Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes
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Posted On: February 6, 2015
Last updated: September 28th, 2022

Sweet Potatoes…these lovely rich colored root vegetables have so much good stuff to offer us.  Also, the great news for you whole food converts is that they’re on EWG’s Clean 15 List! That’s great news if you’re on a tight budget because they’re quite inexpensive to buy and enjoy.  These sweet roots are full of vitamins A, C, Potassium and Calcium.  They’re quite the super food for their health benefits and they’re hard to dislike with their rich sweetness.  Cooking them with the right ingredients just accentuates their rich deliciousness.

Subtle Sweetness

As with any of my recipes, I do my best to keep sweeteners lower when possible for health’s sake. I do love sweet stuff, but I know it’s detrimental to our health, so I simply minimize it when possible.  Luckily with a fantastic vegetable like the sweet potato we can easily use it’s natural sweetness to achieve that desired flavor and just add a little bit of accentuating ingredients to get that YUM we’re looking for. In this recipe I use just a little real maple syrup (please don’t even attempt to insult this fabulous veggie with a fake syrup sweetener, use the real deal!) and a smidge of brown sugar to help achieve that extra bit of sweet we love to taste in this sweet veggie.

The sweet potatoes you see pictured for this recipe are briefly broiled after baking, but careful not to broil too long, they will still taste great, but have a more scorched look as you see here. My guys don’t seem to mind, but it’s a personal preference.

Not a Yam

Sweet potatoes are easily confused with yams. I’ve heard all sorts of talk on yams and sweet potatoes and even that yams “are” sweet potatoes, but there is a real difference between them.  Here’s an article on the difference.  Even those candied “yams” (usually made from canned “yams”) you might have grown up with on the holidays were actually sweet potatoes, not yams.  It’s funny how many of us have confused these tubers for so long. Actual yams originated from Africa, Asia and other tropical regions.  So next time you’re walking by the potato section of your store and wondering what you’re actually looking at, it’s most likely sweet potato, (but still “might” be labeled yam) unless you’re in a specialty store that carries both.  Yams will have a charcoal colored bark-like skin, unlike the coppery color of the sweet potato.

Speedy Sweet Potato Baking vs Slow Baking

I’ve baked my sweet potatoes the slow way in the oven and also sped up the process in the microwave for convenience sake. I’ll give you both versions so you can decide what method you prefer and works for your timing. I’ll be honest though, in my hectic hungry boy household I use the microwave method most of the time just for the 1st bake. It’s so quick and easy it’s hard for me resist when I just want to put a hot meal on the table on cold days that I know my guys will enjoy!  If it’s a really cold blustery day and I don’t mind warming up the house, I’ll bake them in the oven the old fashioned way.

My recipe card below will have the quick cooking method in the instructions.

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes pre-bake
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Sweet potatoes prepared and ready for 2nd/final bake

Sweet Potato Slow Baking Method

The trick is to NOT preheat your oven. Yes, I know this sounds unorthodox for you skilled cooks out there who are as adamant as we are when it comes to properly preheating the oven to temp.

  1. Wash your sweet potatoes and dry with paper towels
  2. Stab each with a fork just 3-4 times around
  3. Place the sweet potatoes directly onto the oven rack in the middle, about 3 inches apart
  4. Place a large sheet of foil on the bottom of your oven, just covering the area below where your potatoes are to catch syrup that will drip down. Careful not to cover any vents in the oven and no need to cover entire bottom.
  5. Close the oven and turn it onto 425 degrees and set a timer for 40 minutes.
  6. To check the potatoes for doneness after this time simply poke the fattest one with a sharp knife making sure it pokes through the skin easily. (You don’t want them too soft since you will still need to slice them in half and re-stuffed)
  7. Turn off the oven and let them sit in the oven with the oven off for 30 minutes minimum, 1 hr max.
  8. Continue with instructions on recipe card below from #8 to end for twice baked recipe.

*** If you want to simply make beautifully Baked Sweet Potatoes without continuing with “twice baked” you can continue cooking about another 15-20 minutes until knife easily slides through potato, continuing from Step 5 above and then follow with step 6 through 8 and enjoy a perfectly Baked Sweet Potato with your favorite whole toppings***

We’ve enjoyed the basic baked sweet potato with chili on top as well as with just butter, salt and pepper.

To enjoy these speedy twice baked sweet potatoes, see recipe below. Enjoy with a green vegetable side or green salad for a satisfying but lighter meal.


Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Maple & Brown Sugar

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes
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This recipe includes my speedy sweet potato baking method. It cuts your cooking time by more than half.

  • Author: Katia
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 24 minutes
  • Total Time: 54 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Vegetarian
  • Cuisine: Main Dish, Side Dish


  • 3 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 lbs worth total)
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1.5 Tbsp real maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 4 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted


  1. Wash sweet potatoes and dry off with paper towels
  2. Stab each sweet potato 3-4 times with fork
  3. Place potatoes on paper towel or microwave safe dish on carousel of microwave laid out in an even triangle
  4. Microwave on high for 4 minutes
  5. Meanwhile place cream cheese, syrup, salt and cinnamon in medium mixing bowl
  6. Flip over sweet potato onto opposite side and cook another 4 minutes
  7. After last cook, wait until potatoes cool enough to transfer to cutting board and let cool about 15 minutes
  8. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  9. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise
  10. If cool enough to handle, scoop out soft potato into your mixing bowl right on top of your cream cheese and spices with a small spoon (I like to use a melon baller) up to about 1/4 to 1/8″ of the skin, being careful not to break skin
  11. Once all sweet potato scooped out mash potato using a potato masher along with the cream cheese and seasoning, mixing thoroughly until lumps out. If not fully mixed, mix more with a spatula until fully combined and mixture smooth.
  12. With spatula, scoop and fill potato mixture into scooped out potato skins filling all to tops
  13. Place filled potatoes onto a lightly oiled baking dish
  14. Sprinkle all potatoes evenly with pecans and brown sugar
  15. Drizzle melted butter onto potatoes
  16. Bake potatoes in oven uncovered about 20 minutes or heated through


  1. Broil potatoes after baking for 3-4 minutes to brown the tops


  • Serving Size: 1

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