Who says vegetables don't go in cake? Try this spin on the classic sweet potato dish.

We've got Thanksgiving on the brain, specifically those delectable, flavorful, versatile sweet potatoes. While we all love the old standby sweet potato casserole topped with toasted marshmallows, there are plenty more ways this tasty veggie can be served up on this year’s Thanksgiving table or any other time of year. 

One of the most delicious ways to use sweet potatoes is in cake, and this is a great treat year-round. Fans of carrot cake will likely love this version of sweet potatoes, as the two share similar ingredients. Sweet potato cake is easy to make and will delight your taste buds—you can even add some to the frosting (but more on that later!). 

Recipe for Sweet Potato Cake


  • 3 or 4 boiled, peeled, mashed, and cooled sweet potatoes (use at least 2 cups; this is a great use for leftover sweet potato casserole)
  • 2 and 3/4 cups flour (+ about 2 tablespoons extra if at high altitude)
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter or 1 cup margarine(can substitute oil if desired)
  • 1 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup milk 
  • 1/2 cup Raisins if desired 
  • Pecans, walnuts, or almonds if desired


  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Prepare 2 round cake pans or one large sheet pan with butter and flour, then line with parchment paper and butter the paper lightly
  • Mix together dry ingredients and spices and set aside
  • Beat together the butter, sugar, and vanilla, then add in the beaten egg mixture
  • Add sweet potatoes and beat until smooth
  • Add dry ingredients to the mixture, beat on low speed until incorporated, try not to over-mix
  • Add nuts, raisins, or even mix in chocolate chips if you want
  • If the batter seems too dry, add a splash more milk; if it seems too wet and runny, add a small amount of flour. Remember to add the extra flour if baking at higher elevations. Divide batter into two pans or spread evenly in a sheet pan

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 55 minutes, but start checking for doneness around 45 minutes. The two will start to brown and the cake can be tested with a toothpick or knife. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then flip onto the cooling rack and remove the parchment paper from the bottom. Let the cake fully cool before frosting. Freezing the layers or chilling them in the fridge for a couple of hours helps keep the cake’s structure for frosting. 

Note: the sugar can be halved if you want a cake that is not as sweet. 

This can be served alone or with frosting, or nuts can be added as a topper as well.

A lemon-honey cream cheese glaze is a wonderful topper for this cake, as is a smooth cream cheese buttercream. But a very simple frosting can be made with sweet potatoes, too. A simple trick is to blend pureed sweet potatoes with melted chocolate chips (semisweet and bittersweet work well) for a decadent and sweet chocolate frosting. To do this, just bring the potato puree to a simmer and remove from heat. Fold in the chocolate, and stir until smooth. 

Sweet potatoes are very versatile and can be a savory side dish or the centerpiece of a delectable dessert. What is your favorite way to use sweet potatoes? Share your preferred recipes with us in the comments!