Side Dishes

Ember-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Maple-Cinnamon Butter

Sweet Potatoes

This rustic dish showcases sweet potatoes roasted directly in the embers of a charcoal or wood fire until their skins are charred and the centers become lusciously soft. The smoky notes from the fire complement the natural sweetness of the potatoes, which are served with a rich, creamy maple-cinnamon butter. This simple yet indulgent side dish captures the essence of campfire cooking while delivering bold, comforting flavors.

Sweet Potatoes Recipe


Ember-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Maple-Cinnamon Butter

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: 4
  • Equipment: Large charcoal or wood fire


  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 large sweet potatoes or yams

Recipe Steps

Step 1: Make the maple-cinnamon butter: Place the butter in a mixing bowl and whisk until light and fluffy. Whisk in the maple syrup and cinnamon. Alternatively, blend the ingredients in a mixer or food processor. Transfer the butter to a bowl or 4 ramekins and refrigerate until serving.

Step 2: To set up a charcoal grill for direct grilling, first light the charcoal in a chimney starter.
Dump the lit coals from the chimney starter into the bottom of the grill. Using a garden hoe or other long-handled implement, rake the burning coals into an even layer. Let them burn down to glowing coals. Rest the sweet potatoes on the embers. Using tongs or a hoe, rake any loose coals around the potatoes.

Step 3: Roast the sweet potatoes until the skins are charred black and the centers are soft and steamy, 40 minutes to 1 hour. Turn the potatoes with tongs from time to time to ensure even roasting. Use a slender metal skewer to test for doneness; it should insert easily.

Step 4: Remove the potatoes from the coals with tongs and brush away the ashes with a pastry brush. Let the sweet potatoes cool for a few minutes, then cut each in half lengthwise and place on plates or a platter for serving. Serve the sweet potatoes in their skins with the maple-cinnamon butter on the side. You’ll eat only the center portion of the sweet potatoes.

Find This Recipe

And More

How to Grill by Steven Raichlen

How to Grill

Without a doubt the most interesting, comprehensive, and well-thought-out book on grilling ever and it’s destined to be in the …

Buy Now ‣