20 Ways To Eat A Potato For Dessert

Potatoes check off every box when it comes to near-perfect vegetables. Along with adaptable taste and consistency, they're loaded with nutrients, making them one of the best ingredients for both savory and sweet recipes. According to Statista, Americans ate more potatoes than any other vegetable in 2021. It's clear that our love for these starchy tubers is anything but small potatoes.

Beyond common varieties like Russett, Yukon gold, and sweet-tasting Beauregard, there are thousands of others from countries around the world. They're used in local hole-in-the-wall landmarks and lavish, reservation-only establishments alike. When it comes to dessert, potatoes can shape-shift from pillowy to pudding-like. Sugar blends seamlessly and butter melts eagerly. They thicken and provide moisture, making them hearty and filling.

That means it's harder to overindulge and easier to satisfy your sweet tooth. If pie is the only thing that comes to mind when you think of ways to eat a potato for dessert, you've been missing out on everything this totally tubular tuber has to offer. From decadent cakes to delectable confections, there are many reasons why it's a vegetable worth rooting for.

1. Chocolate potato cake

Two ingredients you'd probably never guess tasted great together are chocolate and potatoes. While the very utterance might cause a few noses to turn up, this little-known pairing is actually a match made in heaven. When mashed, potatoes can be added to baking mixtures for extra moisture and structure because they're composed of 80% water and 20% starch. That makes them great dairy-free substitutes for everyday go-to's like buttermilk and sour cream.

To elevate your chocolate cake with potatoes, first make sure they're seasoning-free, then peeled and finely mashed. Chocolate potato cake typically requires around ¾ cup of mashed potatoes mixed with liquid ingredients, butter, and eggs. Chocolate potato cake should have a fluffy texture that's moist and delectable. Who knows, maybe potatoes are the secret your sweets have been missing.

2. Sweet potato truffles

Rich, moist, and soft, sweet potato truffles should be next on your must-try dessert list. Not underly nor overly sweet, they are made using baked and mashed sweet potatoes, almond meal, pitted Medjool dates, aromatic cocoa powder, and cinnamon, then covered with shredded coconut. That combination of ingredients can only mean one thing: deliciousness. Perfect for unseasoned leftover mashed sweet potatoes, these truffles only take a quick and easy 15 minutes to prepare.

If you're not cuckoo for coconut, you can top your truffles off with a layer of cocoa powder or powdered sugar and add some extra oomph with dark chocolate chips. These fudgy potato-y-bites are kid and adult-friendly, carrying a natural sweetness that you can increase to your liking. And if your mouth hasn't started watering yet, they're also a healthier sweet option, packing loads of vitamins and antioxidants according to Healthline. Great for a quick afternoon snack, before you know it your family will be requesting them all the time.

3. Sweet potato beignets

There aren't very many things that a freshly fried beignet won't fix. Having a bad day? A sweet and doughy beignet will take it away. From its golden brown outside to its moist and fluffy inside, beignets are so tasty, there's no shame in licking up the powdered sugar remnants. Considered a delicacy in New Orleans, according to Brittanica, beignets have been Louisiana's official state doughnut since 1986.

Beignets are considered French doughnuts despite their Nawlins roots. They're traditionally made with sweetened dough that's cut into squares, fried to perfection, and powdered with copious amounts of sugar. If you're a fan of these Cajun-style coffee dunkers, sweet potatoes will give your pastries extra pizzazz. Bakers familiar with beignets will find the upgrade an easy switch. All you need to do is add mashed sweet potatoes to this New Orleans beignet recipe. Two medium-sized sweet potatoes should yield about 15 beignets.

4. Peanut butter potato candy

This old-timey Southern recipe is believed to have been brought to the U.S. by German immigrants. Peanut butter potato candy gained popularity during the Depression amongst Irish immigrants who were too poor to afford candy. No one knows how or when it was invented, we just know that potatoes were widely available, and peanut butter was one of the best sweet ingredients for creating makeshift candy. While peanut butter and mashed potatoes don't sound like the best match-up, potato candy is a time-tested confection that's still enjoyed to this day.

