Sweet Potato Jack-o-Lanterns with Cinnamon Sugar

In these directions we are coating the entire sweet potato round in butter and cinnamon sugar. For a lighter version, just brush melted butter on one side of the sweet potato rounds, and dip only this side in cinnamon sugar.

Parents, if making this recipe with kids, the cutting out of the eyes and mouths is difficult and should be done by an adult. Otherwise just skip.

  • Prep time: 25 minutes
  • Cook time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 16 to 22 rounds.


  • One 1 1/2 to 2 pound sweet potato, in a even cylindrical shape if possible, wide enough for your cookie cutter form to cut out patterns
  • 3 Tbsp butter, melted (for dipping)
  • 6 Tbsp white granulated sugar (for dredging)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Equipment needed:

  • Pumpkin shaped cookie cutter (small enough to fit within a slice of sweet potato)
  • A sharp paring knife


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1 Peel the sweet potato. Cut into 1/4 inch rounds. Use pumpkin shaped cookie cutter to cut each round into a pumpkin shape. Use a paring knife to carefully cut out eyes and mouths. (This part is a bit challenging, if you find it too difficult, just skip.)

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2 Place the cut sweet potato rounds on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Bake at 450°F (230°C) for 35 minutes (more or less depending on thickness of slice) until lightly browned on both sides and cooked inside. Remove from oven.

3 Melt butter either on stove or in microwave and place in a small bowl.  Mix sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl.

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4 Dip each sweet potato round into melted butter.  Then place the round in the cinnamon sugar to coat the jack-o-lanterns with cinnamon sugar.  Place the rounds on a rack over a baking sheet to dry.


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  • Chris

    Any ideas for a savory version for a thanksgiving appetizer?

  • Jen

    Can these be made the night before, for example for a pre-school bash the next day? :)

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Jen, good question! I think so. I made them a year ago and I remember munching on them for a few days.

  • Anon

    I’m throwing a Halloween party in a couple of days and I really want to make these, but I’m confused: where are people finding cookie cutters small enough for sweet potatoes or sweet potatoes large enough for cookie cutters? I’ve tried three different pumpkin-shaped cookie cutters and none of them are small enough for sweet potato slices, even when I buy the biggest yam I can find. Am I missing something?

    • Elise Bauer

      I found my pumpkin cookie cutter at a local cake decorating store.

  • alison

    Hi! Am getting ready to make these, but was wondering, should they be served warm?

  • eatlovers

    This recipes is like a Indian potato chips. Its delicious

  • holunderlilly

    OMG. This is soooo delicious!! I just made the “pumpkins” this evening as a dessert snack and everyone loved it. They taste best when they are still warm. Though the 230°C were a bit too much, they started to blacken after 20 min, so I took them out of the oven earlier. Thanks for this wonderful recipe!

  • Ellen

    My daughter and I made these over the weekend – we found mini pumpkin and pumpkin cookie cutters at Sur La Table. So fun to make! We were expecting them to turn out crisp-ish, like when you grill thin sweet potatoes on the grill with a little olive oil and seasoning. They came out of oven soft (after 45 minutes cooking at 450 degrees) and then even softer after coating in butter and the sugar/cinnamon. Did I experience user error or is this the intended texture? BTW, love your blog. It is my go to when I am having a brain cramp on what to have for dinner.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Ellen, the couple of times I made them they were dry and lightly browned on the outside and soft in the center, so perhaps with your oven they needed to cook a little longer? They shouldn’t be crisp though, if that is what you were expecting.

  • Sandy S

    Just have to say that these are very good! As well as totally cute. For anyone that needs to hold-off on sugar and/or butter, I think they are very good plain, too! Really! The sweetness of the sweet potatoes is brought out in the baking. I will be making them again and even make simple round ones for treats the rest of the year. Once they have been dipped in cinnamon sugar, it would be overkill to have dipping sauces as I spoke of above. How fun to make these for my young and old trick-or-treaters!


  • Tania B

    I LOVE this! This makes my inner child very happy and giddy. Thanks for this!

  • Kiran @ KiranTarun.com

    These are so fun, easy and delicious! Thanks for sharing, Elise :)

  • Daphne

    I just made some of these for my grandson…. very easy and great instructions! Making the faces is a bit tedious, so I only made a few with faces and then lightly scored the vertical section lines for the ridges on a pumpkin on the others. The sweet potato shrank away from the scored line enough to make it show, and they looked like real little pumpkins. Thanks for the great idea Elsie!!

    • Elise Bauer

      I love the idea of scoring the pumpkin shapes so they look more like pumpkins. Thank you!

  • Dawn LGM

    I’m feeding my baby whole pieces of things (it’s called Baby-led weaning)… and I think this is going to be perfect. I’m just going to leave out the sugar part but still sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon! Do you think this will turn out just as delish?

    • Elise Bauer

      I think this will be too chewy for your baby. What I would recommend doing is slicing the rounds, then parboiling them for a minute or two. Then make the cut outs if you want them to be cute, and bake them. They will be wetter, but much softer. Easy for baby. You could sprinkle the tiniest amount of cinnamon on them, but note that cinnamon quickly overwhelms. So you may want to skip at first.

      • Dawn LGM

        She prefers sucking on the chewier foods, so it might be alright. :) Thanks for the suggestion, I will probably try both ways. :)

  • Julie Hall

    Another possibility for the ghost variation: parsnips. They should stay whiter than potatoes, they are naturally sweet to begin with, and they are a seasonal fall vegetable. I’ve seen some impressively large specimens, but even smaller ones could yield cute mini-ghosts or even skulls.

  • Sandy S

    How Fun! I love that they are individually cut, even if it does take a little longer. Turning them around so that the face is up-side down may make the eyes easier to cut. We usually turn our pumpkin faces into cats, which always get rave reviews! Will have to make a kitty or two.
    I am thinking I might try making some dipping sauces in little bean pots/cauldrons. Like caramel, marshmallow and chocolate? Can you tell I love Halloween!?

  • avis

    p.s. the ghost idea is brilliant too. The potatoes would probably brown when baked but it wouild still be tasty and cute.

  • avis

    There are a variety of actual jack o lantern cookie cutters at Amazon that may or may not work with raw sweet potato. Michael’s (the craft store) should have them too.


    These are cute and look tasty but I am confused-are these a snack? How do you eat them? Can you hold them or do you need a plate and fork?

  • sawsan

    is the potato previously cooked or baked after dipping into butter and sugar

    • Elise Bauer

      As per the recipe, the raw sweet potato is first sliced, then baked, then dipped in butter and cinnamon sugar.

  • Sophia

    White potatoes for ghosts? Maybe a savoury version– vinegar and sea salt a la 101 Cookbooks. Or parmesan and black pepper? For V-Day, beet chips? This is such a brilliant idea– a perfect way to incorporate every colour of the rainbow in a festive manner!

  • Mary Ellen

    Where can I find one of those pumpkin shaped cookie cutters with the little stem on top?

  • Melissa

    Brilliant! This will be so much fun to make with the kids! And sweet potatoes are so healthy too….they’ll never know I’m secretly feeding them something good for them!! Mwahahaha!

  • Annemarie

    I bet these would be amazing with browned butter. I can just taste it now!

  • Deborah Cooper

    Well if this isn’t just the cutest thing I’ve seen in a while! Perfect for a kid’s halloween party, grown-up Halloween party, or with dinner before trick-or-treating to calm down your child’s sugar craving. Very creative…I love it!

    Thanks for all your great recipes :) I’ve been following your blog for years, and every single dish that I’ve made has been stellar!