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Sweet Potato Pone (Baked Sweet Potato Custard)

What is sweet potato pone?

Sweet potato pone is comprised of grated sweet potatoes mixed together with a custard of eggs, milk or cream, warm spices and vanilla extract.

All ingredients are mixed together, poured into a greased baking dish, and baked until the sweet potatoes are tender and the custard has set. Many describe sweet potato pone as the best part of sweet potato pie and I definitely agree. It’s creamy, light and can be customized according to your tastes and dietary needs. If you enjoy not-too-sweet desserts, then you’ll love sweet potato pone or my tea cakes recipe.

What is a pone?

The word pone comes from the word “apan” from the Algonquin Native American tribe. Pone refers to a food that’s baked or fried into a cake or pudding.

Sweet Potato Pone History

Traditionally, pones are made of corn, cassava or sweet potato and are found throughout the Gullah Geechee, Native American, Jamaican, Caribbean, and Southern communities. For some cultures, it’s considered a holiday dessert. If you

How to Make Sweet Potato Pone

1.) Peel and grate sweet potatoes into a bowl.

2.) In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk or cream, sugar, molasses,* warm spices and vanilla extract.

3.) Fold in the grated sweet potatoes until well combined.

4.) Pour into a greased 8×8 or 9×9 baking greased baking pan.

5.) Cover with aluminum foil and bake until the pone is just set, about 40 to 50 minutes.

6.) Remove the foil and bake until it starts to caramelize around the edges.

7.) Cool for 30 minutes and then serve and enjoy. It’s great topped with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream!

*molasses is traditional but I leave it out of my recipe. Feel free to add it in for extra depth and earthy flavor.


Watch how I make sweet potato pone and learn about the history of the recipe in this video here.


Sweet Potato Pone (Baked Sweet Potato Custard)

Tender sweet potatoes, enveloped in a light and creamy custard with subtle sweetness and hints of warm spices and vanilla.
Course Side Dish
Servings 9 servings
Author eeturner


  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes peeled and grated
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 2 tbsp molasses optional
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter melted
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp table salt


  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish.
  • Peel and grate sweet potatoes into a bowl and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, light brown sugar, molasses (if using), vanilla, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt, until well combined.
  • Fold in the sweet potatoes and mix until the custard mixture is fully coating the sweet potatoes.
  • Pour in the sweet potato mixture into the pre-greased baking dish and smooth out into an even layer.
  • Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the pone is just set in the middle. If it's still wet in the middle, continue to bake for another 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Then remove the foil and bake until the pone starts to caramelize and brown around the edges.
  • Remove from oven and cool for 30 minutes.
  • Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  • Store leftovers, covered, in the refrigerator.


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