sweet potato cake with marshmallow frosting

I hope you don’t mind me going briefly off-topic here. I know that the holiday week demands exclusive chatter about giblets and squash and all the things we can pour butter and cream into, but I had the best revelation this week and even though it’s about as revolutionary of a concept as, brr, it’s cold outside in November, I’m going to tell you about it anyway because that’s what I do here.

sweet potato fuzzy pumper barber shop
the fall spice lineup

It began, as distress often does, on Sunday night when I should have been watching Homeland and going to sleep early. Instead, I was on the internet when I came across a gorgeous apartment only to look up from the laptop and see my own decidedly less gorgeous apartment sprawled out before me, and said, as I have a zillion Sunday nights before this one, “Why is this place such a MESS?” And continued, “Alex, look at this apartment on the web. Why can’t we do this? We have these to-do piles everywhere and whole weekends pass and we never get to them and uuuugh.” And my husband, he of few words but exceptional insight, said “We went to the Museum of Natural History today.”

add the sweet potatoes to the batter


And then the obviousness of it hit me. It is amazing how easy it is to look around and react with frustration and stress, and so much harder to remember that, duh, the second we have free time that could feasibly be spent dealing with that pile of unfiled preschool art projects, weeding out the chipped glassware, steam-cleaning the carpets, hanging those pictures on the wall, we’d rather do anything else in the world. This is us; we chose this. We decided a long time ago to actively, consciously do everything in our power to keep our weekends clear of work and tedious tasks so that we may enjoy them as a family; to mentally sign off for 48 hours, so that on Monday, when real life returned, we’d be ready for it. The upside of this is that I love our weekends [our general rule is that we either must leave the city for a while or stay in it, but pretend to be tourists — Central Park and museums and ice-skating and hot cocoa]; the downside is that our home doesn’t look the way I want it to, as it hasn’t yet learned to fix itself up in our absence (rude).

sweet potato cake batter
sweet potato cake, from the oven

Obviously, this is not to say that people with exceptionally pretty homes have weird priorities or no fun at all (they’re no doubt better at time management than we are, or less lazy), nor does it mean that because goofed off this weekend, we live in a sty*. Like I forewarned, this isn’t going to seem earth-shattering to most people. But since this clicked in my head on Sunday, I’ve found a delicious patch of mental calm, remembering that life as we know it is often the result a series of choices we’d make again in a heartbeat [indeed, I just auditioned this conversation with myself: “Deb, should we hang find a better place for those table panels this weekend?” “Meh, I was hoping we could walk over the Brooklyn Bridge.” See? I did it again.] thus we might as well embrace it in all of its imperfect glory.

a thin slick of frosting, for coverage
big marshmallow-like dollops of frosting

This is less difficult to do when the “imperfect glory” in question is cake-shaped. I spent last week reconsidering Thanksgiving classics I’d regarded thus far with a healthy dose of skepticism, things like green bean casseroles and breakfast stuffing. I knew it was time to find a level of acceptance for the strangest of American Thanksgiving traditions, sweet potato casseroles with toasted marshmallows. I could never get my head around this dish — so sweet! so weird on a plate with turkey and gravy! — and so I just relocated it to what I consider its rightful place, the dessert table. Here, more than a pound of sweet potatoes burrow in a thick, insanely moist and lush spiced cake before being dolloped with toasted marshmallow frosting. It’s a little campy, sure, possibly outright strange (pumpkin cakes = acceptable, sweet potato cakes = suspicious seems the general logic of fall recipes) but to taste it is to hopefully be as converted as we were.

torching the marshmallow

I hope that wherever you eat this week, your travels are easy, your stuffing is just the way you like it, and that you, too, enjoy your perfect-in-it’s-imperfect-glory holiday.

sweet potato cake with toasted marshmallow frosting

* I realize that I’ve probably worried some people, who now think that our apartment is crawling with vermin and dirty dishes, or that you’ll next see us on a Hoarders episode, so for the sake of honesty, here is my living room this very second, in all of its work-in-progress — thank you notes that need to be written, cookbooks that need to be read, board books that need to be packed up, crooked paintings on the wall, groceries that are waiting to be put away, piles of cookware that have spilled out of the kitchen — reality.

real life, currently

Thanksgiving recipes: My favorites are listed here, but if you think I’ve missed something, head to the search box (top left, under the logo) and type in the ingredient — I bet it’s here. Unless you’re looking for a whole turkey recipe… um, next year, I promise. [Thanksgiving Recipes]

Thanksgiving questions: As always, I am responding to questions left in the comments as often as possible (yesterday, I answered a record 54!), and will be checking for new comments throughout the holiday, so feel free to give me a shout if you run into trouble.

Sweet Potato Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Frosting

Please, don’t limit this cake to Thanksgiving. With or without the marshmallow frosting, this would be a fine fine layer cake (one layer is a grand 1 1/2 inches tall) for a first birthday or for that friend that insists they like pumpkin desserts but doesn’t know that they will actually prefer sweet potatoes. Why sweet potatoes? I suspect most Southerners already knew this, but they are so much better in baked goods than pumpkin, more creamy and dense, with more flavor and depth. Pumpkin is usually either often from a can of indeterminate date and origin, or has been tediously roasted and pureed and then sometimes reduced again, only to yield what (to me) often has just half the flavor of a sweet potato. Nevertheless, before it is asked, yes, you could use the equivalent amount of pumpkin puree here instead.

Serves 16 in approximately 2-inch squares

1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 2 to 3 medium or 2 large)
2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon (more to taste) ground ginger
Two pinches (more to taste) ground cloves
1/2 cup (1 stick or 115 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (190 grams) packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs

3 large egg whites
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (will help stabilize egg whites, don’t worry if you don’t have it)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Roast sweet potatoes: Heat oven to 375 degrees. Prick potatoes all over with a fork. Rest on a baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour, turning once or twice, until soft. Let cool completely. Can be kept in fridge for up to 3 days, if baked in advance.

Make cake: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of an 8- to 9-inch square pan with parchment paper, then butter the paper and sides of the pan. [If you trust your nonstick pan, you might be able to skip the parchment, but I don’t like to live on the edge when it comes to getting cakes out of a pan.]

Peel cooled sweet potatoes and run flesh through a potato ricer, or mash until very smooth. (Do not blend in a blender or food processor.) Measure 1 1/2 packed cups (about 12 to 13 ounces) from sweet potato mash; you may have a little extra, which you should warm up with a pat of butter and sprinkle of sea salt and not share with anyone.

Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices together in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add vanilla and eggs, and beat until just combined. Mix in sweet potato puree, then stir in dry ingredients just until they disappear.

Spread batter in prepared pan, and bake cake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes. Let cake rest in pan for 5 minutes on a cooling rack, then invert onto cooling rack, and let cool completely. You can speed this up, as I always do, in the fridge.

Make frosting: Place egg whites, granulated sugar, a pinch of salt and cream of tartar in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Whisk mixture for 3 minutes, until whites are warmed and sugar granules feels mostly dissolved. Remove bowl from top of saucepan, then, with an electric mixer, beat egg white mixture on high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 4 to 7 minutes longer. Add vanilla and mix until combined.

Frost and decorate: If you’d like to make huge, marshmallow-like dollops, spread a bit of frosting thinly over cooled sweet potato cake. Then, using a very large round piping tip (I have an almost comically large one with a 1/2-inch opening) or the corner snipped off a freezer bag, pipe large dollops of frosting all over thin frosting layer. If you’d like to skip the dollops, you can just spread the frosting, thick and swirly, all over.

Using a kitchen torch, lightly brown the dollops so that they look (and smell!) like toasted marshmallows.

Serve: At room temperature cut into squares. Cake keeps at room temperature for two days; any longer, I like to keep it in the fridge.

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343 comments on sweet potato cake with marshmallow frosting

  1. Leila

    This looks awesome! I must try this for the guys at work. I have a hard time with ziploc bags, so I always use a pastry bag. Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Sophie

    I wonder how well this would do as a gluten free dessert? I usually only try with recipes calling for very little flour but this might be too good to pass up.

    1. deb

      Sophie — I don’t see why a gluten-free flour mix for cakes wouldn’t work here. The crumb may be different but so much of the structure and softness comes from the large amount of sweet potatoes, I think it would still taste great.

      1. Rachelle

        Confirming I made this with Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free flour and it was great! Even the ones who usually turn up their nose at gluten free went back for seconds! :)

  3. Brooke

    The cake looks so yummy! But I’m not sure about the frosting – basically a 7-minute frosting, right? I’ve made that in the past and not been crazy about it. Any suggestions for an alternate frosting? Oh, and for the record, I wish my living room looked that neat. Thanks to the 3 little people who I’ve made my priority, it will be a mess for at least 13 more years!

  4. Gayle

    Looks delicious! Are sweet potatoes and yams essentially the same for this cake? Yours look the deeper orange that I think of for yams, but I don’t know if there is a texture difference between the two.

  5. Jeanne

    This looks SO Fabulous! Not enough time for Thanksgiving, but maybe a dessert party between TG and Christmas. And by the way, the website FLYLADY will help you get your apartment in order, 15 minutes at a time.

  6. Laura W.

    You know what else you can do with that leftover mashed sweet potato? Pancake it. Mix it up with an egg, a few tbs. flour, smoked paprika, parmesan, and garlic–it’s heavenly.

  7. Stacy

    1.) This cake looks perfect.
    2.) I love your dining chairs.
    3.) I have recommended two Smitten Kitchen recipes to fellow commenters on The Kitchn in the past 24 hours – I think this is a record for me. And a testament to your genius :)
    I hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful.

  8. Becky W

    My hungry husband called me from work asking for a “substantial dinner” tonight; I think I will reheat leftover pizza and make this for dessert.

    1. deb

      margie — Wow, I never considered that. I am not sure that they have enough… blow? The blowtorches really hiss a small flame out. But please try. Well, have the fire company on auto-dial near you, also, a bucket of water, and then try. And then let us know how it goes? I know a lot of people don’t have blowtorches (I have one because my husband understandably it was a terrible idea, so my BFF got me one instead, heheh) but have those candle lighters.

      Stacy — Thank you.

      Becky — I think you’ve got it exactly right.

  9. Margaret

    Would this be good with the cinnamon cream cheese frosting from your applesauce cake? The cake seems pretty similar and that frosting is insanely delicious.

  10. Hi Deb,
    I’ve read your blog for a long time, so it might be weird that my first comment isn’t about the recipes, but about the commentary at the beginning: I always struggle with this in my own home too. Whenever we take a weekend to just work on projects around the house, I never end up happy and feel like I just worked the whole time. It’s worth a sometimes-messy house to be able to get out on the weekends and enjoy our city. Thanks for the reminder!

    Also, this cake looks amazing!

  11. Helen

    Hi, I love your blog but this is the first time I’ve commented. I’m in the UK and smitten kitchen is my go-to place for American recipes. The last couple of years I’ve made your pumpkin muffins in honour of Thanksgiving for my American friend in our church group that meets at my house. Although she’s moved away now we decided we wanted to keep having the Thanksgiving cakes (!) but canned pumpkin is getting scarcer round here and fresh pumpkins are so hard to deal with! Anyway, I wasn’t going to bother and then I saw this recipe!! I am off to the supermarket tonight to get sweet potatoes and my group will be getting this tomorrow!
    I don’t have a blow-torch but I’ve had moderate success putting things under the grill in the oven (I’m not sure if it’s called the grill in the US, sorry if that’s confusing!). I’ll report back if it works!

