Sweet potatoes are famous for being a taste of home and comfort. Potatoes are so flexible that I like to keep as much on hand as possible. This means both regular potatoes and sweet potatoes! I’ve been known to use a potato or in making pasta or sneaking sweet potatoes in as a side with our pork chops. This versatile starch can be made savory with a hint of sweet or made to be sweet for a more indulgent taste. Sweet potato fries, baked sweet potato, sweet potato mash, sweet potato gnocchi, and best of all, sweet potato bread!
Let’s face it; if the word sweet precedes it, I must have it in my diet. I’m guilty of being rather indulgent on any kind of sweet recipe.
When I have a lot of free time, I love to get my hands busy baking bread. This might mean pumpkin, zucchini, banana, and really any type of potato bread. But when I want a unique flavor, I like to whip out a few sweet potato loaves. The recipe is easy to do and makes for the perfect gift to friends or family! My older relatives love the taste, and so do the children. Often I have to double my recipes and keep one sweet potato bread stashed away for myself.
Here is my go-to sweet potato loaf recipe that has yet to let me down! Perfect for holidays, gifts, or any time that I need a sweet pick me up for the day.
This recipe works for making four mini loaves at a time or one large loaf. I like to use a 9×5 pan, and my recipe will be based on that.
Prep time: 10 Minutes
Baking time: 1 hour
Difficulty level: Easy for beginners
Ingredients for Sweet Potato Bread
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- 15 ounces canned sweet potatoes (drained, save 2 tablespoons of liquid)
- 1/3 cup of water
- 1/3 cup of vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 ¾ all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Optional: ½ cup of chopped pecans
Want to use fresh sweet potato?
To help keep the recipe simple, canned sweet potatoes were used. If you would like to use fresh sweet potatoes, you will need to peel and chop the sweet potatoes into chunks. The chunks of potato will need to be boiled until each potato is soft and be sure to keep 2 tablespoons of the boiled water set aside. If you are not sure if your potato is soft enough, just take a fork and give it a poke. You want your pork to slide in and out of the potato easily.
How to Bake Sweet Potato Bread
1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. You will need to spray your cooking pan with cooking spray. I would recommend using a 9×5 pan to make a single loaf of sweet potato bread, but you are welcome to use mini loaf pans to make multiple potato bread loaves.
2. Using a large mixing bowl, mash sweet potatoes and add the 2 tablespoons of liquid you saved. Mash together.
3. Add sugar, water, oil, and eggs to mashed sweet potatoes. Using a spoon, mix the ingredients together. It might be tempting to use an electric mixer, but please refrain. By mixing with a spoon and by hand, the bread will be much softer and lighter. The trick is to not over mix your batter!
4. Add flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, ground cinnamon, allspice, and baking powder to the bread batter. Mix all ingredients together until smooth. Be careful not to over mix!
5. At this point, optional ingredients such as chopped pecans can be added to the mix. When I have a large stash of sweet potatoes, I like to test the waters with different kinds of nuts. Pecans tend to be the most popular choice, but I have also had luck with chopped walnuts. Be creative with your potato bread!
6. Pour the bread batter into pans in even amounts, especially if using mini loaf pans. By keeping the amount as even and consistent as possible, each loaf will cook evenly and be an equal size to one another. Do not overflow the pan, and be sure to account for the bread to rise.
7. Place the pan(s) in the oven to bake. If you are using the 9×5 pan, be aware that bake for about 60 to 70 minutes (depending on the oven). Smaller loaves will take about 45 minutes to bake. The easiest way to tell if a loaf is done is to take a toothpick and insert it into the center. If the toothpick comes out clean, then the loaf is done.
For smaller loaves, I recommend checking your loaves at the 30-minute mark. If the toothpick does not come away clean, then add more time as needed. Different pans can require different cook times and a vigilant eye. Trust me, the smell of burnt potato is not pleasant!
8. Allow the sweet bread to cool for 15 minutes in the pan. This gives the bread time to set. After 15 minutes, I like to turn the bread out onto a wire rack to cool completely. This process usually takes another 10 to 15 minutes. Remember: cutting into a hot loaf of bread will leave the bread gummy, sticky and unpleasant.
9. Slice and serve or store loaves in airtight containers to maintain freshness. I have found this recipe to be really freezer friendly! Perfect for those last-minute parties that require a sweet treat to share.
Alternate Ideas to Try with Sweet Potato Bread
Like with any recipe, there are lots of creative choices that can completely add or change the flavor! This recipe is based on my tastes, but I always love tasting new twists. For example, children love sweet bread. I like to add a cup of chocolate chips for a sweet treat! If you want to balance some of the sweet taste, I would recommend using dark chocolate but cutting back on the granulated sugar. Cranberries or raisins can also be a wonderful addition for a sweet but healthy alternative.
Feel free to great creative and try substitutions in this potato bread recipe! For example, I have substituted water for 2 tablespoons of unsweetened applesauce and ¼ cup of Greek yogurt (or sour cream). This makes the bread soft with an extra depth of flavor that is not too sweet. I have also changed the amount of granulated white sugar to 1/2 cup of white granulated sugar and a 1/2 cup of brown sugar. This maintains the same sweet taste but adds a little more potassium and iron to my sweet potato bread.
The potato is an amazing ingredient that really can do so much, and the sweet potato is no different. Potato bread is a great alternative when the regular white or wheat bread becomes old and boring. Sweet Potato Bread is a great way to mix up your daily routine or to gift to a friend that could use a sweet treat. So next time you’re at the supermarket and looking for a sweet treat, head to the potato stand!