Delicious Chocolate Sweet Potato Cupcakes that are totally mouthwatering with ultra-rich chocolate flavors. Made with a luscious, soft base with cocoa powder, sweet potato puree, Fall spices, and topped with a rich chocolate buttercream frosting, these cupcakes are the perfect sweet treat for the entire family. Vegan + Gluten-Free options.
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Chocolate cupcakes are really a childhood classic and I couldn't resist making these little treats. My son is a huge chocolate fan and so I love adding veggies that are hidden in sweet treats for a great balance, which gets him to actually want to try it. These Chocolate Sweet Potato Cupcakes are not only kid-approved, but adult-approved too! I seriously ate about two in one setting. Haha.
Baking is just one of those things that happen year-round and something like chocolate is so evergreen in flavor, which makes it the perfect thing to combine with another ingredient that's more seasonal for a different vibe and feel.
With Apple vs. Sweet Potato in full swing, I couldn't be more excited to have you watch these little cupcakes come to life via video. Be sure to follow me on Instagram for all Reels and content. Which have you been loving so far---apples or sweet potatoes?
Then you bake for a few minutes until the centers come out clean, remove from oven, and let them cool completely before frosting. Whip together the buttercream frosting, add to a piping bag, and frost those cupcakes! Wallah!
Ingredients for Chocolate Sweet Potato Cupcakes
The main component in this simple Chocolate Sweet Potato Cupcakes recipe is the delicious sweet potato chocolate combo and the chocolate flavored buttercream. To make your cupcakes, you’ll use:
All-purpose flour – Creates a nice airy, fluffiness to cupcakes, BUT cake flour can be substituted and used as well.
Cocoa powder. Cacao powder will also work.
Cane sugar. I use organic to make sure it's vegan.
Eggs. These act as a binder. You need them to be at room temp. Use flax eggs as a sub for vegan option.
Almond Milk – Makes things nice + soft; Sub with your fave plant-based milk or regular dairy milk.
Sweet potato puree. I like to make this advance by roasting sweet potatoes, removing the insides, and mashing them until pureed. You can also use a canned organic version.
Vanilla – A great addition of flavor and marries everything together.
Spices: Cinnamon + allspice.
Powdered Sugar – The base of your buttercream. I use organic.
Baking Powder -- Very important leavener for your cupcakes.
Unsalted Butter -- Creates a beautiful fluffy, velvety buttercream from the fat within it's ingredients. See notes for an entirely vegan option.
Step 1: Gather about 3-4 medium sweet potatoes, rinse the skins, and poke a few holes all around them using a knife or fork.
Step 2: Prepare a baking sheet with foil or parchment and place the sweet potato side-by-side. Rub each sweet potato with olive oil until fully coated.
Step 3: Roast in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 40-45 minutes or until their insides begin to bubble outwardly and they become super tender once tested with a fork or knife. Let cool until easily handle when cutting them open and scooping out the flesh.
Step 4: Using a food processor or blender, puree the flesh of the sweet potato along with water or veggie stock, until smooth. You can either use this immediately in whatever sweet potato recipe you'd like, store it in the refrigerator or freezer for later use.
What Do These Chocolate Sweet Potato Cupcakes Taste Like?
Just like a delicious chocolate cupcakes should! They are:
Fluffy and tender
Sweet & chocolatey flavors that melt in your mouth with a hint of sweet potato
Moist and dense
Totally decadent, and did I mention delicious?
What is Cacao Really? Cacao vs. Cocoa
OK, so can we talk about Cacao for a sec? Did you know that Cacao AND Cocoa are the same thing?
I know. Insane. I was totally confused about this for a long time and honestly assumed that once was healthier than the other. However, it’s come to be determined that they are just used interchangeably.
Chocolate is actually made from Cacao beans (or seeds). It’s said that companies who use the term ‘Cacao’ are referring to the beans, pods, or ground up version of the beans. However, the term Cocoa is often referred to as the powdered version of it all (which is formed after the fat is pressed out of the bean). Of course there’s a whole process that happens and you can find out more about that here.
Why Should I Use Cacao Powder?
Cacao has a host of health benefits which include:
High in iron and tryptophan (which is an amino acid that helps the body make serotonin---a relaxing chemical).
Yup, you heard us right. Chocolate is GOOD for you... Any excuse for more chocolate cupcakes, right? Haha
TIPS FOR MAKING PERFECT CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES:
#1: YES, THE KIND OF FLOUR MATTERS!
