I discovered sweet potato cake earlier this week while I was searching for a fall dessert to share with all of you on the blog.
I knew I was going to enoy this cake. I’ve made sweet potato desserts before, and they’re fabulous! But I made some pretty drastic changes to the ingredients that I saw others using in their recipes, and I wasn’t sure how that was going to work out.
A little more on those changes later in the post. But, for now, let’s just say that this cake is out of this world. It is destined to be your new go-to dessert for the fall season.
AND … it’s just a little bit healthier for you than the traditional version. So, that’s a good thing!
Is Sweet Potato Cake Good For You?
To say that sweet potato cake is actually good for you would definitely be an exaggeration.
This recipe is rather high in sugar and oil. However, I used only half the amount of oil that is typically used in a sweet potato cake recipe to make this one. And I used 25% less sugar than was used in the other recipes I found as well.
I wasn’t sure how that was going to work out. It felt like it was a lot of ingredients to cut.
Cutting the sugar didn’t concern me that much. I’m not an avid baker, but I’ve cut the amount of sugar in many sweet recipes with great success.
However, I was completely uncertain what cutting the oil was going to do. So, I just crossed my fingers and baked on.
It was a success! This recipe is perfect just the way it is. As a matter of fact, I’m not sure that I would enjoy it made any other way. I feel like the increase of sugar and oil are completely unnecessary.
In the end, I’ve created a recipe that is not as bad for you as other recipes for the same dish. And I feel good about that.
I solved the issue of overindulgence by giving more than half the cake that I made to the young men who were moving the new residents furniture into our home here in Maine. Simple enough.
Ingredients Needed To Make This Recipe
This delicious sweet potato cake recipe is primarily made with common pantry ingredients. You may have to pick up some walnuts and/or cream cheese, if you don’t already keep those in the house.
And you may have to grab a few sweet potatoes as well. But, other than that you should be good to go.
Here’s a list of what you’ll need to make the cake for this recipe …
EGGS – I used farm fresh eggs for this cake. If you are able to get farm fresh, they are preferred.
SUGAR – Granulated white sugar is what I used to sweeten this cake. I am tempted to try making it with a less processed sugar. Perhaps next year I will. I feel like sucanat or coconut sugar would work well.
OIL – I used vegetable oil in this recipe because I am moving and it is what I have in the house at this time. If you prefer to use a higher quality oil, you can substitute extra virgin olive oil without a problem.
VANILLA EXTRACT – Pure vanilla extract, containing nothing more than vanilla beans and alcohol, is the best way to go for this ingredient. However, any vanilla extract will work in this recipe.
FLOUR – Organic all-purpose white flour is what I call for in this recipe. I feel that using this flour allows the flavor of the sweet potatoes and spices to shine as they should in this dessert.
BAKING SODA – Organic baking soda is what makes this cake rise in the oven.
CINNAMON, GINGER, NUTMEG – This trio of spices, that is so commonly used in fall desserts, is the perfect blend for this cake.
SALT – I use real salt whenever I can in my kitchen and that is what I used for this recipe. Any salt will work for this cake.
SWEET POTATOES – Peeled and shredded sweet potatoes are the star of the show in this recipe.
Here’s a list of what you’ll need to make the frosting for this recipe …
CREAM CHEESE – Any cream cheese will work to make the frosting for this cake. If you can pick up organic cream cheese, the flavor will be even more prominent. And that’s a good thing!
BUTTER – Farm fresh butter is recommended for this recipe, any butter will work.
VANIILLA EXTRACT – See vanilla extract above.
CONFECTIONERS’ SUGAR – Confectioners’ sugar is a necessary dietary evil to make the frosting for this cake. Later in this post, I will be sharing other ways you can serve it. They will forgo the sugar completely.
WALNUTS – Chopped walnuts are used to garnish the top of this cake. They can be substituted with other nuts, or omitted. But they are highly recommended as they add a nice touch to the cake, and they have the perfect flavor to compliment it as well.
How To Make Sweet Potato Cake
Typically, when making a cake, you mix the wet ingredients in one bowl, the dry ingredients in another, and then you blend them together.
This cake follows that technique, apart from the addition of the sweet potatoes. They are added as a third step, once the wet ingredients and the dry ingredients have been well blended.
The batter is then baked. It bakes rather quickly, so it’s important to keep a close eye on it.
Once it is done, it can be set out on a cooling rack to cool so that it can be frosted without peeling off the surface of the cake.
While it is cooling, the ingredients for the frosting are quickly creamed together with a hand mixer so that it is ready to spread on the cake.
All that’s left at this point is to assemble the cake. For this, you’ll place one layer of the cake on a plate (or a cake plate if you have one) and spread about half of the frosting on top of it.
Then you’ll set the other layer of cake on top of that, spread the remaining frosting over it, and top it with the chopped walnuts.
