Monday, September 26, 2016

Purple Sweet Potato Muffins with Caramel and Streusel #MuffinMonday

Purple Sweet Potato Muffins with Caramel and Streusel #MuffinMonday

These candy-sweet muffins start with vibrantly-hued purple sweet potatoes coloring a sturdy oatmeal base. With caramel chips inside, and streusel on top, this is a sweet treat that's pretty to eat.

a plate of purple sweet potato muffins

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One of the perennially fun aspects of being a part of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share is the ever-revolving door to new produce. Each year I discover new varieties of vegetables and fruits, new favorites, new 'must-haves', and yes, new . . . . 'what is this and what do I do with it?' items.

mixing up the purple sweet potato muffin batter

When you get a new color of an old favorite, like sweet potatoes, you can just have fun. No need to invent uses for an unfamiliar vegetable. Instead, I can play with colors--like I did with my Purple and Orange Overnight Sweet Potato Pecan Monkey Bread or my purple, green, and golden Mardi Gras Braided Bread.

close up of a plate of purple sweet potato muffins with streusel topping

For this month's Muffin Monday recipe I got creative with some purple sweet potatoes from the farm share. I wanted a wholesome base, so I started by soaking rolled oats in vanilla yogurt similar to my standard overnight oat muffin recipe (my 4th post ever!). I wanted a decadent muffin so I used some softened butter in the batter. I wanted something that could be deliciously sweet for a morning coffee, so I tossed in some caramel chips to the batter. Finally, I wanted something that reminded me a bit of sweet potato casserole, so I topped the muffins with streusel topping.

purple sweet potato mini muffins ready to bake

If you get colorful veggies and want to play around with them--guess what? Your freezer is your friend. In addition to being long-storing like onions and white potatoes, cooked sweet potatoes also freeze well. Once thawed, you can use them in a myriad of ways to add moisture, color, and flavor to baked goods.

boiling chunks of purple sweet potatoes

How did I cook my sweet potatoes? I've prepared my purple sweet potatoes in several ways. I've cut them into chunks and boiled them gently until tender (about 15-25 minutes depending on chunk size). I've lubed them up with vegetable oil, snuggled them in foil, and baked for 20 to 45 minutes at 400 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. I prefer the flavor of the baked purple sweet potatoes, but whatever's easiest for you. I mean, if it's wicked hot outside, even though it's technically Fall, I'm not about to crank up the oven, you know?

baking purple sweet potatoes

Adding the caramel chips may be gilding the lily, but it was making me think of Thanksgiving and all the crap toppings that are traditionally slathered onto candied yams. I like the flavor of a pure sweet potato as well as anyone, but I was feeling frisky and wanted to go big on these muffins.

ingredients for purple sweet potato muffins

For more recipes using sweet potatoes, please see my Sweet Potato Recipes Collection. It's part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me eating from the farm share, the farmer's market, the garden, the neighbor's garden, and great deals on ugly produce at the grocery store.

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the topping and the batter for purple sweet potato muffins

Note: the oats should be soaked in the yogurt at least 1 hour or overnight so they soften prior to mixing with the rest of the ingredients.

Purple Sweet Potato Muffins with Caramel and Streusel (makes about 36 mini muffins or 1 dozen regular sized muffins)


  • 1 cup rolled oats (the old fashioned kind)
  • 1 cup vanilla yogurt or Greek yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup softened butter (I use unsalted)
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup cooked purple sweet potato flesh (baked or boiled)
  • 1 cup (4¼ ounces by weight) unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt (I use kosher)
  • ½ cup caramel morsels
For the topping

  • ¼ cup softened butter (I use unsalted)
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans (optional)


  1. Please soak the oats for at least an hour, if not overnight. 
  2. First, make the muffin batter. In a large bowl combine oats and yogurt. Set aside for an hour or refrigerate overnight. 
  3. When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and spray a muffin pan or use paper liners. I baked these in my mini muffin pan. 
  4. Dump in the egg, butter, brown sugar, vanilla and purple sweet potato into the oat mixture. Mix well.
  5. Scatter the flour, baking powder, and salt on top of the sweet potato mixture. Stir gently a few times.
  6. Add the caramel morsels and stir until just combined.
  7. Make the streusel topping in a separate bowl. Combine the butter, brown sugar, oats and optional pecans. Set aside.
  8. Scoop the batter into prepared pans, and top with a small amount of streusel.
  9. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes for mini muffins. I'd extrapolate that regular sized muffins would bake for 15 to 18 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to finish cooling.
  10. Serve warm or at room temperature.

title image of purple sweet potato muffins with caramel and streusel

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#MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins. You can see all our of lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board.

Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday, can be found on our home page.


  1. I have no idea if those are the same exact root vegetable, but in Asia you often find purple yams used in ice cream or other desserts. I love the vibrant color that they add to your muffins, Kirsten! Bet the flavor is just as special!

  2. I have never gotten purple sweet potatoes. I have gotten purple carrots, purple beans and purple cauliflower though. What a whimsical and fun recipe.

  3. Oh you whimsical girl you! These are quite pretty! Love everything about them!

  4. I'd say you went big and you won. The caramel chips are a lovely addition, and the color is beautiful. I love the purple.