This Sweet Potato Casserole features mashed sweet potatoes blended with pure maple syrup and cozy fall spices topped off with a crunchy, sweet walnut streusel topping. You will not want sweet potato casserole any other way!
- What Is Sweet Potato Casserole?
- What You Need To Make This Recipe
- How To Make This Recipe
- Storing This Sweet Potato Casserole
- Making This Casserole Ahead of Time
- What To Serve With This Dish
- Variations of This Sweet Potato Casserole
- Recommended Tools for This Recipe
- More Fall and Thanksgiving Recipes You Will Love!
- 📖 Recipe
Sweet potato casserole is a staple for many during the fall and holiday season, especially Thanksgiving. There are several variations of this dish, however, this walnut streusel-topped recipe remains my favorite! If you've ever had Ruth Chris' sweet potato casserole, this recipe is reminiscent of theirs with the crunchy pecan topping!
What Is Sweet Potato Casserole?
Surprisingly enough, sweet potatoes weren’t present on the first Thanksgiving. Sweet potatoes are native to Central and South America and colonists from Europe introduced the spuds to the new world. The first time sweet potatoes and marshmallows are mentioned together is in 1917, in a recipe booklet published by the Angelus Marshmallow company.
Sweet potato casserole with pecans is a recipe that originated in the South, and early variations of the recipe included different ingredients like cream or milk. This sweet potato casserole recipe is a variation of the Southern version, made with pure maple syrup and chopped walnuts.
What You Need To Make This Recipe
Mashed Sweet Potato Ingredients:
Four medium-sized sweet potatoes. We need 3 cups of peeled and chopped sweet potatoes for this recipe. If your sweet potatoes are larger, you may only need three. To prepare them for the casserole, the chopped sweet potatoes are boiled in water until fork tender.
Granulated sugar. A combination of granulated sugar and pure maple syrup is used to sweeten this casserole. You may also use brown sugar instead if you prefer a more caramel-like flavor.
Pure maple syrup. Be sure your maple syrup is good quality, pure maple syrup, and not maple-flavored syrup.
Two large eggs. The eggs will act as a binder in this casserole.
Vanilla extract. This ingredient lends a great depth of flavor and also brings out the other flavors in the casserole.
Salt. Adding a small amount of salt to sweet recipes highlights the flavors of the other ingredients.
Ground cinnamon. This spice provides warmth and subtle spiciness to the casserole.
Ground nutmeg. A little bit of this spice adds a warm, nutty flavor to the casserole.
Ground cardamom. This spice has a complex flavor with spicy, sweet, citrusy, minty, and herbal notes combined. It really adds something special to this dish and plays beautifully with the other flavors in this casserole. A little of this ingredient goes a long way.
Buttermilk. The buttermilk adds creaminess to the sweet potatoes and also adds the most delicious, subtle tanginess to the dish. If you prefer, you can also use regular whole milk instead.
Streusel Topping Ingredients
- Brown sugar
- Unsalted butter
- All-purpose flour
- Chopped Walnuts
- Ground cinnamon
How To Make This Recipe
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray or butter a 9x13 baking dish and set aside.
To a large mixing bowl, add the sweet potatoes, sugar, maple syrup, eggs, vanilla, and salt. Using a potato masher or large fork, mash the potatoes together with the other ingredients. Once the potatoes are mashed, add the buttermilk and use a wire whisk to mix all of the ingredients until well combined.
Transfer the sweet potato mixture to your prepared baking dish and set it aside while you make the streusel topping.
In a medium mixing bowl, add the brown sugar, melted butter, flour, chopped walnuts, salt, and ground cinnamon. Using a fork, mix the ingredients together until all of the flour is moistened and a crumbly texture is formed.
Spoon the streusel topping over top of the sweet potato mixture and spread out into an even layer. Bake the casserole in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes until the casserole is golden and bubbly.
Storing This Sweet Potato Casserole
Leftover casserole can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
You can also freeze leftover casserole by transferring it to a zip-top freezer bag, removing as much air as possible before sealing. Wrap the freezer bag tightly in plastic wrap and store it in a lying-down position in the freezer. The casserole will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer.
Making This Casserole Ahead of Time
You can prepare and bake this casserole as directed up to two days before, wrap it in plastic wrap, and store it in the refrigerator. Reheat it in the oven, covered in foil, for 20 minutes the morning of. Remove the foil for the last minutes to crisp the top.
You can also prepare and bake the sweet potato mixture up to two days before, then top the casserole with the crumble mixture, and bake uncovered for 20 minutes the morning of.
What To Serve With This Dish
So many dinner recipes pair wonderfully with this sweet potato casserole! Here are a few of my favorites from the archives:
Variations of This Sweet Potato Casserole
You can really get as creative as your imagination allows here as there are countless variations of sweet potato casserole out there and they're all delicious!
- Add marshmallows to the topping for a more classic version of this dish.
- Use heavy cream instead of milk in the mashed sweet potatoes for a more rich casserole.
- Substitute butternut squash for the sweet potatoes in the casserole or use a combination of both.
Recommended Tools for This Recipe
More Fall and Thanksgiving Recipes You Will Love!
Maple Walnut Sweet Potato Casserole
- 3 cups sweet potatoes peeled, chopped and boiled in water until fork tender, about four medium-sized sweet potatoes*
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup**
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ⅓ cup buttermilk***
For the Streusel Topping
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup unsalted butter melted
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray or butter a 9x13 baking dish and set aside.
- To a large mixing bowl, add the sweet potatoes, sugar, maple syrup, eggs, vanilla, and salt. Using a potato masher or large fork, mash the potatoes together with the other ingredients. Once the potatoes are mashed, add the buttermilk and use a wire whisk to mix all of the ingredients until well combined.
- Transfer the sweet potato mixture to your prepared baking dish and set it aside while you make the streusel topping.
- In a medium mixing bowl, add the brown sugar, melted butter, flour, chopped walnuts, salt, and ground cinnamon. Using a fork, mix the ingredients together until all of the flour is moistened and a crumbly texture is formed.
- Spoon the streusel topping over top of the sweet potato mixture and spread out into an even layer. Bake the casserole in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes until the casserole is golden and bubbly. Allow the casserole to cool for about 10 minutes then serve warm.