  12. Not sure in which universe that qualifies as a messy living room! Especially with that light coming in, it looks like a room that will always be pretty. Besides, anyone would take cozy and cluttered over neat and organized, right? Or so I tell myself to justify the state of my own living space :)

    Happy Thanksgiving.

  13. Susan

    I’ve come to the same conclusion as you; sweet potatoes deliver more flavor than pumpkin. Unless…you add just a tablespoon or two of molasses to the batter. I don’t know why it works, but it just pumps the pumpkin flavor up just right. I made some scones this weekend that were dreamy with good pumpkin pie flavor that used the small dose of molasses. I’ve avoided making pumpkin breads and such because of a one time taste that left me bored. I should have thought to use sweet potatoes. Love the mallow tufts!

  14. Heidi C

    I second Kristy’s comment.

    Thanks for that reminder, Deb. Especially with the hectic schedule Thanksgiving presents, and two little ones underfoot. I’ll be sure to remind myself of your epiphany when the house is a mess, many projects undone, but the whole family is there together!

    And yes, I’m using a ton of your recipes. :) Happy Thanksgiving!

  15. Oh God, I saw that Design Sponge piece and was like “I am on apartment (house) number SIX and I moved away from New York so that I can have more space and I am a full grownup now with a career and TWO children and an active interest in school board elections and my house is not as put together as that one.” Thanks for the reminder. But also, I need to do fun things on weekends and not just chores.

  16. I wish I had not promised to bring your apple slab cake to T-day dinner. One of my favorite cake recipes is a sweet potato and chocolate marble cake from the Victory Garden Kitchen cookbook.

  17. Baked sweet potatoes are a year round dinner staple in my house so I can’t wait to just throw an extra two in the oven next time. I love a nice spicy cake :)

  18. jennifer

    I always try to remember that never once have I heard in a eulogy, “Her toilets were always the cleanest.” or “Gosh, he had the most dust free shelves.” Now off to search your blog for cranberry recipes. Happy Thanksgiving, Smitten family!

  19. Wow! Delicious! I want to try this recipe as soon as possible :)

    Just one question: I like this “meringue” frosting harder ( sorry, I’m a Spanish speaker, I hope you understand what I mean…) and since I don’t have a kitchen torch… is it too crazy to bake the cake with the frosting on it?

    Love your blog!

  20. Jessica

    You are truly a gem. Thank you for the much needed validation. I live in an apartment that is tidy, but also happens to be a far from heart-stoppingly attractive basement. I get a lot of flack for sticking with it, but it’s close to places that I adore, and it’s cheap enough to allow me to make excellent use of the time I spend outside it. I’ve long stood firmly by my decision to make some sacrifices at home to enrich my life in other ways (while friends buy gorgeous and airy townhomes in the suburbs), but it’s just nice to hear another voice that jives with mine. Thanks!

    And, as always, this looks delicious and I will be making it immediately. Do you think a short jaunt under the broiler could replace the torch?

  21. Michelle

    Deb, the recipe looks amazing but the part I loved most about this post was “We decided a long time ago to actively, consciously do everything in our power to keep our weekends clear of work and tedious tasks so that we may enjoy them as a family; to mentally sign off for 48 hours, so that on Monday, when real life returned, we’d be ready for it.” I copy and pasted that whole train of thought to my husband who responded “Haha! I love it. I agree like mega a lot!” Thanks for putting that tension into words! We’re right there with you :)

    1. deb

      Molly — Pureeing potatoes makes them wet and gloopy/gluey.

      Jessica — I haven’t tried the broiler thing, but I think it could work. It can’t hurt to find out.

      Pils — I haven’t tried anything like that before, so I can’t recommend it. But if you’ve baked a cake and meringue together simultaneously, successfully, I suppose it can’t hurt to try that here too.

  22. Ohmygosh the mess. It cannot be escaped. This WAHM business is not conducive to cleaning. “But you’re home all day!” Psh.

    I am also so glad you finally made this cake! I think I mentioned another version to you ages ago, but am glad to finally have your version to try. Because seven minute frosting, you are the business.

  23. Gail

    I feel this same way all the time when I look up at my decidedly non-decorated house. It’s good to be reminded that I make decisions all the time that lead to it looking this way. Decisions I’d make again, like you said!

    Last weekend it was a free family French film at the National Gallery followed by a picnic (brr). I wasn’t consciously deciding *not* to organize my closet so you don’t have to close it REALLY QUICKLY when you are getting things out, but it was a decision nonetheless. And I’m happy I made it.

    I find that I have to have conversations like this with myself around the holidays, when people come over, and I look around and realize that, well, this is my life. Not someone else’s. And this is how it looks apparently!! They all like to eat my food (your recipes!), so they can turn a blind eye to that dangerously overcrowded bookshelf. And allow me to put away their coats in that closet…. :)

    Thanks for the post.

  24. Cara

    I love the saying I see floating around “Please excuse the mess. We live here.”. Or, the other great one “Please excuse the mess. The children are busy making memories.”

  25. Karen

    Awesome! Great alternative to ol’ pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving dessert! Do you think this would work as cupcakes? Too dense? Actually, I like a less fluffy cupcake so I think I’ll give it a try. Any special recommendations for that? Your site and book are such wonderful resources!

  26. Terry Covington

    When I was in the middle of raising 3 small children on my own and despairing of the chaos and clutter, I got a letter from my great aunt saying how her children used to use her silverware for digging in the dirt, and get muddy playing under the trees outside, and jump and run and play; and how she realized how fleeting the time was, and how the chores would always be there when she was ready for them. In short, she reminded me to enjoy the time I had. Your husband is a wise man, and you are wise as well. Happy Thanksgiving!

  27. What happens if you have a pile of work (and you work a lot during weekends) AND your house is a sty? Asking for a friend. But seriously, two things: 1) the cake takes my strong dislike of sweet potatoes + marshmallows (gross, really gross) and turns it into something I’d eat excitedly; 2) your living room looks P-E-R-F-E-C-T as in nothing out of place. If you this it’s cluttered, you’re welcome to come over and see our living room – which is guaranteed to make you feel better about your time management and cleanliness. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  28. Christine

    My chef son and I are inviting traditionalist (read – not culinary adventurous) guests for Thanksgiving. This is the perfect dessert for when they ask for sweet potatoes with marshmallows. :-P

  29. K

    I, too, am looking for a way to do this without a blowtorch… if anyone figures out a good way to bake/broil/whatever, please share! I really want to make this tomorrow.

  30. I have a sweet potato gingerbread cake in the oven that I was planning on just eating plain, but now? Now I sent my fiancée out to get half a dozen eggs so I can top that bad boy with marshmallow frosting. And soon I’m going to be digging through our storage unit looking for the torch. You rule.

  31. Ah, Design Sponge…. so so pretty, but so hard on the ego! But you are right: some people prioritize keeping a neat/ordered space and DIY curtains and glittery coasters, we, on the other hand, favour food and cooking, and things like baking sweet potato cake (or in my case it was a maple pumpkin bread).

    I keep wondering when I’ll “grow up” and finally take charge of my space… but right now, I’d rather make cake ;)

  32. Angela

    How stable would you say your marshmallow frosting is? Does it fall at all left a room temp. for a couple days or in refrigeration?

  33. Deb this cake is awesome! Pinned! Those perfectly piped and then toasted marshmallows seal the deal to an already moist and great looking cake! Have a wonderful holiday season!

    And I am raising a child in an urban 900 square foot loft and am writing my third cookbook from it. I know how it goes when you feel like all you have is a mess and like everyone else’s place is less messy. Kids, cookbooks, food blogs – life happens :)

  34. Laurie

    My contribution to Thanksgiving dinner is two kinds of sweet potaotes one (with marshmallows the other with a brown sugar crumble). Looks like I might have to bring three kinds!

  35. Gayle

    Thanks for the Sweet Potato vs. Yams info! How interesting that USDA created the misconception / mis-naming of orange-fleshed sweet potatoes. Go figure.

    This cake sounds quite wonderful, and the added feature of a flame-throwing finish adds to the appeal. I can see it now, digging my husband’s acetalyene torch out of his workbench for the toasting step, and timing the grand finish to coincide with the arrival of my in-laws for Thanksgiving dinner.

    Have a happy and delicious Thanksgivukkah, Deb!

  36. Nadia

    Hi Deb,

    Your website is the bestest and always a source of inspiration for me!

    Tonight I came home extremely anxious: I am a passionate hobby baker and signed up for an amateur cake off which will be shown on the local TV channel for Christmas. I was sent the guidelines yesterday and to my huge surprise I am to bake a Christmas centerpiece cake which must contain at least:

    – 1 type of nuts
    – 1 fruit
    – 1 vegetable.

    Now, I am the biggest fan of a nice, rich carrot cake with walnuts and raisins (which covers all of the above), but isn’t carrot the most obvious choice? So I spent the whole day worrying how I am gonna come up with an ingenious recipe which does not contain carrot but another vegetable (and try it out a few times before this coming Sunday!). Then this cake popped up on my news feed. DESTINY or what???

    Enough blabbering, let me get to my question.

    Would this cake hold up nicely to the addition of nuts (walnuts maybe?) and raisins? Or do you have any other suggestions how I can combine it with a fruit and nuts?

    Your help is much appreciated – thanks a ton in advance!


  37. Era

    So, I would FAR rather live in your human-looking apartment than the designsponge one, no lie. Perhaps it’s the presence of colour? Anyway, your place looks like a home not a museum (far better for visiting than living in, I reckon). Plus, you had me at ‘breakfast stuffing’, now with sweet potato cake… yum.

  38. Laurie

    Oh, yeah. Your apartment is supposed to look like people live there not a magazine ad. Nothing wrong with that. And I love your rug!

  39. Ah! I posted a very similar sweet potato blondie with marshmallow topping on my blog on Sunday! This totally makes my day because you are my food blogging idol. :) I agree, there’s something inherently good about the combination of sweet potato, brown sugar, and marshmallow, but it’s better just to take it to the full extent of the dessert realm, where it belongs.

  40. Kerry


    2 quick things for you-

    1. I love you. You are amazing, and every time someone bites into something I’ve cooked and proclaims “Holy crap that’s the best thing I’ve ever eaten!” I am smiling to myself and whispering thanks to you. Blueberry crumb bars and spicy caramel popcorn alone have helped me win over many-a friend. Thanks.
    2. Not sure if you have addressed this is previous comments, but what are your thoughts on this whole “Thanksgivukkah” shenanigan? There is a part of me that is tempted to allow a Glee-style mash up of recipes and traditions, but another that just wants to have them separate, but its just one day! What’s a girl to do?

  41. Oh this looks LOVELY! The catch is that I have to travel two hours on Wednesday to get to where the family is. I can make the cake at home, wrap it and take it with me that day. But can I make the seven-minute icing, put it in some pyrex, and then do the dollop-ing on-site? Will it last from Wednesday afternoon to Thursday morning?

    (The kitchen at the in-laws is already too full of cooks for something so persnickety as that frosting.)

  42. Bridgit

    Awesome. I’m looking forward to making this. I don’t know why people don’t turn to sweet potatoes for dessert more often. I once added some cream cheese frosting (with some coca, to give it a sandy color when one of the party guests couldn’t have artificial dye) and it was spectacular. Maybe with marshmallow (it looks so beautiful), but likely with cream cheese frosting, because we really like us some cream cheese frosting. Thanks for the recipe.

  43. Martha

    Hi, my first comment here though I’ve been lurking and a fan for ages. The cake looks super although I’m def in the pro cream cheese icing group. I just wanted to say your apartment looks lovely. Welcoming and family friendly, both good points to my way of thinking.

