Sweet Potato Puffs

Sweet Potato Puffs are a great addition to any meal. Whipped sweet potato balls with marshmallows inside and crispy cracker crumbs on the outside make for a unique way to serve sweet potatoes.

several sweet potato puffs on a plate.

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What Makes This Recipe So Special?

There are a zillion ways to cook sweet potatoes, but Sweet Potato Puffs are among the most unique. These cracker-crumb coated sweet potato puffs with marshmallows come from an old family recipe that recreates the taste of a classic sweet potato casserole in a cool new shape.

Bake up a batch for Thanksgiving or your next holiday meal, and bring some fun to your table!

What Makes This Recipe So Good? 

Who wouldn’t love spiced sweet potato balls with gooey marshmallows centers and a salty, crunch crust? Sweet Potato Balls are so deliciously different that even the pickiest kid (or husband) will eat them. 

Ingredients You Will Need 

  • Sweet potatoes, canned
  • Egg
  • Salt
  • Cinnamon
  • Butter, melted
  • Marshmallows
  • Crackers
sweet potato puffs ingredients on a tray.

Ingredient Notes

Look for the canned sweet potatoes in light syrup. Some brands label their products as yams. You can use these as well. However, don’t use sweet potato pie filling for this recipe. 

Campfire-style marshmallows are perfect for making larger sweet potato balls, but if you want to make appetizer-sized puffs, you can use mini marshmallows instead.

The original recipe called for Hi Ho crackers, but they were discontinued. Ritz or Town House crackers are good alternatives. Saltines will do in a pinch, but they lack the buttery flavor that works well with the sweetness of the potatoes. Some people prefer using cornflakes for crunch, shredded coconut, or even parmesan cheese!

Are you gluten intolerant? Use gluten free crackers instead of regular crackers.

Are you lactose intolerant? Use coconut oil, margarine, or vegan butter substitute instead of butter for dairy free sweet potato puffs.

How to Make Sweet Potato Puffs

To prepare sweet potato marshmallow balls:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Drain the canned potatoes in a colander in the sink. Transfer the drained sweet potato to a large bowl.
  3. Separate the egg and set the whites aside. Add the yolk to the potatoes.
  4. Season the sweet potatoes with salt and cinnamon.
  5. Pour in the melted butter.
  6. Break up the sweet potatoes with a potato masher. Don’t overmix, or the potatoes can get gummy. 
mashed sweet potato, egg yolks, salt, cinnamon, and melted butter in a mixing bowl.
  1. Use a 5 oz food scoop to divide the sweet potato mixture into six even portions if you are using large marshmallows or a 2 oz food scoop if you are using mini marshmallows.
scoops of sweet potato puff mixture on a baking sheet.
  1. Create an indentation in each sweet potato ball, place a marshmallow, and pinch it closed. 
scoops of sweet potato puff mixture with marshmallows on top.
  1. Crush the crackers into crumbs and put them on a plate.
  2. Whisk the egg white until frothy, and use your fingers to roll each ball in the egg whites.
sweet potato puff ball and egg white in a bowl.
  1. Roll the egg-dipped balls in the cracker crumbs. Use your hands or a spoon to roll the ball around in the crumbs.
  2. Place the sweet potato marshmallow balls on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes. 
sweet potato puffs before baking.
  1. Serve hot. 
sweet potato puffs on a blue plate with one split in half.

What To Serve With Sweet Potato Balls 

Sweet Potato Puffs make an excellent side for ham or any roasted poultry dish, especially turkey. Serve the appetizer-sized puffs as a game-day snack.

How To Store the Leftovers

You can wrap any extra puffs individually in plastic and store them in an airtight container in the fridge. They should last up to five days. 

These puffs don’t do well in the freezer. 

How to Reheat Them 

Refrigerated sweet potato puffs with marshmallows reheat wonderfully in the oven or the air fryer. Remove the puffs from the fridge about 10 minutes before reheating to allow them to come to room temperature. 

To reheat in the oven:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. 
  2. Place on a baking sheet and reheat for 10 minutes or until hot. Give the tray a shake halfway through reheating.

To reheat in an air fryer:

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 325°F.
  2. Air fry for 5 minutes or until hot.

To reheat in the microwave:

  1. Place the puff on a microwave-safe plate.
  2. Microwave on medium-high for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until heated.

How Do They Make Marshmallows?

Everyone with a sweet tooth likes marshmallows. They taste especially wonderful all gooey and dripping on the end of a stick around the campfire. Watch this fun video to see how to make s’mores the next time you take the kids camping.

They are called marshmallows because originally they were made from the gelatinous sap contained in the root of the marshmallow plant. As the name infers, this plant belongs to the mallow family and grows mainly in wet or marshy areas.

What Else Have Marshmallows Been Used For?

Beginning around the 9th Century BC, the Greeks were using marshmallows to soothe sore throats and heal wounds. In addition, a balm concocted from the plant’s sap was applied to aching teeth and to bee stings.

Arabs used a poultice of ground-up marshmallow leaves as an anti-inflammatory. The Romans discovered that marshmallows did good work as a laxative. By the time the Middle Ages came around, marshmallows served as a treatment for a variety of conditions – everything from upset stomachs to insomnia and chest colds.

Who First Made Sweets from the Marshmallow Plant?

Probably the ancient Egyptians. They combined marshmallow sap with honey and nuts, a sweet treat that was nothing like today’s marshmallows and was reserved for the nobility.

For hundreds of years afterward, the plant served as a food source only in times of famine because the plant itself is quite tough and very bitter. In the 19th Century, French confectioners created Pâté de guimauve a soft, spongy dessert made by whipping up dried marshmallow roots with egg whites, sugar, and water.

Sold in the form of a “healthy” lozenge or bar, the guimauve became a big hit. However, there was a bit of a problem. Drying and preparing the marshmallow root took a day or two, so eventually, confectioners substituted gelatin for the plant extract.

overhead view of sweet potato puffs with marshmallows inside.

Want to Have More Fun with Marshmallows?

Try these recipes with marshmallows:

Check out more of my easy side dish recipes and favorite family recipes on CopyKat!

This recipe is by Virginia McDowell. Jefferson City, Mo. 1960.

several sweet potato puffs on a plate.

Sweet Potato Puffs

Marshmallow stuffed sweet potato puffs are a delicious side dish.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: sweet potato balls, sweet potato puffs
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 198kcal

Ingredients

  • 28 ounces canned sweet potatoes
  • 1 egg separated
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 ounces butter melted
  • 6 large marshmallows
  • 3/4 cup crushed butter crackers (about 13)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Mash the sweet potatoes and beat in the egg yolk, salt, cinnamon, melted butter.
  • Scoop potatoes into 6 equal mounds.
  • Poke a marshmallow into the center of each mound and roll the potatoes into a ball covering the marshmallow.
  • Beat the egg white until it’s foamy.
  • Dip each potato ball into the egg white.
  • Roll each ball in cracker crumbs until well coated.
  • Bake for 10 minutes or until done.

Notes

You can use crushed corn flakes or shredded coconut instead of crushed butter crackers.

Nutrition

Calories: 198kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 311mg | Potassium: 341mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 14460IU | Vitamin C: 2.4mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 0.7mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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