All you need is mashed potatoes (leftovers work, too, so long as they're unseasoned), milk, vanilla extract, a pinch of salt, peanut butter, and a sprinkle of confectioners' sugar. After the ingredients have been whipped together, parchment paper is used to roll and cut the potato dough and peanut butter into tasty-looking swirl pastries. 

5. Sweet potato cheesecake

Welcome to dessert heaven, where the clouds are made of whipped cream and the cheesecake is always deliciously baked and crusted. If you love this crave-tastic confection as we do, then you'll salivate over sweet potato cheesecake. When roasted, peeled, and pureed, sweet potato provides the ideal consistency for a creamy cheesecake filling. Its natural sweetness is enhanced when mixed with cheese, eggs, and sugar, while its earthiness rounds out the more pronounced notes.

Sweet potato cheesecake is a surefire way to impress at the next potluck. It's as easy to make as regular cheesecake and uses many of the same ingredients. Regular pie crust is great but a gingersnap crust is a must. In fact, spruce up this year's Thanksgiving by swapping out traditional sweet potato pie for sweet potato cheesecake.

6. Sweet potato soufflé

If fluffy, light, and floaty desserts are your thang, then you've got to try sweet potato soufflé. Another gift bestowed upon us by French cuisine, a soufflé is a one-of-a-kind dish that's traditionally made from beaten and baked egg whites. They can be served sweet or savory, but, well, since we're on the subject of desserts, one sweet tooth-satisfying recipe we recommend is sweet potato soufflé.

Velvety and filling, sweet potato seamlessly blends into your batter when mashed. Its autumnal selection of aromatics like allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg can be enjoyed year-round. One could say that sweet potato soufflé is a fanciful version of sweet potato casserole — it's creamy, more airy, and just as comforting. For a truly transcendent sweet potato soufflé, we recommend topping it with roasted pecan pieces.

7. Dark chocolate sweet potato chipotle fudge

When you're tired of the same ol' sweets, sometimes you gotta spice things up. Lucky for you, we've got a first-class ticket to sugar and spice satisfaction. Dark chocolate sweet potato chipotle fudge bars are addictive and delectable. They're a trifecta of tastiness: sweet, spicy, and nutritious. In the flavor department, these chewy confections are rich — melting in your mouth as flakes of chipotle pepper add a tinge of excitement.

Trust us, not only do these taste amazing, they're super simple to make. You can purchase dark chocolate chips or your favorite brand of bars to start. The mashed sweet potato will provide additional structure without taking away any chewy goodness. Dark chocolate sweet potato chipotle fudge bars are also paleo, gluten-free, and vegan-friendly.

8. Sweet potato cinnamon rolls

Aside from flavor, the experience of eating is a tactile one: how chocolate melts and stains your fingers, for example, or the sticky sweet gooey goodness cinnamon rolls leave behind — both lickable situations. Speaking of cinnamon rolls, we bet you didn't know that sweet potato was the secret starchy ingredient you were looking for. The smell of brown sugar, toasted pecan, and butter will have your kids peeking in the kitchen.

A classic treat, you can take your sweet potato cinnamon rolls to new heights with a sweet potato cream cheese frosting. Feel free to experiment with other popular additions like raisins, a fondant glaze, or honey syrup too. It'll only take less than an hour to bake these beauties up. Just make sure you're prepared to be begged for more.

9. No-churn sweet potato pie ice cream

We know what you're thinking: "If sweet potatoes can be souffléd, then naturally they can be ice creamed." And you're right, the transformative powers of potatoes make them excellent chilled treats. With the right ingredients and a little imagination, you too can come up with genius ideas like sweet potato pie ice cream. In all honesty, this frozen iteration of the classic pie makes perfect sense. 

What's even better is that you don't need to break the bank on an ice cream machine to make it. Sweet potatoes are fibrous and act as a thickener when pureéd and added to a batter mix. That's why you don't need to churn this ice cream, you can skip the baking altogether and still get your classic sweet potato pie fix.

