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Sweet Potato Cornbread

Sweet Potato Cornbread is a delicious twist on your traditional cornbread recipe with freshly mashed sweet potato, maple syrup, warm spices, and sour cream to give it an extra tender crumb.

If you are looking for new cornbread recipes this year, try this one. It is a perfect side dish for any entree or just add some beans on the side to make it a meal.

Sweet potato cornbread in a cast iron skillet with a pat of butter on top.

Sweet potato cornbread

Sweet potatoes are just as nutritious as they are delicious.

With just one serving, you get over 400% of your daily supply of vitamin A as well as a good amount of B vitamins, vitamin C, and calcium.

In addition, they are considered to be a superfood because of the carotenoids and anthocyanin, which help prevent cancer.

Mixing together ingredients to make sweet potato cornbread in a skillet.

Ingredients needed:

To make this tasty sweet potato cornbread recipe, gather the ingredients listed here. When you are ready to start, go to the recipe card at the bottom of the page for the complete instructions and measurements.

  • Small to medium sweet potatoes – about 1 1/2 cups of mashed sweet potatoes.
  • Milk – any kind of milk or plant-based milk alternative will do but I used whole milk.
  • Sour cream – you can swap this out for Greek yogurt if desired.
  • Large eggs – at room temperature.
  • Yellow cornmeal
  • All-purpose flour – I used a GF flour blend. Here’s a gluten-free and vegan cornbread recipe if you prefer.
  • Granulated white sugar
  • Maple syrup
  • Baking powder
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • Butter and/or syrup – for serving
Baked sweet potato cornbread recipe in a black cast iron skillet.

How to make sweet potato cornbread from scratch

Preheat oven: Starting two hours before you are ready to begin, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and wrap each sweet potato in aluminum foil. Roast sweet potatoes for about 1 1/2 hours until they are fork tender.

Cool and mash: After roasting, unwrap sweet potatoes and let them cool on a wire rack until you can handle them. Use a food processor or blender to mash them completely before measuring out 1 1/2 cups. Save any leftovers for recipes like these sweet potato cookies or sweet potato waffles.

Prep the pan: Spray a cast iron skillet with non-stick cooking spray or oil and place it into the oven to heat for 10 minutes. Baking cornbread in a skillet (like this vanilla pumpkin skillet cornbread) is the best in my opinion. Those crispy edges are just unattainable in any other baking dish!

Whisk dry ingredients: While you wait, whisk the dry ingredients including the flour, sugar, baking powder, cornmeal, spices, and salt in a large bowl.

Mix the wet ingredients: In a separate bowl, mix the olive oil, milk, syrup, sour cream, eggs, and sweet potato mash until it is completely combined.

Combine the ingredients: Next, use a rubber spatula to gently fold the sweet potato mixture into the cornmeal mixture. Do not over-mix. You just want to make sure there are no dry streaks of flour.

Bake cornbread: Lastly, transfer the sweet potato cornbread batter into the prepared hot skillet. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the top is golden brown and puffed up a bit. You should see cracks around the edges.

Cool: Finally, place the cooked cornbread on a wire rack and put four or five pieces of salted butter on top letting the melted butter seep into the bread.

Serve warm: When all the butter is melted, serve with extra butter and a bit of maple syrup.

Southern sweet potato cornbread slice on a white plate with a fork and two pats of butter on top.

Recipe variations:

  • Another oil: Instead of cooking spray, feel free to use olive oil, avocado oil or ghee if you prefer.
  • Different oil: Similarly, you can substitute the olive oil in the batter with a different oil. Coconut oil or ghee are my favorites.
  • Pumpkin pie spice: Replace the cinnamon and nutmeg with pumpkin pie spice for more fall flavor.
  • Honey: If the syrup is too sweet for you, try using a good quality raw honey instead.
  • Brown sugar: Similarly, for less sugary sweetness, use brown sugar instead of white.
  • Cornbread muffins: Use a muffin pan instead of a skillet to make sweet potato cornbread muffins. This is great for individual portions. I like doing this for holidays like Thanksgiving similar to making stuffing muffins instead of a big tray.
  • Buttermilk: If you have always used buttermilk in your cornbread recipes, go ahead and use it in this one. It may add a bit more tender crumb to it.
  • Self-rising flour: You can use self-rising flour but cut out the baking soda or baking powder.

How to serve:

Whether you are looking for side dish, a snack, or even a whole meal, this southern cornbread recipe has great sweet potato flavor with buttery cornmeal and sour cream for a cake-like texture.

You can try one of the delicious serving suggestions below or add your own to the comments section at the bottom of the page.

