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Sweet Potato Pie Bars are sure to be a new hit on your Thanksgiving table!
Growing up, the sweet potatoes on our Thanksgiving table always had brown sugar pecan topping (which I would gladly eat by itself!). It always seemed strange to me to go the marshmallow route, because marshmallows seem so dessert-y to me.
So when I was coming up with this Sweet Potato Pie Bar recipe, I knew I could happily incorporate homemade marshmallow topping here. It seems more natural to top a dessert bar with marshmallow, after all.
These Sweet Potato Pie Bars are deliciously sweet potato-forward, without being super sweet.
And, bonus: no pie crust to mess around with! This simple graham cracker crust is super easy and quick.
These bars are perfect to take to Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, or any potluck or gathering throughout the fall. I hope you’ll give them a try!
How to Make Sweet Potato Pie Bars
Should I Use Canned or Fresh Sweet Potatoes?
I used fresh sweet potatoes for these Sweet Potato Pie Bars. Canned sweet potato puree has more water content and will take much much longer to cook. Fresh sweet potato puree is firmer and starchier so it makes for a much better filling. Not to mention the taste is 100x better!
How to Make Sweet Potato Puree
- Take 3 large sweet potatoes, place on a foil or parchment lined rimmed baking sheet, and bake at 425°F for 45 to 60 minutes, or until completely fork tender.
- Let cool then peel off the skin.
- Mash the flesh with a potato masher or blend in a food processor or blender.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Let come to room temperature before using in this recipe.
- DON’T BOIL the sweet potatoes to make the puree! We don’t want any additional water in the mix. You can microwave, but the cooking will be less even. Additionally, microwaves vary so much so timing will be varied.
Make Sure Your Spices are Fresh
This recipe is pretty spice-forward, for a beautiful fall flavor that balances the sweetness of the marshmallow topping nicely. Feel free to adjust the spices a little if you prefer less spice. Check your spices to ensure they’re not expired. If they are expired, toss them and purchase new ones – otherwise, your bars may be bland.
What Pan Should I Use for Sweet Potato Pie Bars?
I recommend using a light-colored 8×8-inch metal baking pan for this recipe. Using glass or ceramic will take longer to bake and the edges may dry out and overbake before the center is done. Learn more about Glass vs. Metal Baking Pans in this post here.
How to Store Sweet Potato Pie Bars
These Sweet Potato Pie Bars are best enjoyed the day they’re made, but they will keep inside an airtight container for up to 5 days. The crust will become soggy and the marshmallow topping may begin to weep the longer they sit. I have not tried freezing these bars, but I don’t recommend it.
More Fall Recipes You’ll Love:
- Crowd-Pleasing Sweet Potato Casserole
- French Silk Pie
- Jack-o’-Lantern Chocolate Sugar Cookies
- Easy Pumpkin Cake with Whipped Ganache
- Salted Caramel Apple Pie Pizookies
- 18 full graham crackers
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 cups (16 ounces) sweet potato puree
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar**
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon bourbon (or 1 teaspoon vanilla)
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the crust:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with foil.
- Place the graham crackers, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add the melted butter and pulse until the mixture is moistened. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and let cool completely. Keep oven at 350°F.
For the filling:
- In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat all the sweet potato filling ingredients until well combined. Pour over the graham cracker crust and bake for 40 minutes, or until set but still slightly wobbly in the middle. Let cool to room temperature.
For the marshmallow topping:
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form.
- Meanwhile, in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan* set over medium-high heat, combine the sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil and continue to cook until a candy thermometer registers exactly 240°F. Immediately remove from heat. Turn the mixture on low speed and carefully and gradually drizzle the syrup into the egg whites. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until the mixture is thick and glossy and looks like marshmallow fluff, about 7 minutes longer. Add in the vanilla and beat until combined.
- Spread the marshmallow topping evenly over the sweet potato layer. Use a kitchen torch to gently torch the marshmallow layer until lightly golden. Alternatively, place the pan under the broiler and broil for 1 minute, or until lightly golden. Don't step away – the broiler can go from toasted to burnt FAST!
- Refrigerate the pan for at least 1 hour before cutting into squares and serving. The squares can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, though they are best served soon after the marshmallow is made.
This post was originally published in 2015 and has been updated with additional recipe tips.