A New Twist on an Old Tradition
Spiced Sweet Potato Cake with Brown Sugar Icing
· November 16, 2012
My granny was always the main cook in the family. When my great-grandmother was alive, she cooked daily and my mother is also an amazing cook, but whenever I think of large-scale family meals, I think of my granny. My granny has shared many a recipe with me throughout the years, but one major recipe I have yet to learn is her sweet potato pie.
This year marks my third year hosting our family’s Thanksgiving celebration, and every year I try to add something new to the table. I badly wanted to merge granny’s delicious pie with a cheesecake and wow the socks off my family, but came across a sweet potato recipe that made my mouth water just by reading it. I gave it a test run and my family and co-workers LOVED it, so it will debut on my dessert table this year. And though it takes the sweet potato and uses in a different manner, the ingredients and the taste remind me of my granny’s pie and I’ll be sure to slice her the first piece this year.
A few tips before you start:
- Don’t hesitate to try different varieties of sweet potatoes for this one. Bake them in foil instead of nuking them.
- Double the cinnamon, and add a 1/2 tsp each of nutmeg and allspice.
- Use butter (2 room temperature sticks) instead of oil – a trick of my mother’s – TRUST ME!
- Cream the sweet potato and butter together well before adding the sugar. Whip it good!
Spiced Sweet-Potato Cake with Brown Sugar Icing
- 4 8-ounce red-skinned sweet potatoes(yams)
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 3/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pierce sweet potatoes with fork. Microwave on high until very tender, about 8 minutes per side. Cool, peel and mash sweet potatoes.
Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 325°F. Spray 12-cup Bundt pan with nonstick spray, then generously butter pan. Sift flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, baking soda and salt into medium bowl. Measure enough mashed sweet potatoes to equal 2 cups. Transfer to large bowl. Add sugar and oil to sweet potatoes; using electric mixer, beat until smooth. Add eggs 2 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture; beat just until blended. Beat in vanilla. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake cake until tester inserted near center comes out clean, about 1 hour 5 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack 15 minutes. Using small knife, cut around sides of pan and center tube to loosen cake. Turn out onto rack; cool completely.
Sift powdered sugar into medium bowl. Stir brown sugar, whipping cream and butter in medium saucepan over medium-low heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil. Boil 3 minutes, occasionally stirring and swirling pan. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour brown sugar mixture over powdered sugar. Whisk icing until smooth and lightened in color, about 1 minute. Cool icing until lukewarm and icing falls in heavy ribbon from spoon, whisking often, about 15 minutes. Spoon icing thickly over top of cake, allowing icing to drip down sides of cake. Let stand until icing is firm, at least 1 hour. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and let stand at room temperature.)