This sweet potato frosting is smooth and creamy and sweetened only with maple syrup (no powdered sugar, no cane sugar). Just four ingredients are all you’ll need for this recipe.
Search for sweet potato frosting on the web and you’ll find mostly chocolate sweet potato frosting. I’m sure it’s totally yummy, but not what you get here.
Gluten-Free Cakes and Cupcakes
This frosting is not as firm as a traditional buttercream frosting. I have used it in layer cakes, but it needs dam of buttercream frosting if you use it between layers. A dam is a ring of firm frosting around the edge of inner layers see the photo above. This will hold softer fillings and keep them from oozing out. This frosting is firm enough to pipe and loosely hold simple shapes.
Sweet potato – Home-baked garnet or jewel yams work best for this recipe. I tried using canned sweet potato and the water content was too high. So plan to bake them yourself. I bake mine in my Breville Toaster oven (with temp controls) so I don’t have to heat up my big oven. This takes a little time, but to have a frosting that uses so little sweetener is worth it to me! Once it’s baked, you’ll puree the yams in the blender or food processor.
Butter – Unlike in most frosting recipes, the butter is added to the sweet potato melted. It incorporates better this way.
Maple syrup – less than 1/2 cup of maple syrup sweetens this frosting. If you prefer, agave or other sweeteners can be used.
Cream cheese – Since I am a gluten-free chef I am sometimes asked “Is cream cheese gluten-free?” Knowing which foods are gluten-free can be confusing. The link will clear up this and many other questions.
The combination of the butter and cream cheese works best to make this a smooth, creamy frosting. I tried this recipe with vegan cream cheese (Violife) and it worked, but was much softer – somewhere between and icing and frosting consistency.
Mixing the Frosting
This frosting does best when it is mixed with all ingredients slightly warm. So once the sweet potato is pureed with the melted butter and maple syrup, you’ll want to warm up the cream cheese. I smash it onto a plate and warm it in the microwave in 5 second increments until it is close to the temp of the sweet potato mixture. If it is too cold, you’ll end up with little lumps of cream cheese in the frosting.
Can you Pipe this Frosting?
With the melted butter, warm sweet potato and warm cream cheese, the frosting will be very soft right after mixing it up. It can be spread on cakes and cupcakes at this point, but it will not hold a shape.
To pipe this frosting, chill it for at least 2 hours. Then store the frosted cake or cupcakes in the refrigerator. Remove 15-20 minutes before serving.
More Frosting Recipes
Sweet Potato Frosting (Without Powdered Sugar)
- 14 oz garnet or jewel yams (1-2 medium sized)
- 4 Tbsps butter melted
- 6 Tbsps agave or maple syrup
- 8 oz cream cheese softened to room temperature
- NOTE: This frosting does best when it is mixed with all ingredients slightly warm to yield a smooth texture.
- Pre-heat the oven to 400°F
- Rinse the yams and bake for approximately 1 hour, or until soft in the middle. Most canned sweet potato has too high a water content and does not work well in this recipe.
- Hold with a towel and pull off the peel. Measure 1 3/4 c of yam by packing tightly into measuring cups.
- Place the yam in the food processor with the melted butter, maple syrup and beat for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for 30 seconds again. Repeat until the mixture is smooth and does not look grainy.
- Let the mixture sit for 10-15 minutes or until it is not hot. It is best if it is still warm when you add the cream cheese.
- Smash the cream cheese onto a plate and warm it in the microwave in 5 second increments until it is close to the temp of the sweet potato mixture. If it is cold, you’ll end up with little lumps of cream cheese in the frosting.
- Add the softened cream cheese and beat for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides and beat again until smooth.
- Let the frosting come to room temperature, then store in the refrigerator if not using immediately. To use for piping, refrigerate at least 2 hours.
- This frosting should go no more than a few hours without refrigeration.