Sweet Potato Cake is dense and heavy but full of flavor for an extremely moist layer cake that’s topped with luscious buttercream and candied pecans this decadent dessert is perfect for fall.
I love this time of year and all the fruits and vegetables that are available. Now if only the weather would cool down to acceptable fall temperatures this year, all would be great! A girl can dream! I know you can get sweet potatoes all year long, but something just seems right about a sweet potato cake close to Thanksgiving.
This cake is dense and heavy but full of flavor and extremely moist. I made my own sweet potato puree. It’s super easy and worth the time. All I did was bake a few sweet potatoes, skin on. Then once they are cool from the oven, remove the skins, and put them in the food processor and puree the potato until it is smooth. You probably only need two medium sized potatoes for this recipe. I had no idea when I started and cooked six. You guessed it, there is more sweet potato recipes coming down the pipeline. We were eating sweet potato puree for days. It was a nice treat!
You may be tempted to go to the store and buy a can of sweet potatoes. You could do this, but make sure it isn’t the stuff with syrup. Sweet potatoes are already sweet, you don’t need syrup. I ended up making the puree because I couldn’t find a can of sweet potato puree, and all the cans of sweet potatoes had the syrup.
Ingredients in Sweet Potato Cake
- AP flour
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Granulated sugar
- Light brown sugar
- Vanilla bean paste
- Sweet potato puree
- Marshmallow creme
- Confectioners sugar
- Pecan halves
How to Make Sweet Potato Layer Cake
- Prepare the cake batter and divide between three round cake pans.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool completely, then trim the tops until they are even.
- Make the buttercream and frost the cake layers.
- Sprinkle with candied pecans before cutting and serving.
The buttercream is a light and fluffy one. The addition of the marshmallow creme made it a tiny bit sweet. I know you are thinking, how could you tell after 4 cups of powdered sugar… But you can. You could easily decorate this with regular buttercream and use no marshmallow creme if you would prefer. There was enough frosting to decorate the cake traditionally, but I’m still going with the naked cakes. I just like the look, and isn’t this recipe really about the cake. So I try to give the cake its moment in the spotlight!
The candied pecans are a great addition for texture. They are easy to make; just be careful with the boiling sugar. If you don’t want to candy the pecans, you could just cut them up and sprinkle chopped pecans on top for decoration.
More Decadent Cake Recipes
Looking for more recipes?
The recipe makes three layers of cake, which is a perfect amount. We thought about turning this into a bundt cake and a few cupcakes but just liked the bites of frosting in the sweet potato layer cake.
Give the recipe a try. I hope you like it as much as we do. If you are looking for other sweet potato cake recipes we whipped up a great bundt cake also for the holidays. Happy Holidays!
Sweet Potato Cake
- 3 cups AP flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/3 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter melted and browned, bits included
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
- 6 eggs lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- 22 ounces sweet potato puree fresh not canned sweet potatoes
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter softened
- 14 ounces marshmallow creme
- 4 cups confectioners sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 cup pecan halves
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and lightly flour three 8″ round pans. Line with parchment paper.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, swirling occasionally until the butter turns bubbly and brown. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine browned butter, sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla bean paste. Stir until combined.
- Add in the dry ingredients in two batches.
- Add the sweet potato puree and mix well.
- Divide the batter evenly into the three round pans.
- Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes and remove to wire rack
- In bowl of stand mixer, beat butter and marshmallow creme on medium speed with paddle attachment for about 2 minutes or until creamy.
- Add in confectioners sugar slowly mixing and scraping bowl as needed.
- Add milk and continue mixing on medium speed for 3-5 minutes or until fluffy.
- Combine brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, water in a skillet and cook over medium heat for a minute or two, until the sugar dissolves and mixture is bubbling.
- Add the pecans and continue to cook for 3 more minutes. Stirring to coat them with the glaze.
- Remove from heat and spread pecans out onto parchment paper to cool. Break apart once cooled and chop into small pieces.
- Once the cakes have cooled, trim the tops so they are even.
- Place one layer onto a serving tray and top with frosting. Place second layer on top and cover with frosting. Place third layer on and cover top and sides with frosting. Sprinkle candied pecans on top.
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