Nikki’s Sweet Potatoes Recipe

Decadent, delicious baked sweet potato recipe made from seven ingredients - sweet potatoes, ginger, coconut milk, shredded coconut, maple syrup, macadamia nuts and a bit of butter or olive oil.

Nikki’s Sweet Potatoes

Ten years ago, my friend Nikki shared this recipe with me. She described these sweet potatoes as a sweet potato mash, but with a twist - they get creaminess from a generous splash of coconut milk, crunch from toasted coconut and macadamias, and a kick from freshly grated ginger. For those of you who have been long-time readers, this is the same Nikki who took my site by storm when I posted her Healthy Cookie recipe forever ago. The same Nikki I've been friends with since she showed up in my sixth grade class, fresh from Los Angeles, wearing a Swatch watch and white Reebok hi-tops. Both things I'd never seen before. She won't lead you astray, this sweet potato recipe is legit amazing.Nikki's Sweet Potato Recipe
I know a good number of you love this recipe, so I popped off a few fresh photos the other day. The only (recent) tweaks I made to the recipe - baking the sweet potatoes without foil, and suggesting an (optional) finishing drizzle of lemon olive oil. It's a nice counterpoint to the sweetness of the sweet potatoes. Enjoy the sweet potatoes! Miss you Nik!Nikki's Sweet Potato Recipe
I think Nikki hit the nail on the head when she told me she paired it with lots of garlicky, sautéed greens. It's the perfect Thanksgiving side dish, but also an A+ option outside of the holidays as well.

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Nikki's Sweet Potato Recipe

4.78 from 9 votes

If you'd like to prepare part of this recipe in advance you can certainly bake the sweet potatoes a day or two in advance and save the mashed sweet potatoes in the refrigerator until you are ready to move forward with the remaining steps. Also, you can make these vegan by using olive oil and not butter.

  • 2 1/2 pounds orange-fleshed sweet potatoes
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk or non-dairy milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup, (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 1/3 cup raw, unsweetened grated coconut
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or melted butter
  • 1/3 cup toasted macadamia nuts, chopped
  • to serve (optional): lemon zest, lemon olive oil
  1. Preheat your oven to 400F degrees, a rack in the upper third. Butter or oil 6 ramekins or a single medium-sized casserole dish.
  2. Scrub each potato, rub with a bit of salt, and place directly in the oven for somewhere between an hour and an hour and a half, until each is baked through. Times vary greatly depending on the size of your sweet potatoes - in the end you should be able to cut through the center flesh as if it were soft butter. Remove the potatoes from the oven, let them cool for a few minutes, and cut each sweet potato in half. Scrape the flesh into a medium mixing bowl. You should have about three cups of sweet potatoes. Mash the sweet potatoes with the coconut milk. If your sweet potatoes are on the fibrous side, take a hand blender, puree them for a minute or so (alternately you could use a food processor). Stir in the ginger, maple syrup and salt. Let it sit for a few minutes, stir again and taste - adjust the seasoning if you need to - this is your chance to get the right amount of salt and ginger in the sweet potatoes before they go in the oven.
  3. Spoon the sweet potato mixture into individual baking dishes (or single larger baking dish), sprinkle with coconut, drizzle with olive oil and bake uncovered until warm and the coconut golden roughly 25 - 35 minutes. Remove and sprinkle with the toasted macadamia nuts.
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
2 hrs
Total Time
2 hrs 5 mins
If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Recipe Rating


I made this recipe again using 2/3 white sweet potatoes and 1/3 garnett sweet potatoes. I omitted the maple syrup since the white sweet potatoes is naturally sweet. I used only 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger instead of 1 tablespoon. I prefer hand mashing rather than puree in a blender/food processor because the texture is thicker when hand mashed. I mixed in 2 tablespoons of butter into the sweet potatoes instead of drizzling on top. The coconut still browns nicely. I love it more! I can't wait for lunch today.


I accidently made this with Japanese yams (they were piled up next to the Garnet sweet potatoes and their red skins threw me off). I was disappointed by the drab colored greeny-white flesh after baking them, so I covered it up with extra coconut and chopped macadamias. I also threw in a healthy pinch of ras el hanout when I added the other seasonings. It was heavenly! Everyone loved it and asked for more. The Japanese yams have a dense, chestnut-like flavor. It was definitely a happy accident, but next time I'll try it with orange sweet potatoes.


I made this tonight and, but I felt the 1 tablespoon of grated ginger was a bit overwhelming for my taste (and I do love ginger). I make a sweet potato soup with fresh grated ginger. I will try this recipe again only this time I will start with 1 teaspoon grated ginger instead of 1 tablespoon. I just want a hint of ginger taste without losing the coconut flavor. I will still rate this as a tasty, healthy sweet potato recipe.


SCB, I did the same thing! I made this dish for Thanksgiving and it tasted good in the end, but unfortunately it was full of aluminum flecks from piercing the potatoes after wrapping them with foil. We spent forever stirring and picking out tiny pieces of aluminum, which apparently are not good to ingest. Looking back I guess I should have figured this would happen, but I did follow the directions exactly. Perhaps the wording should be changed or another method of baking potatoes (maybe just without the foil) should be in the recipe?


We did the "lazy" version of this dish for Thanksgiving, and still fantastic. Heidi and Nikki are both brilliant! Boiled the sweet potatoes (white-fleshed) and parsnips...thought I'd try a half-n-half blend for variety, which worked out great. Hand blended them, skins and all, with lite coconut milk, crystallized ginger (made up for the lack of real maple syrup and didn't want to fool with the remaining fake crap we have lying around), and salt. Didn't bake it, didn't add butter, and no nuts. They were delicious, my husband loved them. Perfect smooth consistency, other than the sweet potato skins. The only slightly odd thing about them was that, being white, my husband and I were continually (though pleasantly) surprised that they didn't taste like regular old mashed potatoes. :-)

All for Veggies

For those who don't want to use foil, how about parchment-lined foil wrap the sweet potatoes?


I made this for Thanksgiving. I forgot to add the olive oil/butter but I don't think the dish suffered at all. Yum! Guests raved, which gave me an opportunity to talk up your website.


I am going to have to try this tecipe this week. My boyfriend loves sweet potatoes! This sounds like a comforting recipe for a chilly night!


I am going to have to try this tecipe this week. My boyfriend loves sweet potatoes! This sounds like a comforting recipe for a chilly night!


This is a fabulous treat! We made these for our vegetarian "dinner for two" tonight and we gobbled them up! I would make them again for sure. Really a great side. We paired it with the maple tempeh and sauteed rainbow chard. Thanks!


Okay, so I made this and took it to Thanksgiving dinner at my parents house. No fewer than three times during the meal I heard my grandmother proclaim, "These are real good sweet potatoes". Then once I heard her say, "I don't normally care for sweet potatoes, but these are real good." It made me laugh... and they were that good. Just thought I would share.


I made this, omitting the maple syrup, but added a touch of vanilla. Everyone loved it. Thanks for sharing this. And I've passed the recipe on to all my friends as well as talked up the website.


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