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Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Spiced Buttercream

Quick and easy Sweet Potato Cupcakes topped with a spiced buttercream. Move over pumpkin! Sweet potatoes are in the house. These cupcakes make a great fall dessert.

Cupcakes on a serving tray with sweet potatoes in background.

I feel a special affinity to sweet potatoes since they are the State Vegetable of my home state, North Carolina. I haven’t always been a sweet potato lover, but I’m making up for lost time now. Just ask my family how often they have to eat sweet potatoes.

Super Moist and Tender

These sweet potato cupcakes are extra moist and tender due to an ample amount of moisture-rich sweet potatoes, some vegetable oil, and buttermilk. A box of spice cake mix is used so they are a breeze to make.

Warning: Spice Cake Mix is apparently very popular this time of year. I had to reach my arm to the very back of the shelf to get the last box. And darn it if they don’t always put the spice cake mix on the bottom shelf. I practically toppled over trying to reach all the way back with my right arm without putting my left hand on the dirty grocery store floor.

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Spiced Buttercream on a white serving tray.

Mashed Sweet Potato

To make the mashed sweet potatoes needed for this recipe, I baked a couple of sweet potatoes in the oven until super soft. Be sure to place them on a baking sheet because they sometimes ooze and will make a mess of your oven. I let them cool and gave them a quick whirl in the food processor to make sure any fibers or lumps were broken up. There’s no need to add anything to them. Sweet potatoes are very moist all on their own. Technically I guess I shouldn’t call them mashed sweet potatoes. But you could get away with mashing them really well with a potato masher instead of processing them.


And you most definitely could substitute pumpkin puree for the sweet potato and the taste difference would only be very slight. I’m betting some butternut squash puree would taste delicious too.


Since there is cream cheese in the frosting, these cupcakes should be stored in the refrigerator.

For more sweet potato recipes, be sure to check out my Sweet Potato Pinterest Board.

Close-up of cupcake with frosting topped with a pecan.

More Sweet Potato Recipes

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Spiced Buttercream

Moist and light sweet potato cupcakes topped with buttercream flavored with maple syrup, cinnamon, and allspice.
PREP: 15 minutes
COOK: 22 minutes


  • 1 box spice cake mix
  • 1 3/4 cups mashed sweet potato
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • Pecan halves for garnish, optional


  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 5 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of allspice
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
  • Place spice mix in a large bowl and stir with a whisk to remove any lumps.
  • Add sweet potato, buttermilk, vegetable oil, and eggs and stir together until smooth.
  • Fill muffin cups 3/4 full and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until firm on top.
  • Remove from oven and let cool in pans for several minutes. Remove from pans to cool completely.
  • For frosting, using an electric mixer beat cream cheese and butter together until creamy and smooth,. With mixer on, slowly add maple syrup.
  • Add cinnamon, allspice, and salt.
  • Gradually add in confectioners’ sugar, turning mixer to low-speed with each addition and up to medium-high between additions to mix well. Beat until smooth.
  • Spread frosting on cupcakes. Decorate with pecan halves if desired.


Store leftover cupcakes in the refrigerator.


Calories: 268kcal
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Southern
Keyword: fall

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Originally published November 1, 2013.

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13 thoughts on “Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Spiced Buttercream”

  1. Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes)

    These look so gorgeous! I love anything sweet potato so that pretty much guarantees I would love these!

  2. Consuelo @ Honey & Figs

    My house is full of sweet potatoes which I bought to carbo-load for the half-marathon… I guess I know now what I’m doing with them all. These look excelent!

  3. Ari @ Ari's Menu

    That’s so funny, as soon as I saw sweet potato in the title, I got all giddy–I guess my love is obvious, hehe. These are (obviously) totally up my alley, Christin! The maple syrup in the frosting just takes them even more over the top!

  4. lisaiscooking

    The swirls of cream cheese frosting looks delicious! I’m a big fan of sweet potatoes too.

  5. These look spectacular, and I lOVE sweet potatoes! I think they’re overlooked — they’re just as delicious as pumpkin in every way. I would love one of these.

  6. We enjoy sweet potatoes in our house too and I never would have thought you could put sweet potatoes in cupcakes, what a fantastic idea Christin! They look awesome and the frosting sounds incredible with the maple syrup and spices 🙂

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