Baked sweet potato cubes with cinnamon meringue is my decadent improvement on the classic Thanksgiving side dish. I replaced the typical marshmallow topping with a fluffy, smooth, spiced meringue.
Side dishes at Thanksgiving are the best! As a kid I would meticulously spoon gravy into the crafted crevice of my mashed potatoes.
It was a strategic battle to beat my brothers (and mom!) to the crispiest bits of toasted marshmallow and bite into the brown sugar smothered sweet potatoes. It was dessert...before dessert!
To this day, I still like that hit of sweet with the other savory favorites at Thanksgiving. I just wanted to spruce it up a bit.
Keeping the sweet potato cubes just as simple and tasty, I simply roasted them. Then they get coated with a touch of brown sugar and salt, to bring out the savory flavor.
The topping switched from simple marshmallows to a luxurious, silky, cooked meringue. Not at all hard to make.
It's whisking on the stove and then beating to pillowy peaks. Cinnamon takes it one step further, to give each bite of this Thanksgiving-worthy side a festive feel.
Ingredients for Baked Sweet Potato Cubes
This sweet potato side dish looks impressive, but it uses very simple ingredients. The roasted sweet potato cubes are seasoned with salt and light brown sugar before being cooked.
Then, the sweet potatoes are topped with a homemade meringue. The meringue consists of egg whites, granulated sugar, and just a pinch of cream of tartar.
Ground cinnamon finishes off the meringue and imparts that classic Thanksgiving flavor.
How to Bake Sweet Potato Cubes
If making meringue sounds intimidating, keep reading! I've given tons of tips and tricks for making the baked sweet potato cubes in the recipe card below.
Here's a brief overview of the recipe:
- Pierce the potatoes with a fork. Roast in a 400°F oven until tender.
- Let cool enough to handle, then peel and cube. Toss with salt and brown sugar.
- Bake, covered, until heated through.
- While the potatoes are heating, make the meringue. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar.
- Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is hot.
- Transfer the egg white mixture to a mixer and whip on high until stiff peaks form. Stir in cinnamon.
You can place the finished dish under the broiler to get a toasty top on the meringue, or flash it with a cooking torch.
The toasted top tastes just like mom's crispy-topped marshmallows. So good!
How Long to Bake Sweet Potato Cubes
For this recipe, I roasted the whole sweet potatoes for about 50 minutes prior to cubing them. Once they were cubed, the sweet potatoes needed just 25 more minutes in the oven.
Can This Recipe Be Prepped in Advance?
The entire dish can't be assembled in advance, but you can roast the whole sweet potatoes until tender up to two days ahead of time. Then, all you'll need to do day of is make the baked sweet potato cubes and meringue.
Tips for Making Sweet Potato Cubes
- The cream of tartar can't be substituted. Without it, the meringue won't remain stiff.
- When you set the meringue mixture over a pot of simmering water, make sure the bowl doesn't touch the water. If that happens, the eggs will scramble.
- You're welcome to add more or less brown sugar to the sweet potato cubes depending on your preferences.
More unique side dishes for dinner
Baby Broccoli with Hazelnut Butter is special enough for your Thanksgiving or Christmas table. The delicious toasted nuts simmered in melted butter are a decadent addition!
Italian Potato Salad has a rich balsamic dressing and fresh mozzarella.
Skillet Green Beans with Charred Artichokes only takes ten minutes to make on the stove. No oven needed!
Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad has apples and pomegranate for a fresh and beautiful side.
Baked Sweet Potato Cubes with Cinnamon Meringue
- 3 lbs sweet potatoes
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 3 egg whites room temperature
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 pinch cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pierce potatoes a few times with a fork. Roast in a 400°F oven until tender, about 50 min.
- Let cool enough to handle, then peel and dice. Toss with salt and brown sugar and arrange in a 2-qt baking dish. Bake, covered, until heated through, about 25 min.
- While potatoes are heating, make meringue: In the bowl of an electric mixer combine egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar; set bowl over a pan of simmering water. Whisk until sugar is dissolved and mixture is hot, about 3 min.
- Transfer to mixer and whip on high until stiff peaks form, about 7 min. Stir in cinnamon.
- Heat broiler to high or prepare a kitchen torch. Spoon meringue over potatoes and toast under the broiler or with a kitchen torch.