An Easy Holiday Side You Don’t Want to Miss: Sweet Potato Apples With Candied Pecans

by BUST Magazine

This Simple, Healthy Dessert is Like an Explosion of Autumn Goodness

Total Time: 1½ hours
Active Time: 30 mins
Makes 16 pieces
Cost per serving: $1.30

Baked apples are the perfect fall sweet treat, but here, they’re paired with what you might not normally think of as a dessert ingredient: the equally autumnal sweet potato.


  • 1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, 
  • washed whole
  • 8 red apples
  • 2 Tbsp. refined coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves
  • 2 tsp. refined coconut oil
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
Cut apples in half horizontally, spray a 9×13 casserole dish with cooking spray (or a light coat of vegetable oil), and place apples in, cut side down. Cover tightly with tin foil. Place the sweet potatoes on a separate baking sheet, leaving uncovered. 

Put both trays in the oven, sweet potatoes on the lower rack, and bake for about 30 minutes, until apples are beginning to brown around the edges; they should be firm enough to hold their shape. Note: while these are baking, make the candied pecans (directions below).

Remove the apples from the oven, set aside, and continue to bake the sweet potatoes until they’re fork-tender—30 more minutes or so. When they’re ready, scoop their insides into a mixing bowl. Add the coconut oil and mash them very smooth; mix in maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon, and salt. Cover and keep warm until ready to pipe. 

To candy the pecans:

Cover a large plate with parchment paper. Preheat a heavy-bottomed pan over low-medium heat, and toast the pecans for about 5 minutes, tossing frequently. Add coconut oil and salt, toss to coat, then add maple syrup (it will bubble) and toss for 30 more seconds. Transfer to a counter or a pan covered with parchment paper, and let cool. 
Then break apart the pieces 
and roughly chop.

To assemble:

Scoop out the apple cores with a spoon, leaving a half-inch rim all around. Place them cut-side up in the casserole dish. Transfer sweet potato mixture to a pastry bag fit with an extra-large metal tip, and pipe filling into apples. If you don’t have a pastry bag, use a plastic bag with a half-inch slit cut off one corner. Top with candied pecans and serve.

Tip: Grade B maple syrup tastes even more maple-y, and costs a little less, than the primo stuff.

Written by: Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Food styling: Ali Chiappinelli

Photographed by: Vanessa Rees

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