Sweet Potato Pound Cake

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This Sweet Potato Pound Cake is layered with a Southern grandma’s wildest dreams. Fluffy and moist pound cake, balanced warm spices, creamy baked sweet potato, and topped off with orange icing.

Sweet Potato Pound Cake

I’ve always been a fan of pound cakes since I was a kid. My dad was the baker in the family, so I had a quick introduction to the techniques, love, and care required to pull off a homemade pound cake, regardless of the flavor.

You see, one of my dad’s most coveted recipes that family and friends want but will never get is his sweet potato bread. That was my first introduction to sweet potatoes in any form, so I blame my dad for my deep love for sweet potatoes. This may be evident from recipes like my Ancho Sweet Potato Chili, Coconut Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Sweet Potato Pancakes, or Sweet Potato Waffles with Orange Butter.

Not to mention being from Louisiana, where they produce some of the best sweet potatoes in America. If you ever get a chance to get your hands on some Beaugard sweet potatoes from Opelousas, LA, don’t hesitate to get as many as you can handle.

Now, for this cake, this is my first time sharing my sweet potato pound cake recipe. The first one I shared can be found in my Southern Creole Cookbook, where I infused fresh herbs, sweet potato, and lemon in one cake to make a Sweet Potato Lemon Thyme Pound Cake. That cake was insanely moist with a subtle hearty flavor from the thyme leaves, but the lemon zest heightened every element of that cake.

This recipe is the first cousin of that recipe, less flashy, easier to pronounce but still bursting with sweet potato flavor!

Sweet Potato Pound Cake no icing

Key Ingredients

Before making a sweet potato pound cake, look at this list of ingredients to confirm you have everything you need for some delicious sweet potato cake.

Fresh Sweet Potatoes

The best-tasting sweet potato for baking is a roasted one. All the natural sugars come out, and the flavors are night and day compared to boiled sweet potatoes.

Unsalted Butter

Always use quality unsalted butter when baking. Salted butter can make your cake salty if you don’t omit the salt in the recipe.

Orange Juice and Orange Zest

Sweet potatoes and oranges are flavor pals; they complement each other’s flavors very well. The zest is for the cake and the icing, and the fresh orange juice is for the icing.

Leaving Agents

This sweet potato cake recipe will need baking soda and baking powder.

Warm Spices

Cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground ginger are my trio for any baked sweet potato recipe. Each one dances on your palette in different spots.

Evaporated Milk

Evaporated milk is a classic Southern household ingredient. The cooked milk adds a slightly sweet flavor that works well in this recipe.

Vanilla Extract

Only use pure vanilla extract in this recipe. Imitation vanilla extract won’t perfume and flavor the cake properly.

Sweet Potato Pound Cake on wire rack

How to make Sweet Potato Pound Cake recipe?

I want my Sweet Potato Pound Cake recipe to be not as complicated as you thought, which means it needs to be straightforward, fun, and taste amazing.

Sweet Potato Pound Cake:

In a large bowl with a hand mixer on medium speed, cream butter and sugar until smooth, for about 5 minutes. This will add volume and height to the cake and allows the remaining ingredients to blend better into the batter.

Add eggs 1 at a time; it should take 10 seconds before adding the next egg. Next, add sweet potatoes, evaporated milk, and vanilla blend until incorporated. Make sure to scrape down your bowl.

In another large bowl, combine flour, orange zest, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.

Add the flour mixture 1 cup at a time, and make sure to scrape the side of the bowl to incorporate everything. Pour the batter into a greased bundt pan, place on the center rack, and bake for 1 hour 40 minutes in a preheated 300°F oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Allow the sweet potato cake to cool for 15 minutes before flipping the cake out of the pan. The cake should be a gorgeous golden brown. Cool completely before icing. 

Orange Icing: 

In a large bowl, combine powdered sugar, orange zest, orange juice, salt, and melted butter until smooth. Pour over the cooled pound cake.

Sweet Potato Pound Cake with icing

Pro Recipe Tips & Tricks

Here are a few notes I had from making this mind-blowing sweet potato pound cake.

  • You will need 1 large or 2-3 medium sweet potatoes for 2 cups of mashed sweet potatoes.
  • You can mash sweet potatoes with a fork or potato masher.
  • Either roast sweet potatoes for 1 hour or cook them in the microwave for 4 minutes on each side.
  • This recipe is for a bundt pan with a dark finish. If your bundt pan doesn’t have a dark finish, increase the temperature to 325°F degrees, and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  • If you want a shortcut, buy 2 15 oz. canned sweet potatoes in light syrup. Drain, rinse and mash the sweet potatoes until smooth.
  • Use any milk you have in the fridge instead of evaporated milk.
  • Sour cream or cream cheese are great swaps in place of evaporated milk.
  • You can use gluten-free flour instead of all-purpose flour.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of water to loosen the icing if you make it in advance.
  • The best cake grease to keep your cake from sticking is a ratio of 2:1 flour to oil. Example: 2 tablespoons flour to 1 tablespoon oil.
  • Try folding 1 cup of chopped pecans into the batter or garnish the cake after adding the icing.
  • Powdered sugar and confectioners sugar are the same things.

Sweet Potato Pound Cake missing a piece
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slice of Sweet Potato Pound Cake

FAQs

Here are the top questions readers have about sweet potato pound cake.

How many cups of sweet potatoes make a pound?

Two cups of sweet potatoes make a pound of mashed sweet potatoes, and that’s about 2-3 medium sweet potatoes.

Is it better to boil a sweet potato or bake it?

