Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sweet Potato Pound Cake with Citrus Glaze

Let me just tell you right now that my house smells fantastic!  I have been so excited for today.  I have the day off from work and a new cake pan and I was ready to use it!  Gabe and I went to the farmer's market today and we bought delicious things to make dinner with for tomorrow.  But that is tomorrow.  Why not have dessert first!  I didn't have a special occasion or some place to bring a dish.  It was just pure selfishness.  I baked because I love to bake and I took my time and enjoyed how the ingredients mixed together and I couldn't wait to see how my hard work paid off.

Sweet potato cake with citrus glaze intreuged me the first time I ever saw the recipe.  What a combination of flavors!  Sweet potato, coconut, pecans and citrus.  How can that not be good?  The recipe comes from Smith and Hawken " Gardeners' Community Cookbook"  complied by Victoria Wise.  When I belonged to a cookbook club this was one the monthly selections and to be honest with you, I forgot to turn in the card to not get the book in the mail.  So I ended it up buying it.  Turns out it is one of my favorites!   There are not pictures in it, just recipes on how to use fresh produce that you buy at the farmer's market.

This recipe was a bit more ambitious than I have tried before.  You have to peel and boil the sweet potato which wasn't that hard and while that is cooking you can finish doing the dishes and get together the dry ingredients.  Exactly what I did!  The cake turns out moist and delicious and light and airy.  The secret is to beat the sweet potatoes with the butter and sugar until it lightens in color a little bit.  The citrus glaze is the key to the whole cake.  It gives such a sweet tang that you feel it in the back of your cheeks.  The ones on your face, silly.

Sweet Potato Pound Cake with Citrus Glaze

Butter and flour, for the pan
2 lbs sweet potatoes (roughly 3 medium sized)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, finely chopped. see note*
1 cup Citrus Glaze  (recipe follows

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Butter and flour 9-to 10-inch tube or bundt pan.

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into 1-inch chunks.  Place in a pot and add water to cover by 1 inch.  Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are soft all the way through, about 20 minutes.  Drain and puree.  Set aside.  (just whiz the potatoes in a food processor until creamy.)

Combine the flour, salt baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and cinnamon in a bowl and stir to mix well.  Set aside.

Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl.  Add the sweet potatoes and beat until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Stir in the vanilla.

Add the flour mixture 1 cup at a time, incorporating well after each addition, to make a stiff batter.  Stir in the pecans and coconut and spoon the batter into the pan.

Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Prepare the glaze.

Remove cake from oven and cool for 10 minutes.  Invert the pan and gently pry the cake onto a large platter. While it is still warm, slowly drizzle the glaze over the top and around the edges.  Set aside for a few minutes and allow the cake to soak up the glaze before you glaze it again.

Slice and serve.  Will keep, loosely covered, for up to 3 days at room temperature.

*use unsweetened coconut

Citrus glaze

2 cups confectioners sugar
1 1/2 tbs finely chopped orange zest
1 tbs finely chopped lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice or a combination of lemon and orange juice.

Sift the sugar into a bowl.  Add the zests and juice and stir until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is smooth enough to glaze the cake.  Use right away or set aside at room temperature fro up to 30 minutes, but not longer or the glaze will crystallize and not coat the cake evenly.


  1. I do not normally like sweet potatoes, but this cake was fantastic!

  2. I need to move closer to you. Or better yet, you need to move closer to ME! :) This looks fantastic!

  3. i helped my friend lynn by reading this recipe to her over the phone and she said it came out great....

  4. That is so nice to hear Kellie! I wish you could have tried it! It is delicious!