Japanese Sweet Potato スイートポテト

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  • When fall season rolls in, this popular Japanese dessert “Sweet Potato” brings a nostalgic memory to many Japanese. Double baked in the oven, the mashed sweet potato dessert is served in its own shell for a unique presentation. It’s sweet and creamy and makes a wonderful autumn dessert or snack.

    Creamy and silky Japanese sweet potato puree encased in the sweet potato shell baked to perfection.

    Does your culture use sweet potato in desserts? The Japanese absolutely adore sweet potato treats and often use it both savory and sweet dishes. You may have seen popular snacks like Daigaku Imo (Candied Sweet Potatoes) at the street stalls and Sweet Potato Pies at local bakeries in Japan.

    Today I’m sharing Sweet Potato (スイートポテト) recipe. You may ask what I’m making with it. Well, I’m making double baked “Sweet Potato” and that’s the name of this dessert!

    Watch How to Make Japanese Sweet Potato

    When fall season rolls in, this popular Japanese dessert “Sweet Potato” brings a nostalgic memory to many Japanese. Double baked in the oven, the mashed sweet potato dessert is served in its own shell for a unique presentation. It’s sweet and creamy and makes a wonderful autumn dessert!

    What is Japanese Sweet Potato Dessert?

    Basically, it’s a dessert made out of sweet potato puree and served in the shells to make it look like an actual sweet potato itself (too many “sweet potatoes” in one sentence!). Your brain thinks you’re going to take a bite into a savory vegetable, but it turns out to be sweet, creamy and silky. And that’s what makes this dessert fun and surprising!

    It gets confusing when the name of the dessert literally means Sweet Potato while it is made out of Japanese sweet potato. Why would we do that? “Sweet Potato” dessert was invented around Meiji period when Japan had a lot of western influence. This dessert made with Japanese sweet potato Satsumaimo (さつまいも), heavy cream, butter, and sugar was considered a western dessert. Therefore, instead of naming this dessert a Japanese name, it received the English name “Sweet Potato”, written in katakana スイートポテト.

    Satsumaimo

    Satsumaimo has purple-ish or reddish color skin and creamy white flesh that turns yellow after cooking. The taste is much sweeter than ordinary sweet potatoes found in the U.S, which makes it an ideal ingredient for making desserts.

    Recipes Using Satsumaimo on Just One Cookbook

    Desserts

    Savory

    Creamy and silky Japanese sweet potato puree encased in the sweet potato shell baked to perfection.

    Creamy and Smooth Japanese Sweet Potato

    The ultimate goal for this dessert include 3 important aspects:

    1. The silky and smooth texture of the satsumaimo puree.
    2. Sweet, but not overly sweet.
    3. Buttery, rich, and creamy taste.

    These are the most important characteristics you look for when you eat Sweet Potato the dessert.

    Creamy and silky Japanese sweet potato puree encased in the sweet potato shell baked to perfection.

    3 Tips to Make Successful Japanese Sweet Potato

    It’s a simple recipe, but if you don’t pay close attention, your Sweet Potato may end up looking rather sad and can taste worse than the actual baked sweet potatoes. So don’t miss these three tips!

    1. Adjust the amount of ingredients for a smooth and creamy puree

    Sweet potatoes vary in sizes and each one weighs differently.  I strongly recommend weighing them and make an adjustment if necessary after comparing with my recipe. If yours weigh more, then you will need to modify the amount of butter, sugar, and heavy cream. This ensures the right texture of the puree.

    Without the right amount of ingredients, your puree will turn into a big lump and won’t be even smooth and creamy. I know so because I’ve failed a few times by following too closely to my own old measurement without any alteration.

    2. Keep a 5 mm wall to create sturdy shells

    When you scoop out the flesh, create a sweet potato shell with a 5 mm (1/4 inch) wall.  Don’t carve out too much flesh because if your wall is thinner, the wall cannot support itself.

    3. Smooth out the filling and make a little mountain

    When you stuff the shell with sweet potato puree, make sure to create a mountain with a gentle slope. Because of the extra amount added to create the slope, you can only make five Sweet Potatoes instead of 6 (each sweet potato makes 2 shells).

    Where to Find Japanese Sweet Potatoes?

    Aside from Japanese grocery stores, you can find Japanese Sweet Potatoes at Whole Foods and some other well-stock major stores these days. If you know of your local farmers market that carries them, please share your location in the comment below.

    I hope you grab a few of these highly nutritious Japanese Sweet Potatoes and make this delicious dessert. It’s a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth and celebrate fall without overdoing it.

    Creamy and silky Japanese sweet potato puree encased in the sweet potato shell baked to perfection.

