sweet potato coffee cake

March 9, 2010 at 7:10 pm 2 comments

I was on a mission. A sweet potato using-up mission. Sitting at my computer and trusting my fate to a Google search, I sifted through recipe after recipe, hoping that one would speak to me. And then, out of nowhere, it hit me.

A pineapple craving.

Uh…now what?

Well, we all know that a sweet potato is basically the autumn-bred lovechild of a pumpkin and a potato (NOTE: this is not actually true. It is in fact more like a tuberous morning glory. Thanks, Wiki). So I broadened my search to include pumpkin recipes, and then I found it. Pumpkin coffee cake! I hadn’t taken a breakfast goodie in to work yet, so this spoke to me. But alas, no pineapple.

Of course, the nature of the blog is experimentation, right? Nothing ventured, nothing gained? In the spirit of adventure, I just dumped some pineapple in (or rather, gently folded it into the finished batter – I do have some discretion) and hoped for the best.

The resulting coffee cake was perhaps a little denser than it would have been, had I actually known anything about baking chemistry, but it was wolfed down appreciatively at work. One coworker called it my best yet, and one came by my office the next day, jokingly complaining that I’d taken home the remaining two slices. Not too shabby.

Anybody know the best way to counteract the denseness that my pineapple addition caused? I’m guessing it would involve adding flour, but I expect there’s more to it than that. In the meantime, dense or not, it’s pretty darn good. Let me know what you think!

Sweet Potato Coffee Cake

Adapted from Not So Humble Pie (which is adapted from Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms)

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1  1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed*
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2  1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1  1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple

Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray the inside of a spring form pan with nonstick cooking spray. Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit in the bottom of the pan, and place inside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until well blended. Add the sweet potatoes, eggs and vanilla; mix thoroughly. Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Mix on medium speed until combined. Fold in the crushed pineapple.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with streusel topping (see below) and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Streusel Topping:

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped

In a small bowl, combine the flour, both sugars, cinnamon, melted butter and walnuts, stirring until a crumbly mixture forms. Sprinkle over coffee cake before baking.

Not So Humble Brown Butter Icing:

  • 1  1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1  1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • whole milk (I used heavy cream since I had it on hand and only stock 1% milk)

In a small saucepan, heat the butter over medium low heat, until fragrant and the butter solids are golden brown. Pour the butter into the sugar and stir to combine. Continue to mix, adding one tablespoon of milk at a time until you have a pourable icing.

Drizzle over the cooled cake.

*I baked my sweet potatoes on a baking sheet for 45 minutes at 400F, but my oven runs hot, so 45-60 minutes is a good range. After letting them cool, the skins were loose and easy to peel off just with my fingers. I dropped them into a bowl and mashed them with a fork. A few chunks of sweet potato never hurt anyone.


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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Travis  |  March 9, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    I’m a big fan of sweet potato sandwhiches or sweet potato and apples. If you have any more around let me know and I could dig out the recipes for you

  • 2. erin  |  March 15, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    I’m fresh out, but nothing’s stopping me from getting more! I’d love your recipes 🙂


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