Maple Cream Cheese Frosted Sweet Potato Bars

This was a pumpkin bar from Libby’s, but I decided to try it with sweet potato. Since I wasn’t sure I’d like the results, I halved the original recipe and baked it in a 9 inch square pan. I also added pecans and orange zest because those things always taste good with sweet potatoes.

The bars were good, but a little too sweet. I think they would have been fine if I hadn’t (like a dummy) used canned yams instead of just a plain old cooked, mashed sweet potato. Yams are a sweeter than sweet potatoes. So if you make these, stick with sweet potatoes or if you are daring, do that and cut the sugar down to 1/2 cup. Cutting sugar is always risky, though. If you cut it too much, you’ll have to replace it with a solid. In this case, I think it wouldn’t hurt to cut the sugar to ½ cup.

…..or just use pumpkin. Speaking of which, here’s a similar bar from Epicurious. As usual, people weren’t shy about altering the recipe, and one lady on page 2 of the reviews used sweet potatoes.

Sweet Potato Bars

Maple Cream Cheese Frosted Sweet Potato Bars

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour (5 oz)
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 scant teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cups lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
¼ teaspoon orange zest
1/2 cup (generous) mashed cooked sweet potato**
1/3 cup pecans, toasted and chopped (optional)

Cream Cheese Icing
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cups sifted powdered sugar (use ¾ cup if you decide not to sift)
1/2 teaspoon maple extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 inch square pan with Release foil or line with regular foil and spray with cooking spray.

Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in medium bowl.

Beat butter, brown sugar and vanilla in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in egg, orange zest and sweet potato. Gradually beat in flour mixture and pecans (if using). Spread evenly in pan.

Bake for 22-25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Spread with Maple Icing. Cut into bars.

For Maple Icing:
Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Gradually beat in sifted powdered sugar. Beat in maple flavoring until fluffy.

Makes 18

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  1. says

    Maple, cream cheese, frosted, and sweet potato are some of my favorite words to see in a recipe. Looks delicious! I’m going to have to try these.


  2. Sarah says

    Anna, this might be what you meant by “cooking” a sweet potato, I don’t know…I found canned sweet potato (no sugar added) at HEB. It’s next to the yams in the canned veggie aisle. I think it’s similar to Libby’s pumpkin puree, though not quite as sweet.

  3. says

    Thanks, Anna

    I just so happen to have all the ingredients on hand.

    The sweet potato is in the oven and as soon as it is done and cooled I will make the bars.

  4. says

    I have wanderlust, too. I’m counting down the days until our Costa Rica trip (52 to go…). Those bars look tasty!

  5. says

    I have really bad cabin fever and am dying to hop on a plane, anywhere.

    I am so making these as I love maple and have so many sweet potatoes sitting around staring at me.

  6. says

    Katy, maybe someone will make your office a batch using sweet potatoes and not SUGAR SAM yams. My friend Carol in Cleveland is testing them with actual sweet potatoes.

  7. says

    Sarah, thanks!

    What I meant by cooking a sweet potato was using an actual sweet potato and cooking it either in boiling water or the microwave before mashing it. But I’m sure the canned sweet potatoes you saw would have worked. I was super lazy and chose Sugar Sam’s Yams because they were already mashed.

  8. says

    Hi Anna,
    If it’s post-holiday wanderlust, then I have it, too! We seem to be having the same thoughts! Right at this moment, I’d love to either be in Maui on Kaanapali Beach about to have lunch at the Hula Grill! Or second choice, be in Rome on my way to Naples to try some real Italian pizza! Or maybe even be laying on a beach in Tahiti with no phones anywhere!
    Aaahhh! We can dream, right?

    Sorry, I can’t even think about the recipe right now because I’m too busy dreaming about being somewhere far, far away!

    Do you think it has anything to do with Mercury in Retrograde? haha

  9. says

    This is the second time I’ve seen maple frosting/icing today! We love pumpkin bars, but I wouldn’t have thought of putting maple frosting on them!

    I keep thinking of logging onto one of the travel sites and picking out the cheapest airfare to some place warm and sunny and just going. If there wasn’t so much on the calendar I’d be at the airport NOW!

  10. Sonia says

    Hi Anna, it’s been a while since I visited your site because I’ve discovered several food intolerances and allergies so I’ve avoided cooking for the last 4 months. It’s been tough!
    I’m still careful but I can cook something for a friend’s birthday and I decided to go with a couple of your recipes.

    I’m writing because if you ever come to Italy do write me, I’ll show you around and bring you to great (and cheap) restaurants! I live in Sicily, spring is the best time to come here 🙂

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