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Sweet Potato Bars with Salted Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting

5 from 4 votes

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This small batch recipe is very similar to pumpkin bars but we’ve added a few twists. Flaky sea salt sprinkled over the frosting takes these to a whole new place. Addicting. 

This small batch recipe is very similar to pumpkin bars but we’ve added a few twists. Flaky sea salt sprinkled over the frosting takes these to a whole new place. Addicting.

Let’s just call these crack bars shall we?

I like pumpkin….I really do. But the pumpkin mania that hits our nation on the last week of August. I can’t stand it. It’s a fever, a pandemic, it’s practically the Ebola of the food world.

Bam, “there Sally goes….she just got hit with the pumpkin fever.”


So I tiptoe around the subject and make things like apple pie and eggnog french toast for you instead.


Then it happened…..I almost faltered. We went to a work party last weekend and these delicious little pumpkin bars were sitting there unassumingly. A quick peek revealed specks of vanilla beans running through the frosting. But biting into it revealed a whole new level of happiness in my mouth…..salted cream cheese frosting.


Salt guys. Where has it been all my life? In particularly crunchy salty flaked salt like Maldon sea salt. How have I forgotten about how good this stuff is?

I am somewhat ashamed (not really) to admit I ate 4 or 5 of them over the course of the evening. I think I blamed it on “recipe testing”. All because I love you. And then Lyndsey gave me the recipe so I didn’t even need to do that but it’s okay….I’m happy to take one for the team.


Of course I wanted to make these for you….and my mouth, as quickly as humanely possible. But yesterday I realized the boys had just gone down for nap time and we just so happened to not be stocked up on pumpkin (shocking I know).

But there was one lonely sweet potato.

salted cream cheese icing

Seeing as how most commercial pumpkin filling is actually not pure pumpkin I figured I could probably eek by with this solution. And in one sweeping motion I also sidestepped sharing a pumpkin recipe with you 😉

vanilla bean cream cheese icing

It turns out though that sweet potatoes mixed with baking soda can do a funny thing….they can turn green! I’m not sure if it was a freak accident or not but be sure to puree up your sweet potato and not leave it chunkier like mine was. Or just embrace the delightful flecks of green throughout your cake and call it a health food.

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Sweet Potato Bars with Salted Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Icing

This small batch recipe is very similar to pumpkin bars but we've added a few twists. Maldon sea salt sprinkled over the frosting takes these to a whole new place. Addicting.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 12 small bars
Print Pin Recipe


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 sweet potato baked peeled and mashed
  • 1/2 cup oil I used olive
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 8 ounce package cream cheese softened
  • 1/4 cup butter softened
  • 1/2-1 vanilla bean seeds scraped
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • dash of salt
  • Maldon sea salt


  • 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Beat eggs and sugar together until lightened.
    3. Add sweet potato, oil and vanilla stir until combined.
    4. Add remaining dry ingredients and stir until just combined (don't overwork).
    5. Split the batter evenly into 2 greased loaf pans.
    6. Bake for 20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
    7. Using a mixer whip cream cheese, butter, vanilla bean, and vanilla extract together until light and fluffy. Add honey to taste. Add milk.
    8. Frost bars and top with a sprinkle of salt.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 326kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 221mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g
Author: Dani Meyer
Course : *Easy Entertaining Dishes
frosting, salted, bars, vanilla bean, cream cheese icing, sweet potato bars, vanilla bean cream cheese icing, dessert, fall, sweet potato


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About Dani Meyer

Hi, I’m Dani! I’m most importantly mama to 3 wild little dudes. I spend my days cooking, photographing and exploring the Pacific Northwest. I'm a full time food blogger and online business coach.

I’m the author of Stress Free Camping, a 120+ page guide on making epic food in the woods. I’m also the founder of Food Blogger Entrepreneurs, the leading online academy and private community for food bloggers. → More About Dani

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16 thoughts on “Sweet Potato Bars with Salted Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting”

  1. I just found your blog by chance today. I’m too lazy to convert my cheese cake bars to a smaller recipe and also wanted to add sweet potatoes to it. Perfect recipe! I cant wait to try it tomorrow!

  2. So…if you’ve been enjoying pumpkin everything for longer than this fad has been going, is it still OK to eat it? Or maybe I’m the cause of the problem since I’ve been taking a pumpkin dessert soup to the work holiday potluck for a number of years. LOL

  3. 5 stars
    Dani gave me the photographed plate full of these bars to take home to share with the hunting party that was gathering at our home…her husband, his two brothers and dad. There is now one left, and as I read this post, I am enjoying the LAST bar with my coffee and agreeing with everyone who has made a comment about these delicious bars ! MMM thanks Dani 🙂

  4. Love this!!! I agree. . sweet potato needs more love and attention . . love the small batch and these bars are great!!! Pinned!!

  5. 5 stars
    I was devastated to learn last week that most pumpkin pies are made with squash commercially. But faux-ing a pumpkin with sweet potato is genius.

5 from 4 votes

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