Twice baked sweet potatoes have a sweet creamy filling with a crunchy streusel topping. If you’re feeding a crowd, the recipe can easily be made into a casserole, too.
Why you’ll love it: These potatoes are addictively delicious. They’re perfect for a special holiday dinner (you can make them ahead!) or for a scrumptious lunch.
How long it takes: about 90 minutes
Equipment you’ll need: electric mixer, baking dish
Servings: 8 (half a potato each)
Creamy mashed sweet potatoes with a crunchy streusel topping are encased in a sweet potato shell, bringing sweet potatoes to new heights of deliciousness. If you’re already of fan of this nutritious root vegetable, you’ll love this recipe.
My kids love marshmallow-topped handheld sweet potato casserole served up in mini tortilla boats. Really, they pretty much love anything with marshmallows, and the little mini boats don’t hurt either. While I wouldn’t turn those down, these sweet potatoes are more my cup of tea.
Are you searching for great Thanksgiving dinner sides? Or desserts? This recipe could easily go both ways. Or, in my case, breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Maybe all three!
About these easy Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes
There are unlimited ways to stuff sweet potatoes. Many recipes lean toward savory, and are intended to be a main dish. They’re filled with meat, beans, grains, cheese, scrambled eggs, avocado, tomatoes, etc., really whatever you like. I like to stuff them with vegetarian quinoa chili, topped with a handful of shredded cheddar.
Then there are the sweet options, like this one. In my opinion, this recipe goes really well with a big dinner. I usually cut the baked potatoes into halves so they aren’t such a big serving. I would compare them to traditional sweet potato casserole, except with a built-in bowl. If I’m really feeling like a splurge, I make my scalloped sweet potatoes with bacon and Gruyère.
There are a few steps to this recipe but they aren’t difficult. The part that takes the longest is baking the potatoes. They’ll need about an hour but that’s completely hands off time. Once they are baked, you’ll need close to another hour to finish them up. Keep reading for make ahead ideas.
I’ll get you started on the recipe here and give you some helpful tips. Look for the printable recipe card near the end of the post with complete instructions, measurements, and nutrition information.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Sweet Potatoes: Look for four large sweet potatoes that are pretty uniformly sized. They should have smooth skins without wrinkly or soft spots.
- Butter: Use unsalted butter and take it out an hour or so ahead of time so it has a chance to soften. I usually take it out of the fridge when I start baking the potatoes. One tablespoon is added to the filling and three tablespoons are for the topping.
- Cream Cheese: Either full fat or lower fat cream cheese is fine. You’ll need just a couple of ounces to give the filling a super rich and creamy texture.
- Cinnamon: This cozy sweet tasting spice makes these sweet potatoes taste like dessert. Again, you’ll need some for both the filling and the topping.
- Nutmeg: There’s nothing like freshly grated nutmeg. Buy whole nutmegs and grate them with a microplane. If you’d rather not bother with that, ground nutmeg is a good substitute.
- Ginger: This completes the trio of spices which makes the filling taste quite a lot like pumpkin pie.
- Brown Sugar: Double duty again, the brown sugar is in the filling and the topping.
- Flour: All-purpose flour is mixed with the butter and brown sugar to make a crunchy streusel topping.
- Pepitas: Green in color, pepitas are shelled pumpkin seeds. Mixed with the streusel, they provide a nice crisp texture and just a bit of color. Pepitas are good for you, too, with antioxidants, magnesium, and vitamin K.
How To Make Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes
Prep and bake the potatoes. Scrub the sweet potatoes well and prick them a few times with a fork. Put them on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake them until they are soft. It will take about an hour.
How Long Do Sweet Potatoes Take To Bake?
Baking time depends on the size and shape of your sweet potatoes, and also the oven temperature. Long thin potatoes get done more quickly than potatoes with a larger diameter.
Wondering how to tell when the sweet potatoes are done? Poke a fork into the center of the potato. If it goes in easily, with little or no resistance, it’s ready to eat.
Scoop out the flesh. Remove the potatoes from the oven and let them cool a bit so you can handle them. With a sharp knife, cut off the top third (more or less) of each potato. Carefully scoop out the flesh. You’ll want to leave a pretty sturdy shell, about one quarter inch thick.
Make the filling. Combine the filling ingredients: butter, cream cheese, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. To that, add the potato stuff (I couldn’t say flesh again!) that you scooped out. Beat until creamy and smooth.
Fill the potatoes. Dividing the mixture evenly, refill the sweet potato shells with this delicious amped up sweet potato mixture. Put the filled potatoes back onto the foil-lined pan you used to bake them.
