Sweet potato chocolate cake

Sweet potato chocolate cake

sweet potato chocolate cake

Happy weekend, guys! Ours has been a roller coaster of emotions so far and there is more to come, I’m sure. We finally got our house keys yesterday and were able to go back to OUR (still doesn’t feel like it) house to check it out, measure things and ponder the best course of action.

The house looked really weird without any furniture in it and even though we knew this would happen, it freaked us out a little as it exposed a lot of small niggles that were hiding behind things and also made the place look much smaller. Well, we’ve seen it with all the furniture in it, so unless the house shrunk with the economy in anticipation of Brexit 😉 , it’s all good – we will be able to fit all the necessary furniture items in comfortably.

After we’ve been able to take a closer look at the place, it suddenly dawned on us how much work lies ahead of us. It’s exciting and also slightly daunting and overwhelming at the same time. Luckily, we’ll have no spare cash for a while so that very much informs our next steps. Big expensive things like putting a new floor in or modernizing the kitchen will have to wait until we bounce back a little. So to begin with, we’ve decided to tackle the smallest room in the house – the study. It’s currently painted a ghastly lilac and the walls have plenty of screw holes in them, so that’s the room we are going to cut our teeth on. We want to put a nice floor in there too, but that will have to wait until we are ready to purchase the floor for the entire level.

Next on the DIY list is the living room, which requires some serious wallpaper stripping, prepping and painting of the walls, ripping the carpet off and getting rid of some antiquated inbuilt cupboards. These two rooms should keep us occupied for a few months and then we will see. I’m trying to fight my usual instinct to think about everything that needs doing all at once, as that only ever leaves me overwhelmed, stressed, drained and ineffective. It’s going to be a shambles for a while. We have some guests coming in April and then in June and there is a real chance that we will need to eat our meals cross-legged on the floor, but they’ve been warned and they do not seem that bothered.

I actually quite like DIY (I may be singing from a different song sheet a few months from now) as it involves a lot of learning and attention to detail and the results are immensely fulfilling. So our plan is to do as much as we can ourselves and only just hire professionals for things like kitchen installation, plastering, electrics etc.

While all this house-related excitement has been going on, I still somehow managed to finalise a chocolate cake recipe, which I think you’ll want to get your mitts on… It’s deeply chocolatey, delicious and indulgent, yet both the cake itself and the buttercream are based on a vegetable. Yes, that’s right. They utilise a sweet potato, but like Duncan, our neighbour and a few other people who got to try it, you would never have guessed. It’s delicious on its own, but for an extra special treat and a great balance of flavours, I like to serve it with a dollop of thick coconut yoghurt and a spoonful of cherry compote. Enjoy, while I shall get back to reading up on Victorian house renovation.

sweet potato chocolate cake baked

sweet potato chocolate cake frosting

sweet potato chocolate cake icing

sweet potato chocolate cake slices

makes
2 lb cake
PREP
20 min
COOKING
60 min
makes
2 lb cake
PREPARATION
20 min
COOKING
60 min
INGREDIENTS
FROSTING

  • 110 g / ½ cup HOT mashed cooked sweet potato*
  • 100 g / 3.5 oz vegan dark chocolate (I used 70% cacao), chopped roughly
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup or plant milk

WET INGREDIENTS

  • 110 g / ½ cup mashed cooked sweet potato*
  • 360 ml / 1½ cup almond milk (or other thin plant milk)
  • 120 ml / ½ cup smooth hazelnut or almond butter
  • 200 g / 1 cup sugar (I used coconut sugar for refined sugar free version)

DRY INGREDIENTS

  • 180 g / 1½ cups all purpose wheat flour or GF all purpose flour mix (I use this one)
  • 75 g / ¾ cup cacao powder
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • ½ tsp of baking soda
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt

METHOD
FROSTING

  1. Place ½ cup of hot sweet potato in a food processor together with roughly chopped chocolate. Process until all the chocolate has melted and you get a smooth frosting.
  2. Taste and add maple syrup if you feel that the mixture lacks sweetness (depends on how sweet your chocolate is and on your preference). If not using maple syrup, add almond milk to achieve a more spreadable consistency. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

