Inside-Out Sweet Potatoes

Inside-out sweet potatoes are, quite simply, the best thing to happen to Thanksgiving since sweet potato casserole.

An inside-out sweet potato coated in corn flakes, with a marshmallow center.

Inside-out sweet potatoes are crazily clever little bombs of sweet, gooey deliciousness that are perhaps better suited to no other day of the year than Thanksgiving. They’re essentially an irreverent and savvily deconstructed approach to everyone’s favorite iconic sweet potato casserole. Not only are the gooey, crunchy, buttery little bursts of melted marshmallow irresistible to children, they’re also ridiculously tempting for adults. Never fails to impress.Renee Schettler Rossi

How To Make These Inside-Out Sweet Potatoes When You’re Also Juggling Everything Else On Thanksgiving

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 cookbook author Martha Hall Foose suggests a simple and savvy make-ahead strategy. She bakes and mashes the sweet potatoes early in the day (or even the night before) and then slathers the sweetly spicy sweet potato goo all over the marshmallows, 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 or her an apron, and ask him to do the honors. See how simple that can be?

☞ Table of Contents

Inside-Out Sweet Potatoes

An inside-out sweet potato coated in corn flakes, with a marshmallow center.
Inside-out sweet potatoes are, quite simply, the best thing to happen to Thanksgiving since sweet potato casserole.

Prep 40 mins
Cook 20 mins
Total 1 hr
8 servings
361 kcal
4.80 / 5 votes
Print RecipeBuy the Screen Doors and Sweet Tea cookbook

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  • Deep-fry or candy or instant-read thermometer


  • 6 sweet potatoes, unpeeled
  • 1 large egg
  • 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 bourbon, sherry, or vanilla extract
  • 1 cup crushed cornflakes
  • 8 large or jumbo marshmallows
  • Canola oil for frying (1 1/2 cups)


  • Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Grab a fork and pierce each sweet potato several times all over. Place the sweet potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat. Bake until the sweet potatoes are tender and easily pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, about 40 minutes, depending on the size of the sweet potatoes. Allow the sweet potatoes to cool in their skins. When cool enough to handle, use a knife to halve the potatoes lengthwise and then scoop out the insides from the skins into a bowl. Mash the sweet potatoes with a fork or potato masher until smooth.
  • Combine the mashed sweet potatoes with the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking powder, flour, orange juice, and bourbon, sherry, or vanilla extract.
  • Place the crushed cornflakes in a shallow dish or pie plate. Beat the egg with 1 teaspoon water in a small bowl.
  • Working with your hands, smother each marshmallow with 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 cornflake crumbs to thicken it. (You can cover and refrigerate the sweet potato-smothered marshmallows for up to 24 hours.) Dip each ball in the egg and then roll it in the crumbs. Refrigerate just until the oil is hot.
  • Heat the oil in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat until it registers 375°F (190°C) on a deep-fry or candy or instant-read thermometer. Place a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 200°F (93°C).
  • Fry the inside-out sweet potatoes a couple at a time, turning as needed, until lightly browned on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes total. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to the wire rack and transfer the entire baking sheet and wire rack to the oven to keep the inside-out sweet potatoes warm while you’re frying the rest. Serve warm.
Print RecipeBuy the Screen Doors and Sweet Tea cookbook

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Baked Inside-Out Sweet Potatoes Variation

If you have the oven space on Thanksgiving, you can skip the time-consuming deep-frying and bake these little lovelies instead. [Editor’s Note: We know, we know, everything is better fried. But we have this on good authority—actually, it’s from cookbook author Martha Hall Foose, who developed this recipe herself.] Simply follow steps 1 through 3 per the recipe above and then preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a baking sheet with Silpat or parchment paper and generously spray the inside-out sweet potatoes with nonstick cooking spray. Bake until browned.

Show Nutrition

Serving: 1portionCalories: 361kcal (18%)Carbohydrates: 70g (23%)Protein: 6g (12%)Fat: 7g (11%)Saturated Fat: 4g (25%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 39mg (13%)Sodium: 322mg (14%)Potassium: 665mg (19%)Fiber: 6g (25%)Sugar: 20g (22%)Vitamin A: 24798IU (496%)Vitamin C: 11mg (13%)Calcium: 73mg (7%)Iron: 10mg (56%)

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Recipe Testers’ Reviews

The flavors of this fantastic inside-out sweet potatoes recipe are amazing. The accompanying picture is a little misleading because it makes the balls look small—when you actually start to add sweet potato around the marshmallows, they become rather huge. Don’t skimp on the amount of sweet potato or cornflakes, though, or cracks may appear during or after frying and cause the marshmallow to ooze out before you get to eat them.

Originally published November 10, 2017



    1. Much as I’d like to say yes, I wouldn’t, Becky. I think the moisture content of foods tends to get slightly wacky after freezing, and since you’ll be deep-frying these, you don’t want extra spattering or sogginess. Especially not as you’re juggling everything for the Thanksgiving table. Although take a look at the note prior to the recipe, it does offer some advice for making them partly in advance. Every little bit helps. And don’t be shy about asking someone else for help in the kitchen and give them a specific task to accomplish.

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