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Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Cornbread

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Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Cornbread—a cross between a warm corn muffin and a slice of sweet potato pie. Perfect for casual and holiday meals.

sweet potato cornbread in a skillet with butter

This Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Cornbread recipe has all of the components of a southern cornbread. I’ve added mashed sweet potato for a tasty twist and brown sugar for a richer sweetness. It has a tender and moist crumb with the sweetness is not too overpowering. I like to serve it hot with a generous smearing of molasses butter.

Recipes to serve with sweet potato cornbread

stack of sweet potato cornbread close up

Cornbread of any kind deserves to be served hot on a plate with Crispy Fried ChickenSpicy Collard Greens, maybe a bowl of Hoppin’ John or Baked Mac and Cheese, and a glass of Lemonade Iced Tea. It’s also an excellent choice for a brunch menu item.

What you need to make Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Cornbread

brown sugar sweet potato cornbread ingredients

Self-rising cornmeal
All-purpose flour
Sweet potato mashed
Brown sugar
Milk
Butter
Eggs
Baking powder
Baking soda
Salt
Mixing bowl
12-inch skillet or 9×13 baking dish

Tips for preparing sweet potatoes for baking

mashed sweet potatoes
  • Bake fresh sweet potatoes at 400 degrees for 45 minutes if you can. Baking will give you a sweeter potato with more flavor. If you can’t bake them, microwave them using the potato setting but don’t boil them. I explain the reasons why baking sweet potatoes is better than boiling in my Sweet Potato Pound Cake recipe.
  • Mash the sweet potato but don’t purée it. Puréed sweet potato has no hold and will act as a liquid causing the cornbread to fall apart. You want small pieces of sweet potato throughout.
  • Use 2-3 small potatoes to make a cup of mashed. One large potato should do the trick but to be safe, I would make a little more.

Recipe updates

sweet potato cornbread batter in a skillet

I usually mix the dry ingredients then beat the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. This time is added the brown sugar to the dry mix and it came out just fine. I’ll continue to do it that way going forward. I also added an extra egg. The feedback that I got from someone that the recipe would crumble a little. So I tested it with another egg and it didn’t negatively affect the outcome. It was pretty much the same for me. So, if you’ve tried this recipe before and had the same issue, I’ve adjusted the recipe card to include 2 eggs.

Instructions for making brown sugar sweet potato cornbread

sweet potatoes mixed with egg

To make this cornbread, start by adding the cornmeal, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a large bowl. Next, beat together mashed sweet potato, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla. Pour the sweet potato mixture into the flour. Stir in most of the way then whisk in the milk. Beat until smooth but don’t over mix.

pouring sweet potato cornbread batter into a skillet

Pour the batter into cast-iron skillet prepared with melted butter. I heat the skillet to mealy the butter letting it brown a little for an extra flavorful crust. Bake in a 375 degree preheated oven for 25 minutes or until the center has set.

Whipped molasses butter recipe

molasses butter

Molasses butter is what it says. Whipped butter and molasses. It has a subtle unassuming sweetness that compliments the cornbread. Both distinct yet perfectly compatible. Serve this yummy spread on my delicious Sweet Potato Biscuits, Olive Oil Banana Bread, or just about any quick bread recipe you can dream up.

whipped butter with molasses

To make molasses butter, whip one stick of softened salted butter until fluffy. Then add one tablespoon of molasses and beat until smooth and glossy. Refrigerate for up to one month in a sealed container.

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*This recipe was updated on 8/18/2020 for improved content and recipe correction. It was first published on 10/19/2019.*

sweet potato cornbread in a skillet with butter close up
4.67 from 6 votes

Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Cornbread

Print Recipe
Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Cornbread—a cross between a warm corn muffin and a slice of sweet potato pie. Perfect for casual and holiday meals.
Prep Time:10 mins
Cook Time:30 mins
Total Time:40 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 c self-rising cornmeal
  • 1 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 c sweet potato mashed
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 c whole milk
  • 1/2 c butter melted
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Molasses Butter

  • 1/2 c salted butter
  • 1 tbsp molasses

Instructions

  • To make this cornbread, start by adding the cornmeal, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a large bowl. Next, beat together mashed sweet potato, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla.
  • Pour the sweet potato mixture into the flour. Stir in most of the way then whisk in the milk. Beat until smooth but don’t over mix.
  • Pour the batter into cast-iron skillet prepared with melted butter. I heat the skillet to mealy the butter letting it brown a little for an extra flavorful crust.
  • Bake in a 375 degree preheated oven for 25 minutes or until the center has set.

Molasses Butter

  • Whip the salted butter with the molasses until creamy.

Nutrition

Calories: 309kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 610mg | Potassium: 205mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 12g | Iron: 2mg
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cornbread, quick breads, southern, sweet potato
Servings: 12
Calories: 309kcal
Author: Ty

23 Comments

    1. Hey, no judgement! However, I couldn’t tell you for sure. The box mix will already have baking agents, either baking soda or baking powder so maybe you wouldn’t need that. But, I haven’t done it so I can’t really tell you confidently; sorry.

  1. Hey Ty, we really love this recipe. It’s a go-to. We are having a Halloween gathering and I usually make chili and cornbread. This year I want to use your recipe, but thought it would be fun to make cornbread waffles, as I have this cheapo skull shaped waffle iron. Do you think the batter would be too thick? Just wondering if you would tweak anything.

    1. Hey Ash! That sounds so fun. I have never used the batter on a waffle iron but I suspect that they will turn out just fine with the batter as is. Please don’t hold me to tightly this! I think the key will be lots of butter to keep it from sticking but I imagine it going well. Let me know how it turns out. Tag me on social with a pic if you can.

    1. Yes, you can! Cornbread muffins are the best. The time should be equal but I’d start checking them about 18 minutes in. Enjoy!

        1. Yes, if you are using plain cornmeal only not self-rising and no flour, you will need to a total of 2 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp baking soda.

          1. Hi, Ty, super excited to try this recipe! Your comment about “… if you are using plain cornmeal only not self-rising and no flour…” has me a little confused. Do you mean that if I use plain cornmeal and add the baking soda and powder then I do not use flour? Or do you mean that I add extra baking soda and powder only if both the flour and cornmeal are not self-rising?

          2. Hey Heather,
            Basically, if you are using self-rising cornmeal you will keep the recipe as is. If you need to substitute the self-rising cornmeal for regular, you will need to increase the baking agents in the recipe. The baking agent measurements if using plain cornmeal will be of 2 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp baking soda. Hope that helps.

  2. 5 stars
    This is my new favorite corn bread recipe! My husband is a celiac, so I used the Namaste gluten free flour blend. The consistency and flavor both turned out amazing!

  3. The cornbread had a good flavor but it crumbled. I could not get it out of the skillet.
    Also, I used the black cast iron. I added just a small amount of oil in the bottom so it would not stick.
    it just crumbled apart. Would more than one egg help prevent this?

    1. Hi. For this recipe I don’t follow the rules of proper measure. I just scoop from my container. It maybe that you actually don’t have enough flour and/or cornmeal. The batter should be sort of thick. Another egg would add more moisture to the batter and it wouldn’t help to hold it together. Try another 1/4 c of flour the next time.

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