Fluffy whipped sweet potatoes infused with rich salted caramel and topped with a candied pecan streusel topping! The perfect side dish (or dessert!) for Thanksgiving!
One of the things I love about sweet potato casserole is the fact that it’s totally acceptable to serve alongside dinner. Similar to jello, it’s basically a dessert disguised as a side dish. Now, if only we could figure out a way to justify that chocolate cake is a perfectly balanced meal…
I’ve made several sweet potato dishes in the past, but I’ve never incorporated the sweet, salty deliciousness of salted caramel into any of them. And why has it taken me so long to do so?! When you think about it, sweet potato casserole and caramel were meant for each other! Traditional sweet potato casseroles usually have some kind of sugar as well as a cream/milk blended into the sweet potatoes. And these two ingredients happen to be the building blocks of a fantastic caramel! Add a little (or a lot!) of salt, and you’ve got yourself the perfect salted caramel!
So in order to make the perfect salted caramel sweet potato casserole, you have to start with the perfect salted caramel sauce.
I’m absolutely positively confident that this is THE BEST salted caramel sauce you’ll ever try! Not only does it require just 3 ingredients (4, if you count water), but it tastes like silky smooth liquid gold! In fact, you might want to double the batch since it’s very likely you’ll end up sneaking about a cup’s worth of “little” tastes by the time you actually incorporate it to into the sweet potatoes.
If you don’t end up making the casserole itself (which I HIGHLY recommend you do!), you must at least try making the sauce. It’s perfect on cakes, sweet breads, ice creams, cheesecakes, and my favorite…fingers!!!
Ok, back to the sweet potatoes! Or yams!? Or whatever you like to call them!! I decided to roast them in the oven instead of boiling them. Not only does roasting add more flavor, but to me, it’s a lot easier! My simple method involves slicing each potato in half, then placing them cut-side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Throw them in a 400F degree oven for 35-40 minutes, or until a knife slides easily in and out of the potato. Easy as pie!
The nice thing about this recipe is that once you’ve roasted your sweet potatoes and made the salted caramel, the “hard” part is over! The only other ingredient left to add to the sweet potatoes is the eggs.
To get that true sweet and saltiness of the caramel, I added over a cup of the salted caramel sauce to the sweet potatoes. And let me tell you, it was pretty much like eating sweet potato buttercream–smooth and fluffy with the perfect balance of sweet and salty caramel flavor!
And you all know I couldn’t stop there! In my opinion, the best sweet potato casseroles have that buttery, toasty, crumbly streusel topping that we all love to sneak off the top while waiting for the rest of the Thanksgiving meal to cook. I decided to keep it simple with just 4 ingredients–flour, brown sugar, pecans, and butter! These may sound like simple ingredients to you, but when tossed together and sprinkled on top of those charmingly SWEET sweet potatoes, your mouth will die and go to Heaven. If that makes any sense…
Oh, and did you forget?? We still have a 1/2 cup of salted caramel to use! That is, of course, if you had the self-restraint and dignity not to chug it “Smirnoff Ice” style like a college frat boy. Don’t worry, I won’t judge you… If you’re one of the few that does have self-control, congratulations! Go ahead and drizzle that golden delicious liquid of pure sugar on top of the casserole!
And there you have it! The best (and only) salted caramel sweet potato casserole you’ll ever need to make!
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 1/2 - 3 pounds sweet potatoes (yams)
- 1 whole egg
- 1 egg white
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup pecans, chopped
- 5 Tablespoons butter, melted
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar and water and gently swirl (NOT stir) the pan around occasionally as it begins to boil. Continue boiling until the caramel reaches a golden brown, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Remove pan from the heat and carefully whisk in the heavy cream. Caramel will sizzle and bubble up. Stir in the salt, and continue whisking until caramel is smooth. Transfer to dish or glass measuring cup to cool. Caramel will continue to thicken as it cools.*
- Preheat oven to 400F degree and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the sweet potatoes in half and place them cut-side down on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a knife glides easily in and out of a potato. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
- Once cooled, preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Using a large spoon, scoop the potato flesh out of the skin and into a large mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer to whip the potatoes into a smooth consistency. Add the egg and egg white and continue whipping until fully incorporated.
- Pour 1 1/4 cups of the salted caramel into the potatoes and whip until smooth and fluffy. Pour sweet potatoes into an 8x8 inch greased baking dish and smooth the top with a spatula.
- In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, and pecans. Add the melted butter and toss the mixture with a fork until everything is thoroughly combined.
- Sprinkle topping evenly over sweet potatoes. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
- Just before serving, drizzle the rest of the salted caramel over the sweet potato casserole. Store casserole covered in the refrigerator for up to one week.
- * Recipe makes 1 3/4 cups caramel sauce
- * If caramel sauce has thickened too much, reheat in the microwave in 10 second intervals until it reaches the desired consistency.