Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Spiced Buttercream

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Three cupcakes on a rectangular plate with sweet potatoes in back.

Quick and easy Sweet Potato Cupcakes topped with a spiced buttercream. Move over pumpkin! Sweet potatoes are in the house. I don’t think anyone loves sweet potatoes more than me except maybe Ari from Ari’s Menu. She has tons of fabulous sweet potato recipes, both sweet and savory.

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.

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with sweet potatoes in background.

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.

Two Cupcakes topped with buttercream and a whole pecan.

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. I made a Bourbon-Glazed Butternut Squash Spice Cake that was fabulous. I keep meaning to try it in a cupcake recipe.

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

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Spiced Buttercream arranged on the diagonal.

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Spiced Buttercream

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Spiced Buttercream

Course: Dessert
Servings: 24
Moist and light sweet potato cupcakes topped with buttercream flavored with maple syrup, cinnamon, and allspice.
Print Recipe


  • 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.

Close-up of Spiced Sweet Potato Cupcake.

13 thoughts on “Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Spiced Buttercream

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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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