Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Yield: approximately 8 servings, likely more when served as part of a large meal
Personal preference as to the level of sweetness and thickness of this seasonal favorite varies widely. As such, feel free to use a little more or less of the milk and maple syrup as desired. Coconut milk provides richness and complementary flavor without a pronounced coconut flavor. It also makes this recipe dairy-free and vegan. That said, if there’s a coconut allergy, cream or half and half could be used instead.


  • 3-1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped*
  • 3/4 cup canned coconut milk, plus more to taste (preferably full fat, not light)**
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated or minced1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

 Optional toppings:I love a sprinkle of chopped candied pecans although chopped walnuts or macadamia nuts and/or toasted shredded coconut could be used as well. You could also top with an added drizzle of maple syrup, and those who like sweet and spicy might enjoy a drizzle of sriracha. For those who adore a marshmallow topping, be my guest!


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the sweet potatoes and boil for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are very tender when pierced with a fork. Drain the potatoes well, and then transfer them back to the pot.

    Start by adding 1/2 cup of the coconut milk, salt and pepper. (I use about 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1/4+ teaspoon of pepper.) Mash the potatoes until they’re mostly smooth, adding more coconut milk as needed until they reach your preferred consistency. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the maple syrup, the ginger and cayenne. Taste and add additional maple syrup and/or adjust the seasonings to taste.

    Potatoes will keep, refrigerated, for up to four days. You can loosen with additional coconut milk, if necessary, when prepared in advance.


*This is about 5-7 sweet potatoes, although the size of this root vegetable really varies. If you can use the scale at the store when buying, that helps. (A kitchen scale would also be a great holiday gift – I like Escali’s Primo Digital Kitchen Scale, which costs about $25. I promise you’ll learn to love it!) That said, if you’re not spot on for the stated weight, not to worry, as you can tweak the amount of the other ingredients as needed.

**Full fat coconut milk provides better flavor and allows for the absence of butter in this recipe. Make sure you purchase regular canned coconut milk, not coconut cream or anything that is sweetened. If you notice that the cream and the water have separated when you open the can (this can happen if the milk is cold or has been sitting on the shelf for a while), simply stir or blend to create a smooth, homogeneous mixture.

Options to peeling and boiling the potatoes: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet, and puncture each potato a few times with a fork or the tip of a sharp knife to allow steam to escape. Bake for approximately one hour. Depending on the size of the potato, this could take more or less time – bake until very tender (think soft butter) when pierced with a fork or knife. For a speedier option, the sweet potatoes may be cooked in the microwave until tender. When done, remove the potatoes from the oven or microwave and, for easier handling, allow them to cool for a few minutes before scooping the flesh from the skins and into a mixing bowl.

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