A House and Casserole Divided

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A House and Casserole Divided

By Joshua Grotheer

The holidays are a perfect time to gather around the table and share a wonderful meal together. But when my family gets together, there tends to be a difference of opinion on a particular side dish: my great-grandmother’s sweet potato casserole.

When it comes to the topping for the casserole in question, that’s where my clan is truly divided. Half of my family prefers the traditional marshmallow topping. The rest would rather have a sweet and crunchy brown sugar pecan topping. That’s when I decided to create a casserole that has both toppings. I started with my great-grandmother’s original recipe, but added more spices and flavors to reflect this wonderful time of year. With it’s brown sugar pecan mixture on one side, and a smooth layer of marshmallow fluff on the other, both sides of the family are satisfied. And when I don this wonderful brown waiter’s apron given to me by my Nana, I remember why we are together; to celebrate and give thanks, despite our differences.

Divided Sweet Potato Casserole

4 cups sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon fresh orange juice (optional)
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups pecans, roughly chopped
1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 (7.5 ounce) jar marshmallow fluff

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 13x9 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add sweet potatoes, sugar, eggs, cream, spices, vanilla and orange juice (if desired). Stir until well incorporated. Pour sweet potato mixture into prepared baking dish.

In a small mixing bowl, combine butter, pecans, brown sugar and flour. Crumble over half of the sweet potato mixture. Spread marshmallow fluff over remaining half of potatoes. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until center is heated through and the marshmallow fluff is light brown and bubbly.

Servings: 8 to 10
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 - 30 minutes
Difficulty: Easy


Joshua Grotheer is a graduate of the Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality at Georgia State University. A native of Savannah, he began cooking and eating at a very young age. Currently, Joshua works as the assistant to Libbie Summers, Senior Food Editor for Paula Deen. In his spare time, Joshua works as a freelance floral designer.

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Reader Comments:

This is an awesome dish!  Very delishious!  I love the taste the orange juice gives it!  I will make this again.  Tip: boil your sweet potatoes first, then peal them, it’s a lot easier.

By Karri on November 30, 2010

Thank you so much for instructions on how to print this receipe!!  I had been trying forever to get it to print when I ran across your comment.  It worked!

By Donna on November 18, 2010

@Patty ~ I previously had the same problem with printing the recipes.  Not anymore…I open up my Microsoft works Word Processor, then go to the recipe I want to print -highlight it, copy, then paste it to the word processor…I then change it to the size print that is best for me and print…I then save it to a recipe file that I’ve created.  Maybe this will help.

By CPowell on November 07, 2010

Also want to know how to print or save this recipe please.  Would like to try. Always make sp’s with just butter and mini marshmallows on top. Thank you.

By Grandmama on November 06, 2010

I myself like to start with fresh sweet potatoes, prepare them like making mashed potatoes, just add brown sugar and a little cinnamon. Adding all that other stuff is just adding calories and fat that people do not need in their diets! Simple is best when you use the right spices! Cut back on the fat and salt, and live longer!

By Norma Wilcox on November 05, 2010

What a good idea !! I’m definatly going to try this recipe. I must say that I just left Tybee Isle & Savannah.  I can’t quit thinking about the area .  I believe I’ve fallen in love with this gorgeous place.  What a beautiful place !  I’ll definatly be back !! The last day I was there I seen the dolphins right out my window.  It’s as if they were enticing me to come back and saying good bye all at once ?!

By Amy Cooper on November 05, 2010

To Patty in Mi.  You should be able to highlight the recipe then select print from the file menu, then “selection”.

By Deb on November 05, 2010

Pleae add the print to all your delicious sounding

Thank you,
Hazel Dorman

By Hazel Dorman on November 05, 2010

@ Patty Bobag of Northville, Mi:  R click on your mouse & you can print when there’s no print icon. Can Cut, copy & paste this way, too   good luck!

By Doxy gal on November 05, 2010

Patty, I when there is no print button, I copy and paste recipes (pictures included) into Microsoft Office Word, adjust the font type and size and print.  I put the recipe in a sheet protector and into 8X10 binders.  I have several binders for: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Summer, Cookies, Casseroles.  When I cook, I take the protected recipe out of the binder and either lay it on the counter or clip it to the cupboard.  If a recipe didn’t go over too well with my family, I can just trash it.  This works well for me, you may want to give it a try!

By Patti O' on November 05, 2010

I cannot wait to try this! What a simple and ingenious idea!

By Freedom on November 05, 2010

It has always been my responsibility to make the sweet potato casserole and I,also,gave in years ago to making one of each.  Since then, I have actually had some crossovers from both sides.  It is Thanksgiving; everyone should be happy!!

By Fan Matthews on November 05, 2010

Patty, just highlight the recipe and then right click. Then click on COPY. Open up the Wordpad or Notebook application. Put your cursor on the new page and right click again. Then choose PASTE. It will put the recipe on the page and you can print it from there.

By Andrew Lanford on November 05, 2010

@ Patty, an easy way to to print this out the size you want is to highlight the section you want holding down your left mouse button, right-click and select copy.  Then open up a word processing program such as Microsoft Word, right click again and select paste.  You can make it whatever size you need and print from there!

By Angel Garhart on November 05, 2010

For Patty that wants to print the recipe, try copy and paste-ing to a Word document, and then printing.

By Sue Erb on November 05, 2010

I solved this problem by putting mini marshmallows IN the casserole and the nut mixture on TOP. It works for me!

*@Patty - when I have that problem I just hi-light the text, copy it, and paste it into a Word document. Then I can adjust text and margins to suit me (and I like to make it big so I can see the recipe from my cookbook stand)

By Kimberly on November 05, 2010

How can I print this 2 topped casserole dish.  There is no print button and if I print the page you can’t read it - it is too small.  I have this problem each month and usually I just forget about printing them.

By patty bodag on November 03, 2010

I have been making a divided sweet potato dish forever as my kids always wanted marshmallows and my husband and I wanted the pecan topping. I only put butter and sugar in with my mashed sweet potatoes and it has been a favorite always.

By Maxie Goff on November 02, 2010

What a great idea! It will be fun to see which side disappears first - or maybe some people will try a little of each!

By Harriet on November 02, 2010


By MAMAW on November 02, 2010

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