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Sweet Potato Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

December 19, 2008

I made this cake for my boss’ birthday today and I think it might be one of my new favorite cakes.  The cake is tender, moist from the sweet potato and really well-spiced from lots of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.  And the cream cheese frosting is spiked with cinnamon and comes from A Southern Grace, another food blog I check occasionally.  It got rave reviews and recipe requests from co-workers!  This recipe makes a 3 layer cake, so it’s pretty big.  I made 2 layers along with 9 cupcakes and to be honest, the cake looks a little short.  I think next time I’d stick with the 3 layers.  Makes a 3 layer 9″ cake.

Ingredients:

Cake:

2 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed and pricked with a fork in 5 places

3 cups of cake flour*
3 teaspoons of baking powder
1 and 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon of cloves
5 eggs, separated
2 and 1/4 cups of sugar
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons of butter, at room temperature
1 and 1/2 teaspoons of
vanilla
1 and 1/4 cups of milk

*If you don’t have cake flour, substitute 3/4 c all-purpose flour and 2 T corn starch for each cup you need

Cinnamon cream cheese frosting:

1 package cream cheese, room temperature

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

2 t ground cinnamon

1 t vanilla extract

4- 4 1/2 c powdered sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake sweet potatoes in a small baking pan for  about 1 hour, or until really soft.  Let potatoes cool until you can handle them, then skin, remove any dark spots and cut into chunks.  Puree in a food processor until smooth and measure out 1 cup.  Set aside.

Butter and line with parchment paper 3 9″ round cake pans.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and spices and set aside.

Separate the eggs, putting the whites in a large bowl and the yolks in a small bowl.  Beat the whites with a hand held mixer on low speed until they froth, then turn up to high speed and gradually add 1/4 c of sugar.  Beat until moderately stiff peaks form.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine sweet potato, butter, remaining 2 c sugar, butter and vanilla.  Beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add the egg yolks one at a time and mix well between each addition, scraping down the bowl.  Alternately add the dry ingredients and milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Be sure to scrape down the bowl between additions.

To the batter, add a quarter of the egg whites and gently fold in to lighten the batter.  Add the rest of the egg whites and gently, but thoroughly, combine.

Divide batter among the 3 pans and bake for 25-30 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.  Put pans on wire rack and let cool in pans for 10 minutes.  Then, turn out cakes onto cooling rack, remove parchment paper and let cool completely, at least 1 hour.

To make the icing:

Combine butter and cream cheese in bowl and combine with electric mixer.  Add cinnamon and vanilla and mix to combine.  Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until you reach desired sweetness and stiffness and use to frost the cake.

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