Sweet Potato Candy is one of my favorite weird and wonderful recipes that everyone seems to love. Like a lot of my weirder recipes, I’m not entirely sure where it came from, but it is delicious and worth trying out the next time you want to make something for a bake sale or family gathering. It’s really simple to make, and it has very few ingredients. You can use regular potatoes or sweet potatoes, and it’ll turn out yummy either way.
Food photography/styling by StudioKimihou
These happy little treats are definitely not for those watching their figure. With nearly two POUNDS of powdered sugar, it is a very sweet recipe even before you consider the fillings. But there is something nostalgic about it that makes it great for the holidays. It has a texture that is similar to a nice fudge, and most people would never guess it was made from a humble sweet potato.
I’ve heard different stories about where the recipe comes from. Some say it comes from the depression-era south when frugal mothers had to come up with new and creative ways to treat their families. But it’s more likely that it came over with Irish settlers who were famed for their potato recipes and found a great way to turn them into a delicious special-occasion treat.
Whatever the origin, sweet potato candy is a simple and delicious recipe that anyone can make. Want to find out how? Well hit your pantry to gather your ingredients to follow along.
The main ingredients required are really simple. All you need is a small sweet potato, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 6 – 7 cups of powdered sugar. That’s what makes up the main “dough” of your candy. The filling is totally up to you. Traditionally peanut butter is the way to go. But I love making a selection including peanut butter, nutella and cookie butter! Yum!
The first step is to cook your sweet potato. Peel it and cube it first to make it easier, then place it in a pot of boiling water. Cook until tender, then drain and transfer to a bowl. Mash it up until smooth and free from lumps. You should have about half a cup of mashed sweet potato. Allow it to cool slightly, but it should still be warm.
In your bowl, combine the mashed sweet potato along with 2 cups of powdered sugar until blended. The mixture will become very loose at this point – it is normal. Stir in the vanilla.
Continue to add 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time until the mixture becomes a nice pliable dough.
Transfer the dough onto a sheet of wax paper sprinkled with powdered sugar, and sprinkle the top with even more. Then, top with another sheet of wax paper. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangular shape a quarter inch thick. Trim to form straight edges.
Divide the dough into three even rectangles. If you are only using one filling, you still probably want to do this step. If you try and roll up a huge rectangle, you’ll end up with ENORMOUS candies. And while that sounds really good to me, it might be seen as gluttonous to others… But you do you. I won’t judge.
Spread your fillings out evenly along each rectangle. Be sure to reach the edges on all sides. Once all of your rectangles are covered it’s time to roll them up.
When rolling, remember to roll lengthwise, NOT from the short side. We want long snakes, not short snails. Use your fingers to bring one side up and roll it over itself as tightly as you can without breaking the dough. Slowly roll the candy from one long edge to another.
Once you have finished with one, wrap it in wax paper, cut it in half, then place in a resealable plastic bag and chill for an hour in the fridge. Repeat with each of your fillings.
After an hour, you can pull out your rolls and cut them into 3/4 inch candies.
How good does that look?? Yum, right? You can make a lot of little candies this way. And with so many different fillings, there’s something for everyone.
If you have any leftover dough scraps (which I always do), you can roll them into balls and sprinkle them with cocoa powder or a mix of cinnamon/sugar for another tasty treat. My kiddos love them.
I took these to a friend’s house recently, and she suggested filling them with marshmallow cream, and now I think she’s trying to kill me, but also I am definitely going to try it. I’d love to hear other ideas for fillings, because I’m sure there are a million things I haven’t thought of that would taste AH-MAY-ZING.
- 1 small sweet potato
- 6 - 7 C powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2/3 C peanut butter
- 2/3 C cookie butter
- 2/3 C chocolate hazelnut spread
- Peel, dice and boil sweet potatoes until cooked. Drain and transfer to a bowl. Mash until smooth. Allow to cool slightly.
- In a bowl, combine sweet potato and 2 cups of the powdered sugar until blended. Mixture will be very loose, which is normal. Stir in the vanilla.
- Add 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time until mixture forms a firm dough.
- Transfer the dough onto wax paper sprinkled with powdered sugar. Top with more powdered sugar and another sheet of wax paper. Use a rolling pin to roll into a rectangular shape, about 1/4-inch thick, trimming to form straight edges.
- Divide into three rectangles
- Spread an even layer of each filling over the surface of each rectangle.
- Slowly roll the candy from one long edge to another. Wrap with the wax paper, and cut in half. Chill until firm, about an hour.
- Slice rolled potato candy into 3/4-inch thick pieces and enjoy!
With any extra dough, roll into small balls and coat with cocoa powder for an extra treat.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 36 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 610Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 39mgCarbohydrates: 143gFiber: 1gSugar: 137gProtein: 1g
This nutrition information is automatically calculated and may not be entirely accurate. Please do your own research if you are overly concerned about specific macros.
Katie Reed is a passionate writer and mother of four vivacious boys from Salt Lake City, Utah. Drawing from her own journey through TTC, pregnancy, and the joys of raising children, she offers a wealth of insight into the world of motherhood. Beyond her heartfelt tales, Katie delights her readers with family-friendly recipes, engaging crafts, and a curated library of printables for both kids and adults. When she’s not penning her experiences, you’ll find her crafting memories with her husband and sons—Dexter, Daniel, Chester, and Wilder.