You wouldn’t think candy made with potatoes would be tasty, but it surprisingly is. This old-fashioned candy uses a small amount of sweet potato to act as a binder for the peanut butter laced treat. It actually tastes like peanut butter fudge.
With so few ingredients, this sweet potato candy recipe is a great way to use up any extra sweet potato you have hanging around the fridge.
The origins of such an interesting confectionary are not really known. One theory places it as a southern treat that came about in the scarcity of the great depression. Another theory claims that it immigrated with the Irish as a way to make treats out of abundant potatoes.
Either way, sweet potato candy came about out of the necessity of generations before us and has been passed down ever since.
How to Make Sweet Potato Candy
Our sweet potato candy recipe doesn’t require much: mashed sweet potatoes (or regular, unseasoned potatoes), butter, vanilla, confectioners sugar, and peanut butter.
You make this sweet potato candy recipe by mixing the potatoes with softened butter and vanilla until it comes together. Then, you add confectioners sugar cup by cup until a malleable dough forms.
My dough took three and one-half cups to come together. After chilling for an hour, roll the dough out into a flat rectangle.
This is where things got a little tricky. I had better luck rolling it out mostly with my hands on a piece of parchment paper very generously dusted with confectioners sugar. The dough is very sticky, but after first trying it on my table with a rolling pin, I did get the dough rolled out on the parchment. Plus, it makes cleanup of all of that confectioner's sugar much easier!
After you get your dough rolled out, smear smooth peanut butter all over one side of the rectangle up to an inch away from the edge. Then, working from the long end, gently and tightly roll the candy like a jelly roll. Then just slice into circles and enjoy!
These treats do need to be refrigerated and last up to a week when stored in an airtight container.
I think these would be even better veering from tradition by using cookie butter, Nutella, or marshmallow fluff if you have the patience for the sticky spread. However you make them, I think these would make a fun party finger food, or an impressive dessert course for an afternoon tea. If you had a nice tin with tissue paper, these candies would make a lovely and unique hostess gift.
These candies are sweet and therefore would pair well with a dessert tea, like the caramel, coconut, and pecan blend of Italian Wedding Cake. The strong peanut butter flavor could also stand up to a strong black tea like our Fog Cutter or House Blend.
If you are looking for a more, subtle plain tea, our Kitchen Table Blend joins black and green teas with a secret citrus blend that would pair wonderfully with a sweet confection like our sweet potato candy recipe.
Sweet Potato Candy Recipe
- 1/4 cup mashed sweet potatoes
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3-4 cups of confectioners sugar
- Creamy peanut butter for filling
Combine mashed potatoes, butter, and vanilla extract in a bowl and mix together.
Add in 1 cup of confectioners sugar and blend.
Continue to add remaining 2 cups of sugar, one cup at a time. Stir to mix in each addition.
Check consistency after adding a total of 3 cups of sugar. It should be like a malleable dough that can be shaped into a ball. If it is not, continue to add sugar until it becomes so.
Place in refrigerator for 1 hour.
Dust a surface generously with confectioners sugar and roll the dough into a rectangle about a quarter of an inch thick.
Spread peanut butter over the dough, leaving an inch of space around the edge of the dough clean.
Starting with the longer side of the dough, gently roll dough into a tight log.
Slice pieces 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.
Store any leftover candy in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to one week.
Makes about 14 candies.