  44. Sarah U

    Deb, thanks for sharing your insight and bearing a lil bit of your soul.
    The choices we make!! You’re so right. And your living room is beautiful.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  45. AG

    I love this idea and am surprised it hasn’t been done before. Has it? Really just the best idea….marshmallows do not belong on a side dish served with turkey and gravy!

    Re home decorating, Joanna goddard recently showed off her apt makeover on her blog. Can’t you arrange a gig like that? Another easy idea: Westelm has people that will come to your apartment and pick things out for you free of charge, though not sure they’ll sort through cookbooks and art projects.

  46. JP

    I can almost taste that cake! Just want to wish you a happy Thanksgiving and many thanks for recipes that I will make again and again. Plus, your blog is my favorite to read…you are a wonderful writer. It is possible that now and then a recipe may not particularly be to my liking, but your writing is always a treat!

  47. Heather

    Years ago my sister bought me a magnet that says “A clean house is a sign of a wasted life.” Even though I’m pretty sure she meant it as a badly disguised insult (we’re not exactly close), I decided to embrace it as my motto. The dishes can wait until tomorrow, or even until I need to use them again. That stack of unread magazines isn’t hurting anyone. And if my friends and family can’t handle a little dog or cat hair, I’ll meet them for lunch or go to their house instead.

  48. Looks slightly imperfect, what with the non-circular dollops of beautiful marshmallow cream- and therefore delicious! Do you think it’d be OK to use white sweet potatoes? (We accidentally planted them instead of Beauregards this year and didn’t find out until we dug them up.) My mom’s dad always insisted that they were fundamentally different and almost different species… would it fail?

  49. Did you check out the new Poison exhibit at AMNH? It’s delightful, one of their better exhibits in recent years! Family fun > a perfect home, always! Love this cake as well, I think I have just been converted to lovely sweet potatoes more than pumpkin!

  50. tunie

    I love your philosophy regarding the house, but it’s not over the top to consider a decorator. They can be surprisingly affordable, really! This one seems to have worked wonders on a budget with several other bloggers I follow and she’s in your area,(no affiliation):

    And the cake? Brilliant and exciting – I love it!!

    1. deb

      tunie — Ha! I know. Maybe next apartment. We’re not really planning on staying in this one forever (weren’t even supposed to stay this long, i.e. 5 years, as it was never the right size) but we definitely think it would be fun one day. Also, because I’ve been drooling over Cup of Jo’s new apartment makeover for the last week. That said, the decorator will not save us from our laziness/utter lack of desire to maintain the place when there are more fun things to do.

      Tracy — We let the kid lead the way, so no, not this time. But we’re members (almost solely to avoid the lines), so next time.

      Shayley — It will probably work, however, I often find them more dry and … standard potato-ish. Though I realize now that’s probably because I’m not getting those freshly dug ones from your yard. ;)

      JP — Thank you, same to you.

      AG — Yes, see above! (I was drooling over Jo’s. Then bumped into her at AMNH and told her the same.) (Also, I read comment backwards, but know you suggested this first, not that it matters.)

      Suzy — Can you finish it at home before you leave? The frosting holds up, but will lose some texture in a container — might get a little too soft. But on a cake, especially torched, will keep fine for a couple days.

      Lotta — Yes, you can use a 9-inch round, too.

      Angela — I noted at the end of the recipe, it will keep for a couple days.

      Nadia — This with dried cranberries and/or scattered with candied pecans would probably be delicious.

      Kerry — Thank you. Re, Thanksgivukkah, it’s funny, I realized after publishing this today that I totally forgot to mention it. I’m actually kind of lukewarm about it, mostly because Hanukah is such a minor holiday and as it lasts for 8 days, we’re just going to officially celebrate it another night over the weekend. Anyway, I did attempt a Pumpkin Pecan Rugelach as a holiday hook and while they were good, I didn’t think they were great, so I never shared the recipe here. I missed the tang that comes from jam; might try a cranberry-orange next time. Anyway, sorry this comment is all over the place (exhausted from making five pounds of latkes this afternoon, to freeze for later in the week), but a tiny plug, I’ll be NPR’s The Takeaway around lunchtime tomorrow speaking of this exact mega-holiday. We recorded last Friday and I came into the studio with a list of all of the curious ideas I’d seen or come up with to mash the days up. Since I never got to talking about it here, I’ll share some of my favorites:

      * instead of Sweet Potato latkes, latke-ing Thanksgiving vegetables, such as brussels, celery root or parsnips
      * apple-cranberry compote or sauce for latkes would be insanely delicious; I’m doing this
      Horseradish Creme Fraiche (on latkes)
      * challah stuffing (always a good thing). onion bagel stuffing (I’m more suspicious of this)
      * Buzzfeed had a sweet potato bourbon noodle kugel, which sounded clever, though not really my thing
      * a friend of mine made a pumpkin-apple soup with little matzo balls
      * schmaltz-roasted yams (yes please) or shmaltz-crisped onions and gribenes on green beans (double yes please, also say gribenes green beans three times really fast?)
      * Buzzfeed also had a recipe for roasted brussels sprouts with pastrami and pickled red onions that sounded awesome
      * this hilarious blog did a Chocolate Cranberry Cake with Gelt Glaze, which I think is kind of brilliant (also I see an apple pie doughnut now too)
      * a bakery on East 9th that I’ve mentioned here before, Zucker, has sweet potato doughnuts with marshmallow filling; you know I’m going to find a way to make that happen tomorrow. :)
      * finally, I love the idea of filling sufginayot with cranberry sauce or jam; I’d probably want to do this even if Hanukah didn’t bump into Thanksgiving this year

      I also saw some truly horrific ideas (latke gratin with cream and cheese, blergh, and a stuffing with Kosher pickles and dijon and saurkraut and pastrami and noooooo) but I’ll try to remain polite.

  51. sherae

    Thanks for clearing up the yam/sweet potato confusion, Deb! The sweet potato farmers of Ontario, Canada thank you! This Canadian will be celebrating American Thanksgiving with this cake! Oh and, life’s too short for a clean house!!

  52. I love this combination. Last November I made individual pumpkin walnut spice cakes with brown sugar meringue frosting. I used those cute ikea shallow 3 inch round muffin papers. They make great mini cakes. Thanks for the beauty you provide. THis never made it onto my blog, but i did snap a pic.

  53. Valerie Ann

    I just have to say, this is probably the most exciting Thanksgiving recipe I’ve yet to see… Disappointed I won’t be in my own place until after the new year bc I can’t wait to try it!!!

  54. Yum, this looks delicious! I am unable to eat due to digestive tract paralysis, but nevertheless, I love cooking and baking for my family! It helps me to feel like I can be a part of mealtimes. This is double true for the holidays! I do have very fond memories of pumpkin and sweet potato flavors from the past when I was able to eat. This cake is such a unique and unexpected twist on a traditional sweet potato dish! I look forward to making this for my family!

  55. I was just telling my husband how I kind of hate the internet because it makes me feel… incapable. Seeing so man people with orderly homes just makes me feel like I’m doing something wrong because I feel like our home is pretty much never orderly. But, like you, we use our time in different ways. Nothing to be ashamed of. This cake looks ridiculously amazing. I think I might try to make it with almond flour…

  56. Hill

    Love the Wegner chairs! Your place is SO not cluttered for a NY apartment, where we don’t have storage, basements, garages or “extra” rooms.

  57. Meg

    Thank you for an always needed dose of reality in the upcoming busy holiday season! Have you ever read The Happiness Project? Reading your blog is usually my moment of zen for the day, similar to this book :) Happy Thanksgiving!

  58. Jane M

    Oh we are doing the Thanksgivingkukuh here! I’ve had the decorations up for a week and tomorrow my daughter and I are doing the latkes!!!! Sweet! My cranberry jelly has apples in it (applesauce) and the rest of the meal is traditional T-Day foods! ITS THE EATING HOLIDAY-THE BEST HOLIDAY OF THE YEAR!!!!!!!

  59. karen in ND

    Could a white yam be used in place of the orange sweet potatoes? I know the color won’t be that pretty, but I have a giant yam I would like to find a home for. :-)

  60. Jane M

    PS I make the greatest sweet potato pie on earth that everyone waits for each year. It’s the thing that is never left over for the next day. #YUM!

  61. tina

    Thanks for such a wonderful looking recipe! Please forgive the silly question, but is there any reason this wouldn’t work in cupcake portions? Cake batter is cake batter, no?

  62. Kim

    I, too, am hoping to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge this weekend! The difference is that I have never done so before, living in Kentucky as I do. I met you last year at your (delayed, due to Sandy) Manhattan book launch at Williams-Sonoma on my first NYC trip. Maybe this year I will run into you as we cross the bridge during what I hope is to become an annual trip to your lovely city.

  63. Maria

    I don’t cook, my husband does – but i ADORE reading recipes, and certainly passing along good ideas to the cook in the family. ;) that said, while this doesn’t appeal to me at all, though many of your recipes do – i see SO much potential in your apartment. i’d love to redo it for/with you. haha. :)

  64. Carollina

    There is a book which I highly recommend: “A Perfectly Kept House is the Sign of a Misspent Life”. Of course, my husband thinks it should be shelved with the fiction, so there you go….

  65. AG

    Minor holiday?! Any holiday that calls for 8 days of presents is not minor in my book. Add that to my absolute favorite holiday and youve got a momentous occasion. Anyway, I would really love to see another home transformation, so I hope you ultimately end up doing one and sharing the results, even if it’s usually exclusively cooking around here (I btw was not in love with the Jo results, but loved reading about it nonetheless)

  66. Dimitra

    Not being from the US, I actually had to google that to find out if sweet potato casserole with marshmellows is indeed a real dish. It is. I have no words.

    1. Brittany W.

      I made this for my two year old’s birthday, and we loved it! It tasted faintly Of pumpkin pie, which makes sense if canned pumpkin contains things other than pumpkin. However, I could not for the life of me get the frosting to stand up. I even used the cream of tarter! The only two things I could think are that I had a small speck of yolk in the bowl, or that it was just too hot in my kitchen, but I put the bowl in the fridge for a while and still could not get it to stand up. I drizzled it as a glaze and roasted that, and it was still great!

      1. Curious & confused

        sorry I’m just a bit confused… why would canned pumpkin not remind you of pumpkin pie? Isn’t canned pumpkin what you fill pumpkin pie with?

  67. Audrey

    Could you use just egg yolks for the cake and the whites for the frosting? Perhaps adding an extra whole egg? I have made a sweet potato soufflé once which was delicious.

  68. Lisa

    Tee hee. All NY’ers seem to have apartment envy, don’t we? ;) Your apartment looks great (love the floors)! In addition to the recipes, one of the reasons I have enjoyed reading your blog over the years is that your posts are very “stream of consciousness,” as if you’re really talking to your audience. That, and you’re pretty funny. So, for that, thank you. :)

  69. Dahlink

    Deb, I love your philosophy of life, and your happy family.

    One thought about kid art projects–we decorated our house with framed favorites. My in-laws did the same thing with my husband’s kiddie art, so we have two generations of masterpieces in the hallway and in the family room. You might want to pick one favorite each year and invest in professional framing. You won’t regret it.

  70. Elle

    My motto: “Dull women have immaculate homes.”
    When you sit in your rocking chair 50 years from now, you won’t say, “I wish I spent more time cleaning up my filing and doing chores.”

  71. Amy

    My dear daught, the Baker of the Treats in our house, was looking for something different to make for Thanksgiving. I think I’ll (selfishly) show her this.

