If you're debating what dessert to bring to the Fall potluck this year, let there be no question -- this Sweet Potato Cake is the way to go. Finally, a Sweet Potato Cake recipe that is easy to make and completely fool-proof. It's the fall cake recipe to serve at any autumn function and most definitely for Thanksgiving.
This thing boasts big flavor. The potatoes are roasted at a high temperature to bring out all those natural sugars, then you've got spices, like cinnamon and cloves, and of course, it's all topped with a cream cheese frosting speckled with cinnamon and sweetened with honey. And don't worry, if you love sweet potatoes as much as we do, we've got plenty more for you. You'll definitely want to try our sweet potato casserole, as well as our sweet potato pie!
HOW TO MAKE SWEET POTATO CAKE
- Cook the sweet potatoes
- Prep the pans
- Mix the dry ingredients
- Mix the wet ingredients
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients
- Cool and turn out
- Make the cream cheese frosting
- Trim and ice the cake
For another perfect-for-Fall dessert, be sure you check out our pumpkin cupcakes!
COOK THE SWEET POTATOES
To make the best Sweet Potato Cake of all time, you have to start with real sweet potatoes. Preheat your oven to 425°F. It is important to note that 425° is the temperature at which you will roast your sweet potatoes, not bake your cake.
I repeat this high temp is only for cooking the potatoes! To prep your sweet potatoes for roasting, scrub them clean, dry them, plop them on a baking sheet lined with foil, and bake for 40 minutes.
As soon as your sweet potatoes are fork tender tender, you can remove them from the oven and allow them to cool.
Once your sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle all you have to do is cut a slit down the middle and the skins will peel right off. Pop those sweet potatoes into a medium mixing bowl and use a fork or a handheld mixer at medium speed to mash them.
Once the mashed sweet potatoes are smooth and completely cooled, you'll lower your oven temperature to 350°F and begin prepping your cake!
PREP THE PANS FOR YOUR SWEET POTATO CAKES
Grease 2 9-inch cake pans with butter or baking spray, and line the pans with parchment paper rounds. You only need to line the bottom of the pan; don't worry about the sides!
One other step that's extremely important before you begin baking is that all of your ingredients are at room temperature. This applies to your eggs, butter, and cream cheese!
Be sure you set these ingredients out with plenty of time to reach room temperature so they aren't going into your Sweet Potato Cake batter cold!
MIX THE DRY INGREDIENTS
Now, you will mix up your dry ingredients. For the dry ingredients, you will need all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Add these ingredients to a medium mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
Set the dry mix off to the side, and it's time to move on to the wet ingredients!
MIX THE WET INGREDIENTS
Crack the eggs into a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set those eggs aside and reach for the room-temperature unsalted butter and granulated sugar.
You might find some recipes calling for brown sugar, an excellent flavor combination with sweet potatoes. However, granulated sugar is really the way to go when it comes to Sweet Potato Cake. Using granulated sugar results in a lighter cake with a softer crumb.
One more important mention: It's extremely important that the butter is at room temperature so that it can properly cream with the sugar.
Add both of these ingredients to a large mixing bowl and use a handheld mixer on medium-high speed to mix for 2 to 3 minutes. Once this mixture appears fluffy and visibly lightened in color, you'll add in the eggs and pure vanilla extract. Mix until everything appears smooth and well combined.
Measure out 2 cups of the room temperature mashed sweet potatoes, add them to the bowl, and mix until the sweet potatoes are evenly distributed.
ADD DRY INGREDIENTS TO WET INGREDIENTS
Finally, you'll add in the dry ingredients and mix on low; you don't want to overwork the gluten, resulting in a less tender cake.
BAKE THE SWEET POTATO CAKES
Divide the Sweet Potato Cake batter between the two pans and transfer them to the center of the oven to bake at 350°F for 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes is up, rotate the pans and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
COOL AND TURN OUT YOUR SWEET POTATO CAKES
Your cake is ready as soon as a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean or with just a few crumbs clinging to it. Remove the pans from the oven and set them aside to cool on a rack for about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, you'll turn the cakes out and allow them to cool completely.
