Thursday, February 3, 2011

Post Run Snack: Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

A few of my friends and I started a running club this winter and to reward ourselves we usually grab a bite or a beer post run.  Lately I've started trying new baking recipes and have had the girls be the taste testers.  The first recipe I tried was sweet potato cupcakes with a brown butter cream cheese frosting.  I figure since the cupcake is made with sweet potatoes, it can't be all that bad for you...  Right?  :)  Also, our metabolism is roaring after the run, so what better time to have a cupcake?
Two out of the three tasters loved the cupcakes.  One of the girls didn't care too much for the frosting - She felt it was a bit too sweet, but she did enjoy the cupcake.  I found this recipe on one of my new favorite blogs.  I started making the cupcakes and realized I didn't have enough white sugar.  So I added 1/4 cup of light brown sugar in place of the 1/4 cup of white sugar I was missing.  I think this added a nice caramel flavor to the cupcakes and I will definitely use brown sugar next time I make these.  I may even bake the sweet potato instead of steaming.  I think this will add great flavor.
The recipe is fairly easy.  The only part that could be tricky is the brown butter.  The recipe doesn't explain how to brown butter so here's a link which shows how to brown butter (it's really not very difficult, even for a beginner cook).  How to brown butter

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
Yield: 12
For the cupcakes:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
6 ounces (or one small) sweet potato, peeled and diced
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
For the frosting:
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, browned and cooled
1 block (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 – 4 cups powdered sugar
Heat the oven to 350 F and line a 12 cup cupcake pan with paper liners
Steam the sweet potatoes until fork tender, about ten minutes.  Set aside to cool slightly then mash with a fork until smooth.  In a medium bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light in color, about three minutes.  Add the egg, sweet potato, buttermilk, and vanilla.  Mix until well combined.
In a large bowl sift the flour, spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.  Pour the wet mixture into the dry and whisk until no large lumps remain.  Do not over-mix.
Divide the batter evenly between the baking cups.  Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the cakes are golden brown and spring back when lightly pressed in the enter.  Cool for three minutes in the pan then remove the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cupcakes cool prepare the frosting.  In a medium bowl cream together the cream cheese and browned butter until well combined.  The mixture may look slightly curdled.  Add the vanilla, cinnamon and powdered sugar and mix until smooth.  Decorate the cupcakes as desired and enjoy.

One of the testers enjoying her cupcake post run!

Adapted from Evil Shenanigans

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