Tired Of Marshmallows? Top Your Next Sweet Potato Casserole With Cornflakes

At Thanksgiving dinners around the U.S., sweet potato casseroles are typically served with sweet, gooey marshmallows on top. This wasn't the original way to make the dish, however, as a 1796 version of the recipe left this topping out. When marshmallows were added into the mix in 1917, it was part of a marketing strategy that included a partnership between a marshmallow company and a cooking magazine. So are these gelatinous treats truly meant to be part of sweet potato casserole? Only you can decide, but if you're looking to swap out their ultra-sweetness with something a little more savory, opt for cornflakes instead.

From the sweet potatoes to the brown sugar, this casserole is already packed full of saccharine ingredients — so there's no need to revolve the topping around marshmallows, which are essentially just gelatinous globs of sugar. Choosing cornflakes instead will give you a welcome salty contrast in a wallet-friendly bag. Plus, amidst all the soft-cooked potatoes, butter, and eggs, the cereal topping adds a generous crunch to each bite, which will get even crispier as the casserole bakes.

How to make a sweet potato casserole with a cornflake topping

While you could technically dump cornflakes straight on your casserole as a topping, mixing them with just a few ingredients beforehand can make your dish turn out even tastier. All you need to do is stir them in some melted butter, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg to keep the topping delicious and on the savory side. If you don't mind venturing into the sweet territory, you can also add in a little brown sugar or even a small handful of marshmallows, which will still maintain more of a sweet-salty balance than an entire marshmallow topping. And to amp up the crunchiness even more, mix in some chopped pecans or walnuts. Whichever way you go, feel free to crush the cornflakes, or keep them whole for extra crispiness.

Once you have your topping ready to go, simply add it to your casserole after you've baked it almost entirely and removed it from the oven. Try to combine the cornflakes and other ingredients right before you use them since the melted butter will make them soggy if they sit out for too long. Then pop your dish back in, uncovered, for about 10 more minutes until your cereal gets golden and crunchy — and save your bag of marshmallows for dishes where they're most appreciated: on a mug of hot chocolate.