MAKE THE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
To make the honey cream cheese frosting, add room-temperature butter and cream cheese to a large mixing bowl. Use a handheld mixer to mix on medium-high speed and mix until the two ingredients are well combined.
Next, add in the honey, vanilla, cinnamon, clove, and salt, and mix again! Lastly, you'll add in the powdered sugar and this time mix on low speed. You don't want to send sugar flying everywhere! Begin mixing on low, and as you start to see the ingredients come together, you can increase the speed to medium-high and mix until completely smooth and creamy.
TRIM AND ICE THE CAKE
If you'd like, trim the dome away from the top of the Sweet Potato Cakes so that you have flat cake layers. And, don't throw those scraps away! You can crumble them up and use them as decoration on top of the cake like we did. This way everyone who sees your cake will know there is loads of fall-flavored goodness hiding underneath that honey cream cheese frosting!
Add a dollop of icing to a cake round or a cake stand and place one of the cake rounds cut side up on top of the icing. Then you'll add a thick layer of icing across the top of the cake and use an icing spatula to smooth it over. Place the second cake round, cut side down, on top of the icing.
From there, you can ice the cake to your liking, serve it, and enjoy it!
6 MORE CAKES YOU’LL LOVE
- Red Velvet Cake
- German Chocolate Cake
- Caramel Cake
- Pumpkin Coffee Cake
- Praline Cake
- Butter Pecan Cake
For the perfect combination of sweet and spiced Fall flavors, look no further than this easy Sweet Potato Cake!
- 4 sweet potatoes
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 4 room temperature, large eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 cup room temperature, unsalted butter
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup room temperature unsalted butter
- 1 (8-ounce) package block-style softened cream cheese
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 7 cups powdered sugar
Preheat the oven to 425°F and have ready a rimmed sheet pan lined with aluminum foil.
Place the sweet potatoes on the pan and bake for 40 minutes or until fork tender. Set aside and allow to cool for 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle.
Cut a line down the center of the potatoes and turn over into a medium-sized mixing bowl. The flesh of the potatoes should easily fall right into the bowl. Mash using a fork or a handheld mixer at medium speed. Set the mashed sweet potatoes aside until they have completely cooled.
Lower or preheat the oven to 350°F, and grease two 9-inch cake pans with butter or baking spray. Line the bottom of each cake pan with a parchment paper round and set aside until ready to use.
Add the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves to a medium-sized mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Set the dry mix aside.
Add the eggs to a small bowl and use the tines of a fork to whisk and combine. Set aside until ready to use.
Add the butter and granulated sugar to a large mixing bowl, and using a handheld mixer on medium-high speed, mix for 2 to 3 minutes. Once the mixture appears fluffy and visibly lightened in color, add in the eggs and vanilla mix until well combined.
Measure and add 2 cups of mashed sweet potato to the wet mix, and mix until evenly distributed throughout the wet mixture. Add the dry ingredients and mix with the mixer on low until just combined. Discard or save any leftover sweet potato for another use.
Divide the batter amongst the two prepared cake pans and bake at 350°F for 15 minutes. Rotate the pans in the oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out either clean or with a few crumbs clinging to it.
Remove the pans from the oven and set aside on a cooling rack for about 20 minutes. Turn the cakes out and allow them to cool completely.
Add the butter and cream cheese to a clean, large mixing bowl, and mix on medium-high speed until well combined. Add the honey, vanilla, cinnamon, clove, and salt and mix to combine once more.
Add the powdered sugar, and with the mixer on low until mostly combined. Increase the speed to medium-high and mix until completely smooth and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
If necessary, use a serrated knife to trim the cooled cakes so they are flat. Add a dollop of icing to a cardboard cake round, serving plate, or cake stand. Place one of the cake rounds cut side up centered on top of the icing.
Spoon or pipe about ¾ cup of the icing on top of the cake and use an offset icing spatula to smooth over the top. Place the second cake round, cut side down, on top of the icing.
Use another cup or so of icing to add a thin layer of frosting on top of the cake and across the sides. This is called the crumb coating. Transfer the cake to the refrigerator until the crumb coating is set and slightly hardened, about 30 to 45 minutes.
Use the remaining frosting to frost the top and sides of the cake and to add any decorative piping across the top. Serve and enjoy!