Sweet Potato Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

By Sara McGlothlin

I recently posted on Threads that my three favorite foods are sweet potatoes, chocolate, and peanut butter. I immediately wondered how I could turn those three ingredients into a baked good. I’ve created a truffle from the former two, but this time around cupcakes came to mind. I love writing cupcake recipes because I think most people have access to a muffin tin. Having written dessert recipes for years, I think the concept of baking a cake can intimidate people. Like baking a cake is more of a feat for seasoned “bakers.” In reality, it’s merely a difference in your cooking vessel, no actual decorating is required. But slapping some batter in a muffin tin with some cupcake liners? Much more doable. Simply spoon some frosting on top and call it a day. Cupcakes not only come together quickly, but are also pre-portioned, two advantages I believe are worth mentioning.

Mashed sweet potatoes make for an amazing ingredient in plant-based baking. They provide a natural sweetness, while also serving the function of adding moisture and volume. More importantly, they also add nutrition. I have been using almond flour frequently, and so I wanted to create a recipe without it. For those of you intolerant to almonds, this one is for you.

Planning and prep:

This recipe calls for two cups of mashed sweet potato, so factor in an hour of baking before you even start. On the day I knew I wanted to make these cupcakes, I turned on my oven as soon as I came downstairs that morning. I threw a couple of whole sweet potatoes in a 400 degree oven for a little over an hour, and they were ready to go without much thought. Just don’t forget to poke holes in the skin of your sweet potatoes with a fork before baking them. Also, the cupcakes will have had to completely cool before you frost them, which should take about an hour. Other than that, these cupcakes can come together quickly as I mentioned above.

I also realized these cupcakes are even better the next day, after they have chilled in the fridge overnight. The frosting hardens in the fridge, but I loved it that way, so if you don’t care about having a soft and pillowy buttercream bite, I encourage you to try them cold. So delicious! You might be wondering if you can taste the sweet potato. Not really. In other words, serving this dessert to someone who typically enjoys traditional treats won’t be able to tell it’s healthy. The combination of ingredients results in a confection that is fudgey and delicious, yet not overly sweet.

Sweet Potato Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Sweet potato, chocolate, and peanut butter combine to create a fudgey and delicious flavor profile that no one will know is better for you.
Prep Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Cooling Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 12 cupcakes


  • Hand beater or stand mixer
  • muffin tin
  • Mixing bowls


For the cupcakes

  • 3/4 cup cacao powder or cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups mashed sweet potato from 2-3 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the frosting

  • 1/2 cup grass-fed butter, room temperature or sub with vegan butter or palm oil shortening
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup powdered monk fruit or sub with powdered sugar


  • Preheat the oven the 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine the cacao powder, coconut sugar, coconut flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, and sea salt. Stir to blend.
  • In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the mashed sweet potato, eggs, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and beat until a batter is formed (it will be thicker than a traditional cupcake batter).
  • Spoon the batter into each cupcake liner, filling each one to the top. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Allow the cupcakes to completely cool to room temperature (at least an hour) before frosting.
  • To make the frosting, combine the grass-fed butter, coconut oil, and peanut butter in a large bowl. Using a hand beater or hand blender with the whisk tool, beat until fluffy, about 30 seconds. You can also use a large whisk to beat by hand.
  • Add the powdered monk fruit and beat again until all of the ingredients are combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides as needed. Give the frosting a good stir with the spatula. You can frost the cupcakes once cooled, or place the frosting in the refrigerator for 10 minutes for a firmer texture.
Keyword Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Grain-free, Nut-free, Paleo, Soy-free