This post was originally published here November 14, 2014. I’ve since updated the text and photographs. I hope you try out these cute little sweet potato stacks this Holiday season!
I’m officially declaring these Mini Sweet Potato Gratins to be the cutest sweet potatoes EVER!
Some people may even call them adorable.
And they are fully ready to steal the show at Thanksgiving. Because while these little stacks may be small in stature, they certainly aren’t lacking in the taste department. They’re packed with all the flavors you’ve come to expect from your favorite sweet potato casserole: butter, brown sugar, cream, cinnamon, orange, pecans and more. Every bite is pure bliss.
I based the idea for these Mini Sweet Potato Gratins off my Great Aunts (or maybe my Moms?) sweet potato casserole recipe that we make every year at Thanksgiving. But instead of putting all the ingredients into one large casserole dish, I decided to portion them out into the wells of a standard sized 12-cup muffin tin. Like I said before. Very cute.
Because everything has been sized down, these gratins take only 30 minutes to fully bake. If oven space is a premium, you can bake theme off in the morning, transfer them to your serving dish, then just re-heat them for a quick minute in the microwave before serving. I’ve done this before. No harm, no foul!
I’ve got a few tips that will help make these Mini Sweet Potato Gratins no fail. First, make you sure buy long, skinny sweet potatoes. Think about the size of the wells of your muffin tin when you’re selecting the sweet potatoes. You want to be sure the slices will fit inside the wells! And second, these gratins will release easily from their wells, but I do recommend using a small, flexible silicon spatula to help you do this task. You’ll be able to get under the stacks and lift them out flawlessly in one piece, resulting in the best possible presentation!
Mini Sweet Potato Gratins
- 6 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3/4 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, minced
- 3/4 tsp. fresh rosemary leaves, minced
- 3/4 tsp. fresh orange zest
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- About 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
- About 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans
- Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Generously coat a standard 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
- Add the brown sugar and the next seven ingredients (through the cinnamon) to a small microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30-60 seconds, or just until the butter is completely melted, then stir to combine all the ingredients. Set aside.
- Add the sweet potato slices to a large bowl. Scrape the brown sugar mixture over the sweet potato slices. Then use your hands to toss and coat the slices with the brown sugar mixture.
- Layer the coated sweet potato slices in your prepared muffin tin, using about 5-7 slices per well. You want the stack to come just to the top of the well. Then slowly pour a scant tablespoon of heavy cream into each well.
- Transfer the muffin tin to your pre-heated oven and bake the sweet potato gratins for 30 minutes. The sauce should be bubbling and the potatoes should be cooked through (you should be able to easily insert a small paring knife into the stack).
- Set the muffin tin aside to cool for 5 minutes. Then using a small flexible spatula, carefully remove the gratins from their wells and place them on a serving plate. Spoon the excess sauce that remains in the wells over top of the gratins. Then top each gratin with some of the chopped pecans. Serve immediately.
I love these mini sweet potato gratin stacks! The only problem is, I would probably want to eat at least five of them. But that’s not really a problem, now is it?
That’s what I would call a first world problem! Thanks, Joanne!
These potatoes look amazing, Liz! I love your creativity! Such a fun side dish to share for Thanksgiving!
Thanks, girlfriend! XO
I feel like three pies and bread pudding is a fair number for Thanksgiving dessert. I’ll be over to help you devour all that goodness. Girl, this recipe is genius. I can not wait to give this a try.
Ha ha! Thanks, Jennie! Can never have too many desserts!
I love new kitchen gadgets!! These are awesome . . and love these mini sweet potato gratins, what a great idea!! love that your mom is handling the turkey .. I’m doing the turkey again this year .. can’t wait for Thanksgiving!! 🙂
Thanks, Alice! Not sure if my mom volunteered to do the turkey or if I casually forced her into it! Ha. Just kidding. Sort of. Yeah for Thanksgiving!
Those tools look familiar! The mini-gratins are so darn cute! I still need to figure out what I’m making for T-day!
I’m sure they do look familiar!!
I love how creamy and gloss these potatoes look! Perfect side dish for the upcoming holidays.. yum!
Thank you for the wonderful compliment, Pamela!
Love these mini stacks! And yes, everything tastes better in miniature 😉 All this talk of Thanksgiving has me wishing for another one!
I won’t stop you if you want to have two…as long as you invite me!
These sweet potatoes are amazing!! Plus, mini stacks are totally the answer to maximizing Thanksgiving side dish consumption 🙂
Thanks, Kelli! I just love miniature foods!
I like this because it’s in single servings. So like, I won’t go overboard stuffing myself with them.
Then again, it’s dangerous, because I’ll probably want at least two.
Oh you definitely need at least two!!
We do need all the carbs on Turkey Day! I’ve tried to eliminate one here or there, and it’s bad news — you need them all! I love how you made your sweet potato dish mini — because mini is always best. 🙂
Yes it is! And we gotta have all the carbs!
Awesome sweet potato desserts! A home run for you, Liz! Just randomly wondering: is the orange zest an absolute must, or are there possible substitutes?
Your family is blessed to have someone make these awesome recipes. Thanksgiving is gonna be a hoot!
Sending love from Melbourne to you. 🙂
Hi Levan! The orange zest isn’t totally necessary. You could certainly leave it out entirely. Maybe try a small amount of lemon zest if you want to add some freshness. I’m so PUMPED for Thanksgiving. Hugs!!
Our thanksgiving menu is getting out of control because I keep seeing new things I want to try. These are just too cute!
I know what you mean. I guess it comes with the territory!
I could easily eat the entire batch of these sweet potato gratins all by myself! Delicious!
Thanks, Meagan. They are very addicting!
LOVE these sweet potato stacks. So creative & healthy!
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Going to make these this year! Can I make night before and bake before dinner? If so what are suggestions for when?
Hi Jeana, I’ve never made them that far in advance, so I can’t give you any specific times. If you are going to make them the night before, I would suggest undercooking them by about 5 minutes. Then finish cooking them/re-heat them before serving the next day. Hope this helps!
can I assemble these the night before and refridgerate then cook the next day? I’m soooo excited to try this recipe! Going to try the lemon zest too!
Lololol just seen the last comment….holiday stress is getting the best of me? Yep I’m sticking with that excuse! Sorry!
No problem! I’ve got the Holiday stresses too! Let me know how they turn out!
With regards to the mini sweet potato gratins it would be helpful to state in your recipe that when the potatoes are prepped for the muffin tin that the skin is removed and they are not cooked potatoes but are raw. I had to really dbl check that the sweet potatoes were not cooked prior to placing the slices in the muffin tins and were not precooked ahead in time.
Thanks for the feedback, Tammy.
Will these freeze? Make ahead?
Hi Marilyn. I haven’t tried freezing it. I wouldn’t recommend it though, as I think it might make the potatoes soggy.
Wow these gratins are delicious! Did not wait until Thanksgiving, served them with an Herbed Pork Loin. The gratins were easy to prepare but look fancy. I forgot to buy and orange, so that means I will just have to make again ASAP.
Thanks for great recipe!
Oh awesome! Yes, definitely not just for Thanksgiving. Perfect all Fall and Winter!
They look so scrumptious! I am serving someone who is lactose intolerant this Christmas. Instead of heavy cream can I use an oat milk or coconut cream?
Hi Jean, I haven’t tried this recipe with anything other than heavy cream. I think full-fat coconut milk might be best (it’s the thickest/most similar consistency to heavy cream), but of course it will add a coconut flavor to the recipe. I also like the Chobani Plain Extra Creamy oat milk. I find that to be relatively thick as well.