    1. deb

      Denby — I talked about the spice jars (with links to places that sold them at the time) over here.

      Audrey — Great question. Egg yolks add richeness; egg whites bind. Often 2ish egg yolks can be used to replace a whole egg, so you could try using 4 egg yolks instead of 2 large eggs here. You could also increase the volume of frosting with the extra egg white (scale the sugar to 1 full cup). I used every drop of my available frosting here; more could make it even more billowy, or you could split the cake and spread it as a filling between layers.

      AG — Aw, I would never post about it here. It would be off topic and then it would be like promoting brands and blah blah, doesn’t work for me. I’m no fun. But I’ll take the pretty apartment, one day.

      tina — Yes, I think it would make about … ugh, I can’t get a read on the yield, but somewhere in the 14 to 24 range. Yes, not helpful, I know.

  72. Linda C.

    This cake is adorable and I can’t wait to make it for my husband, who pines for sweet potato casserole. Your apartment is also adorable–lived in, cheerful and reflecting love of home and family. I’d say you’ve got your priorities straight! Love your blog and cookbook and each recipe I’ve tried has become an instant family & friend favorite. THANK YOU!

  73. Casey

    I already made my pie and am planning on making Sufigyot for Thanksgivukkah tomorrow, but it looks like we need one more dessert! Also, I have that rug :)

  74. Shelagh

    Personally, I think you have your priorities straight. You’ll never regret the time you spend together as a family. Although I’m not a fan of sweet potatoes, this cake looks yummy and definitely worth a try.

  75. I wish you could see the state of my loft right now…in shambles. Kitchen to bedroom there’s no safe place round here.
    I would like to hire someone to go through my stuff and neat it out properly, but I actually do not want a total stranger to go through my stuff. Which is an impasse with no feasible solution.
    I guess this Thanksgiving weekend is my last chance to do it myself, before waving white flag and moving elsewhere.
    Wish me luck!

  76. lee

    Brilliant!! I have never been a fan of sweet potato casserole – it’s just too gooey and mushy and eh. (Sadly, it wasn’t until I tried sweet potato fries about 3 years ago that I realized how awesome sweet potatos can be if they’re not reduced to puree in a casserole dish.)

    This sounds delightful, though, and I can’t wait to try it – hopefully, this weekend.

  77. Andrea

    Thanks for this wonderful post. Such a reminder of what’s really important in our lives, and especially on the weekends. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  78. Glenda

    I was wondering if there is anyway that you could have two options to post. One for just general comments, “Wow, gotta make that!” and another for those who have made the recipe and may have some helpful suggestions, substations, ect. which I find immensely helpful but hard to dig out.
    Happy Thanksgiving

  79. The people with lovely homes have other people cleaning them… and probably do not have a four-year old hanging around… and What?? – your home is lovely. Nothing to be fretting about. By all means go out and enjoy yourself. We are the same – always taking our free time and trying to do something fun with it – NYC is too full of fun to let it sit unvisited. I had a similar revelation as you when we were stuck inside this past Sunday, with temp inhospitably below freezing – and what did we do? Clean the house! That was all it took.

  80. Maggie

    My favorite thing about your living room photo is that one bookcase is topped with a huge amount of wine and liquor, and the other is topped with a menorah.

    Happy Thanksgivukkah to you and all your readers, Deb, and thanks for another year of great cooking and writing!

  81. Lauren

    Am I ever glad I came back to dream about this recipe today…or I never would have seen your giant comment-response bar entry. That “hilarious” blog you highlighted not only made me laugh out loud ( oy, the title rocks!) but there are SOOOO many other recipes in that little treasure that sound awesome!!!!! I have it bookmarked to get back to later, I will also send it to my former sister-in-law so she can share it with her own daughter’s in law. However- I ,too, will be making that stuff you can be assured. Even if you don’t remember the old ad slogan…”You don’t have to be Jewish to love Levy’s”… your parents would! Ask them. Happy Thanksgivukkah.

  82. Lesley

    We can’t do butter in my house, because the little one has a dairy allergy. What would you reco as a butter substitute? TF free margarine or an oil? If oil, how much?

    1. deb

      Lesley — Personally I prefer oil or coconut oil over margarine, but I also have bad memories of cold, flavorless gummy margarine so I’m perhaps not the most neutral observer. ;)

  83. Brad G

    This cake looks amazing, causing me to re-think my Thanksgiving desserts. Is the quince/fig cake or the persimmon tart going? We already have an apple pie and pecan pie ruggelah, or I’d make them all!!

    Unrelated recipe question: If I cut brussels sprouts today, do I need to keep them in ascidulated water? Or can I cut put in a plastic bag and leave in the refrig until tomorrow? Thanks!!!

  84. I prefer your living room to the one linked in the post.

    Deb, I wanted to say THANK YOU for all the wonderful recipes through the years. Your tiramisu cake was absolute perfection, everybody loved it (and I don’t even like coffee!).

    Happy holidays from Buenos Aires, Argentina

  85. For the love of god if you think that’s a messy apartment I’m afraid what adjective to use to describe mine…!!
    Also, I really need to not look at cooking blogs two days before Thanksgiving (mine is on Friday). I was all set on my dessert (your mom’s apple cake) and now this. I already have a sweet potato side dish but I’m going to make a pirate captain call and repeat an ingredient because if it were only me at this dinner I would have nothing but sweet potatoes. The only thing is that all my guests are non Americans (I live in Switzerland) — mostly French, some Spanish & Italian and a few other nationalities, all of whom are going to be supremely weirded out by a sweet potato-marshmallow combination…. so that settles it, dessert changed ;)

  86. Petra

    I am curious about the icing – will it be stable for a day or two? And how do you go about browning it? The cake will be fun to make!

    1. deb

      Petra — The icing will be stable for a day or two but it is the best on the first and second days. You use a kitchen torch to brown it; the same kind you’d use for creme brulee.

  87. nancy

    i am making a new recipe this year, but it has the usual suspects in it, so i am not worried. but, reading your recipe for sweet potato cake, i definitely will take your advice a bout a little special bit for me.
    i wonder if you have read laurie colwin, i had a deja vu moment reading your email today.
    have a tasty thanksgiving, it is the holiday of my dreams: eating, talking, listening, and repeating.

  88. Margie

    No! Please don’t turn this into a food/decorating/parenting/travel blog due to photo shoot envy. You do your one thing really, really well.

    Comparison is the thief of joy. – Teddy Roosevelt. I think that is going to be my motto for 2014.

  89. Deborah Weinstein

    This looks marvelous, as are all of your recipe delights.. I pre-ordered your cookbook before it came out last year, and is by far the easiest,most wonderful in my collection! Can’t wait to try the sweet potato cake!
    Your apartment is adorable!

  90. Mary Ann

    I just took your Brownie Cut Out Cookies out of the oven, they are delicious and very simple to roll out. Do you have a sugar cookie version that is just as easy? Thank you.

  91. Brad G

    I don’t have a kitchen torch, could this be done under the broiler? Or just leave the marshmallow frosting?

    PS I’m making mine with Purple Sweet Potatoes – so it’s going to be a wild color!!

  92. Cathie

    Deb, Thanks for always keeping it real, sometimes I look around and wonder why we too haven’t made our house look like one in a magazine. Oh right, choices, choices! Love your site, recipes and most of all your writing and voice. I feel like we’re friends and having a fun chat whenever I come to your site! Thanks for that! Happy Turkey Day to you!

  93. Marie M.C.

    I’m 70 years old and am blessed to live in San Francisco. This I promise you. When you are my age the memories that will light your heart with joy are the ones you made with your children when they were young. The antique spears and armor at the De Young Museum, the show at the Planetarium, the time you saw Star Wars and Superman, (yes, I had a boy), spending the afternoon floating in rubber tube tires at Russian River, the perfect chili rellenos and horchatas you had at that wonderful Mexican restaurant in Sonoma. You will have absolutely zero guilt of any delayed housework. At least I don’t. So, screw the house work, get out, be a tourist in New York. My lord, if you live in New York and don’t take advantage of it’s wonders — you don’t belong there.

  94. Park City Ski Cook

    Deb, Unrelated to your current post but meant to ask you this question last Thanksgiving. In your cookbook, the Deepest Dish Apple Pie recipe has me cut an 1″ overhang on the crust. Then what? Leave it hang or tuck it up and under and crimp?

  95. Hey Deb! This cake looks amazing! My thanksgiving table is plenty full, but I may need to make this next week anyways. We are not having sweet potato casserole at our table this year… my husband and I both voted it weird (despite our families loving it) but I think this cake would please us all!
    I made your Simple Apple Tart (galette style) this week for a potluck and it was a hit! (I only wish I had kept it at home and eaten it allllll by myself :) I posted some pictures too, at Love your stuff!! -Adrienne

  96. dawn

    Hola. Getting ready to make this for festivities tomorrow but my searched for a potato or fruit ricer this afternoon was a complete bosh. Hopefully you are heartily involved in something wonderful tonight but, if by any chance you happen to check in, will you offer an opinion on whether pushing the roasted potatoes through a mesh seive might lend a similar effect..? Hugs!

  97. Valerie

    The cake just came out of the oven and my husband walked in (after a few glasses of wine from our Hanukkah meal) and said, “what smells so good?” I drizzled the top with cinnamon sugar, for good measure. My kids love pumpkin muffins (I made your recipe last weekend) but are not fans of sweet potato. Will see if I can trick them tomorrow! By the way, I have given your book to a friend for Christmas last year and refer people to your blog all the time. You’re awesome! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  98. Staci

    While I am thankful to be living back in Florida, close to most of our family and friends, this post just made me painfully homesick for my apt in Queens. And playing in Central Park with my 4 year old, Molly. The castle playground in your picture is her favorite. When we moved 2 months ago, we still hadn’t quite finished decorating our place as we liked to be out and about that beautiful city every spare second! I have exactly 24 minutes to continue being a little sad for what we left behind-good friends, cool jobs, amazing adventures and standing on Central Park South watching the parade go by before jumping on the 7 train to hurry home & finish cooking dinner before guests arrive. Because at midnight, I will only spend my day being grateful- that I get to spend this day with my parents and grandparents, partner and daughter and a full house of family. Not to mention how thankful I am for this site, your amazing recipes which always turn out and your stories of my favorite city. Thank you. And Happy Thanksgiving/ Hanukkah. I’m off to make your stuffing recipe and get going on the green bean casserole!

  99. Carrie

    Like so many satisfied readers/bakers/mothers, I have loved your blog for years, trust your recipes, and fearlessly make whatever you tell us to. (I made chick stock out of chick wings in my crock pot last night and that was a good damn idea, Deb!) But this cake! I am a very experienced baker, followed your instructions here faithfully, like I do, but what a disaster. After getting a clean toothpick at 37-ish minutes, I pulled the cake, waited 5-ish minutes, inverted onto a rack, and watched with morbid fascination as the middle of the cake sunk. And sunk some more…through the cooling rack and pooling onto the counter. My sons said it looked like a poop volcano (thanks, boys).

    I would’ve had to’ve baked this for an hour or more, it is a VERY dense batter. How did you get CAKE after 35 minutes? Cause you’re magic? That’s not fair.

    Thanks again for all your wonderful writing and recipes.

  100. This looks SOOOOO GOOD! Love it. Have already made my Thanksgiving pies, but I definitely will be pulling this out once we recover from Thanksgiving food! :)

  101. dawn

    mmm… just put it in the oven. if licking the bowl is any gauge of the yummy comfort of it all, i give it a 10. only time will tell, i suppose. i’m obviously no master chef. thanks for the inspiration!

