A Favorite Family Recipe: Baked Sweet Potatoes with Coconut

I hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving weekend! Just in case you haven’t already had your fill of holiday food, I’ve decided to share one of my all-time favorite family recipes.

Recipe: Baked Sweet Potatoes With Coconut

I have no intention of turning this into a food blog– I just don’t have the kitchen skills to handle that. But I do believe in sharing favorite recipes. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to create that perfect taste from a recipe that someone took with them to the grave. And that’s why I was thrilled when my Aunt Jeanie gave me permission to share this amazing recipe here on my blog. Because good food should be shared!

But first, a little Thanksgiving recap. Garrett and Will and I spent the day with Garrett’s family. When we left our home in Salt Lake, it was pretty mild outside. Chilly, but pleasant and sunny, and not a single snowflake on the ground. When we got to Garrett’s parents’ house 40 minutes north of us, this is what it looked like:

Cox Family Thanksgiving 2015

Helloooo, winter! Personally, I love snow. I love cold white winters, so I didn’t mind this at all. But we didn’t come super prepared. Neither Garrett nor I had proper shoes for traipsing through snow, and Will definitely wasn’t equipped to play in the snow. All he had on were canvas sneakers which immediately got soaked, and although I was working on knitting a pair of mittens for him, only one was complete, so his hands froze. He did have a hat, though, which he refused to wear. I felt terrible. Will’s initial excitement over the snow quickly turned to tears and we ended up heading inside for some warm cuddles and by the fire while his pants, socks, and shoes dried out and his hands and feet thawed. Not one of my finest moments in parenting.

Cox Family Thanksgiving 2015

Garrett and I went shopping in the evening to catch some of the late-night sales while everyone else slept off their food comas, and we made sure to purchase a good pair of snow boots for Will which he has insisted on wearing around the house ever since. I also finished knitting that pair of mittens this weekend, so hopefully we won’t have any repeats of Thursday any time soon.

Okay, so back to the sweet potatoes. These are seriously soooo easy to make and soooo good. And if you ever had a craving for a sweet potato bake that’s not made with brown sugar, pecans, or marshmallows, this one is for you.

Cox Family Thanksgiving 2015

Check out that baby bump hanging over the counter! I have to be super careful when cooking these days so I don’t burn it on the stove!

This recipe has become my go-to recipe for any holiday season gatherings, whether they be for family or church or potlucks, or whatever. Since it always goes so fast, I like to cook enough sweet potatoes for 2 recipes (about 6 cups, so 5 to 6 sweet potatoes, depending on their size). That way I can make a second batch just for me and the immediate family once the first one has been devoured. You can save yourself a lot of prep time on the day you want to make these by baking the sweet potatoes a day or two ahead of time, mashing and preportioning them into 3 cups, and storing them in the fridge or freezer until needed.

Baked Sweet Potatoes With Coconut

Baked Sweet Potatoes with Coconut

(vegetarian, gluten free)

Prep time: 10 minutes (+ 1 hour if you start with uncooked sweet potatoes)
Bake time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hr, 10 min
Servings: 8


3 cups mashed sweet potatoes (lumpy is okay)
2 cups sugar
1/2 pound butter, softened or melted
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup shredded coconut*
5 eggs


Preheat oven to 350° F.

Using an electric mixer or crank beater, beat the first 3 ingredients together until the butter and sugar are completely mixed in with the potatoes. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until combined. Pour into a 3 quart baking dish. Bake uncovered at 350° for about 1 hour, or until the edges are slightly browned and the center is set. And that’s it! So easy!

*I always use sweetened shredded coconut, because it’s cheap and easy to find. But feel free to use the unsweetened stuff, especially if you’re looking for ways to cut back on sugar a little. This dish is already very sweet.


So there you have it– a new, slightly different recipe to sweeten up your holiday meals. If you try it, let me know what you think in the comments below!


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