Recipe: How to make a sweet potato pudding

Sweet potato pudding ingredients

The Folger is home to the largest collection of early modern western European recipe books in the United States, and a team of Folger researchers recently uncovered a very early European potato recipe in our archives. This recipe, “to make a potato puding,” comes from a recipe collection kept by the Grenville family from c. 1640-1750.

Read about how potatoes made their way from the Americas to England and how we adapted this particular recipe: From the archive to the oven

And then follow the recipe to cook this delicious pudding!

The Grenville Family’s Sweet Potato Pudding (adaptation)


3 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces

¾ lb. butter, softened

½ c. sherry (we recommend a dark sherry like Oloroso)

½ tsp. ground cinnamon

5 whole eggs, lightly beaten


Preheat your oven to 350F.  Bring a large pot of unsalted water to a boil. Add potato pieces and cook until tender.  Drain.

In a large bowl, mash the potatoes with the butter until uniform and combined.


Fold in the sherry, cinnamon, and eggs.

Bake in a buttered casserole dish for 45 minutes, or until the pudding has pulled away from the sides of the dish and the middle jiggles slightly when shaken gently.  The pudding will continue to set as it cools.