Saturday, January 8, 2011

Spiced Sweet-Potato Cake with Brown Sugar Icing

Do you ever get the desire to not share a recipe? People seem to love your creation so much that suddenly you want to be the "cake crack" dealer on the street. "Hey man... I've got sweet potato cake. Eight dollars an ounce, playah!" It's a secret power trip of bakers world wide, I'm sure. On the flip side, we could end up like Phoebe and realize your mom's secret recipe was just from the back of a bag of chocolate chips.
Fear not, friends! I am in deed sharing my newest success with you. I found this recipe online. It's hardly a secret. I made two cakes to give out as gifts and both of them got stellar reviews, but the Sweet Potato Cake seemed to be the overall champion. So I decided to make it again for Three Kings Day (maybe I'll grow a set and try a king's cake next year). What's so awesome about this cake? It looks beautiful with little work because you bake it in a bundt pan.

God bless the bundt! When I was younger cakes in bundt pans never really hit it off with me, but adults went hog wild over the stuff. I think kids want chocolate and cup cakes, preferably together. They just can't appreciate a good bundt (TWSS? Maybe..). I think for a party it's great. I just have to mix all the ingredients, dump it in the pan, bake, let it cool, dump it out, and pour a glaze over the top. No fussing over trying to make your cake layers even, mixing up a butter cream that you eat more of than put on the cake, or trying to decide if that top layer is going to slide right off the cake... nope. Just easy stress free bliss.

And it slices so nicely!

I don't have many notes to write about the cake its self, but the glaze is really kind of like a caramel cake icing. Or at least it turns out that way if you cook it too long. The first time I made it - I did actually have to spread it around the cake. The first time I made it I cooked the frosting on the stove. After reading the recipe for the second go round, I realized you our the hot brown sugar mixture over the sugar. Then you whisk them together until smooth and let it cool until it gets into a nice thick consistency. Alas, I poured the glaze on a little too early this time. So a lot of it pooled at the bottom, but I do love swiping my finger in the frosting when no one is looking.

How do you like your bundts? ;)

Spiced Sweet Potato-Cake with Brown Sugar Icing
(Makes 1 Bundt)
4 8-ounce red-skinned sweet potatoes(yams)
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

For cake:
1. Pierce sweet potatoes with fork. Microwave on high until very tender, about 8 minutes per side. Cool, peel and mash sweet potatoes. [Or... bake in the oven at 400F until very tender - about an hour.]

2. Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 325°F. Spray 12-cup Bundt pan with nonstick spray, then generously butter pan. Sift flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, baking soda and salt into medium bowl. Measure enough mashed sweet potatoes to equal 2 cups. Transfer to large bowl. Add sugar and oil to sweet potatoes; using electric mixer, beat until smooth. Add eggs 2 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture; beat just until blended. Beat in vanilla. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake cake until tester inserted near center comes out clean, about 1 hour 5 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack 15 minutes. Using small knife, cut around sides of pan and center tube to loosen cake. Turn out onto rack; cool completely.

For icing:
1. Sift powdered sugar into medium bowl. Stir brown sugar, whipping cream and butter in medium saucepan over medium-low heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil. Boil 3 minutes, occasionally stirring and swirling pan. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour brown sugar mixture over powdered sugar. Whisk icing until smooth and lightened in color, about 1 minute. Cool icing until lukewarm and icing falls in heavy ribbon from spoon, whisking often, about 15 minutes. Spoon icing thickly over top of cake, allowing icing to drip down sides of cake. Let stand until icing is firm, at least 1 hour. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and let stand at room temperature.)


  1. This is a great cake and everyone should make it for their roommates and friends!

    But one question. What exactly is the difference between sweet potatoes and yams? Is there really a difference?


    I knew it was a difference in how they are grown!