  102. I, too, often look around my flat and curse myself for making such a mess, but actually I do a lot of stuff and I make sure to remind myself of that. I didn’t hoover/dust/put my clean clothes away because I was running/at uni/writing/cycling/drinking with friends. I know which weekend activities I prefer.

  103. Red Kate

    Your apartment is pristine! Honest! I’m great at time management, but I also (like you) want to pack as much enjoyability into my weekends as possible. This means I’ve had to give up on tidying as often as I’d like, and my hobbies are spilled out everywhere. You’re doing JUST FINE! Plus, if you spent all your time primping your apartment to look like that gorgeous one you linked to, we’d never get recipes and cookbooks. Clearly, COOKING is more important!! (Thank you, Deb!!!)

  104. Danielle

    The only people I know who have perfect apartments have 2 live-in maids. Your apartment is lovely. It’s a home not a magazine to be looked at.

  105. Char

    I can attest to the deliciousness of this cake, but I’ve never tried it with the marshmallow frosting, which is something I’ll be trying as soon as I can get my hands on a blowtorch. I love the look of those marshmallow peaks.

    The recipe I have (very similar, might be larger quantities as it’s baked in a bundt pan) calls for a brown sugar fudge frosting, which I have to say is pretty awesome. Super-sweet but totally irresistible!

  106. Stunning recipe. I have always been baffled by the sweet potato marshmallow combo masquerading as a vegetable dish – much better suited to cake. In fact, perfect for cake. Hope that you have a great Thanksgiving!

  107. What you say is so true, I want my house to be tidy, I ask my family why it isn’t tidy and I implore them to put stuff away not redecorate the carpet with everything. But like you I took a step back and thought to myself, happy voices and happy faces rather than scolding voice (me) and sad faces (them). Tough though!

  108. Jessica

    I’m with Carrie above. I am devoted to all things Smitten and love your blog and recipes. I made this cake last night and I’m not sure if due to the softness of the sweet potato it should feel almost raw? My cake did not sink and I cooked it for an hour. However, it feels very mushy as if not fully cooked…the flavor is divine though! My 6 year old keeps asking for “the uncooked cake” lol. Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for all the joy you bring us!

  109. Penny Hays

    OMG!!! I was just looking for a humble quiche recipe for a post-Thanksgiving weekend get-together and I’m treated to THIS?!? (in your mind see: dumbstruck animation character with rotating stars in eyes) I adore any “orange vegetable” dessert, but this is a feast for the eyes as well. My exclamations scared my husband – he thought there’d been some kind of accident. Thank you Deb!!! Happy holidays to you and yours!!

  110. Veronica

    Deb, your dirty apartment makes mine look like it’s inhabited by hoarders. I have books and papers stacked on every available surface, due to a severe lack of storage space.
    I got so excited when I saw this recipe yesterday that I ran to the grocery store to buy sweet potatoes. I LOVE sweet potatoes in all their forms, and if this cake tastes as good baked as its batter did, this is a definite winner. (I have a potluck to attend tomorrow, otherwise this cake would be half-gone already!)
    For those of us without a kitchen torch, my frosting toasted beautifully with about 45 seconds under the broiler. Just keep an eye on it.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  111. 1. This looks delicious.
    2. Someone once told me that at the end of the day I should be proud if there are toys all around my house and a mess in the kitchen because it means my kids did more than watch TV and I cooked a meal instead of a frozen dinner. I try to remind myself of that…every day.
    3. Your living room doesn’t even look messy; I’d hate to show you mine. :-)

  112. It’s funny how we realize things about our lives – I so agree with you about the mess and the fact that we have a CHOICE and it’s not kind or smart to judge other peoples’ choices.

    And this cake looks great. I truly have never liked or understood that marshmallow/sweet potato casserole. I might be on board with this cake. I wonder about a sweet potato pie with this marshmallowy icing on top. . . . mmmmmmm

  113. Pie & Bo’s Mom

    Made 12 cupcakes last night with this, using almond flour – huge and delicious success!! With almond flour and muffin tins, a 325 oven and a little more time seems to work best. With a 13-year boy in the house, I have declined ownership of a kitchen torch, so I frosted with the suggested alternate, cinnamon cream cheese frosting: which I was going to say was just a little too sweet for me . . . but then I had to face the reality that I have personally eaten four of them . . .

  114. Aleen

    I made this for Thanksgiving dinner yesterday and it was such a hit! I was a little nervous about the meringue, since it was my first time making it, but it couldn’t have been easier! I will definitely make this again, thanks for the great recipe Deb! Hope you had a great holiday with your family =)

  115. Holly P

    THANK YOU! For making my thanksgiving better with this recipe. It was a rough day. My husband’s grandmother died that morning, my kids and I had plans to eat dinner with a neighbor because my husband works on Thanksgiving. Well she cancelled on us at noon. So I had to rush and take something out for dinner, whip together everything in 3 hours and this was the first this I went to work on. It was worth it in every way too. And can I say that roasted the sweet potato is really the best way to do this. It brings out so much flavor and sweetness.

    I made this last night for me and my kids. I did it in cupcakes instead of a cake so my husband could take the rest to work today. I did big dollops on each cupcake. It was amazing. Some I did cream cheese frosting because its my favorite, also amazing.
    A few years back I was looking for a good sweet potato cupcake/muffin type dessert and couldn’t really find anything that was texturally there. This is it! This is the best sweet potato dessert I could have asked for. Perfect on the seasoning, still very cake-like and not mushy.

  116. I made this batter and found that it was too stiff, so I added a 1/2 C. plain yogurt… I worked to lighten up the batter and give it a more complex taste.

    I toasted the frosting in the oven under the broiler… If you do this you must watch it the whole time because it will burn quickly.

  117. Karen

    Re Density: I made this as one of our Thanksgiving desserts. It was very tasty but I had the same problem as a couple other commenters with the batter being extremely thick. When I put it in the pan it didn’t spread at all and even with the heat of the oven it baked with all the same dips and peaks that were on the batter when I spread it out. It tasted good but was pretty heavy. I measured everything very precisely using your weight measurements. I also think I baked the sweet potatoes just as you did, and used a potato ricer. But now I think maybe the problem is in the density of the sweet potatoes themselves. Because I tried making it a second time, this time with canned sweet potato puree, and it was perfect. The canned stuff had a much more airy (almost whipped) consistency than my baked sweet potatoes had (even having been ‘riced’). So that batter was much more spreadable and when baked the cake was dense in a very pleasant way. Not at all heavy and perfectly moist. Could it be just the quality of my sweet potatoes? Oh, and I was very surprised that the cake made with the canned puree had a lot more sweet potato flavor than the one made with the real thing. Weird huh? I’ll definitely make this again using cans :) I used Organic Sweet Potato Puree, Farmer’s Market brand. I may even try pureed butternut squash or something like that. BTW, I topped it with dulce de leche – match made in heaven!

  118. Heavenly I am going to make this today for our Tree Chopping Decorating Party! I love cakes that are “healthy”. Ok I love cake in general!

    Last year I gave Deb’s Cook Book to my mother in law this year I am going to buy one for my To: Me From: Gift!

    Thanks Deb for the great gift!!

  119. This is such a great idea, putting the sweet potato in cake form. My family loves baked sweet potatoes with marshmallow topping, great play on technique here. Thanks for sharing!

  120. Just the picture of this sweet potato cake gave me the spark to make a browned marshmallow-y sweet potato dish for Thanksgiving, and it turned out great! Thank you, as always, for the wonderful recipes and inspiration!

  121. Mrs D

    Amazeballs Deb! I have now made this twice and of course, had to gild the lilly both times. Both attempts I halved the sugar because my sweet potatoes were literally dripping with syrup after roasting, so I might have had a very sweet batch.

    First attempt I topped the cake with thin Granny Smith apple slices and a light apricot jam glaze. Heavenly! But…the apples got a little scorched in places because of the relatively high oven temp and cooking time. So I’ll use my normal cake recipe for that next time.

    Second attempt I stirred through some roasted pecan halves through the batter and did a very simple cream cheese frosting. Fricken outrageous! And such a high rise both times, it’s a really stunning cake when it’s presented.

    Thanks so much for another winner recipe. I literally do not go anywhere else for baking inspiration but here. So grateful for you, lady! Thank you!

  122. I used your recipe to make sweet potato whoopie pies using leftover candied sweet potatoes from Thanksgiving, i had to doctor it a little becauase of the butter, sugar and seasoning already in the potatoes, but OMG, did they come out great! Thanks for the excellent recipe!

  123. deb

    Park City Ski Cook — Leave the overhang pressed down. You’ll trim it off before releasing the springform sides.

    Baking times/liquidy centers/etc. — I am sorry, but I’m totally baffled. I can’t figure it out (yet). This is generally such a reliable cake formula — I’ve in the past used 1 1/2 cups applesauce (this cake) and even 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas, and all make great, moist, tender cakes that bake up like a dream in this amount of time. I dropped the baking powder by 1/4 teaspoon this time because my center sank so so so little, but enough that I realized it probably had a touch more baking powder than it needed, also, due to the frequently-cited rule of 1 teaspoon baking powder or 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup of flour as a starting point in layer cakes. I’d love to hear more details, if anyone had them: how, what, where (altitude?), if anything else seemed off. Thanks.

    Used the broiler and it got too black — As someone else commenter, fret not! Scrape it off, broil again for less time. :) Reading these comments, I’m reminded again that broilers really really range in how robust they are. Some will char things in 45 seconds, others in 5 minutes. (Mine would take 15. It should be ashamed of itself.)

  124. Marianne S.

    If I were to make homemade marshmallows to garnish some hot chocolate for a 4 year old, and I wanted them to look like the frosting on your cake, how would I go about that?

  125. Alice

    Cake was so delicious, Deb! Baked up perfectly! I upped the spices, so it tasted like a yummy, moist spice cake. Unbelievable texture. Couldn’t find my brûlée torch and was afraid to use the broiler so used the flame from a candle lighter to give some color to the marshmallow. Worked great. Thanks for another awesome recipe. Happy holidays!

  126. Krissy

    I made this for Thanksgiving desert and it was a hit! Thank you! I had some leftover batter (used a smaller round springform pan) that I baked in a mini loaf pan and it made for excellent sweetbread for breakfast, especially because it is not really sweet at all without the frosting. I ended up making it using pastry flour because I was out of regular flour, and lightly pureed the sweet potatoes using an immersion/hand blender rather than using a ricer and it worked out very well.

  127. Carrie

    Hi Deb!

    I am currently attempting to make this cake in Cusco, Peru. Because of the altitude and sub-optimal oven, the potatoes took much longer to bake than normal and are quite dry. Do you recommend adding water, cream, or butter to the puree before mixing into the batter?

    Thanks for your help!

  128. Becki

    Oh Deb, this cake is so good! I have just one sliver left. It’s MY sliver though.

    I made a few substitutions, and I feel the need to confess. I used sucanat instead of brown sugar and for flour, I used half whole wheat pastry flour. And then I actually ran out of AP flour, and used a couple spoonfuls of corn meal to make it up. Baked it in a ceramic pie dish. I made the cinnamon cream cheese frosting and followed those instructions exactly.

    This cake is even better the next day, especially because the corn meal softens up a bit more so it gets chewy. I love that I can call this ‘cake’ but I made it with sweet potatoes and WW flour and corn meal!

