Inside-Out Sweet Potatoes

This irreverent, inside-out approach to everyone’s favorite sweet potato casserole is irresistible to children once they find out there is a marshmallow inside. It also becomes a not-so-guilty pleasure for adults when they become privy to the same secret. It’s a surprise dish is always a hit at the holidays. (And yes, instead of being fried, they can be baked on a baking sheet lined with Silpat or parchment if you really want. But, like most things, these inside-out sweet potatoes are better fried.)–Martha Hall Foose

LC Juggling Everything At Once Note

Thanksgiving may not seem the ideal time to stand at the stove and deep-fry sweet potato-smothered marshmallows one by one. We realize that. Yet these crazy little bombs of sweet, gooey deliciousness are perhaps better suited to no other day of the year. Clearly, it’s a conundrum, one made easier thanks to cookbook author Martha Hall Foose, who suggests a savvy make-ahead strategy. She bakes and mashes the sweet potatoes early in the day or even the night before, then coats the marshmallows with the sweetly spicy sweet potato goo, plops them on a baking sheet, and refrigerates them for up to several hours. This means you can forget about them until after you take the turkey out of the oven and are waiting impatiently for it to rest, which is when you roll the sweet potatoes in the cornflake crumbs and get to frying. We’d even go so far as to suggest you snag a guest, hand him an apron, and ask him to do the honors. See simple it can be?

Inside-Out Sweet Potatoes Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 40 M
  • 1 H
  • Serves 8


  • 1 cup crushed cornflakes
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 sweet potatoes, baked and mashed (recipe follows)
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon sherry or bourbon, or if kids will be partaking, vanilla extract
  • 8 large marshmallows
  • Canola oil, for frying (1 1/2 cups)


  • 1. To make the inside-out sweet potatoes, place the cornflake crumbs in a shallow dish or pie pan. Beat the egg with 1 teaspoon water in a small bowl.
  • 2. Combine the mashed sweet potatoes with the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves. baking powder, flour, orange juice and sherry.
  • 3. Working with your hands, encase each marshmallow in some of the sweet potato mixture, forming a ball. If the sweet potato mixture seems too soft to hold its shape, stir in some of the crumbs to thicken it. (You can cover and refrigerate the sweet potato-smothered marshmallows for up to several hours.) Dip each ball in the egg and then roll it in the crumbs. Refrigerate just until the oil is hot.
  • 4. Preheat the oven to 200° F (93°C). In a 2-quart saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat to 375°F (190°C). Place a wire rack over newspaper or paper towels.
  • 5. Fry the inside-out sweet potatoes one or two at a time for 3 to 4 minutes, turning as needed, until lightly browned. Remove with a spider or slotted spoon, and place the drained balls on the prepared rack and transfer to the oven to keep warm while frying the remaining batches. Serve warm.

Baked and Mashed Sweet Potatoes

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F (190° C). Pierce each sweet potato several times and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat. Bake for 40 minutes, or until tender and easily pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Allow the sweet potatoes to cool in their jackets. When cool enough to handle, halve the potatoes, scoop out their flesh, and mash with a fork or potato masher until smooth.
Hungry for more? Chow down on these: