Sweet Potato Casserole With Brown Sugar Pecan Topping

Sweet Potato Casserole
John E. Kelly/Photolibrary/Getty Images
  • 65 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yield: 6 Servings
Ratings (39)

Your friends and family will love this easy sweet potato casserole recipe. Made with a rich, buttery filling and crunchy brown sugar and pecan streusel topping, it's a classic sweetened Southern-style sweet potato casserole, the perfect side dish for a holiday feast or special family dinner.

Feel free to reduce the sugar by one-third to half and add an extra teaspoon of vanilla and a teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the filling, and add 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon to the topping. If you love marshmallows on your sweet potato casserole, go ahead and sprinkle some miniature marshmallows over the top about 10 to 15 minutes before the casserole comes out of the oven. While pecans are traditional on a Southern sweet potato casserole, walnuts may be substituted. Add about 1/2 cup of flaked sweetened coconut to the topping if you'd like.

What You'll Need

  • 3 cups mashed sweet potatoes (see below for cooking options)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened (12 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the Pecan Streusel Topping: 
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

How to Make It

  1. Heat the oven to 350 F (180 C/Gas 4).
  2. Butter a 2-quart casserole or baking dish.
  3. Put the hot mashed sweet potatoes in a large bowl.
  4. In a medium bowl beat the eggs with the granulated sugar and 3/4 cup of softened butter. Add the milk and vanilla; blend well.
  5. Transfer the beaten egg and butter to the bowl with the mashed sweet potatoes; blend well. Spoon the mixture into the prepared casserole dish.
  6. In a bowl combine the brown sugar, flour, 2 tablespoons softened butter, and the chopped pecans. Mix with your fingers until crumbly; sprinkle over sweet potatoes.
  1. Bake the casserole in the preheated oven for about 45 to 55 minutes.

How to Cook and Mash the Sweet Potatoes

Stovetop

  • To cook fresh sweet potatoes, slice them into 1-inch slices.
  • Bring a pot with about 2 inches of water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a boil over high heat.
  • Add the sweet potato slices to the water and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the pan and cook for about 12 to 14 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are fork-tender.
  • Drain well and mash the sweet potatoes until smooth.

Oven

  • Heat the oven to 425 F.
  • Scrub the sweet potatoes and prick them in several places with a fork.
  • Arrange the sweet potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes.
  • When the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh out into a bowl and mash.

Using Canned Sweet Potatoes

  • If you use canned sweet potatoes, rinse off the excess syrup before you mash them.
  • Beat the eggs in a separate bowl and set them aside.
  • In another bowl beat about half of the granulated sugar with the 3/4 cup of softened butter, the milk, and vanilla, and then beat the mixture into the sweet potatoes.
  • Before you add the eggs, taste the filling and add more sugar, if necessary.
  • Add the beaten eggs, blend well, and proceed with the recipe.