salt, 1½ teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 2 cups of flour, and 2 tablespoons of milk. Stir just until combined. Fold in the 1 cup of chocolate chips.
- Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin, filling each cup to the top.
- Bake at 350° F for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.