Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sweet Potato Pecan Coconut Cake

Sweet Potato Pecan Coconut Cake

This cake is killing me right now.

It's sitting 6 feet away from me on the kitchen counter, whispering in its stupid little cake voice "Maggie...have another slice! Your thighs can totally handle it."

No, creepy talking cake, they can't.

It's probably unnecessary for me to tell you that this cake is really, really good. I think sweet potato has officially usurped pumpkin in the list of my favorite orange vegetables to bake with. This is an extremely moist cake thanks to the large amount of sweet potatoes and oil it contains. It's packed with pecans and coconut, and topped with a bourbon-laced glaze, and an additional sprinkling of pecans and coconut. I'm thinking that this would be a great addition to your Thanksgiving Day dessert lineup in addition to the traditional pies!

Sweet Potato Pecan Coconut Cake

Speaking of pie, I'll be attending Mixed Conference in a few weeks courtesy of the awesome folks at Lucky Leaf! They make super delicious pie fillings, and I'm so grateful to have the chance to develop a recipe for them (coming next month!) and represent them at the conference. Is anyone else attending? This is my first blog conference, and I'm totally nervous/excited! I need buddies to hang out with there!

Here's what you'll need:

For the cake: 

3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sweet potato puree (I steamed 2 small sweet potatoes in the microwave 'til fork tender, cut them open, and mashed them up)
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans

For the glaze:

2 tablespoons butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon bourbon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2-5 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 cup shredded coconut, toasted
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch cake pan with non-stick spray, and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the brown sugar, canola oil, and sweet potato puree until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla extract, and beat until fully incorporated.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, allspice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir dry ingredients into the sweet potato mixture, alternating with the buttermilk in 3 additions, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Gently fold in the coconut and pecans.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, and bake for 30-40 minutes. The cake is done when it springs back when lightly pressed in the center, and the edges start to pull away from the pan. Allow the cake to cool for 10-20 minutes in the pan, and turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

When the cake is cool, make the glaze. Whisk together the first 4 ingredients, plus 2 tablespoons of the heavy cream. Add the rest of the cream in small increments until the glaze is pourable, but not runny. Pour over the cooled cake, and allow some of the glaze to drip down the sides. Sprinkle with the toasted coconut and pecans while the glaze is still wet. Let the glaze sit for at least an hour before cutting into it.

Makes a single-layer, 8" cake. Serves 6-8.

Source: Adapted from Evil Shenanigans


  1. i would not be able to resist that if it were in my house!

    1. It's rough, haha. I just ate a slice for breakfast. I seriously need to give the rest away.

  2. Oh my love, you slay me with this cake. This is like, everything good EVER in one cake. Seriously.

  3. There is not a single thing in here that I don't love. Great recipe!

  4. this looks dangerously delicious--i always love variations of sweet potatoes so i can't wait to try this.

    1. Woohoo, awesome! Let me know if you end up trying it :)

  5. It's been a while since I've had cake...and this looks divine!

  6. I am so happy to hear I am not the only one who hears voices coming from their food. :)

    This cake looks perfect for Thanksgiving dessert. I am totally spent on the pumpkin train.

  7. The icing dripping down the side of the cake... total food porn. Lovin' it. I'm with @Morgan on this one, this is a great changeup from Pumpkin!

  8. I'm completely obsessed with sweet potatoes right now too! You had me the moment I read "sweet potato", then again with "coconut," and by the time you got to "bourbon laced," I just about fell off my chair!
    PS. My cakes talk to me too--they just usually reference my tummy vs. thighs ;-)

  9. I loooooove coconut + this cake looks absolutely divine. I know I wouldn't be able to resist it if it was sitting a mere few feet away from me. Both me + the cake wouldn't stand a chance. =)

  10. this must be soooo delicious!
    i am really in love with sweet potatoes recipes.
    Last week i also posted one. Sweet Potatoes with feta cheese. amazing!!

  11. I love baking with sweet potatoes too, but I don't do it enough. This looks absolutely fabulous!

  12. I made this recipe wit spelt flour and reduced sugar to 1/2c. I used simple whipping cream for the topping, very good recipe, i will make it again =)


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