  129. TerriSue

    Dear Deb,
    I think your apartment looks wonderful. The kind of place a little boy would be completely at ease. He would not feel like he could not play as though he would mess things up. That is so important to a child. As for living in a mess, you should see my house. My husband has been working 80 hour works since September. He works 5 eight hour days, and 4 ten hour days that overlap. Sun., Mon., Tue., and Wed. he gets two hours of sleep a night. He started working the ten hour job so he could pay down some of our debt. It’s a seasonal job and will only last through the end of December. Well the week of September 20th I suddenly started falling for no reason. I wasn’t tripping over anything, I would have no warning, I would just fall. On the 20th, which happened to be our 33rd anniversary and the first day I would have seen my husband that week, I really fell in a tangle of arms and legs. When I caught my breath I found myself in incredible pain. My left foot was on fire. I finally got to my phone and called my husband. We spent our anniversary in the E.R. I had 2 broken bones in my foot and had broken my ankle in 2 places. Last week was the first I was allowed to put any weight on my foot. Just in time for Thanksgiving. I was able to make some pies sitting in a chair to make the fillings. I just stood to roll out the crusts. My son and his girlfriend came over early and put together the meal. We’re vegetarians so it wasn’t as though they had to put together a turkey. We’ve always been mashed potato people, not sweet potato casserole for Thanksgiving. This is leading somewhere. Since Sept. 20th I have not been able to do any housework. I have spent all of these weeks with my left leg elevated. My husband is so exhausted that he just comes in and puts things in piles on any available flat surface. The first to get covered was the dining room table. I asked my husband if he could uncover the table Thanksgiving day. He had come home from work at 5:30 that morning. He kept dozing off all day. The table never was cleared and we ended up eating in the living room off of our laps. We were all looking at a coffee table piled high. It’s amazing what can happen to a house in 2 months when nobody is doing anything around the house. I’m starting therapy this week for my foot and ankle which is extremely painful to stand on. The breaks were so bad that I just missed having to have surgery on my foot. The worst part of all of this is all of my husbands money from his second job has gone to pay for doctors and hospital bills. Oh, the reason I was falling? My electrolytes were out of balance. I ended up staying in the hospital for four days while they got them back to normal. Soooooo when I look at the picture of your apartment it looks absolutely wonderful to me. I would like to move in right now and leave behind what I’m going to have to deal with as soon as I am able. I also intend to make this fantastic looking cake. For a person who bakes or cooks or both everyday this has been an incredibly long time to go without stepping in the kitchen. Your blog, with all of your pictures, has been so wonderful to have to read. Almost as good as being there.

  130. Karen

    Hi Deb! What a fantastic, unexpected idea! It looks delicious! I love sweet potatoes :-)
    I have a question about replacing the butter. I’m vegetarian rubbing right up against vegan. Do you think coconut oil would work or is there a butter replacement you would suggest?

  131. Lori

    I was thrilled with this as my Thanksgiving dessert – especially as I made it with GLUTEN FREE flour! It is so difficult to find cakes that translate to GF and all I had to do was sub plain GF flour (I’m in the UK so used Doves Farm). Fandabbydoozy!

  132. Chris

    HI!! I love your blog, I’ve been reading and using you receipes for years, actually since the beginning I think! I haven’t made this or the Spiced Applesauce Cake yet. But both are printed and in my library. Would it be a bad idea to make a two layer cake, with one layer of Sweet Potato Cake and one layer of Spiced Applesauce Cake? I’d probably ice it with the Cinnamon Cream Cheese frosting. I have yet to add a blowtorch to my plethora of utensils and tools. Maybe a thin layer of jam betwixt the two? Like a plum jam? What do you think? Thanks!!

  133. I made this cake with much success! Here’s a pic. :-) Very happy with the fluffy texture and how moist it is. Even happier with the very clear sweet potato flavour. Unmistakable. My change was that I didn’t mash the potatoes till smooth. I left a bit of small lumps in it cos I like having specks and it turned out beautiful. Also, I’m not a fan of marshmallow (sacrilege to many, I know!) and the cake was plenty sweet so I left the frosting out. Finally, I mixed in a tsp of blackstrap molasses for extra caramelly flavour. Sooooooo good. More ground ginger next time. I think I’ll turn this into a banana cake. Or carrot. So versatile. Thanks Deb! Definitely posting on my blog very soon.

  134. Brittany W.

    Hi Deb, I didn’t make this for Thanksgiving, but I did make the deviled eggs with smoked paprika from your book, and they tasted great and everyone loved them! I did not add the jamon, but did toast some almonds and sprinkle them over the eggs. Everyone thought there was bacon in it anyway. Thanks!

  135. Janet

    I made this wonderful luscious cake and it turned out so well (even at high altitude) that I had to comment. Every bite I took made me want more. I too skipped the marshmallow frosting and did not miss it at all. Btw I substituted coconut oil for the butter and it turned out fine.

  136. Kara

    I don’t know if I missed this in all of the comments, but it seems to me that broiling wouldn’t be as much of an issue if I were to skip the dollops and just spread the frosting in a relativity flat design.

  137. kim

    This is probably good for my productivity, but just as a note that every time I click the “Surprise Me” button, it the first time goes to a recipe, and then it doesn’t change after that no matter how many times I click. I tried clearing my history, but no dice. It’s one of my favorite buttons on the internet, although by now I have probably read every recipe at least twice!

  138. I have the worst time mashing sweet potatoes or regular potatoes. I don’t have a potato ricer, so what do you suggest? Can I just throw them at the wall? (I’m kidding…sort of.) This cake looks scrumptious.

  139. Lori

    I made this the other night and Dear. God. It was excellent. Different, slightly unusual and just delicious. I LOVE putting something as healthy as a sweet potato in a cake. Genius.

  140. This is right up my alley! I’m obsessed by vegetables (incl starches, tomatoes etc…), hence writing a blog about them in desserts, and this looks utterly gorgeous. I’ve never made a marshmallow frosting (gasp!) but I shall have to rectify that soon. x

  141. Dalnapen


    Read this late, but wanted to say ‘well done!’ with the choices you’ve made. Take it from me, life hurries on whether we will it or not. And I had the thought that perhaps you might just need a wee bit of help–wish I were there to give it. So maybe hire in some help to help you clarify and ‘beautify’…I think you would enjoy it, and you deserve that too. Thanks for all that you do and share–which definitely beautifies my life!

  142. Ruth

    You mentioned in another recipe that you have an awesome, super strong pastry blender. I’m looking for one, would you mind sharing what kind you have? Thanks!

    Also, you are my go-to first stop for any recipe, so thanks for that as well!

    1. deb

      Ruth — Thank you. I like the OXO one.

      Chris — Why thank you! I think you could do one of each, easily. These two play off each other almost perfectly.

      Karen — I’d use coconut oil if you’re okay with a very slight coconut vibe. If you’re not, just use a neutral cooking oil.

      TerriSue — I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to respond. I cannot imagine how terrible things must seem right now; I wish I could beam you some of this cake! I hope you heal soon and that your husband’s schedule returns to normal so that you can enjoy the holidays.

  143. Just made these in cupcake tins and a couple mini loaf pans (recipe filled 12 tins plus 3 mini-loaves). We sampled a loaflet right out of the oven and it was heavenly. No frosting needed, and they could almost pass as quickbread (i.e., breakfast!) instead of cake. Used 1.5 cups roasted hubbard squash instead of sweet potato because it was leftover, worked great and lent a subtle chestnut flavor!

  144. Deb you hit it right on the freakin nose! I have those todo piles at home too. What I do now is just commit to taking care of 1 pile per weekend. Because inevitably during the week I’ll look at said pile and wonder UGH, why didn’t I just get it done over the weekend.

  145. Everything about this cake was amazing. It was just the right texture, and I’m always a fan of any excuse to use a cooked meringue. I only wish I’d thought to spread the slices of cake with leftover cranberry sauce, but ah well, I suppose I’ll just need to make it again soon!

  146. Jane

    Fabulous cake and a huge crowd pleaser but it simply does not travel well. It’s a homebody. For one, it’s so tall that with the frosting it wouldn’t fit in any of my rectangular cake carriers. So I had to cut it into pieces and put it in my round cake carrier with the high top, but then I realized that transporting it (on the subway) with all those graceful dollops would be a total disaster, so I un-dolloped it and took a container of frosting with me and a kitchen torch (snuck it into my building – oops) and re-dolloped at work but the frosting, as you noted Deb, didn’t travel all that well separated from the cake so it was a bit softer than it needed to be. Then, after bringing the (very few) leftovers back, the frosting went completely limp and I had to re-fluff it at home. So, moral of the story: Keep this cake entirely to yourself and never let it leave home.

  147. Maureen

    How can you go wrong with sweet potatoes?! I just got around to making this tonight and it is perfect, despite the fact that my crazy oven made it dark brown around the edges at exactly 35 minutes. It is moist, light, sweet but not cloying, and has a beautiful crumb. This will be in the regular dessert rotation all winter. (Oh, and considering the fact that you have a toddler, your place looks amazing. Quit worrying!)

  148. Diana

    I got home from work late yesterday, took a nap, and as a result was wide awake for baking in the middle of the night. I tried your sweet potato cake without the frosting (I was too lazy and hungry) and it was scrumptious!! Thanks for the great recipe!..By the way, your home looks warm and wonderful!

  149. Sadie

    I made this cake yesterday and used yellow sweets. The frosting I made according to my Meringue Powder directions and it turned out rely yummy!(though if you have it{ Meringue powder} I would recommend using only half a recipe for meringue topping) I broiled it in the oven and it had gotten dark before cooked. So not so good at first( the meringue that is the cake was lovely) but today it set up beautifully and is extremely addictive!
    Thanks Deb!

  150. Sadie

    Hi again!
    I also wanted to add that I had to press the batter into the pan with dampened hands (so it wouldn’t stick but I don’t think it would of anyway). I am pretty sure I didn’t use to heavy a cup I always go lighter for you. Any suggestions as to why?

  151. deb

    Hi Sadie — You mean the cake batter? It is indeed very thick. I used an offset spatula to spread it flat. It shouldn’t be as thick as a bread dough, however.

  152. Sadie

    Thanks Deb!
    No it was not that thick. It was about the consistancy of bread dough before you’ve kneaded at all and you’ve just plopped it on the counter so when yuo press it stays there. I was going to resort to kneading next though!:)

  153. Vicki

    I finally go down to making this! Delicious! It was perfect, density was just right and everyone loved it! I made this in a 10in round pan with the same baking time and it came out great!
    Thanks Deb!

  154. Dorota

    I used this recipe to make a traditional gingerbread for the Christmas Eve (by adding more ground cloves, ground ginger and ground cinnamon). It was perfect! The best gingerbreaad I’ve ever tried – so moist and soft! Everyone was charmed :) thank you Deb and I wish you all the best for New Year. Greetings from Poland!

  155. Linda JB

    Thank you! I made this great cake GF for Christmas with the yummy cinnamon frosting linked in the comments. Replaced flour with 6oz. of all-purpose gluten free flour and 3.5oz. of chestnut flour. It traveled really well, thru Westside Hwy potholes and up four flights of stairs, not a crack, which for GF is remarkable. Everyone loved it! Finished off with glasses of eggnog during a late night family kitchen raid. Will definitely make it again.