It’s a quick and easy cake to make. And it’s really got a lot of eye appeal. The perfect dessert to wow dinner guests this fall.
Variations Of This Recipe
This cake is such a gorgeous looking dessert that it seems a shame to serve it any other way than as a two layer cake. Still, it may not be the most practical way to prepare it.
Sweet potato cake batter can be baked off in a muffin tin or mini bread pans quite easily.
Doing this makes it much easier to share with others. Which may be useful for you if your household is small as mine.
Additionally, I suspect it would make a very nice sweet bread if you baked it off in a bread pan. I haven’t tried this myself so I’m not positive it would work.
I think that splitting the batter between two bread pans would work out perfectly. If you give it a try, please take a minute to let me know how it goes in the comments.
Substitutions For This Recipe
Before I give suggestions as to how you can make substitutions in the cake batter for this recipe, I feel it’s important to tell you that I haven’t tried any of them myself.
I will only share suggested substitutions that I expect to work out without a hitch. But they are not tried and true.
I do know that you can substitute a higher quality oil for the vegetable oil in this recipe. Substituting equal amounts of fat for fat is common in baking. I’ve done it many times.
Extra virgin olive oil is a much better choice for this batter from a health perspective, not so much from an economical view.
Additionally, I may try to substitute either sucanat or coconut sugar for the granulated white sugar in this recipe. I don’t see a problem with this substitution, other than it may effect the sweetness of the cake.
And if you use shredded carrots instead of sweet potatoe,s I expect this recipe would make a great carrot cake.
As far as the frosting goes, I don’t really see many substitutions that are suitable. I suppose the best way to go if you want to cut down on the fat and sugar content here is to simply drizzle maple syrup or honey over the top of the cake, instead of frosting it.
You can use any nut that you would like to top this cake. Or you can substitute shredded coconut for the nuts if you prefer.
How To Serve Sweet Potato Cake
I know I’ve already commented on how gorgeous this sweet potato cake is. It’s a real show stopper, which makes it a true delight to serve.
You really don’t need to do a thing to make it more appealing to guests. It stands strong on it’s own.
So serve it up with a hot cup of coffee. your favorite tea, or a tall cold glass of raw milk and simply enjoy it as it is.
If you are inclined to plop a big ‘ol scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on the dish as well, that would be a tasty thing.
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SWEET POTATO CAKE
Sweet potato cake is the perfect dessert to serve dinner guests this fall. It's packed full of the traditional fall flavors you love so much. And it's really easy to make.
- FOR CAKE BATTER:
- Oil, to grease pans
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 1 1/2 c sugar
- 1 c vegetable oil
- 2 tsps vanilla extract
- 2 c flour, white all-purpose
- 2 tsps baking soda
- 2 tsps ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 c sweet potatoes, peeled, shredded
- FOR FROSTING:
- 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 c butter, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 c confectioners' sugar
- FOR TOPPING:
- 1/2 c walnuts, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Generously grease two 8" round cake pans.
- Beat eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla together in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, creating a wet mixture.
- In a medium mixing bowl whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt together. creating a dry mixture.
- Add 1/2 of the dry mixture to the wet mixture and blend it well.
- Repeat with the rest of the dry mixture.
- Stir in sweet potatoes.
- Split the batter between the two cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
- Remove cakes from oven and allow them to cool completely.
- In a small bowl beat cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and confectioners' sugar with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
- Spread half of the frosting over one of the cakes.
- Place the other cake on top of it and spread the rest of the frosting on the second cake.
- Top with chopped walnuts.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 724Total Fat: 44gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 30gCholesterol: 90mgSodium: 479mgCarbohydrates: 77gFiber: 3gSugar: 51gProtein: 8g
This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 10/26/2022. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.
I am SOOOOO making this over the weekend! It looks so good!! And I love using vegetables that the kids wouldn’t otherwise eat. What a great suggestion!
Hope the kids love it 😉
I’ve never heard of sweet potato cake, but this sounds delicious. I might just have to make some!
Definitely make it. It’s delicious 😉
Omgoodness, this looks so delicious! I am adding this my list of recipes to make!
You’re gonna love it! It’s soooooo good 😉
This looks amazing! Saving the recipe for thanksgiving! Thank you!
It’s perfect for Thanksgiving! Enjoy 😉
I definitely appreciate the effort you put into balancing the need to get away from our sugar obsessed culture without adding in more off ingredients and/or sacrificing the enjoyment of the food
Thank you. We definitely live in a sugar obsessed culture. And while I feel like everyone needs to do what’s right for them, I personally find it necessary to allow myself small indulgences. I adore all kinds of healthy desserts, including whole food plant based (no sugar, no oil) options. BUT I also like a nice slice of cake a few times a year 😉