Add the streusel. Now for the good stuff on top! Mix the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Cut the butter into the dry mixture with a fork until it’s blended and sticks together.
Fold in the chopped pepitas. Lightly pat this mixture on top of the potatoes.
Bake again. This is the “twice-baked” part. Pop the filled potatoes back into the oven for 30 to 40 minutes or so until they are nice and hot and the topping is browned a bit.
I think you could easily put ice cream on these babies and serve them for dessert, don’t you? Pretty much like sweet potato pie without the crust.
Sweet potatoes can be baked with or without foil. It’s really your preference. Wrapping them in foil steams the potatoes so they have very soft skins and creamy flesh.
If you’re wondering why your baked sweet potatoes are soggy, it could be because of your cooking method. Wrapped potatoes tend to have extra moisture. Without foil, the potatoes are roasted, yielding crisp potato skins that are entirely edible and they’re never soggy.
Poking holes in potatoes before baking them allows the steam inside to escape. Without vents for steam, there is a very small chance that the potatoes could explode inside your oven. Exploding potatoes are highly unlikely, however, especially with sweet potatoes which are very thin skinned.
It could be simply that you didn’t cook the potato long enough. Remember that the larger the potato, the longer it will take to cook.
Never store sweet potatoes in the refrigerator. Refrigerating the potatoes changes the cell structure so that the potatoes stay hard when cooked. Store them in a cool dark place.
Change Up This Recipe
- Ideas for the filling: The filling can be tweaked in lots of different ways. Use honey, maple syrup, or coconut sugar instead of brown sugar. Add more sweetener or use less. Try pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice in place of the cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Ideas for the streusel: Instead of chopped pepitas in the streusel, try chopped walnuts or pecans, shredded coconut, rolled oats. sunflower seeds, or pine nuts. If you prefer, you can just skip the streusel.
- Make a casserole instead. Remove all of the sweet potato flesh from the baked sweet potatoes and blend it with the filling ingredients. Put the mixture into a greased baking dish instead of back into the shells. Top with the streusel and bake as directed. Hint: Double the streusel ingredients for a nice thick layer of streusel on the casserole.
Make Ahead Ideas
Bake the sweet potatoes a day ahead. Scoop out the flesh and either make the filling right away or make it the next day.
You can also make the potatoes completely ahead (up to the second baking time) and either refrigerate or freeze them in a freezer safe container for up to three months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before doing the second bake. You’ll need to add five to ten minutes to the baking time to ensure that the potatoes are heated through.
Storage & Reheating Tips
- Refrigerate: Leftover baked sweet potatoes can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to four days.
- Freeze: They can be frozen for 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
- Reheat: To reheat individual portions, place in the microwave and heat gently until warmed through. For larger amounts, bake at 350°F until hot.
- 4 large sweet potatoes, 14 to 16 ounces each
- 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg (or freshly grated)
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons pepitas, roughly chopped (chopped pecans or walnuts can be substituted)
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Scrub sweet potatoes and prick all over with a fork. Place on foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour, 15 minutes, or until tender when pierced by a fork. Cool potatoes slightly.
- While potatoes are cooling, mix filling ingredients in a large bowl: 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon butter, cream cheese, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt.
- Make streusel topping: In a small bowl, combine ⅓ cup flour, ¼ cup brown sugar, and ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Add 3 tablespoons butter, and using a fork, cut into dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly and sticks together when you press it. Mix in pepitas.
- When potatoes are cool enough to handle, using a sharp knife, carefully cut off the top third of each one. Scoop out the insides, using a large spoon, leaving a quarter inch border. Add the sweet potato flesh to the large bowl with filling ingredients. Place sweet potato shells back on the foil-lined baking sheet.
- With a hand mixer, whip the filling until smooth. Spoon evenly into the sweet potato shells.
- Spoon streusel over sweet potatoes, lightly patting down to adhere. Bake until the streusel is golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes.
- Cut each potato in half crosswise, serve immediately.
- Make Ahead: Make the potatoes a day ahead and fill them. Store streusel separately until ready to bake. Cover and refrigerate. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375°F, top the potatoes with streusel and bake as directed, adding 5 to 10 minutes to baking time.
- Casserole: Scoop all the flesh from the potatoes, discard skins. Whip filling ingredients together and place in a greased casserole dish or baking dish. Top with streusel and bake as directed. If you want a thicker layer of streusel, make a double batch.
- Recipe revised 10/13/2022.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.