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Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller  

Sweet Potato Spoonbread

Cornmeal is a key ingredient in this soufflé-like side from Durham, NC, chef Sara Foster. It provides structure so the spoonbread won't fall in the center, even after you scoop out a serving.

Southern Living DECEMBER 2013

  • Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings
  • Hands-on: 1 Hour
  • Total: 2 Hours


  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Pinch of ground red pepper
  • 1 cup plain yellow cornmeal
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 3 medium-size sweet potatoes, baked, peeled, and mashed
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder


1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bring first 5 ingredients to a simmer in a 3-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Whisk cornmeal into milk mixture in a slow, steady stream. Cook, whisking constantly, 2 to 3 minutes or until mixture thickens and pulls away from bottom of pan. Remove from heat, and stir in butter. Cool 10 minutes.

2. Place potatoes in a large bowl; stir in cornmeal mixture. Stir in egg yolks and baking powder, stirring until well blended.

3. Beat egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form; fold into potato mixture. Spoon batter into a well-buttered 3-qt. baking dish.

4. Bake at 350° for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown and puffy. (Edges will be firm and center will still be slightly soft.) Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack before serving.


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Sweet Potato Spoonbread Recipe