Forget the casserole and go straight for dessert! These moist, spiced sweet potato cupcakes are topped with a marshmallow frosting, and then toasted to give them that familiar Thanksgiving flavor.
But one of the things that started it all for me was The Daring Bakers. I still remember when I first got “the email”, inviting me to join this online baking group. We would all get a monthly assignment that we had to bake and post on the same day. But it all had to remain a secret until posting day. I was giddy with excitement, and to be honest – also quite scared. I had seen some of the previous challenges (aka The Crepe Cake) and didn’t know if I was a good enough baker to be a part of this community.
As it turns out, I owe so much to this baking community. Because of this group, I became much more confident in the kitchen. But even more importantly, because of this group, I really learned what it meant to be a community and to support each other. I think this is where I gained respect for other bloggers, where I learned that I wasn’t alone in this crazy blogging world. It was before facebook and twitter and pinterest and instagram. But we were all so connected and the support there was unbelieveable.
At the forefront of this group were two amazing ladies. In November of 2006, Lis of La Mia Cucina and Ivonne of Creampuffs in Venice started the whole thing (which later turned into The Daring Kitchen).
Sadly, earlier this week, Lis passed away. It was a shock to hear. Lis was always such a source of laughter and support. I still remember the comments that she would leave, and I remember reading her blog, laughing out loud.
It has been many years since I was part of this group, but today, many of us that have been a part of The Daring Bakers or The Daring Kitchen at one point or another are gathering together in honor of Lis and her memory. Remembering what she built, how she helped to bring us all together.
I wished that I could have gone back and remade one of the Daring Baker challenges from my past. But – as I am in the middle of moving and haven’t even unpacked my kitchen yet, it just didn’t happen. But I am glad that I had something that I baked up before the move to share with you all in honor of Lis. I have always liked to bake, but looking back over the years, it’s apparent how much I have improved. But even more importantly, how much more confidence I have from trying so many different recipes.
These cupcakes – well, they just may very well be my very favorite cupcakes ever. I’m not even kidding you. I made them for my husband to take to work for a pot luck, and he told me that they had to end up going to the store to buy cupcakes because the team leaders spotted the cupcakes before lunch and ended up eating almost all of them. I passed some of them off to two of my sisters, and both of them called me, raving over them. And let’s just say I’m glad that I didn’t have all of them at home, because I probably would have eaten them. I won’t even tell you how many I did eat!!
These are the perfect holiday cupcake, as well. What says Thanksgiving more than sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows? Well, as much as I love sweet potato casserole, I think I’ll be grabbing for one of these instead. 🙂
- ¾ cup butter, at room temperature
- 2¼ cups brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1½ cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1½ teaspoons ground ginger
- ¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¾ cups milk
- 4 egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- ⅔ cup corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line 30 muffin tins with cupcake liners.
- Beat the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl between additions. Beat in the vanilla and then the sweet potatoes.
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, baking soda, salt and cloves. Mix half of the flour mixture into the sweet potato mixture, followed by the milk, then the remaining flour.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about ¾ full. Transfer to the oven and bake until the center springs back when touched, 18 to 22 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
- In a stand mixer, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
- Meanwhile, heat the sugar and corn syrup over medium heat. Heat until it comes to a full boil, then remove from the heat.
- Once the egg whites are stiff, slowly pour in the hot sugar mixture. Do not scrape the sides of the bowl, or you will have sugar crystals in the frosting. Beat the frosting until it forms a shiny, fluffy marshmallow frosting, 5-7 minutes.
- Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes. Use a kitchen torch to toast the frosting.
I was a member of The Daring Bakers from July 2007 to November of 2008. Here are all 15 challenges that I took part in during that time. Your memory will live on forever, Lis!
July 2007 – Strawberry Mirror Cake * August 2007 – Milk Chocolate and Caramel Tart * September 2007 – Cinnamon Rolls and Sticky Rolls – October 2007 – Bostini Cream Pie * November 2007 – Potato Bread and Potato Foccacia * December 2007 – Yule Log * January 2008 – Lemon Meringue Pie * February 2008 – Julia Child’s French Bread * March 2008 – The Perfect Party Cake, Lemon Lime Version * April 2008 – Cheesecake Pops * May 2008 – Opera Cake – June 2008 – Danish Braid – July 2008 – Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream * October 2008 – Basic Pizza Dough * November 2008 – Caramel Cake with Caramelized Butter Frosting