Friday, February 5, 2010

Spiced Sweet Potato Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting

THIS is what was left of my offering to a recent bake-sale to raise funds for mobile field medical tents for Haiti. The bake sale, I'm happy to report, raised nearly $900, or almost enough to fund 2 tents for a day. Not bad for a table full of brownies, cookies and cupcakes. The only slightly-sad bit is that I didn't get to the sale in time to buy a slice of my own cake, which from previous iterations I can assure you is DELICIOUS. Here are a couple of shots of the bake-sale table to give you an idea of what was on offer, and to reassure you that my initial disappointment over missing my own cake was quickly assuaged.

How cute are those cupcake faces?

The recipe for this cake came to me from my friend Monique, who is quite an accomplished baker. She's given me several recipes and they're all excellent, so even though I haven't had this cake made by Monique, I knew that if she said it was good enough to make, it would be great. The cake is lovely and moist, and the frosting is to die for... fudgy and caramely and very, very sweet. Monique's recipe is reproduced below [with my notes in square brackets].

Spiced Sweet Potato Cake
with Brown Sugar Frosting

2 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes; or 4 8oz sweet potatoes, cooked & mashed [I used about 2 1/2 cups to make up for reducing the oil. I used the 4 sweet potatoes called for in the recipe and ended up with about 1 cup of leftover mash.]
Vegetable oil spray
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ginger [I used 2 tsp because I really like ginger]
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil [I used about 2/3 cup]
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla

[As a time-saver, you can microwave chunks of peeled sweet potatoes in a bowl of water. They'll get black spots (which don't affect the flavour) wherever they dry out, so I suggest laying waxed paper over the top of the bowl to keep the steam in. Mash the cooked sweet potatoes without adding any butter or seasonings.]

•  Preheat oven to 325F
•  Spray a 12-cup Bundt pan with non-stick spray. [Since an unfortunate Bundt incident, I've also started to  coat the inside of the pan with 1-2 Tbsp sugar. It helps the finished cake to release from the pan and gives the cake a nice little crust on the exterior.]
•  Sift the flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
•  Mix the mashed sweet potatoes with sugar and oil; beat until smooth.
•  Add eggs, 2 at a time, until blended.
•  Add flour mixture, and beat until just blended.
•  Beat in vanilla.
•  Pour into your prepared Bundt pan and bake about 65 minutes. [Start checking at about the 55 minute mark. The cake is done when only a few moist crumbs stick to a toothpick.]
•  Cool the cake in the pan for 5 minutes, then carefully loosen the edges and [hold your breath for this part] turn it out onto a cooling rack. Let the cake cool completely before frosting.

1 cup icing sugar
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup unsalted butter [do not use margarine]
1 tsp vanilla

•  Sift the icing sugar into a medium glass or metal bowl.
•  Stir brown sugar, cream and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat and bring to a boil.
•  Boil 3 minutes [4 minutes is too many, trust me!], occasionally stirring and swirling the pan.
•  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
•  Pour the brown sugar mixture over the icing sugar.
•  Whisk frosting until smooth and lightened in colour, about 1 minute.
•  Cool frosting until it's lukewarm and falls in heavy ribbons from a spoon, whisking often, about 15 minutes.
•  Spoon frosting thickly over the top of the completely cooled cake, allowing the frosting to drip down the sides of the cake.
•  Let the cake stand until the frosting is firm before serving, at least 1 hour.





Heather said...


Lets be honest...I will never make this cake. Your baking skills always amaze me. The cake looks, and I'm sure tastes, delicious.

mangocheeks said...

Well done on raising funds for Haiti. Spiced sweet potato cake, now that is one I am going to make in the future. Yum. I hope it is as popular as yours.