Monday, March 21, 2011

Sweet Potato Cupcakes

Does anyone know how or why cupcakes have become so popular lately? I mean, yes, they're awesome and fabulous and delicious and all that. But it's not like they're NEW, right? Still, any time I bake cupcakes, everyone goes crazy for them. Not only that, but we also now have couples who choose a cupcake tower instead of a wedding cake, we have cupcake reality TV competitions, and we have bakeries devoted entirely to cupcakes! Pretty cool, huh? Well, far be it from me to argue with cupcakes' recent surge in popularity. Personally, I LOVE a rich moist cupcake with a heaping swirl of icing on top.
  When I thought of doing a theme of potato recipes, I knew I wanted to include a sweet potato recipe, (since sweet potatoes are quite the super food), but I wasn't sure which direction I wanted to go with it. Something dessert? Something savory? Then I saw a magazine cover with a cupcake on the cover and there was my answer. To be quite honest, I'm not even sure where I got this recipe. I found it quite a while ago! Ah well, I guess it doesn't matter. What matters is how happy you'll be once you bite into one!  LOVE them! They kind of have a carrot cake vibe sans the carrots. OH! and the orange zest on top is key! It may seem like it's only a garnish, but it really adds just the right touch of flavor! It makes sense, since oranges and sweet potatoes get along so well together. So be sure to include it! I think I need to make another, right now....
I think you should too!!!
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 sticks butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups cooked mashed sweet potatoes,(canned or fresh)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
orange zest

Preheat oven to 350F.
Line 18 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with paper bake cups; set cups aside.
In medium bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
In large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed after each addition until combined. Add sweet potatoes and vanilla, beating until combined. Add flour mixture; beat until combined (batter will be thick).
Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Bake about 20 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool in pan on wire rack for 1 minute. Remove from pan and cool completely.
Pipe or spread with Cream Cheese Icing.  Sprinkle with orange zest. 

For a simple variation, try adding a 1/2 teaspoon of orange extract or a couple tablespoons of bourbon to your cream cheese icing.
Freeze unfrosted cupcakes in airtight containers up to 1 month.

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