CAKE

  1. Warm up the oven to 180° C / 355° F and line a 900 g / 2 lb cake tin with baking paper. Move the oven rack a notch down from the middle position.
  2. Process ½ cup of sweet potato in the food processor with ½ cup of almond milk. Once smooth, add the remaining wet ingredients and whizz until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. If you don’t have a food processor, you could probably mash sweet potato with a fork by adding a splash of almond milk (from the amount of milk the recipe calls for) to get a smooth puree before adding the remaining wet ingredients. If you do use a food processor, make sure you scrape all of the wet mixture that stays on the lid, blade etc. using a spatula so that the ratio of wet to dry ingredients remains correct.
  3. Sift all the dry ingredients into another bowl and mix well until thoroughly combined.
  4. Add dry ingredients to the wet ones in three batches, folding well each time. Fold gently with a spatula until there is no dry flour left, but do not overmix (that’s important if you are using a flour containing gluten)!
  5. Transfer the cake batter into the prepared baking tin. It should be thick.
  6. Bake for about 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool down completely before applying the icing.

NOTES
*220 g / 1 cup mashed sweet potato equals 400 g raw unbaked sweet potato. To bake the potatoes, set the oven to 200° C / 390° F and grab a small baking tray / dish. Pierce the potatoes with a sharp knife or a skewer in several places and place them on the baking tray. Bake for about 40-50 minutes (depending on their size), until the knife slides right in.

I used a 2 lb / 900 g cake tin of the following dimensions: 18.5cm x 8cm x 6cm. (I used one like this). It holds 8 cups / 2000 ml liquid (to the brim), but the batter should fill no more than 2/3 – 3/4 of the 2lb cake tin or else the cake may not raise.

This recipe is adapted from my earlier recipe for chocolate chilli muffins.

