This sweet potato cornbread is a top notch Southern side dish. It’s more moist than regular cornbread and has a hint of sweetness that will have everyone reaching for seconds. You’ll love it with your next bowl of chili or a holiday ham.
Skillet cornbread is a staple here in the South, whether you’re having pulled pork or barbecued ribs. Add some sweet potatoes to the recipe and it creates a cornbread that is super moist and slightly sweet similar to sweet potato yeast bread.
When it comes to side dishes, it’s hard to beat this moist and tender sweet potato cornbread. I was bowled over the first time I had it and have been singing its praises ever since. It’s completely different from my “go-to” brown butter cornbread or my cornbread biscuits.
You would think I would have thought of adding sweet potatoes to cornbread before since sweet potato biscuits and sweet potato sticky buns are two of my family’s favorites, and I love sweet potato recipes in general, but it never occurred to me to add them to cornbread.
I found this recipe in one of my mother-in-laws old church cookbooks and played around with it until it came out the way I like it, a little sweet without it tasting like pumpkin pie.
The unique flavor the sweet potatoes add make it a great accompaniment to almost any main dish from short rib chili to grilled pork tenderloin. Right out of the oven, dripping with butter, there’s nothing better. Since it’s slightly sweet, you don’t even need honey. Sweet potato recipes are the best!
Is southern cornbread sweet or savory?
Some say that Southern cornbread, especially this sweet potato bread, is sweeter than cornbread made in other parts of the country. While this recipe is a little sweet, you can find plenty of cornbread around here that isn’t. For those occasions, I’m pulling out the honey!
What’s so special about sweet potato corn bread?
- It’s more moist than classic cornbread
- You can pair it with almost anything
- It’s naturally sweet
- This recipe comes out tender and soft every single time
The ingredients you’ll need to make a moist cornbread recipe
- Sweet potatoes – roughly two whole sweet potatoes is all you need. A general rule is that you will get a cup of mashed sweet potatoes from 1 medium sweet potato.
- Cornmeal – fine yellow cornmeal gives this bread the perfect texture.
- Whole milk – you can also substitute buttermilk in this recipe, just don’t use skim milk, it will not have the same texture without the fat from the milk.
- Brown sugar – while the sweet potatoes add a little sweetness, a little brown sugar is added to give them just a tad more.
- Pantry staples – butter, large eggs, flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
Pro Tip: To make this recipe super simple, cook the sweet potatoes in the microwave, it only takes a couple of minutes.
Can I use canned sweet potatoes?
Cooked and mashed sweet potatoes are preferred but you can use canned sweet potatoes. Most come in a syrup, so rinse them and drain them completely. You can also use boiled sweet potatoes, but microwaving them is the easiest route for this recipe.
The easy steps for making sweet potato cornbread
Step 1: Prepare the sweet potatoes
Cook the sweet potatoes in the microwave or the oven. Once they’re done, mash them with a fork.
Step 2: Add wet ingredients
Whisk together the milk, eggs, and some of the melted butter. Then, combine that with the sweet potato puree.
Step 3: Now the dry ingredients
In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients together. Slowly stir in the sweet potato mixture until just combined.
Step 4: Bake
Add the sweet potato cornbread batter to a greased skillet or baking dish and bake until golden brown.
Pro tip: Cook your sweet potatoes ahead of time to streamline the baking process. Prepare up to 2 days in advance and store in the fridge until you’re ready to use.
How to store leftovers
If you happen to have leftover cornbread, let it cool to room temperature then store in an airtight container. Do not store in the cast iron skillet. Food left for long periods in a cast iron skillet will remove the seasoned finish you worked so hard to get. Keep in the fridge for 2-4 days or on the counter for a day. After a day or two, freeze it to prevent it from drying out.
Tips and tricks
- If you are using a baking dish rather than a cast-iron skillet, the baking time will be a little longer. Use a toothpick to check for doneness.
- Even though a baking dish will work just fine for this recipe, using a cast-iron skillet will give you crispier edges.
What goes well with cornbread?
- You can’t go wrong serving with the classic cornbread and chicken soup combo
- Serve with a lean source of protein like tequila chicken for an easy and nutritious dinner
- If you’re going to a southern cookout, it’s the perfect side dish to grilled bbq chicken
- It’s all you need to serve with a Souithern seafood boil
More sweet potato recipes to try
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Sweet Potato Cornbread
- 1 ½ pounds sweet potatoes 2 medium potatoes
- ½ cup whole milk
- 9 tablespoons butter divided
- 4 eggs
- 1 ½ cups yellow corn meal
- ½ cup flour
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Preheat the oven to 425º
- Prick sweet potatoes with a fork and cook sweet potatoes in the microwave for about 6 minutes, rotating half way through. Let them cool and remove the skins. Scoop the potatoes into a bowl and mash until smooth. You need 1 ¾ cups of mashed sweet potatoes.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and 8 tablespoons of melted butter, slightly cooled. Whisk into sweet potatoes.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the corneal, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add sweet potato mixture and gently stir just until incorporated.
- Melt a tablespoon of butter in an iron skillet or oven proof skillet until is is bubbly, swirl so that it covers the bottom and sides of the skillet.
- Add the sweet potato mixture and smooth the top. Bake for 15 minutes if using an iron skillet, until a toothpick comes out clean. If using a regular skillet, it will take about 25 minutes.
- Let it cool in the pan for a few minutes before slicing.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- If using a baking pan it will take about 25 minutes to cook, test with a toothpick,it should come out clean.
- You can make the sweet potatoes up to two days ahead of time.
- You can also use buttermilk instead of regular milk.