  • Serve a slice of sweet potato cornbread with chili (like this spicy hummus turkey chili) to make it a hearty meal for lunch or dinner.
  • This delicious buttery cornbread also goes great with eggs and bacon for breakfast. Or, try some sweet potato oat bars with your savory breakfast for more sweet potato flavor.
  • For the holidays, try this sweet potato cornbread recipe with turkey or ham.
  • It is also great when topped with your favorite fruit preserves (these fig preserves are to die for with the cornbread) or cranberry sauce.
  • Because this recipe is on the sweeter side, you can turn this bread into a dessert by topping it with a dollop of whipped cream or even a scoop of ice cream!
Sweet potato cornbread served with maple syrup and butter on a white plate.

How to store leftovers:

  • Store: Store leftover sweet potato cornbread in a freezer bag or another airtight container. It will stay fresh for several days at room temperature or a week in the fridge.
  • Freeze: If you want to save your bread even longer, double the freezer bags and make sure all the air is pressed out from both. You can then keep it in the freezer for up to 90 days.
  • Thaw: Thaw in the fridge overnight for best results.
  • Reheat: To reheat, pop it in the microwave for 45 to 90 seconds. If you have a toaster oven or air fryer, you can then pop it in either to “toast” and get those nice crispy edges.

Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between cornbread and Southern cornbread?

Typically, northern cornbread isn’t as sweet as the Southern varieties and usually uses yellow cornmeal exclusively. Southern cornbread can use either white or yellow cornmeal but often uses more eggs for a more cake-like consistency.

This sweet potato cornbread aligns with more of a southern cornbread recipe with its ingredients and level of sweetness.

What is the difference between baking soda and baking powder?

Like baking powder, baking soda is made with sodium bicarbonate, a leavening agent that helps your cornbread rise. However, baking powder is not as strong as baking soda. You will need about three times the amount of baking powder to match the strength of baking soda.

Can I use a pan instead of a cast iron skillet?

Using a cast iron skillet, especially a hot one, gives this sweet potato cornbread the coveted crispy edges and browned bottom. However, you can use a preheated baking dish or pan. If you do, place the pan or dish on a cookie sheet to keep the bottom from browning too much.

What are the nutrition facts in this recipe?

Each serving of this sweet potato cornbread has 350 calories, 45 carbohydrates, and 15 grams of fat. You can find the full nutrition facts at the bottom of the recipe card below.

Recipe for making gluten-free sweet potato cornbread in a cast iron skillet.

Recipe tips:

  • If you do not have a food processor or blender, just use a potato masher or fork. You can even use a handheld electric mixer to mash the sweet potatoes.
  • Be sure not to over-mix. Just fold in the potatoes with the dry mix until there are no more white streaks.
  • Cornbread is best when warm or even hot with the butter just melted in and the edges and top a bit crispy. 
  • Fork tender means you can easily pierce the potato with a fork.
  • If you have leftover mashed sweet potato, pack it into a freezer bag and keep it in the freezer for up to one month. Use it in other baked goods recipes or save it for smoothies. You can swap it out for butternut squash in this butternut squash smoothie recipe.
Sweet potato cornbread.

Sweet Potato Cornbread

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

A subtly sweet Southern sweet potato cornbread recipe perfect for pairing with savory meals or enjoying on its own.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, or 1 1/2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (use GF flour blend if desired)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temp
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salted butter and maple syrup for serving

Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
    2. Wrap sweet potatoes in aluminum foil and place them on a baking sheet. Roast for 1 to 1 1/2 hours in the preheated oven. They should be tender when pierced with a fork.
    3. Remove from the oven, let them cool for a few minutes then unwrap. Once cooled enough to handle, peel and add to a large bowl then mash. Alternatively, you can "mash" the sweet potatoes in a food processor or blender until smooth.
    4. Add the eggs, sour cream, maple syrup, milk, and olive
      oil. Whisk to combine. The mixture should be smooth and thick.
    5. In another large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. 
    6. Using a spatula, fold the dry ingredient mixture into the
      sweet potato mixture just until no dry streaks of flour remain. Do not over-mix.
    7. Spray a 10-inch cast iron skillet with cooking oil. Preheat
      it in the oven for a few minutes. Transfer the batter into the preheated skillet and smooth out the top. Bake for
      25-30 minutes or until the top is puffy and golden.
    8. Remove the cornbread from the oven and place it on a
      wire rack. Immediately add a few slices of salted butter on top to melt into the bread. 
    9. Serve with additional butter and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Notes

*Prep time includes roasted the sweet potatoes.

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

Please leave a comment & rating below or share a photo on Instagram and tag @runningtothekitchen

Mirlene

Monday 21st of November 2022

Love this sweet potato cornbread. My husband keep asking me to make it again.

Priya Srinivasan

Monday 21st of November 2022

ohh sweet potato cornbread looks tempting, love the idea of serving it with chili hummus, more tempting!

kushigalu

Monday 21st of November 2022

Love this sweet potato version of cornbread. Looks so delicious. Thanks for sharing

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