A moist and easy sweet potato cake, baked in a 13×9 inch pan, then covered in delicious cream cheese buttercream frosting.
This cake recipe is perfect for fall. If you love spice cake or pumpkin cake, you’re going to love this one.
The great thing about this cake is that it’s also great to bring to any fall gatherings…something that everyone will love.
This cake takes a little preparation. You’ll need to have cooked the sweet potatoes ahead of time, but you can do that quickly in the microwave.
Once you’ve got that done, everything else comes together really quickly.
Hey there! Before you scroll, there’s lot’s of important stuff in the post!…including the FAQ section, which may answer any questions you might have about this recipe. Enjoy!
Now, let’s talk a little bit about just some of the ingredients for this recipe. (The entire ingredient list is in the recipe card lower in this post.)
All-purpose flour: There’s no special flour needed for this one…just use all-purpose flour.
Cinnamon, Ginger & Nutmeg: These are the spices that will give your cake that fall taste.
Light brown sugar: I love using brown sugar, especially in fall cakes as they really give a depth of flavor to your cake. Make sure to pack the sugar into your measuring cup.
Cooked, mashed sweet potatoes: I used real sweet potatoes (not canned) for this recipe. It’s easy to just cook these ahead of time (you can do it in the microwave) and then let them cool.
Unsalted butter & cream cheese: You’ll use these for the cream cheese buttercream. I’ve found that the name-brand cream cheese is the best and you’ll want both to be close to room temperature, but don’t microwave them.
*The recipe card close to the end of this post will go into all the ingredients and amounts.
Let’s talk a little about the mixing method for this cake.
The mixing method for this cake is insanely easy. You’ll just mix the dry ingredients together in one bowl, the liquid in another bowl, then pour the liquid into the dry mixture and mix.
You can use an electric mixer, or you could even use a wooden spoon.
When mixing the cream cheese buttercream, make sure to use an electric mixer as you’ll want to get it super creamy.
*All of the steps will be in the recipe card below.
Tips & FAQs:
Yes, you’ll need to make sure the sweet potatoes are cooked, mashed and cooled before adding to the cake batter. You can cook them in the microwave for about five minutes. Make sure to puncture them with a fork a few times before cooking.
Maybe, but I haven’t tested that out. If you want to experiment and that’s all you have, I’d say go for it.
Probably. I’ve only officially tested this one out as a 13×9 cake, but I see no reason that it wouldn’t work in two, 8 inch round cake pans. Just start checking for doneness about 5-10 minutes before the time listed on the recipe card.
You can, but you’ll want to omit the salt called for in the buttercream recipe.
You want to mix the cake batter until it’s well combined, but you want to be careful not to mix too long. Stop mixing as soon as the cake ingredients are well incorporated, but don’t mix for several minutes or until everything is perfectly smooth…that will produce a dense cake.
Yes, the batter for this cake is thick. You don’t want to add any extra liquid. Just try your best to spread it evenly into the pan.
If you add buttercream to the cake when it’s even a little warm, the buttercream will warm up too much and pool around the sides of the cake along the edges of your pan.
You’ll want to store this cake, well covered in the fridge as it’s topped with cream cheese frosting.
This cake is best served at room temperature. If the cake has been chilled, let it sit out of the fridge for about 20 minutes before serving so it can come closer to room temperature and soften.
*Make sure to read all the instructions in the recipe card. As it will contain all the details.
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Ok let’s get to the recipe!
***I write recipes using volume (cups) measurements because here in the U.S., this is what people are used to seeing and using. For weight in metric measurements, click the ‘metric’ button under the ingredients in the recipe card. The weights are converted by a program, not me, and it’s a best guess. Please note that because I develop recipes using ‘cups’ I can’t guarantee that weighing the ingredients will produce the exact same results.
Easy Sweet Potato Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
For the cake:
- 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups cooked and mashed sweet potato, cooled (about 4-5 large sweet potatoes, or a bag of small sweet potatoes)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
For the frosting:
- ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature (1 stick)
- 1 8 oz. package cream cheese, almost room temperature
- 1 pinch salt
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
- 4 cups confectioner's sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk or cream (can use more if needed to reach the desired consistency)
For the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grease or spray a 13×9 inch pan.
- Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices in a large bowl. Whisk well and set aside.
- In another bowl, mix together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, oil, mashed sweet potatoes and vanilla. Whisk well.
- Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture and mix on medium until well combined. You can use an electric mixer on medium or just a wooden spoon to mix if you want. Be careful not to mix too long or the cake will come out too dense. Only mix until the ingredients are well combined.
- Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. The batter will be thick.
- Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 35-40 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the cake should come out with a few moist crumbs on it, or clean.
- Cool the cake completely on a cooling rack before adding the frosting.
For the frosting:
- In a bowl, add the room temperature butter and mix well with an electric mixer until smooth.
- Add the room temperature cream cheese and mix well on medium until smooth.
- Add in the salt, cinnamon, vanilla, confectioners sugar and milk. Mix on medium.
- Check the consistency. If it’s too thick, add in a teaspoon of cream or milk and mix well.
- Add to cooled cake.
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Buttermilk it is not listed on the recipe card, but you list it as one of the ingredients. How much buttermilk?
Althea, thanks for letting me know that. The recipe card is actually correct as there is no buttermilk in the recipe. The buttermilk referenced in the body of the post was just something I forgot to delete from a previous post a wrote. I will go in and delete where I reference it.
A grand recipe! I just tried it and didn’t even make it to the frosting stage because my 3 year old is hoovering it down! 😂
I have replaced the sugar with sweetener (stevia baking mix) (1:0.7 ratio)and the rest of the recipe is the same. This will be a staple in my kitchen now with its hidden veggies magic.
Oh, this is great! It’s so good to know that Stevia worked well. I’ve not ever tried baking with Stevia, so I’ll definitely keep this in mind. Thanks for the great review! So glad your 3 year old got plenty of it to ea!. 🤣
I replaced the vegetable oil with butter and the light brown sugar with dark brown sugar. I didn’t make the frosting because I didn’t have time. Just whipped up a very simple frosting with spices. This cake is yummy! Will definitely make again and again.
Wonderful! So glad you liked it. 🙂
Delicious and moist! My cake’s texture looked exactly like the picture lol. Followed the recipe using half brown/half white sugar. Made a whipped cream frosting instead to suit the taste of those in my household who have not crossed over to the dark side. Will make again!
Oh yay! I’m so glad you liked it. And I love what you said about the dark side. lol! Eventually, we’ll convince everyone it’s better over here with the sweet buttercream frosting, right? 😉 Thanks for the five-star review, Tabitha. 🙂