Classic sweet potato casserole gets a twist with bourbon and pecans – USA TODAY

This grown-up version of sweet potato casserole will have your guests’ tastebuds celebrating. Sweet, buttery, crunchy flavors and textures — combined with the zip of bourbon — make this side dish perfect for the holidays.

Starting in the early 1900s, home cooks began adding marshmallows to the top of their sweet potato casseroles. It’s fairly common knowledge that the recipe actually was part of a promotion by the Cracker Jack Company to increase the popularity their Angelus brand of marshmallows.

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While it may have been a marketing ploy, Americans grabbed onto the idea and never let go. But this year, why not jazz up the old standby with a little spirited crunch?


Makes: 6-8 servings


  • 4 small sweet potatoes (dark-skinned orange potatoes)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons bourbon

Topping Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (generous 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup crushed cornflakes
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/3 stick butter


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Place yams in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Cook on medium heat, with lid slightly ajar, until yams can be pierced easily with a fork.
  3. Drain potatoes. Using potato masher, mash until all lumps are removed. Add butter and continue to mash until well combined. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, mix remaining ingredients including sugar, eggs, salt, milk, vanilla and bourbon. Mix well.
  5. Add sugar mixture to mashed sweet potatoes.
  6. Pour mixture into a 9” x 12” casserole dish. Set aside.
  7. Heat topping ingredients (brown sugar, corn flakes, pecans and butter) in small saucepan until melted. Stir well.
  8. Spread topping over top of casserole and bake for 30 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and allow to set for 10 minutes before serving.

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