10. Jamaican sweet potato pudding

Sweet potato is an internationally beloved staple. In Jamaica, sweet potato pudding is one of the most popular potato-based dishes. "Hell a top. Hell a bottom. Hallelujah in the middle," is a Jamaican saying that describes how this local staple should be baked. Traditionally baked in a Dutch oven using an intricate coal cooking method, Jamaican sweet potato pudding is a labor of hours that's worth every minute. That said, with today's nifty baking gadgets you can prepare and enjoy it in just two hours. 

Funnily enough, it resembles a pie more than pudding. But don't let it fool you, Jamaican sweet potato pudding is moist, buttery, and decadent. Its flavor profile marries coconut, raisin, rum, and lime juice, making it an undeniable treat worth adding to your baking list.

11. Purple sweet potato tapioca

Potatoes come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. Although orange-colored sweet potatoes are the most popular, this purple variety might be the true belle of the ball. Not to be confused with "ube," which is popular in the Philippines, purple sweet potatoes pack the same sweet taste with an added boost of nutrients. According to Medical News Today, its color comes from anthocyanins and is actually an indicator of high antioxidant content.

These vibrant-colored tubers are sure to get the dinner party talking. One colorfully chewy dessert we recommend making is purple sweet potato tapioca. Tapioca is created using the starch found in cassava root, which like the potato, is also a part of the tuber family. You can usually purchase a big bag of pearls at Asian markets or most stores that carry specialty foods.

12. Japanese sweet potato

Around the world, cultures have put their unique spin on potato-based desserts. Japan, a country that has its very own variety of sweet potatoes, is no stranger to tasty dessert dishes. One popular street food we highly suggest you try is plainly called Japanese sweet potatoes, natively known as daigaku imo (or university potato). Per the name, Tokyo university campuses helped establish these crispy candied-sweet potatoes as a culinary staple. Straightforward name aside, the dessert has kept sweet lovers smiling since the early 20th century. 

To achieve the ideal consistency and taste, daigaku imo is usually made using Murasaki sweet potatoes. Sweeter than most other potatoes on the market, Murasakis have an earthy taste that's balanced by a rich chestnut-like accent. They're also known for carrying floral notes, making them one of the best potatoes for desserts.

13. Purple sweet potato pie

There's no potato-based dessert more iconic than the sweet potato pie. A Southern classic, depending on who you talk to, the mere mention of pumpkin pie in the same breath is blasphemous. 

So far, we've covered a wide selection of potato types, each of which is similar yet different in its own way. That's why we recommend trying this fun take on a classic treat: purple sweet potato pie. A pop of purple is not only a great conversation starter, but it's also a guaranteed way to inject some excitement into your everyday sweet potato pie. Packing the same familiar flavor with an easy switch, all you have to do is swap out the orange 'tates used in this simple sweet potato pie recipe for purple ones.

14. Sweet potato casserole with marshmallow

Sweet potato casserole is a Thanksgiving classic that's actually year-round-worthy. It's as if mini marshmallow asteroids collided with a planet made of sweet potato pie. Melted and golden-charred marshmallows are merely the first layer; beneath the sugary clouds lies the nutty and buttery flavor of sweet potato casserole

Casseroles are one of the most reliable one-pot comfort foods made for feeding a lot of people at once. If the overpowering sweetness of marshmallows isn't your thing, try out this savory and cheesy sweet potato casserole with bacon recipe. In addition to succulent bacon bits, shredded Gruyère cheese is also added for an extra creamy punch. You simply can't lose with sweet potato casserole: It's a holiday classic that can make any day worth celebrating.

15. Egyptian roasted sweet potatoes (batata)

When you think of Egypt, great pyramids and endless sandscapes come to mind, don't they? Well, you should be thinking of less desert and more dessert because Egypt has a lot to offer in the sweets department. For example, in Cairo, there's a street cart classic called "batata," otherwise known as coal-roasted sweet potatoes. They're easy on-the-go treats that are delicious and affordable. Street vendors cook them using a portable tin oven with a small smokey chimney attached. According to the Egyptian Independent, a single roasted sweet potato will only cost you give Egyptian pounds, which is around 20 cents. 

