Kirbie's Cravings

Purple Sweet Potato Muffins

close-up photo of a Purple Sweet Potato Muffin

Many Chinese cakes are steamed rather than baked. Another characteristic of many Chinese cakes is that the cupcake and muffins will have a split open top. You will often see this in cakes served at dim sum or in Chinese bakeries. I love the split open top look. It makes the cake look so soft and fluffy as if it is bursting open. The bursting open also shows the tender crumb of the inside of the cake which isn’t apparent in a cake that hasn’t opened.
Recently I stumbled on a series of pumpkin desserts made by “Table for 2 … or more.” I will definitely be revisiting these desserts come next October. However, I couldn’t resist trying a few of them out now.

photo of muffins in a bamboo steamer

One entry was for some beautiful pumpkin muffins and I thought that I could try making them but with purple sweet potatoes as I have been on a mission to make as many different kinds of desserts as possible with purple sweet potatoes now that I have finally discovered how to get them to retain their purple color rather than turning gray or green. You can read about my discovery of purple sweet potato on a plate

I love the color purple and being able to create purple desserts without food coloring has been so exciting. I modded the recipe slightly since I was using purple sweet potatoes. The cakes came out beautifully. They split open quite nicely and were a pretty pinkish purple.
photo of one Purple Sweet Potato Muffin on a plate
The texture of the cake is definitely more muffin than cupcake. It is a little bit dense as the result of using a small amount rice flour. I think I may attempt this again without any rice flour. I recently looked back at the original recipe which Table for 2 or more adapted from and it does not use rice flour so I think I might be able to get a fluffier texture without the rice flour.
Purple Sweet Potato Muffins in a steamerthree muffins in a steamer

Purple Sweet Potato Muffins

Servings: 12 muffins
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Chinese
Many Chinese cakes are steamed rather than baked. Another characteristic of many Chinese cakes is that the cupcake and muffins will have a split open top. This version is made with purple sweet potatoes that give the muffins their pretty pink color.


  • 125 g steamed purple sweet potato
  • 1 egg
  • 120 g granulated sugar
  • 120 g fat free milk
  • 30 g vegetable oil
  • 180 g cake flour
  • 20 g rice flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder


  • Put steamed purple sweet potato flesh, egg, sugar, milk and oil in blender or food processor and process so that the mixture becomes a smooth paste.
  • Sift cake flour, rice flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Pour in the wet ingredients and stir until combined.
  • Prepare large pot of boiling water and place steamer on top. You can also use a rice cooker steamer.
  • Spoon batter into cupcake liners. Place the cupcake liners in a firm mold such as ramekins so that the cupcakes hold their form while cooking. Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 full and steam on high heat for 15 minutes.


Recipe adapted from Table for 2...or More


Serving: 1muffin, Calories: 138kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 16mg, Potassium: 133mg, Sugar: 10g, NET CARBS: 25g

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!

photo of a muffin on a platePurple Sweet Potato Muffin on a plate

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6 comments on “Purple Sweet Potato Muffins”

  1. Could you use this recipe with orange yams/sweet potaoes instead?

    • I think you’ll have to adjust because orange yams and sweet potatoes have a higher water content. purple ones are quite dry.

  2. Putting your freshly baked cupecakes into some nice wrappers certainly finishes them off. However to make them extra special there is nothing like making your very own cupcake wrappers. These can be personalised to the individual and the event, plus they are so easy to make. I share my free templates over at

  3. Love the lovely purple color and ‘huat’ very beautifully!

  4. I actually love steamed cakes! I made some a while ago too 🙂 once again, love your purple bakes.

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