  156. i wanted to report back belatedly just to say this cake was amazing. i made it for thanksgiving, for a crowd of 90% non americans (i live in france) because sweet potatoes are exotic and unusual here and i wanted to impress with something that would be considered weird. i didn’t wind up making the marshmallow frosting because i couldn’t find a blowtorch to borrow and there were some pre-dinner kitchen disasters that distracted me (including a third degree burn, a deep cut on my thumb and my stove blowing a fuse and going on strike 2 hours before guests arrived – which was all super fun). also my oven, i should mention, is one of these weird french ovens that are numbered 1-10 instead of having temperatures indicated, so it’s kind of like camping. the cake came out cooked but abnormally moist and not much like the photos so i must have chosen the wrong random number for the oven. so in the end the cake had a funny consistency and it was topped not with marshmallow frosting but with a mountain of whipped cream that a friend and i drunkenly whipped up at the last minute. and STILL the silence was deafening when everyone started to eat. every single guest (13) asked for the recipe, and one friend – a high school teacher – asked me if i could make stuff for the next school bake sale. all this is to say that this cake has magic qualities: pretty much everything that could have gone wrong with it did, and it was still mind blowingly good.

  157. Pam

    I had my eye on this recipe for a solid month before I finally made it. I’ve now made it twice. The first time the center was under cooked so the second time I reduced the oven temp to 325 (could be that my oven runs hot) and baked for 47 minutes. I also sprayed an 8 inch glass baking dish with Baker’s Joy and did not use parchment the second time with no problems. This does not last long – my daughter and husband eat it up.

    1. deb

      Pam — Good thinking. Glass bakeware almost always benefits from a 25 degree reduction in heat; most recipes assume people are using metal cake pans. Glad you enjoyed!

  158. WifeToAnAmazingCook

    I finally had a chance to make this and was not disappointed. The flavor was perfectly spiced and the cake delicious; I really liked the level of sweetness (i.e., not too sweet). I made it in a 9″ round with the same baking time and it came out beautifully. I was skeptical about the marshmallow frosting, but it was a hug hit (and there’s something so cathartic about using a mini blow torch after a stressful work day!). Next time I’ll try it with the cinnamon cream cheese frosting, because that sounds awesome, too.

  159. Kara

    I’ve just stumbled across this and have just made it! Is in the oven as I type. I am from Australia. Looking forward to my afternoon tea, the batter tasted yummy! I am putting cream cheese frosting on it though. Thankyou.

  160. Mary

    Hi there – I’ve made both this cake and the s’more layer cake from your cookbook; I think the frosting conversion is correct here, but incorrect in the book – it says 1c=100g sugar, when my measurement was 1c=200g sugar – which equals the rough 1-egg-white-to-50-g-sugar-for-meringue ratio I use in other baking. Using the cup, not the gram, measurement, it worked out beautifully and was a huge success.

    Are they 2 separate recipes, or is it a conversion error?


    1. deb

      Mary — Sorry you seem to have an error in your book. May I ask which edition/publisher yours is? My U.S. edition (the one closest to me) shows 1 cup sugar = 200 grams, which is correct. Hope to help; thanks.

  161. Mary

    Hiya – thanks for replying so quickly! Weird. It’s the US edition, but purchased in NZ – I’m not sure if my husband bought it online (from the US) or here (in NZ). Anyway, it’s First Edition, Borzoi/Alfred A Knopf. I’ll send you a picture of the page (264) via email.

    Also, I don’t know how you do it re: replies – my husband just put up a pre-release of a videogame and it’s quite popular; the email/twitter/facebook response has been huge. We’re stressing out about replying to it all in a timely manner and I now get it. So, anyway, big props to you for keeping it up all these years!

  162. Elaine

    Deb, if you or anyone here has thoughts on the possibility of turning this cake into a Passover-friendly recipe (cake meal? Potato starch?) I’d love to hear your thoughts.

  163. deb

    It might work. The texture is never the same — maybe a blender of matzo meal, potato starch and something like almond meal to replace the flour to give them each a chance to do their best. Would love to hear back about how it went. Thanks!

  164. SaraK

    The best thing about the picture of the living room is directly across what I believe is the menorah is the fine assortment of alcohol.

    Mazel tov.

  165. Lizzie

    I have attempted this frosting 3 times to no avail. It looks like it is forming stiff peaks, but when I frost the cake it melts into a puddle, definitely not pipe-able. Any suggestions to ensure that it stablizes? Is my apartment just too hot?

  166. Hi Deb,
    Wanted to ask you about the frosting. I remember my mom’s 7 minute icing from years ago, how after a few hours, it developed a hard, shell-like crust that made her famous grapefruit cream cake almost un-eatable. Does you recipe stay soft, or does it develop a crust, too? I’m thinking of resurrecting Mom’s cake at Christmas, and am trying to find a recipe that doesn’t harden, or weep like Cook’s Illus.’s recipe.


    1. deb

      Stephen — All marshmallow/7-minute frostings have the ability to crust, i.e. get that thin meringue-like shell. But I’ve never had a significant one, unless the cake had been left out for a few days. (The more it sits out, the more it dries; dried whipped sweetened egg whites = essentially, a meringue). Here, you’re charring it a little, so you shouldn’t get any crusting, or I never got any. I hope I’m remembering this part correctly, but just wanted to warn you my brain is not 100% these days :) but I may have noticed in the past less potential for crusting if the cake is kept in the fridge. Hope that helps.

  167. kati

    Hi! I really want to make this for a friend who loves sweet potato for her birthday cake – how would you adjust the timings for 2 regular 9-inch round cake pans (and would you double the recipe, or split the mix into half?). Thanks!

  168. C.P.

    Hi Deb! I have been thinking/ dreaming about this cake for a while now. I’m wondering how it might adapt as a loaf cake, say in the same vein as your everyday chocolate cake? I don’t think I should have to adjust the amount of of ingredients any, right? I am worried that the cake is not “sturdy” enough to stand as a loaf? Or if it will be significantly lost in flavor if I skip the frosting for a dusting of powdered sugar? Do you have any thoughts about tackling this adaptation? Or should I scratch it all together? Thanks!

  169. Lissy Grey

    I have an influx of sweet potatoes from my CSA so I was excited to find a new way to use them. I wanted to bring something into my office, so I made these in mini muffin pans, no frosting. They are somewhere between a savory and sweet bite. I would have liked them to be a little more moist, but they are getting lots of compliments from my coworkers!! Perfect bite sized snack all-day-long!!

  170. Mindy

    This was very good. I didn’t feel like messing with marshmallow frosting, so I used the cinnamon cream cheese frosting from the applesauce cake someone else suggested, and it was great (I doubled the frosting recipe because my cake turned out quite thick). And if your picky eaters are doubtful about sweet potatoes in their cake, just tell them it’s carrot cake.

  171. Jonna

    I really want to try making this with purple sweet potatoes, but I’ve read that using baking powder and soda will wreck the pretty color but self-rising flour won’t. Does that make sense? Could self-rising flour be used in this recipe?

  172. Marybeth

    We have a new squash at the market here. It is called a butterkin, a cross between a butternut and a sugar pumpkin. Cooked one for dinner and used the left overs for this cake. It baked up beautifully and smells divine. Making the frosting tomorrow afternoon….i just know this is a keeper. Thank you

  173. Kaye

    Hi Deb. It’s my son’s 3rd birthday next month and every year I seem to turn to your blog for baking inspiration! I’d really like to try this cake, but he wants a spiderman party (there are thankfully more adults at the party than kids) so I’ll need to decorate it somehow. What icing would you suggest I use? My other option is of course your red velvet cake, much more spiderman-ny, but I just don’t get red velvet cake. Any ideas?

    1. deb

      Kaye — For cake decorations, I like to keep it really simple. So, I’d say use whatever frosting/filling you’d like on the cake, then either hold some back (this marshmallow works fine because it’s pure white) or just make a small batch of a basic butter-powdered sugar buttercream (what I do more often) for tinting and piping on a decorative picture or words. This is a pretty poorly lit example, but my son wanted a rocket ship cake for his 5th birthday last September. I attempted to frost his cake with a dark blue/black for outer space (and learned Swiss buttercream doesn’t hold color well, but that won’t be an issue for you), and the only real decorating work I had to do was drawing on a rocket ship. No fondant, no plastic, etc. so I was happy. Hope that helps.

  174. Kaye

    Thank you Deb! I have never made this type of frosting before so didn’t realise I could smooth it on as for a kids cake. I might just do that, as I’m not a huge fan of buttercream frosting and tend to make a thick white chocolate ganache type icing that I can colour for the boys birthdays. Love the rocket, my soon to be 5 year old would love it for his party so might need to try imitate you again!

  175. Darci Gracey

    Made this for my daughter’s 15th b-day yesterday upon her request. Everyone loved it including my older daughter who doesn’t even like sweet potatoes and my husband who never tries new things.
    Great Success :)

  176. Melissa

    Hi Deb!
    I’m making s’mores cupcakes this weekend and I think this marshmallow frosting would be perfect for them–do you know what the cup yield is and how many cupcakes it would frost?

  177. Jenn

    I baked this cake for a 2nd time yesterday, and made it a gluten-free grain-free refined-sugar-free version to accommodate a friend. It worked out quite well! Here are the ingredients that were replaced if anyone else has similar food restrictions:

    Cake: – 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour became: 150g almond flour + 50g coconut flour + 50g arrowroot flour;
    – 1 cup (190 grams) packed light brown sugar became: 1/2 c coconut palm sugar + 1/2 c xylitol;
    Frosting: 3/4 cup granulated sugar became: 3/4 c coconut palm sugar

    Thanks again Deb for yet another great recipe!

  178. Sara B

    So, I’m not usually one to post but this is my second year making this delightful variation and it gets so many compliments I had to share: I made the recipe into cupcakes, then scooped out a little bit of each cupcake, filled that with some apple pie filling and then topped the whole thing with a maple cream cheese frosting. Let me tell you – it is fall in a cupcake. It’s, I believe, the way to extend this amazing recipe well beyond the reaches of Thanksgiving! Thanks for the amazing recipe which has delighted so many in my world.

  179. Aisha

    Hi Deb. I’m sorry if this comes across as excessively nerdy. I was looking for a 7-minute frosting recipe and hey, I found three! You’ve used different recipes on three different occasions (lemon layer cake, homemade devil dog cake and this one right here). I was wondering if toy noticed any difference in texture/flavor etc among them. You use corn syrup in two of the recipes (in varying quantities). Does that help avoid crusting? You also use different ratios of egg whites to sugar. Does that change the structure/stability of the frosting? So for being such a geek!

    1. deb

      Aisha — Yes, I know I have a few different versions and it’s confusing. They all work and I haven’t noticed any subtleties in how each works differently, if it does at all. This is the one I use the most often these days. All have a tendency to crust; it’s because of the egg whites, and will happen regardless of recipe. The crusting is very very subtle and thin and only happens after a couple days; it’s really not a bother and actually, I’m thinking it might happen a lot less under a cake dome? I can’t remember if I’ve tried this.

  180. Aisha

    Gah smartphones and typos. I’m guessing you figured out that toy=you
    And last sentence was supposed to read: so sorry for being such a geek

  181. Aisha

    Thank you so much for your answer, Deb. This might be my new go-to frosting from now on. I am a fan of your Swiss buttercream, but I figured out that my in-laws (who are the main audience for my celebration cakes because they totally outnumber my own family, so more birthdays on their side) don’t really like it. They kept commenting that my cakes were too sweet, although the cakes tasted fine to me and I don’t have much of a sweet tooth (I usually decrease the sugar in your recipes by at least 50 g, yes I know, sacrilege !) Then one day, after raving success with a few chiffon cakes (lots of sugar but barely a smidge of fat), it finally dawned on me that their issue was with the richness of the cakes rather than the sweetness. So, sadly, bye bye Swiss buttercream…

  182. Ann

    Hi Deb! I’m going to make this for my son’s first birthday party in two weeks! Is it possible to make it ahead, freeze it, and thaw it prior to frosting? Thank you! His first (and favorite) food was sweet potatoes so I’m excited to have found this recipe.

