Vanilla Bean Whipped Sweet Potatoes

Without any added sugars at all, these Vanilla Bean Whipped Sweet Potatoes are one of the best sweet potato dishes I have ever tasted.

Fluffy, creamy, sweet, and fragrant with vanilla, these whipped sweet potatoes are so good, you just might find yourself choosing a second helping for dessert in lieu of pie.

I know. It sounds made up. Someone would choose a ladle full of sweet potatoes over a slice of pie?

With these whipped sweet potatoes, it actually happens. These creamy, fluffy sweet potatoes are far more than your run-of-the-mill mashed sweet potato side dish.

Whipped Vanilla Bean Sweet Potatoes - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

Whipped Sweet Potatoes

In this recipe, the sweet potatoes are roasted until they are bursting with rich flavor. The color is intense and the flavor is almost indescribable.

The roasting step makes such a difference to the final flavor compared with boiling or steaming the spuds. That time in the oven brings out a robust flavor that pairs well with the fragrant vanilla whipped in.

Vanilla Whipped Sweet Potatoes

The addition of vanilla provides a delicious undertone to this sweet potato side dish. Then, a generous helping of butter and real cream take these whipped sweet potatoes to a level I can only compare with a warm mousse.

What makes these potatoes whipped? Instead of mashing the sweet potatoes by hand, I used a food processor to combine the ingredients and achieve that fluffy, mousse-like texture. 

Since the first time I made this dish, I’ve also tried mashing the potatoes with a potato masher by hand and the blender. When I used the blender, I added everything in two separate batches to avoid a mess.

The blender and hand mashing ways worked well, too! If you don’t have a food processor handy, you can still make this recipe and get good results.

That said, the food processor simplifies the whole process and gives the sweet potatoes the absolute perfect texture. I highly recommend whipping them in the food processor if you can!

It’s a dish that has to be tasted to believed. I served Vanilla Bean Whipped Sweet Potatoes on Thanksgiving this year and every single person who tasted it loved it.

Whipped Vanilla Bean Sweet Potatoes are everyone's favorite side dish! - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

Two recipe requests from our guests and my husband’s rave reviews to everyone who would listen, proved that it wasn’t my imagination. This is an incredible sweet potato dish.

We are all looking forward to having it again.

For a girl who didn’t think she liked sweet potatoes very much, I am now a solid convert. Along with this recipe, I’ve made sweet potatoes in three more recipes over the past week.

I LOVE them.

Sweet Potato Side Dishes

I’m excited to discover this newfound love for sweet potatoes because they’re such a popular and versatile side dish for any occasion.

I’ve made a pecan crusted brown sugar sweet potato dish for the past few Thanksgivings. That one is always popular, but we decided that we like Whipped Vanilla Bean Sweet Potatoes even more.

They’re delicious on a Thanksgiving or Christmas table alongside a Roast Turkey and Stuffing. And we love having leftovers to enjoy the next day (if we can resist eating the whole pan in one go).

After falling in love with this recipe, I tried another spin on the concept in these Simply Mashed Sweet Potatoes. That side dish uses only sour cream and a sprinkle of salt as seasoning (plus optional black pepper) to really let the flavors of the sweet potato shine.

Like this recipe, those mashed sweet potatoes were also a hit!

If you like the roasted flavor of this sweet potato recipe, you should also check out Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Lemon Butter Sauce and this Roasted Sweet Potato and Spice Cornbread.

Italian Roasted Sweet Potatoes are another dish that my family loves year round.

Sweet Potato Dessert

This recipe works as both a sweet side dish and a dessert. Less sweet than a sweet potato pudding or sweet potato pie, this dish doesn’t have any added sugars at all. Roasting brings out enough of the natural sweetness of the potatoes that sugar just isn’t necessary.

My husband absolutely loves these whipped sweet potatoes and has chosen these potatoes for his Thanksgiving dessert for years now.

Whipped Sweet Potatoes are a favorite all year round!

How to Make Potatoes Ahead of Time

During the holidays, I often make these the day before. I cool them completely and then cover the potatoes and place them in the refrigerator.

A couple hours before serving them, set them on the counter to come closer to room temperature. Then, warm them in the oven at 350 degrees for about half an hour. Stir before serving.

When I have a ton of dishes to prepare for a holiday meal, I really appreciate that I can prepare these sweet potatoes ahead of time. It makes it that much easier to get everything on the table in time–AND I can relax knowing that I have at least one sure fire hit ready to go.

Leftovers (if you have any) keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days. Bring the potatoes to room temperature before reheating in the oven for best results.

If your family is anything like mine, however, chances are good they’ll clean every last bit out of the pan before you can say “leftovers.”

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving side dish? I can’t wait to hear how you like this Whipped Vanilla Bean Sweet Potatoes! 

Whipped Vanilla Bean Sweet Potatoes Recipe

Whipped Sweet Potatoes Recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake until fork tender, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes, or until cool enough to handle with care. Peel and discard the skin. (I cut mine in half and the skin basically falls right off of them with barely any effort.) Place the potatoes in the bowl of a food processor.
  2. While the potatoes are cooling from the oven, pour the cream into a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the scrapings from the vanilla bean, as well as the vanilla bean pod itself.
  3. Bring to a simmer and heat for 5 minutes, scraping the sides and stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Use tongs to remove the vanilla bean or simply pour through a strainer onto the potatoes in the food processor. Add the softened butter.
  4. Puree the mixture until completely smooth and thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Keep covered and warm until serving.

ALTERNATIVE to the pricey vanilla bean – I’ve successfully used vanilla bean paste for this recipe and I’ve also used vanilla extract. Vanilla beans are my first choice, followed by vanilla bean paste, lastly, I have used vanilla extract in a pinch.

Vanilla Bean Whipped Sweet Potatoes

Recipe adapted from and with thanks to 101 Cookbooks

  • 3 lbs sweet potatoes (cleaned and left damp)
  • 1 1/3 cups heavy cream
  • 2/3 vanilla bean (split lengthwise and seeds scraped)
  • 1/4 cup butter (softened to room temperature)
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon kosher salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon white pepper (adjust to taste)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake until fork tender, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes, or until cool enough to handle with care. Peel and discard the skin. I cut mine in half and the skin basically falls right off of them with barely any effort. Place the potatoes in the bowl of a food processor*.

  2. While the potatoes are cooling from the oven, pour the cream into a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the scrapings from the vanilla bean, as well as the vanilla bean pod itself. Bring to a simmer and heat for 5 minutes, scraping the sides and stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Use tongs to remove the vanilla bean or simply pour through a strainer onto the potatoes in the food processor. Add the softened butter.
  3. Puree the mixture until completely smooth and thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Keep covered and warm until serving. Enjoy!

The original directions are for a food processor, however I have also made this using a hand potato masher and the blender, pureeing the potatoes in two separate batches. It worked great, but it is definitely simpler with the food processor.

During the holidays, I often make these the day before. I cool them completely and then cover the potatoes and place them in the refrigerator. A couple hours before serving them, set them on the counter to come closer to room temperature. Then, warm them in the oven at 350 degrees for about half an hour. Stir before serving.

ALTERNATIVE to the pricey vanilla bean – I’ve successfully used vanilla bean paste for this recipe and I’ve also used vanilla extract. Vanilla beans are my first choice, followed by vanilla bean paste, lastly, I have used vanilla extract in a pinch.

{originally published 12/4/11 – recipe notes and photos updated 9/23/19}

Vanilla Bean Whipped Sweet Potatoes - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

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