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    3.8 from 10 votes
    Creamy and silky Japanese sweet potato puree encased in the sweet potato shell baked to perfection.
    Japanese Sweet Potato (Dessert)
    Prep Time
    30 mins
    Cook Time
    1 hr 15 mins
    Total Time
    1 hr 45 mins
     

    Sweet and creamy, this Japanese dessert "Sweet Potato" is perfect for fall. Double baked in the oven, the mashed sweet potato dessert is served in its own shell for a unique presentation.

    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: Japanese
    Keyword: baked sweet potato, sweet potato
    Servings: 5 Japanese sweet potato
    Author: Nami
    Ingredients
    • 3 Japanese sweet potatoes (total weight is 800 g, 1.8 lb)
    • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter (30 g)
    • 5 Tbsp sugar (66 g)
    • 2 egg yolks
    • cup heavy (whipping) cream (75 ml)
    • ½ tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 egg yolk
    • ½ tsp black sesame seeds (roasted/toasted)
    Instructions
    1. Gather all the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 375 ºF (190 ºC).
      Japanese Sweet Potato Ingredients
    2. Wash the sweet potatoes carefully (the skin is edible and very nutritious) under running water. Pat dry with paper towel.

      Japanese Sweet Potato 1
    3. Wrap each sweet potato with a sheet of aluminum foil. Poke a few holes with a skewer (for steam to escape).
      Japanese Sweet Potato 2
    4. Put the sweet potatoes in the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the inserted skewer goes through all the way.
      Japanese Sweet Potato 3
    5. Carefully open the aluminum foil and cut the sweet potato in half lengthwise. Make sure not to tear the skin.
      Japanese Sweet Potato 4
    6. While it’s hot, using a spoon, scoop out the flesh leaving 5 mm (¼ inch) wall around the edges to create a shell. We use the shells to stuff the sweet potato puree later on, so be careful not to break the wall. You will only use 5 best looking shells out of 6.
      Japanese Sweet Potato 5
    7. Transfer the sweet potato flesh onto the fine mesh sieve and strain the flesh by pressing it with a wooden spatula. Alternatively, you can put the flesh in a food processor and make puree (you may need to add a tiny bit of water if the sweet potato flesh is too dense).
      Japanese Sweet Potato 6
    8. Continue with the rest of the sweet potatoes. Collect the strained pureed sweet potato in a bowl.
      Japanese Sweet Potato 7
    9. In a medium saucepan, heat 2 Tbsp unsalted butter over medium low heat. Once the butter is completely melted, add the pureed sweet potato.
      Japanese Sweet Potato 8
    10. Add 5 Tbsp sugar and mix well together.
      Japanese Sweet Potato 9
    11. Then add egg yolks one at a time and quickly incorporate into the sweet potato mixture so the egg doesn’t become scrambled egg. Keep stirring.
      Japanese Sweet Potato 10
    12. Gradually add ⅓ cup heavy cream, stirring continuously, and combine well with the mixture.
      Japanese Sweet Potato 11
    13. Add ½ tsp vanilla extract and mix until the mixture is smooth and creamy. If the mixture turns into a big lump and not silky texture, you can add more melted butter and/or heavy cream to loosen up. Turn off the heat.
      Japanese Sweet Potato 12
    14. Scoop the mixture into the sweet potato shells. I use a cookie dough scooper to make the job easier (this is great for portion control, too!).
      Japanese Sweet Potato 13
    15. Using a offset spatula (or a silicone spatula), smooth out the surface of the filling, creating a gentle slope in the center of the sweet potatoes.
      Japanese Sweet Potato 14
    16. Place the sweet potato shells on a baking sheet lined with a sheet of parchment paper.
      Japanese Sweet Potato 15
    17. In a small bowl, whisk 1 egg yolk and brush the egg wash on the sweet potato mixture.
      Japanese Sweet Potato 16
    18. Sprinkle black sesame seeds on the center of each sweet potato.
      Japanese Sweet Potato 17
    19. Position the rack in the middle of the oven. Broil (medium – if you can adjust) for 3-4 minutes, or until the top start to brown a little bit.
      Japanese Sweet Potato 18
    20. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
      Japanese Sweet Potato 19
    Recipe Notes

    Japanese sweet potatoes: To make the creamy, smooth, silky texture of the sweet potato filling, it’s important to weigh the sweet potatoes even though my recipe specifies 3 sweet potatoes. Each size of sweet potatoes varies, from tiny to humongous. Ideally, you want to get a medium size to create a nice size shell. If it’s small, it’s hard to remove the flesh without breaking the shell. If it’s too big, each serving will end up with a big size.

     

    Sugar: In order to keep the sweet potato’s yellow color, I suggest using granulated sugar instead of other sugar such as brown sugar.

     

    Egg yolks: The egg yolks act as a binder as well as additional rich yellow color and custardy taste.

     

    Heavy (whipping) cream: You can use milk instead for a lighter version, but I like the rich taste heavy cream gives to the dessert.

     

    Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

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