Sweet Potato Layer Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

Sweet Potato Layer Cake
Sweet Potato Layer Cake. Zaira Zarotti/Moment Open /Getty Images
  • 40 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 16 Servings
Ratings (9)

This sweet potato cake is finished with a rich and creamy cream cheese frosting. Top the frosted cake with some extra chopped walnuts or pecans or toasted coconut.

Use freshly boiled or baked sweet potatoes or use canned mashed sweet potatoes or sweet potato puree.

What You'll Need

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 1 cup cooked sweet potatoes (peeled and mashed)
  • Optional: 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • Optional: 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)
  • 1 teaspoon maple (or vanilla extract)
  • For Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 16 ounces cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 2 pounds confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Optional: 1/2 to 1 cup chopped walnut, pecans, or toasted coconut

How to Make It

Heat the oven to 350 F (180 C/Gas 4).

Grease and flour three 8-inch round cake pans.

In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer, cream the shortening with the granulated and brown sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the mashed sweet potatoes and beat until well blended.

In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, soda, and spices, if using.

In three additions, beat the dry ingredients into the creamed sweet potato mixture, alternating with the milk and ending with the flour mixture. Very dry sweet potatoes might require a bit more milk. 

Fold in the 1 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans and the 1 teaspoon of vanilla or maple flavoring.

Divide the batter equally among the prepared cake pans.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until the layers bounce back when lightly touched with a finger.

Cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Turn out onto racks to cool completely.

Frost the tops of the three layers and then stack them on a cake plate or platter. Frost the sides.

If desired, top with chopped walnuts, pecans, or coconut. See below for toasting instructions.

Cream Cheese Frosting

In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat the softened cream cheese and butter until smooth. With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar. Beat in the 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. Continue beating until light and fluffy.

*To toast the nuts or coconut, spread them out in a single layer in a dry skillet. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring, until lightly browned and aromatic.

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Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 726
Total Fat 35 g
Saturated Fat 16 g
Unsaturated Fat 10 g
Cholesterol 89 mg
Sodium 349 mg
Carbohydrates 99 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Protein 7 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)