|Think carrot cake meets sweet potato pie. Doesn’t that sound incredible?|
This cake caused a breakup once.
About six years ago I baked this for Christmas dinner. My sister, who was attending pharmacy school at nearby Howard University, brought her longtime boyfriend for the holiday and after the meal and ceremonial opening of gifts we returned to the dining room table for dessert. Perhaps because she was pretending to be weight and health conscious in front of her boyfriend, my sister refused to try the cake. My mother implored her to give it a try with her usual histrionics and praising reviews but Jennifer held her ground and didn’t try a bite that night. Instead, they took home about a fourth of the large Bundt cake for later snacks.
|Seriously, how could anyone resist this cake?|
A few days later, after I had returned to Columbia, I got a call from my sister begging me to bake another cake and mail it from NYC to DC. The cake was so enjoyed by she and her boyfriend that a fight erupted when he finished off the last of the leftovers with no warning. They ended the relationship for the last time. My sister pleaded, my mother laughed hysterically, and all I could offer was a smug I-told-you-to-try-it from my ill-equipped dorm kitchen.
It was the cake that broke the camel’s back.
She’s been married for more than five years now so maybe it did her a favor…but if you make this cake for a gathering, be sure to encourage couples to take home two portions of leftovers. This cake is too good to carry the curse of breakups!
|Since this cake will keep well for a few days under a dome, it’s perfect for your holiday potluck.|
Spiced Sweet Potato Cake with Brown Sugar Icing
adapted from Bon Appétit
2 pounds sweet potatoes
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
Pierce sweet potatoes all over with a fork. Microwave for about 8 minutes per side, or bake for 50-60 minuutes at 350°. Allow to cool then peel and mash sweet potatoes.
Preheat oven to 325° and spray 12-cup Bundt pan with nonstick spray.
Sift flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl.
Beat two cups of mashed sweet potatoes with sugar and oil. Add two eggs at a time, beating well. Add flour mixture and beat lightly then beat in vanilla. Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan and bake for about 1 hour 5 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool cake in pan for about 20 minutes. Use a plastic flexible knife to loosen from pan then gently bounce to make sure it will release. Hold a plate on top then invert.
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cups dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sift powdered sugar into a medium bowl.
Stir brown sugar, whipping cream and butter in a medium pot over medium-low heat to melt butter and dissolve sugar. Increase heat to medium-high, bring to a boil, and boil for 3 minutes, occasionally stirring and swirling. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Pour brown sugar mixture into powdered sugar. Whisk icing to cool until lightened in color and it falls like a ribbon from a spoon. Pour over cake and let drip down the sides. Let stand for about an hour until icing firm.
Cake will keep for a couple of days under a dome.
|Moist and delicious a day later.|