I spent most of this past Sunday in the kitchen, and it was SO NICE!! I made this cake, and then a real dinner – like with sides and everything. It was turkey meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and green beans, and then we had this cake for dessert. It just felt awesome. I've been feeling more engaged with cooking and baking at home lately thanks to a new app. Kristin gives the BEST app recommendations. Every time she comes to visit, I lose a little more space on my phone thanks to something I can't believe I lived without. This time it was Pepperplate, a meal-planning app that also stores recipes, and provides shopping lists based on your meal plans. This is not at all a sponsored post, by the way! I'm just in love with this app. It's been making planning, shopping, and cooking a lot easier for us.
So since forever, when I think about sweet potatoes, I think about sweet potato fries (yum). Maybe about sweet potato in some kind of casserole. But not dessert – and definitely not cake. When I was traveling in Washington DC earlier this month, I saw lots of little signs in various bakeries and coffee shops advertising "DC Classic: Sweet Potato Cake!" I had never heard of it, and couldn't try any that we came across since it wasn't gluten-free (although I'm sure a GF version does exist in the city; I wish we'd had time to search for it!). I love trying foods that places are known for, don't you? So I decided once I got home I'd make my own sweet potato cake, and try the DC classic for myself.
I modified a recipe from the Food Network to fit my tastes (and dietary needs), and baked it up on Sunday. This cake is damn good. My wife Kristie and I both loved it. And even though the recipe calls for such a large amount of flour, the cake was still so light and soft (we were nervous about subbing GF flour). Kristie's already requested this as her birthday cake (in December, but still). The cinnamon and nutmeg had our whole house smelling like Thanksgiving, but luckily the cake itself is versatile enough that I wouldn't be surprised to find myself craving it any time of year.
Gluten-free Sweet Potato Cake
For the cake
- 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose gluten-free flour (I always recommend Cup4Cup)
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups cooked mashed sweet potatoes
For the frosting
- 16 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 cup butter, softened
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350º F. Make sure the rack is in the center position. Grease two 9-inch pans or three 8-inch pans.
- In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and brown sugar on low speed, and then increase to medium and beat until well combined. Gradually add the dry ingredients and beat on low speed until just incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg. Add vanilla and sweet potatoes and blend on low until thoroughly mixed.
- Pour batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Allow cakes to cool in pans for 10 minutes, then invert them onto a rack and allow them to cool completely.
- To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter on medium speed in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add vanilla and beat until incorporated. Gradually add powdered sugar and beat on low speed until smooth.