The Brilliant 3-Ingredient Dessert I Make Every January

published Jan 20, 2024
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Overhead view of 3 baked sweet potatoes cut open on a dark blue plate, topped with butter and black pepper.
Credit: Photo: Lucy Schaeffer ; Food Stylist: Ben Weiner

When January rolls around, I like to take things easy in the kitchen. After the highs (and the lows) that come with the holiday season, I’m all for lazy cooking and tend to stick with delicious, super-easy, tried-and-true recipes. 

That’s where this brilliant dessert comes in. If you already love sweet potato casserole with those itty bitty marshmallows, this will be right up your alley. (And if you don’t, I’m here to make you a believer.) Introducing one of my favorite 3-ingredient desserts: a roasted sweet potato topped with fluffy whipped cream and toasted chopped nuts. 

What Makes This 3-Ingredient Sweet Potato Dessert So Amazing

This easy dessert is creamy, slightly crunchy, pleasantly sweet, and altogether so much greater than the sum of its parts. Even better, it uses ingredients you probably already have — a sweet potato, whipped cream (or heavy cream if you like making your own), and roasted nuts of some sort — and the oven does all the work for you.  

Credit: Kristina Razon

How to Make This 3-Ingredient Sweet Potato Dessert

  • Roast your sweet potato. I tend to roast a few sweet potatoes at once, so I just throw on an extra one for this. 
  • Gather the nuts and whipped cream. I like pistachios here as I find the flavors work together super well, but really you can use whatever you have or like. Grab your favorite can of whipped cream (or make your own whipped cream with a drizzle of maple syrup). 
  • Assemble and enjoy! Split your spud in half, top one half with whipped cream, and sprinkle with toasted chopped nuts. (You can serve the other half or save it for later). 

Ways to Riff on This 3-Ingredient Sweet Potato Dessert

  • Play around with toppings. This dessert works well with just about any type of roasted nuts you have on hand, from almonds to hazelnuts to cashews. If you don’t have any pre-roasted nuts, you can definitely toast the nuts in the oven at the same time as the sweet potato cooks. I’ve even been known to toss granola on it from time to time, or a dash of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice. 
  • Try it with a Japanese sweet potato. Dark purple-skinned Japanese sweet potatoes (also called satsuma-imo) are an absolute favorite of mine. When cooked, they develop a nutty, rich flavor that tastes just like roasted chestnuts. Due to their denser texture, they take a bit longer to cook, but the wait is well worth it. 
  • Serve it at different temperatures. You can serve this with a sweet potato that’s just cool enough to handle, at room temperature, or chilled straight from the fridge (in case you have one kicking around in yours already).