If you aren’t baking with sweet potatoes, what are you waiting for? These Sweet Potato Cookies are pillowy soft and naturally sweet, with warm spices and real cream cheese frosting. You might want to make a double batch, because they disappear fast!
This sweet potato cookie recipe has become one of my fall favorites. Here’s a few reasons why.
- Sweet potatoes add natural sweetness. The sweet potatoes also go a long way toward making the cookies flavorful and naturally sweet. Honestly, sweet potatoes are so under-utilized in desserts – they are just as good as pumpkin, and maybe even better in some recipes! They have a gorgeous color, mild, sweet taste, and silky texture.
- Quick and easy. This sweet potato cookie recipe requires an hour for the dough to chill but the actual active time is just around 30 minutes. Either way, you can have them ready to enjoy in 2 hours or so.
So what will you need to make these sweet potato cookies in your own kitchen? Let’s take a look. You probably already have most of these ingredients on hand!
For the Cookies
- Flour: Plain, all-purpose flour – no need for self-rising flour or cake flour here.
- Cornstarch: Just a bit of cornstarch makes for extra-soft, smooth cookies.
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda: You will need both rising agents for this recipe. One activates in the batter, and one activates in the oven, to keep the cookies from being dense.
- Spices: Ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg.
- Sweet Potatoes: One cup of canned sweet potatoes, drained and mashed. I used Bruce’s Yams Cut Sweet Potatoes in Syrup. However you can also use mashed sweet potatoes.
- Butter: Salted butter, melted.
- Sugar: Granulated sugar is fine. You could also use light brown sugar, for a hint of molasses flavor.
- Egg: One large, whole egg.
- Vanilla: Pure vanilla extract gives the cookies a sweet, bakery-style depth.
For the Frosting
- Cream Cheese: Let the cream cheese soften at room temperature before you use it in this recipe. That way, it will whip up nicely.
- Butter: Salted butter, also softened to room temperature.
- Cinnamon: Some for the frosting, plus more for garnish, if desired.
- Powdered Sugar: You will need several cups – the exact amount depends on how firm you want the frosting to be.
Are Canned Sweet Potatoes Just as Good as Fresh?
For this recipe, canned sweet potatoes are definitely just as good as fresh, and much easier to use. You just open the can, drain the syrup, and mash the sweet potatoes with a fork. But if you want to bake whole sweet potatoes and mash those instead, or use leftover baked sweet potatoes, that will work just fine as well.
These sweet potato cookies with cream cheese frosting may sound hard to make, but I promise they are very easy. The hardest part about this recipe is waiting an hour while the dough chills in the fridge!
- Make the dough. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the mashed sweet potatoes, butter, and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla extract. Beat the flour mixture into the sweet potato mixture to form a smooth cookie dough.
- Chill. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Bake. Drop spoonfuls of dough onto the cookie sheet and gently flatten into rounds 1/2 inch thick. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on wire racks.
- Make cream cheese frosting. Beat together the frosting ingredients, except the sugar, until well combined. Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
- Frost the cookies. Once the cookies are completely cool, frost each one. Dust with cinnamon on top if desired. Enjoy!
Do You Need to Refrigerate Cream Cheese Frosting?
Yes, and no. I usually recommend keeping anything frosted with cream cheese frosting in the refrigerator, and it’s a good way to keep your frosted items fresh for longer.
However, if you’re going to serve and eat the cookies within a few hours, you can keep them at room temperature instead. In fact, if your house stays cool (under 70°F), you can keep cream cheese frosting at room temperature for up to two days, according to Cooking Light!
Tips and Variations
Looking for ways to change things up? This sweet potato cookie recipe is super adaptable, so you can use this recipe as a base and go from there. Here are just a few ways to customize it:
- Butter: If you use unsalted butter in this recipe, you will need to add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the cookie dough.
- Add Nuts: Sprinkle chopped walnuts or pecans into the cookie batter before chilling it for a lovely crunch.
- Pie Spice: Cinnamon and nutmeg make a simple spice profile for this recipe, but feel free to substitute pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice instead for a more complex flavor.
- Frosting: Sweet potato cookies can also be topped with a simple, crisp glaze (try the glaze from my Old Fashioned Iced Oatmeal Cookies). Let the glaze dry and they are good to go – and easier to store, too.
- Marshmallows: Take a cue from your favorite candied yams recipe, and add some marshmallows to your sweet potato cookies. Press a few mini marshmallows into the batter before baking, and allow to cool before serving. Or frost your cookies with marshmallow fluff!
- Fridge. For maximum freshness, arrange these cookies in a single layer in shallow, airtight containers. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Room temperature. If your house stays under 70°F, you may store sweet potato cookies at room temperature for 1 – 2 days. Either way, make sure the cookies are tightly covered.
Yes! Store the sweet potato cookies cookies, unfrosted, in airtight containers for up to three months. I recommend separating layers of cookies with parchment or wax paper before freezing, so that they don’t stick to each other. Thaw to room temperature and frost before serving.
- Pumpkin Pie Cookies
- Maple Snickerdoodles (Mapledoodles)
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Mini Apple Pie Cookie Cups
- Best Pumpkin Cookies
- Molasses Cookies
- Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
- Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
Sweet Potato Cookies:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup drained and mashed Bruce’s Yams Cut Sweet Potatoes in Syrup
- 1 cup 2 sticks salted butter, melted
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 4 tablespoons salted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon, plus more for garnish, if desired
- 3 to 4 cups powdered sugar, add until desired consistency/firmness
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
- In a large bowl whisk together sweet potatoes, butter and granulated sugar. Add egg and vanilla extract.
- Beat in flour mixture until well combined. Cover bowl with foil or parchment paper and refrigerate for one hour or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Using a medium cookie scoop, drop dough by onto prepared cookie sheets. Grease the bottom of a flat glass with butter and gently press cookie dough into flat disks about 1/2 inch thick.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until tops are set. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:
- Beat together cream cheese, butter, cinnamon and vanilla until well combined. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
- Generously frost on top of each cookie and dust with extra cinnamon if desired. Serve immediately and store any leftovers in the refrigerator.
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