      1. Lindsay

        Ann, I have made this cake many times for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but came here specifically to search the comments for anyone who’d asked about freezing it… I’m also going to make it for my daughter’s first birthday party this weekend! Sweet potatoes are also her favorite food :) I’m going to make three of them and I’d rather not make three in one evening, so I’m starting early. Thank you Ann for asking this question, and thank you Deb for answering it!

  183. Anne

    I made this tonight. The cake batter was so dense and so thick when I mixed in the dry ingredients that I was a little stuck and did not know what to do. Sounds weird but I added a cup of milk in the batter there and stirred the whole thing again. Still pretty thick but pourable into my loaf pan. Came out delicious, soft in the middle with a crackly crust on top. Cooked through in 45m. We ate it without frosting and it was good as is. Thank you for the inspiration.

  184. Ann

    Just wanted to circle back from my previous post (281) and say the frozen-then-thawed cake was a huge hit not only with my one year old, but also with all the party guests. Thanks, Deb!

  185. Rachel

    I’ve read this post more than once (revisiting the recipe for this awesome cake–a perfect way to use up sweet potatoes that both my kids insist are too sweet for dinner). My own “ah-ha” moment with my home came when I realized that I didn’t want people to think “what a beautiful home.” I want my home to reflect the interesting people who live there.

  186. Julia

    Your apartment pic looks great to me, I mean, you can still see the wood floor and the rug, so there couldn’t be too much clutter around. BTW, the floor and the rug are beautiful! Your recipes are SO overwhelmingly good!

  187. Avi

    Hi Deb, this cake looks so yum and I’m hoping given the “moisture” from the sweet potatoes it will covert to GF flour ok…shall let you know. Two Q’s for you, had a scroll and don’t think you’ve already answered them but apologies if you have!
    1. Why not blitz the sweet pots in a food processor? I don’t have a ricer so suspect mashed by hand may not be as smooth as yours.
    2. I don’t have a blow torch, could I try and put the icing under the grill? It sounds a bit like Italian Meringue (from the little I know from
    Great British Bakeoff! ;) are you just looking for it to get some colour?
    Super psyched to try this one! Thanks! :)

  188. deb

    Avi — Food processors are terrible for potatoes; they make them gluey (breaking up the gazillion watery molecules) — that’s why we mash. Not sure about the grill but I know people have run it under the broiler with success. (Or maybe that’s what you meant?)

  189. Avi

    Thanks Deb! Good to know about the food processor! Yup, grill is English for (American) broiler ;) happy thanksgiving from across the pond!

  190. LM

    For those asking about coconut oil: I made it with that instead of butter over the Thanksgiving holiday and it came out GREAT! We also had leftover fresh roasted pumpkin so I used that – broken up with a hand blender – instead of sweet potato.

    I love cake but have temporarily had to go dairy free and have had a hard time finding good dairy free frosting. This one was exactly right. Thank you!!

  191. Pam

    I first made this wonderful cake when we lived in Florida. Because I lead a rushed life there I never got around to making the frosting. (One day I will get to it!) Each time I mixed up a little sour cream and maple syrup and served each piece with a dollop of that. YUM.
    Now we live in Berlin, Germany and I am going to make it again for a cake and coffee get together on Saturday afternoon. I think I will stick with the sour cream topping, German deserts are usually not too sweet.
    Thanks Deb for all your inspiration and for sharing with us where ever we are!

  192. natasha

    i made this for an alternative to thanksgiving pie. batter was really thick going into the pan (i used an 8″ square) so it was hard to flatten out (didn’t look like yours coming out of the oven either). if i had been motivated more i would have evened it off after baking but i just put the marshmallow frosting (complete with similar dollops) over the unevenness. it received RAVE reviews with only a few suggestions — seemed a little dry or almost needed a middle/layer of frosting so i might cut it or make 2 shallow 8″ squares next time and layer it. or a larger square for a better cake to frosting ratio. regardless, it was DELICIOUS. thank you!

  193. Anne Marie Papandrea

    My daughter has requested a vanilla layer cake with pink marshmallow frosting for her 16th birthday. I’d love to use this frosting recipe. Would it work well in between layers or would it be too soft? If I do use it, would I need to double the recipe in order to have enough to frost and fill an 8″ or 9″ round cake?

  194. Betsy

    I had been searching for marshmallow topping for s’mores inspired wedding cake / cupcakes. This was perfect! It turned out beautiful! I was so happy and so was the bride! Thank you!

    1. Becca

      My baby turned her nose up at the sweet potato purée that I so lovingly made… so I turned it into these cupcakes! Despite the recommendation to not use blended sweet potato, they turned out lovely. <3

  195. I loved making this cake so much! Everyone kept asking me for the recipe when I made it for my fall housewarming party. It’s not too sweet, and the marshmallow frosting is SOOO impressive. I used my broiler to toast the marshmallows since I didn’t have a kitchen torch.

  196. Maryam

    Hello Deb, if you remember could I please ask what size pan these ingredients measurements are for? Basically I want to make a bigger version of this cake and I was going to attempt making it in a large rectangular tin that I have and wanted to see if it would work if I double the ingredients. Would be grateful for your advice. Huge thanks.

  197. Caroline

    I love this cake, I’ve made it twice now and used a cinnamon cream cheese frosting. I was going to try the marshmallow frosting, can I frost it the night before? Or should I wait until the day of and toast it then? I wasn’t sure how the toasted marshmallow frosting would hold up overnight. Thanks! Caroline

  198. TRE

    This made a beautiful cake! I followed the recipe except for two minor changes. I used a 28 cm tart pan, and I folded into the batter a batch of “caramel shards” such as I saw in a recent blondie recipe on Orangette blog. I like the little hits of moister, caramelly flavor distributed through the cake, and as for the marshmallow frosting, it was my first time to play with fire in the kitchen (lots of fun!).

  199. Betsy

    I had been searching for a toasted marshmallow frosting and this was perfect! I made chocolate cupcakes (your Guinness cupcake is my go to) with chocolate SMB, toasted graham cracker crust crumbs and topped with this frosting. It toasted perfectly and smelled just like s’mores. Thank you!

    1. Lindsay

      I made them as muffins for my 1-year-old’s birthday so she didn’t have a huge cake to contend with. I had to pay closer attention to cooking time — I believe they took a bit less than the whole cake called for, but I iced them just the same with the marshmallow and torched the tops. They were easy to give away to people, too!

  200. Kathy Belanger

    This recipe makes a very stiff batter. I added about 1/4 cup of milk, just to make it possible to stir in all the flour. After baking, it had a high domed center and a very craggy surface. I will have to slice that off to make a flat surface to rest on the plate. But the batter was delicious, and I’m pretty sure the cake will be too.

  201. Jaime Rose

    I made this cake for Thanksgiving. It’s definitely going to be a staple from now on. It makes a pretty presentation, but tastes even better than it looks. The Apple slab pie is already required eating in our house as well.

  202. Marianne Porter

    I truly hate the traditional sweet potato covered in sweet glop and marshmallows casserole but I actually like sweet potatoes. So I made this for T’giving dessert. Came out very good. The cake is not dead sweet, and the meringue worked very well. And it looks spectacular. The batter is quite dense going into the pan, but don’t worry, it bakes fine.

  203. Kalai

    I made this for a girls brunch I was hosting. Baked in a bundt pan, doubled the Ginger and vanilla and reduced the sugar slightly, as I felt the potatoes were quite sweet. Swirled the frosting on top and placed it under my oven broiler for 30s. Watched it like a hawk! Excellent moist cake that was devoured by all. Will make again!

  204. I am not a fan of marshmallow/meringue-type frosting, so I used this brown butter sage cream cheese recipe for the frosting instead (at Was AMAZING – highly recommend if you want to make this cake but need a different cover. Also helped it make less of an “autumn” themed cake. Cake itself was delicious – I upped the sweet potato quantity and got an EXTREMELY moist and dense cake – challenging to work with, but highly approved of by eaters.

  205. Kate

    If this helps anyone – I made this as cupcakes, doubled the recipe and used canned sweet potato (25oz total), which yielded 24 cupcakes almost perfectly. So the recipe not doubled should give you 12 cupcakes. I baked for 25 minutes at 350°.

  206. Megan

    If I slow roast sweet potatoes a la your 2018 recipe, would they work well here? I was thinking I’d slow roast the potatoes, dial back the sugar just a little.

  207. Hannah

    This cake was truly—and I mean this in the most high-class and eloquent way possible—amazeballs. I took two bites, said “This is the best thing I’ve ever made” to my husband (who agreed) and started sending the link to everyone I know.

    The cake itself was perfect and incredible exactly as written. For altitude reference, I made it at sea level.

    The frosting *tasted* amazing, exactly like marshmallows, and toasted perfectly under the broiler on low for about a minute and a half (watching it the whole time). However, I couldn’t get it to be fluffy like the pictures/description. I followed the directions as closely as possible, but I must’ve gone wrong somewhere.

    Did the sugar need to be added to the egg whites gradually? Would it go flat as a result of not heating the egg white-sugar-cream of tartar mixture sufficiently? I also accidentally started mixing it with the paddle attachment on my stand mixer instead of the whisk attachment. Could that have done it?

    Would love any and all tips on the frosting. I’m a total merengue amateur, but I know any of those factors can contribute. I’m going to try making it again soon because at this point I can’t imagine not having this cake in my fridge 24/7.

  208. Cindy Bomzer-Stein

    I made this for Thanksgiving this. Normally we have a dozen people over and one of our guests is gluten free, so I usually just bring in desserts from a local gluten free bakery. Since it was just my husband and I this year, I wanted to try different dessert and so I tried this. Oh my, the cake is phenomenal. I could have eaten just the cake with just some powdered sugar sprinkled on top, that’s how good it was, but I decided to try a marshmallow buttercream. My husband loved it, while I thought it was a little sweet with the frosting. However, this cake is the best ever. Well done on another fabulous recipe.

  209. Abe G Heller

    This was fun. I made it for my wife’s birthday with a big ‘M’ piped on top. I recommend using 4 egg whites for the merengue and keep the rest of the ingredients the same. This could also make a fun craft cake, because the merengue is so sticky, you could decorate the whole cake with candy – gingerbread style. The sweet potato cake might be good for breakfast with coffee, but I would not know anything about that ;)

  210. Katherine

    I make this in a loaf pan with cream cheese frosting and it’s a massive hit. It is absolutely delicious.

    Also the recipe says not to blend the sweet potato in a food processor, but I accidentally did without reading the recipe properly and everything turned out fine.

  211. Molly

    I made this on Halloween for a dinner party with King Arthur GF flour and (sad, I know) DF Earth Balance butter. To top off the modifications, I did the unthinkable and used a round pan.

    All that said, it turned out incredibly well! And was just beautiful. Everyone loved it and I will definitely make again. Our guests said the top looked as though it was going to be too sweet, and thought it was perfect.

  212. Molly Notestine

    I expected to adore this, given my deep abiding love of sweet potatoes and any sort of pumpkin cake/bread. Maybe it was the quality of my sweet potatoes, but I just wasn’t wowed. Only commenting in case others are, as I often am, torn between 2 or 3 recipes. Next time I’ll make the Carrot Graham cake or the SKED S’mores Cake (both amazing, both with the marshmallowy topping), the Essential Pumpkin bread, the Sweet Potato Buttermilk Pie, or any of the gingerbread cake recipes (maybe even with this marshmallow frosting).