This time of year is what I consider cake baking season, at least for me. The crisp air, plus the up and coming holiday seasons, brings out the bundt pans and cake flour. One of the most passed down cake recipes in my family is the 1-2-3-4 pound cake, which you could only ever make with Swans Down© flour, something my grandmother was adamant about in her instructions. Those same instructions, that as an adult, I would discover live on the back of every box of Swans Down© flour. The soft winter wheat flour also was regularly added into the dough to make soft and flaky biscuits. Something that I still stick to today. When asked to team up with Swans Down©, I immediately became nostalgic in thinking of that prominent red box that lived on my grandmother pantry shelf. She had a fondness for cake and candied yams, so I wanted to incorporate all those loves into something sweet. Candied yams are a soul food staple that in their simplest form are sweet potatoes roasted in brown sugar, spices and butter. Every now and then we roast them in cane syrup for a toasty, slightly buttery twang. For this recipe I kept the spices in the cake and added the cane syrup to the cream cheese frosting to add a little unexpected punch of flavor in each bite. This cake is perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas or anytime you just want a moist slice of spiced cake, which for me could be every day.
*I’ve opted for sheet cake style but this cake can be baked into layers as well.*
Sweet Potato Cake w/ Cane Syrup Cream Cheese Frosting
For the cake:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes, cooled
1 cup whole buttermilk
Cane Syrup Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup pure cane syrup
1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until smooth. Add powdered sugar, syrup, and vanilla; beat until smooth. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Butter and flour one 9 x 13 inch cake pan. Line bottoms with baking parchment.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon. Set aside.
In the bowl of a mixer, beat together butter and sugar on medium-high for 4-5 minutes until creamy, stopping to scrape down bowl at least twice. Gradually add beaten eggs. Beat on medium-high for 1-2 minutes until fluffy, scraping down bowl as needed. Add vanilla and sweet potatoes and beat until smooth.
Add the dry ingredients into the butter mixture in thirds, alternating with buttermilk. Beat on low speed until just incorporated, scraping down bowl as needed.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350-degrees F for 35-45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan completely. About 20 minutes.
Spread prepared frosting over the cake. Drizzle more cane syrup over frosting if desired.