Sweet Stuff: Pecan-Studded Sweet Potato Brownies

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There's a way to make a more nourishing cake, and pastry chef and wellness enthusiast Marianne Stewart has dozens. Pick up a copy of her new collection of recipes and get ready to make desserts that are better for you. These sweet potato brownies are the dense, moist confection you never knew needed sweet potatoes!

I first created this recipe with the intention of adding rye flour, and found that the sweet potato was enough to hold the squidgy cake mixture together by itself. It also means you can do without lots of additional sugar usually needed for the fudgy texture; giving you the perfect brownie consistency with plenty of nutritional plus points.

Reprinted with permission from Nourish Cakes

Sweet Stuff: Pecan-Studded Sweet Potato Brownies
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These rich sweet potato brownies are the dense, moist confection you never knew needed sweet potatoes! Bake better tonight!
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Cook Time
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 1/3 cups pecans
  • 1/3 cup soft pitted dates (ideally Medjool)
  • 7 ounces dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons light tahini
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon coconut sugar or dark muscovado (soft brown) sugar
  • pinch of sea salt
  • canola oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Roast the sweet potato on a baking sheet for 45 minutes–1 hour, or until tender in the center and slightly caramelizing on the outside. Meanwhile, toast the pecans on a baking sheet for 5–6 minutes until lightly browned. Cool, then roughly chop.
  2. Reduce the oven temperature to 350ºF. Grease a 11 x 7-inch brownie tin with a little rapeseed (canola) oil and line with baking parchment.
  3. Let the potato cool until just warm, then peel and weigh out 7 ounces of the flesh into a blender. Add the dates and blend until smooth, then transfer the mixture to a heatproof bowl with the chocolate and set over a pan of barely simmering water. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is melted. Add the oil and tahini and stir until smooth. Cool slightly.
  4. Whisk the eggs, coconut sugar and salt on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, or until paler and almost doubled in volume, then whisk in the chocolate mixture slowly until well blended. Fold through most of the pecans.
  5. Scrape the mix into the tin, gently levelling off the top. Scatter the remaining pecans over the top. Sprinkle with a large pinch of sea salt, then bake for 22–25 minutes, or until puffed and looking dry on top.
  6. Cool in the tin before slicing into squares, or resist the temptation to be tidy and cut into random pieces! Chill any leftovers in a covered container for up to 3 days.
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