To come out with a soft, moist cupcake, I’ve noticed that mixing All-Purpose Flour + Cake Flour, really does justice!
#2: DON’T OVER FILL!
Yes! This has been my trial and error moment when it comes to baking! I tend to fill my batter with most recipes to the brim, but I’ve recently gotten into the habit of pacing myself!
Over-filling makes a huge mess later and doesn’t allow your baked goods to come put perfectly, especially with cupcakes. So, filling it ¾ths of the way is key!
#3: START HIGH, THEN END LOW!
One other pet peeve of mine when baking is when you’re ultra confident at the amazingness of your batter (the taste and aroma is there), yet after it bakes—-it becomes flat or sunk in once it touches air. The solution? Start by baking the cupcakes at a higher temp for the first 5 mins (maybe 400 degrees Fahrenheit) then lowering it to the standard 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
#4: ALWAYS KEEP THINGS FRESH!
I know that this is a common mistake, especially for those of us who aren’t daily bakers. Ensure that your ingredients (flours, etc.) are fresh and haven’t been sitting there for months improperly sealed, etc.
While using cupcake liners are a huge lifesaver when making it easier to remove your cupcakes after they are ready, ensuring that you not only use high quality liners, but that you also lightly spray the inside of your liners with a cooking spray HELPS A TON! Don’t you just hate when your cupcake inevitably gets stuck on one of those cupcake liners?
Can I Make Vegan + Gluten-Free Chocolate Sweet Potato Cupcakes?
To make these cupcakes entirely vegan, simply substitute the butter with vegan butter. Also, substitute the heavy cream with Almond milk (or your fave plant-based milk).
To make these cupcakes GF, I recommend using a GF Flour Blend (Bob’s Red Mills has a great version!). **NOTE: If the cupcake mixture is too ‘thin + runny’, simply add additional GF flour, ¼ cup at a time.**
Making These Chocolate Cupcakes Ahead
You can always bake these cupcakes the night or day before and let them cool, tightly wrap, and refrigerate until ready to use. The buttercream frosting can also be made prior and tightly wrapped and stored in the fridge as well. When ready to serve, let cake sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour, frost, and enjoy!
How to Best Store Leftover Chocolate Sweet Potato Cupcakes
Best kept if stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days (unfrosted) and 3-4 days when frosted. Also, can be frozen for up to 6 months when unfrosted and thawed.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and prep the 12-cavity cupcake pan with liners + spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and sea salt. Set aside.
Add the milk, melted butter, sweet potato puree, eggs, and vanilla to the dry ingredients and using a hand-mixer on medium-speed, mix everything until combined (and smooth) and no lumps are visible. NOTE: DO NOT OVER-MIX!
Scoop the batter into each cupcake cavity ( about ¾ full) and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for the FIRST 5 minutes. Then reduce temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and continue baking for another 11-13 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean in the center.
Once done, turn the oven off and keep cupcakes inside with the oven door slightly open for about 2 minutes before taking them out. NOTE: This keeps the cupcakes from "deflating" from the sudden change in temp.
Let them cool COMPLETELY before frosting.
TO MAKE THE CHOCOLATE FROSTING:
Simply beat the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer (or using a hand-mixer) on medium-high speed, until smooth and pale. Add in the cocoa powder, powdered sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and milk, continuing to mix on medium-speed until you reach the desired consistency----smooth and fluffy. NOTE: Add more milk (1 tablespoon at a time if too thick) or powdered sugar (for more thickness).
Add buttercream to a piping bag and pipe onto cooled cupcakes. Repeat until all cupcakes are frosted.
Tips & Tricks
STORAGE: Best kept if stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days (unfrosted) and 3-4 days when frosted. Also, can be frozen for up to 6 months when unfrosted and thawed.
GLUTEN-FREE VERSION: To make these cupcakes GF, I recommend using a GF Flour Blend (Bob’s Red Mills has a great version!). **NOTE: If the cupcake mixture is too ‘thin + runny’, simply add additional GF flour, ¼ cup at a time.**
MAKE AHEAD: You can always bake these cupcakes the night or day before and let them cool, tightly wrap, and refrigerate until ready to use. The buttercream frosting can also be made prior and tightly wrapped and stored in the fridge as well. When ready to serve, let cake sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour, frost, and enjoy!
VEGAN OPTION: To make these cupcakes entirely vegan, simply substitute the butter with vegan butter. Also, substitute the heavy cream with Almond milk (or your fave plant-based milk).