sweet potato pudding

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Sweet Potato-Coconut Pudding with Toasted Coconut

By , from the Deborah Madison collection


True, sweet potatoes aren’t fruits, but they make a great pudding. Dark muscovado sugar has a molassesy note that’s just right with the sweet potato and the coconut milk.

For sweet potatoes, use the orange-fleshed varieties, like jewel and garnet. Yes, they’re called yams, but they really are sweet potatoes.

Serve at room temperature with whipped cream and golden coconut strips, or warm with cold cream.



2 cups cooked sweet potato, from 1½ lbs. sweet potatoes
1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk (1¾ cups)
2 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
cup dark muscovado sugar or organic dark sugar
¼ tsp. salt


1 cup cream, softly whipped and flavored with rum, to taste
½ cup wide strips dried coconut


  1. If you haven’t sweet potatoes already cooked, chop them into large pieces and steam until tender, about 30 minutes. Peel, then coarsely mash.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put a kettle of water on to boil for the bath.
  3. Purée the cooked sweet-potato flesh in a blender or food processor with the remaining pudding ingredients until smooth.
  4. Pour the pudding mixture into a 2-quart baking dish. Set it in a larger dish and add the boiling water to come halfway up the sides. Bake until the pudding is firm, 45 to 50 minutes.
  5. Before the oven cools, toast the coconut shavings on a sheet pan until crisp and golden, just a few minutes.
  6. Once the pudding has cooled, whip the cream and flavor it with the rum. Mound the cream over the pudding, cover with the toasted coconut, and serve.


Culinate editor’s note: If your sweet potatoes are very sweet (taste them first), cut back on the brown sugar called for, to 3/4 cup or even 2/3 cup.

Related article: The fits and starts of spring

This content is from the Deborah Madison collection.

There are 11 comments on this item
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27% recommend this recipe
1. by debra daniels-zeller on Nov 19, 2009 at 9:11 AM PST

This recipe sounds so delicious. Would a vanilla bean make a difference in the flavor?

2. by Deborah Madison on Nov 20, 2009 at 9:31 AM PST

A vanilla bean would be divine! Use if if you’ve got one.

3. by Coconut Recipes on Nov 20, 2009 at 6:10 PM PST

Looks delicious!

4. by Deborah Madison on Nov 20, 2009 at 7:35 PM PST

It is, and it’s hard not to have super big portions!

5. by Lea Sevigny on Nov 26, 2009 at 7:24 AM PST

Perfect and EASY--I wouldn’t change a thing!!!

6. by anonymous on Feb 16, 2010 at 10:59 AM PST

This will finish my Mardi Gras/Lunar New Year dinner- was looking for something seasonal and healthy. The recipe looks perfect as written, but I’m using a little maple syrup in place of brown sugar and I was low on sweet potato, so I’m mixing some farmer’s market squash with it. I also added cinnamon because I’m a hopeless addict. Smells great so far!

7. by Deborah Madison on Feb 16, 2010 at 11:29 AM PST

Sounds great, but it might take a little longer to bake, and/or be a little more moist. The cinnamon sounds like a good touch!

8. by Diana Ellis on Nov 14, 2010 at 5:30 PM PST

I’ve been trying out a dairy-free and grain-free diet recently, and it’s very hard to come up with a good dessert recipe! Thanks, Deborah, for giving me something to bring to my sister, Deborah’s, thanksgiving dinner!

9. by Deborah Madison on Nov 15, 2010 at 10:53 AM PST

Diana- You’re so welcome! By the way, you can bake this in individual ramekins, which take far less time. And do bake until firm —I think the time
given for a single pudding is too short (why, I don’t know!). Also, you can make this with the new coconut milk that’s out (maybe not that new)—the stuff in the carton, not the can, if you’re looking for dairy free as well.

10. by Leana on Nov 27, 2013 at 12:24 AM PST

what can i sub muscovado sugar with?

11. by Lea Sevigny on Nov 27, 2013 at 5:54 AM PST

Leana, I think dark brown sugar would work fine, but I might use a little less than 7/8 cup.

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Deborah Madison

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