Colonial Williamsburg Sweet Potato Muffins

This recipe for sweet potato muffins for Thanksgiving reminds me of my friend, Suzi.  Not that she would bake a sweet potato for the pulpy goodness to make the muffins but because she would open a can of sweet potatoes to make them.  She once said to me she had to go to the store to buy all her canned goods for Thanksgiving.  Apparently, according to Suzi, I looked at her in apparent disbelief and horror and exclaimed, “What on earth could you possibly be making for Thanksgiving that requires opening a can”?  Such is the diversity of our enduring friendship of over twenty years and of this recipe.  You can opt to open the can of sweet potatoes or yams or even pumpkin or go the scratch route.  Whatever you decide to do, just don’t call these muffins cupcakes!

Colonial Williamsburg Sweet Potato Muffins

I’ve adapted this recipe slightly from the original found at Christina’s Campbell’s Tavern in Colonial Williamsburg.  We first tasted them on a very hot and humid family vacation to Williamsburg.  We, being native to the more arid climate of Southern California were completely defeated by the oppressive Virginia weather of that visit.  In fact, we have a saying in our family when inquiring of how hot the outside temperature is – “Is it hot-hot or Williamsburg hot“?  Nothing has even come close since.

Speaking of “Williamsburg hot” but in a very good way, these muffins would be a welcome addition to your dinner’s bread basket – something a little different, colorful and textural with a slight chew of dried cranberries and the crunch of pecans.  To tell the truth, I found myself craving turkey and dressing while nibbling on one.  A kiss of butter is optional, but is it really? 

Colonial Williamsburg Sweet Potato Muffins

If you read my last post where I shared pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese icing you know I love baking “mini”. This recipe made 56 mini muffins using the Wilton Perfect Results Mini Muffin Pan.  The pan bakes 48 mini muffins. I can’t tell you how easy this was baking 48 muffins at once in 15 minutes!  This was such a fast baking project.  The muffins freeze and reheat beautifully.  One more thing you can do ahead of time and cross off your list.

Wilton Perfect Results Mini Muffin Pan

Just one more thing, if you want to serve a muffin or two at everyone’s place setting, the muffins are the perfect petit size to place on top of colorful leaves.  Aren’t they sitting pretty?

Colonial Williamsburg Sweet Potato Muffins

 I’m hoping to get to one more post before Thanksgiving, but it case I don’t get to it – Have a very happy Thanksgiving!


Colonial Williamsburg Sweet Potato Muffins
Yields 56
Cook Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
  1. 1/2 cup salted butter
  2. 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  3. 2 large eggs
  4. 1 1/2 cups mashed sweet potatoes, yams or pumpkin
  5. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  6. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  7. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  8. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  9. 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  10. 1 cup whole milk
  11. 1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  12. 1/2 chopped dried cranberries (or raisins)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Spray mini muffin pan with baking spray or line with mini muffin baking cups.
  3. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, mixing well. Scrape bowl.
  4. Blend in the sweet potatoes.
  5. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and spices together. Add to the mixture alternatively with the milk. Do not over mix.
  6. Fold in the nuts and cranberries by hand.
  7. Fill the greased muffin tins almost full so they will crown when baked. Bake for approx. 15 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out clean when inserted.
  8. Muffins can be frozen and reheated in the oven wrapped in foil.
  1. Cranberries can be exchanged with raisins. i would recommend golden raisins.
  2. Fresh sweet potatoes can be exchanged with canned sweet potatoes, yams or pumpkin.
Adapted from Christina Campbell's Tavern Sweet Potato Muffins
Adapted from Christina Campbell's Tavern Sweet Potato Muffins
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