A delicious cake for fall! It's moist, dense, spiced with cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg, and topped with the most delicious caramel icing. You'll want to make it for every get together you have!
I have long been of the opinion that sweet potatoes do not get enough air time this time of year. Here, they steal the show in cake form!
I love bundt cakes because they are always show stoppers, with almost no decorating skills required.
Plus, this time of year is all about pies (which I love!), but if you're looking for something a little different, this adds such good variety to usual fall desserts!
Sweet Potatoes in Cake
I know it sounds kind of wild to be putting potatoes in cake, but they give it the best texture and keep it SO moist.
This cake is dense, but still definitely a cake, and the flavor I would describe as an ultra-sophisticated, heavily spiced pumpkin bread. With the emphasis more on the spice than the sweet potato.
One thing that is a huge time saver here is using canned sweet potatoes. You know, the sweetened yams that show up once a year in stores.
Track with me because I know this is not a popular ingredient, and is usually relegated to sweet potato casseroles, but it works so well for baking!
Canned yams are the perfect soft consistency for cake-making. Drain the syrup, then whip the sweet potatoes until they're smooth. Then add oil and sugar and the usual dry ingredients and bada bing! it's almost a cake!
The Caramel Icing
Wow. Took one bite of this and declared it "the best thing I've ever eaten," which, for someone who usually doesn't even care for icing, is a major endorsement.
This is a very high-maintenance icing only because the timing needs to be exact. But it is so worth it!
First, you'll make a caramel sauce with butter, brown sugar, and cream. Then you'll whip it into powdered sugar. Since the caramel sauce will still be hot, the icing will be thin at first. And you'll have to wait for it to cool - whisking it frequently to prevent uneven hardening - until it's the right consistency to pour onto the cake.
And here is the tricky part, because if you ice the cake too soon, the icing will run, and if you wait too long, it will be overly set and won't flow down the sides of the cake like it should.
How to ice a bundt cake
The most important thing is acting FAST once your icing is the right consistency. You'll know it's ready when you lift a spoon out of it and the icing flows freely off the spoon, forming thick ribbons where it hits the bowl.
Transfer the icing to a glass measuring cup (or another container with a spout), and pour it onto the (cooled) bundt cake. I find a heavy-handed pour works best - just one circle around the top of the cake is what you're going for.
Then, it will run down the sides of the cake, basically decorating itself.
Give the icing at least 1 hour to set before serving!
You can make the cake itself up to 2 days before serving. Once it's completely cooled, cover it and it will stay perfectly moist as long as it's not cut into.
For the icing, I'd do it no more than 24 hours before serving just for it to look optimal.
2 days after assembly, the cake will still be every bit as delicious.
3-4 days after assembly is when you start to get into "leftover cake" territory where we're definitely still eating it for breakfast/afternoon snacks with coffee, but it doesn't quite feel dessert quality.
If you have any left after 5 days, I will question your integrity. (Just kidding, it will still be delicious and probably I will be impressed by your self control!)
Go make this cake!
Spiced Sweet Potato Bundt Cake with Caramel Icing
For the Cake
- 2 3/4 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon cloves
- 2 (15 ounce) cans yams in syrup, drained
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
For the Icing
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
For the Cake
- Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Generously grease a 12-cup bundt pan.In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.Beat the yams in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until smooth. Add sugar and oil and beat until combined. Add the eggs - 2 at a time - beating well between each addition. Add the dry ingredients all at once and beat until just combined. Beat in vanilla. Transfer batter to the prepared pan and smooth down the top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean - about 1 hour and 5 minutes. Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then use a butter knife around the sides of the cake to gently loosen it from the pan. Invert on a wire rack to release and cool completely.
For the Icing
- Sift the powdered sugar into a large bowl. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt together the brown sugar, cream, and butter. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour the caramel sauce into the bowl of powdered sugar. Whisk vigorously until smooth, about 1 minute. At this point, you want the icing to cool enough that it will set on the cake when it's poured on. This will take about 15 minutes. Be sure to whisk frequently while it's cooling so it doesn't harden on the top. You'll know it's ready when it flows off a spoon lifted out of it and forms thick ribbons where it hits the bowl.To ice the bundt cake, transfer icing to a glass measuring cup and pour heavily over the top of the cake. Icing will drip down the sides. Allow to set for at least 1 hour before serving, until icing hardens slightly.
Adapted from Epicurious.