For this sweet potato pound cake recipe, it’s better to bake the sweet potatoes. You want this cake to have as much flavor as it can handle. 

Baking a sweet potato takes about 1 hour – 1 hour and 15 minutes. Boiling sweet potatoes takes about 15-20 minutes, depending on how small or large you chop them.
 
It’s better to bake for more flavor, but it’s better to boil when you’re in a rush.

baked sweet potato

How long do sweet potatoes take to bake?

It takes about 1 hour- 1 hour 15 minutes to bake a medium sweet potato in a 400°F oven. Here’s my recipe for a healthy baked sweet potato.

How long is sweet potato cake good for in the fridge?

Sweet potato cake will remain fresh individually wrapped in an airtight container for 7 days.

Should sweet potato cake be refrigerated?

Yes, sweet potato cake should be refrigerated as it contains dairy products. Leaving it out at room temperature in a warm home will cause bacteria to grow and could make you sick.

slice of Sweet Potato Pound Cake

How to store sweet potato pound cake?

Sweet potato pound cake is best 3 days after it’s made but will remain fresh, covered on the counter in a cool place for about 4 days. It can stay fresher longer by placing slices in an airtight container for 7 days in the fridge.

Freeze the cake for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container. Thaw for 1-2 hours before eating.

Reheat the cake in a 300°F oven for 5 minutes or pop it in the microwave for 10 seconds.

slice of Sweet Potato Pound Cake

More Sweet Potato Dessert Recipes

If you love sweet potatoes as much as I do, you know they’re versatile and taste great in anything. Here are more sweet potato recipes I think you’ll love!

Latest Recipe Video:

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Before You Begin

Before getting started, her

If you’re going to be efficient in the kitchen, you need to be organized.

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 300°F before pulling the tools and ingredients out.

Step 2: Measure your ingredients out.

Step 3: Start following the recipe below and get ready to eat the best sweet potato pound cake!

This sweet potato pound cake with orange icing is perfect if you’re in the mood for something a little different to put on your thanksgiving table during the holiday season. The unique flavors and textures make it a delicious treat that’s definitely worth trying. And don’t forget to leave a comment and a 5-star rating if you give it a try!!

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Sweet Potato Pound Cake with icing

Sweet Potato Pound Cake

Kenneth Temple
This Sweet Potato Pound Cake is layered with a Southern grandma’s wildest dreams. Fluffy and moist pound cake topped off with orange icing.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 40 mins
Cooling 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 25 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Creole, New Orleans, Soul Food, Southern
Servings 15 persons
Calories 415 kcal

Ingredients
  

Sweet Potato Pound Cake:

  • 3 sticks unsalted butter room temperature
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 cups mashed sweet potato
  • 8 oz. evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • zest of 1 medium orange
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger

Orange Icing:

  • 2 ½ cups powdered sugar sifted
  • zest of ½ medium orange
  • 4 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter

Instructions
 

Sweet Potato Pound Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 300°F. In a large bowl with a hand mixer on medium speed, cream butter and sugar until smooth, about 5 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time. Next, add sweet potatoes, evaporated milk, and vanilla.
  • In a large bowl, mix flour, orange zest, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
  • Add the flour mixture to the cake batter 1 cup at a time. Pour batter into a greased bundt pan, place in the center rack, and bake for 1 hour 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean when removed. Remove the cake from the oven and allow the cake to cool for a minimum of 15 minutes before flipping the cake out of the pan.

Orange Icing:

  • In a large bowl, add powdered sugar, orange zest, orange juice, salt, and butter and mix until smooth. Pour over the cooled cake.

Notes

Pro Recipe Tips & Tricks
Here are a few notes I had from making this mind-blowing sweet potato pound cake.
  • You will need 1 large or 2-3 medium sweet potatoes for 2 cups of mashed sweet potatoes.
  • You can mash sweet potatoes with a fork or potato masher.
  • Either roast sweet potatoes for 1 hour or cook them in the microwave for 4 minutes on each side.
  • This recipe is for a bundt pan with a dark finish. If your bundt pan doesn’t have a dark finish, increase the temperature to 325°F degrees, and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  • If you want a shortcut, buy 2 15 oz. canned sweet potatoes in light syrup. Drain, rinse and mash the sweet potatoes until smooth.
  • Use any milk you have in the fridge instead of evaporated milk.
  • Sour cream or cream cheese are great swaps in place of evaporated milk.
  • You can use gluten-free flour instead of all-purpose flour.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of water to loosen the icing if you make it in advance.
  • The best cake grease to keep your cake from sticking is a ratio of 2:1 flour to oil. Example: 2 tablespoons flour to 1 tablespoon oil.
  • Try folding 1 cup of chopped pecans into the batter or garnish the cake after adding the icing.
  • Powdered sugar and confectioners sugar are the same things. 
Storage:
Sweet potato pound cake is best 3 days after it’s made but will remain fresh, covered on the counter in a cool place for about 4 days. It can stay fresher longer by placing slices in an airtight container for 7 days in the fridge.
Freeze the cake for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container. Thaw for 1-2 hours before eating.
Reheat the cake in a 300°F oven for 5 minutes or pop it in the microwave for 10 seconds.

Nutrition

Calories: 415kcalCarbohydrates: 89gProtein: 7gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.04gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 204mgPotassium: 289mgFiber: 2gSugar: 64gVitamin A: 7346IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 82mgIron: 2mg
Keyword sweet potato pound cake, sweet potato pound cake recipe, recipe for sweet potato pound cake, recipe for sweet potato cake, sweet potato bundt cake,
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