In addition to being healthy and hearty, Egyptian sweet potatoes can be customized with chocolate and caramel sauce, ice cream, nuts, or your topping of choice. It's a no-frills experience that may seem plain but is perfect in its simplicity.

16. Sweet potato Gulab Jamun

This unique pastry is mostly enjoyed in eastern countries like India, Pakistan, and Nepal, to name a few. Gulab Jamun is a ball-shaped pastry made with milk solids, flour, and a leavening agent, then fried to a light airy crisp. After doughy perfection is achieved, the balls are soaked in sugary rose-flavored syrup. Just make sure you don't let them soak longer than 20 minutes. These babies are definitely made to be enjoyed fresh, as they harden after an hour.

When you're ready to dive in, first add a garnish of thinly sliced pistachios. Although it's traditionally made with dairy, vegans can still enjoy it by following this sweet potato Gulab Jamun recipe. It's just as tasty and can be prepped and fried in under 45 minutes. Take the sweet-perience to new levels by pairing Gulab Jamun with vanilla ice cream.

17. Sweet potato smoothie

Sweet potato desserts can sometimes dance dangerously close to being too decadent. Hearty and fibrous, when combined with common baking ingredients like milk, butter, and flour, sweet potatoes easily become overindulgent. That said, sweet potatoes are culinary chameleons that can take on endless forms. For a refreshing sweet potato-based dessert, start your day off with a smoothie. It's a proven tummy-pleaser and according to the United States Department of Agriculture, is loaded with healthy carbs and a wide assortment of health-supporting vitamins and minerals.

Aside from smooth mornings, sweet potato smoothies are great midday beverages and weekend snacks. They'll energize and fill you up without leaving you feeling weighty. All you need is a few simple ingredients, a blender, and a tiny window of only three minutes to make your morning mighty.

18. Leftover mashed potato donuts

There's really no limit to what you can do with potatoes, as even leftovers can be reinvigorated and turned into completely new recipes. Sure to land on your list of must-make treats are leftover mashed potato donuts. You're probably wondering why you're just now hearing about this. Well, fortunately, "batter" late than never. With a short prep time of 10 minutes, you can whip together these potato pastries quicker than Superman can blink an eye.

Don't worry, these donuts don't taste anything like taters. After they're combined with brown sugar, nutmeg, and vanilla extract, the potato flavor transforms into sweet bliss. Mashed potatoes also provide moisture, which gives donuts the airy and fluffy texture we all love. Once your doughy delicacies are ready, you can top them with glaze, chocolate drizzle, sprinkles, or your favorite frosting.

19. Honey butter chips

From roasted and baked to mashed and pureéd, potatoes can take on endless forms. Out of the many potato textures and consistencies, fried is arguably the most popular. While French fries are legendary, it's simply hard to beat the convenience, affordability, and taste of photo chips. This list wouldn't be complete without crunchy crisps, which is why we wanted to put Korean honey butter chips on your foodie radar.

According to The Korea Times, these scrumptious snacks are traditionally made using "sweet, sweet honey from beehives" and "gourmet butter" from France. These sweet honey butter potato chips happen to be a recent addition to the culinary snack geist, garnering a cult following in 2014 after becoming a hit amongst K-Pop stars. You can find a bag of them at Korean markets, or if you're up to the task, try out Oiji's honey butter chips recipe.

20. Purple sweet potato and cranberry tea cakes

There's something about the color purple that immediately grabs your attention. Purple-colored foods carry a sense of fun, spark curiosity, and provide nutritious benefits. Joining our list of potato-based desserts are purple sweet potato and cranberry tea cakes. Sweet and fruity, these special Sichuan tea cakes are the perfect pairing with freshly brewed green tea. They're sweet and spongy, while only requiring a few ingredients.

Although tea cakes are generally associated with bougie snooty snackers, this modern take is worth breaking out the fine china for. It takes a little under an hour to make, which gives you plenty of time to set the table and place the utensils in their proper positions. Feel free to fancify your foods, after all, there's nothing wrong with putting your pinky up and enjoying the sweet part of life.