We love sharing recipes from our favorite foodies so when we came across Aran Goyoaga’s divine new cookbook, Cannelle et Vanille Bakes Simple: A New Way to Bake Gluten-Free we couldn’t wait to let you know about our new go-to cake from the beautiful tome. I mean, who doesn’t want to bake at this time of year? Not only is it a delicious thing to do when it’s cold outside, but baked treats also make for the perfect gift for hosts, friends, and family gatherings. Read on to bake this decadent but healthy spiced sweet potato cake (you can thank us later!).
This spiced sweet potato cake is a tall snack cake to serve during autumn and winter days alongside hot tea or a cup of coffee. The cake, which is naturally dairy-free, comes alive when paired with the tangy cream cheese frosting. If you want to make the frosting dairy-free as well, note that you might have to refrigerate it after whipping, as plant-based cream cheeses tend to be much softer than their regular counterparts. You can make the cake batter with roasted pumpkin or canned pumpkin puree in place of sweet potato.
Cookbook Author, Food Stylist, Photographer
Basque-born, Aran Goyoaga is an award-winning author, photographer, and professionally trained pastry chef. She is a three-time James Beard-finalist. Aran’s new cookbook Cannelle et Vanille Bakes Simple (Sasquatch) has been named as best of 2021 by Vanity Fair, Food 52, Epicurious, and more.
This spiced sweet potato cake will bring the coziest vibes with warm spices and sweet flavors.
For the frosting
8ounces (225 g) cream cheese or dairy-free cream cheese spread, at room temperature
1cup (120 g) powdered sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped, or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2cup (115 g) unsalted butter or dairy-free butter, at room temperature
1/4cup (55 g) whole-milk sour cream or dairy-free sour cream
For the cake
1 large sweet potato
2/3cup (150 g) neutral-tasting vegetable oil, such as grapeseed, plus more for greasing
4 large eggs
1cup (200 g) light brown sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
1 1/2cups (210 g) sorghum flour
1 1/2cups (150 g) almond flour
1/4cup (35 g) finely chopped candied ginger, plus more for topping
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
To make the frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla seeds together on medium-high speed until the mixture is airy, soft, and creamy, about 3 minutes. Make sure there are no large lumps of cream cheese.
Add the butter and continue beating on medium speed until very airy, about 2 minutes. Scrape the paddle and sides of the bowl to make sure all ingredients are well incorporated, then add the sour cream and continue beating until the frosting is creamy and fluffy. It will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Before using, bring the frosting to room temperature for a couple of hours and beat again until light.
To make the cake, put the sweet potato in a medium sauce-pan, cover with cold water, and cover with a lid. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat and cook the sweet potato until the center can be easily pierced with a knife, about 25 minutes. Drain and let the sweet potato cool until it is safe to handle. Peel and mash the flesh with a fork, then measure 1½ cups (340 g) of the puree. Keep the rest for another use.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Grease the inside of an 8½-by-4½-inch loaf pan with vegetable oil, then line with a piece of parchment paper large enough to hang over the sides. This will help you lift the cake out of the pan after baking. Because this is a tall and hefty cake, be sure to use a 1-pound loaf pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together the sweet potato puree, vegetable oil, eggs, brown sugar, and orange zest until smooth.
In a small bowl, stir together both flours, candied ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cardamom. Add the dry ingredients into the sweet potato mixture and whisk to combine.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 75 to 85 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If the cake begins to brown too much, cover the top with a piece of aluminum foil. Let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack. Let the cake cool completely, then spread the frosting all over the top and sprinkle candied ginger over it. The cake will keep tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.