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NUTRITIONAL INFO
calories
256
13%
sugars
25 g
28%
fats
6 g
9%
saturates
2 g
9%
proteins
5 g
11%
carbs
46 g
18%
*per serving
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5.0
12 reviews, 50 comments
REVIEWS & QUESTIONS
Julie Elliott:
There are few things better than this recipe. At this point I have made it more times than I can remember. Have fun with it! You cannot go wrong! We changed up the nut butters ( peanut butter does not disappoint) Changing/ mixing types of flour to change the consistency, little bit of whiskey in the frosting etc. Regardless this is , simply, the best.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Aw, thanks so much, I am thrilled to hear that this recipe has become such a staple in your household! Oh, and what a great idea to add some whiskey to the frosting, might do that next time I make it :) x Ania
Barbara:
Can I substitute nut butter for regular butter? And is the texture dry enough so it can be cut in half? I would like to make a sacher torte out of this. Do you think it would work? Thank you.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Barbara,
    Yes on the substitution (full disclosure: I haven't tested it but I'm pretty sure). This cake is not meant to be dry, but I suppose you could dry it out by baking it for a little longer. Good luck if you do decide to try. Ania
Helen:
I made this with the sweet potatoes and it was amazingly tender and delicious. Wonder if mashed bananas can be substituted for sweet potatoes? Thanks!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Great to hear that you enjoyed this cake, Helen. I haven't tried, but I do have a banana chocolate cake/bread recipe that is very popular and 100% works so you are better off using that recipe instead if you would rather use bananas. Hope this helps! Ania
Hi I was going to make this recipe but I’m so confused by the measurements for the sweet potato?? Why does it say 200g of uncooked sweet potato but then switch to cups for the cooked and mashed measurement? How much sweet potato should I use?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi there,
    I provide both metric and US cup/oz measurements side by side to cater for everybody. 200 g raw sweet potato equals ½ cup cooked and mashed (approx. 110g once cooked) and this is how much you need for the cake and the same amount again if you are planning on making the icing too. Hope this helps! Ania
Andy:
Such a delicious cake, the sweet potato gives it a really delicate texture. Thank you!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you, Andy! I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed it and thanks for taking the time to let me and other readers know. Ania
Selene Dyavanapalli:
I made this cake and it was delicious. My kids ate it all! it The cake is tender and fluffy! Thank you for your wonderful website and recipes, I am really enjoying them :)
    Ania
    Ania:
    My pleasure, Selene! I'm delighted to hear that you enjoyed it and thanks for taking the time to let me know. Ania
Laura Evison:
Is it possible to make this with butternut squash instead of sweet potato?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Laura,
    I have not tried, but they should work in a similar manner. Feels like maybe potato has lower water content though so that's something to be aware of although it won't make a massive difference, possibly require longer baking time. Hope this helps! Ania
Marian:
I'd like to know if this cake freezes well please.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Marian,
    Yes, it does! Hope that helps! Ania
Madhav:
I love this recipie and recommend it to all my friends!!! and now i want to make this again just from looking at it tonight!!!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you so much for your kind words, Madhav. I am really happy to hear that it's become such a favourite of yours! Ania
Monica:
I made it twice and my children love it. My daughter normally hates sweet potatoes and she literally inhaled the cakes. Obviously I didn’t tell her about the ingredients!!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Yes!! What a win! I'm delighted to hear that it went down so well with everyone including your kids, which (so I hear) can be the most demanding of diners :) Thank you for letting me know that it was such a hit! Ania
Sarah:
I’ve just cooked mine! Can’t wait to try it tomorrow! Is this healthier than a normal chocolate cake? Less calories?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Sarah,
    Glad to hear you made it and I hope you'll enjoy it! I am not sure as I don't really count calories, but I suspect so. Depends what specific recipe you compare it to, of course. Ania
Juan Diego Sanchez:
Hi Ania, I just tried to make the cake. It's cooling down right at this moment haha. However, I hesitated a lot with the quantity of the sweet potato. In total, is it one sweet potato of 200 g? You say to add 1/2 cup of S. potato (which is 64 g I guess) And I didn't know what to do with the rest. Could you explain me a little bit? Cheers
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Juan,
    Sounds like you succeeded at making the cake. What I meant with sweet potato is that 200 g raw potato (which in my case was one small one) gives you 1/2 cup of cooked potato mash - which is how much is needed for the cake and for the frosting. If you have any left over you can just eat it as mashed potato or add to thicken a soup or make fritters - there are so many options. Hope that helps and that you enjoyed the cake. Cheers! Ania
Jes:
Hi, will i be able to replace the almond butter with peanut butter or will that ruin the taste? I seem to only be able to find peanut butter at the stores...thanks :)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Jes,
    No, not at all, provided you like that combo. It will turn out well, I am sure. I hope you'll enjoy it. x Ania
Dominika:
This cake is divine! I've just made it (without frosting) and I can't stop eating it ;)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks, Dominika! I am delighted to hear that! Ania
Jennifer:
Hi could I use steamed potato instead of baked?
    Ania
    Ania:
    I haven't tried, but I am pretty sure it would work just as well. Good luck! Ania
LiLo Reese:
I made this recipe twice by now and every time it come out just perfect. I am making into muffins though.
This time I added some chopped up apples and it was even moister. It always is a hit. I love your recipes and have tried quite a lot already. I also love that
beet root hummus. It is out of this world.
Thank you for the effort you put into this so we can have delicious food.
Blessings
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks, LiLo! I am delighted to hear that and thank YOU for taking the time to let me know that you are enjoying my recipes. x Ania
Sarah:
I'm usually sceptical when people say that no one realised it was a 'healthy' recipe but in this case it's actually true! I made it in a larger pan so it came out flatter & so moist that I just called them brownies & they're one of my favourite ever brownies that I've made! I agree with several comments that the bake time might need to be a bit longer, but then as I used a different size tin I was expecting to adjust the bake time anyway!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks, Sarah! I am very pleased that you liked it! Btw, if it resembles a brownie then there is too much moisture in the batter (someone had this issue before as they used too much sweet potato by mistake). Although if you are happy with the outcome then why not have it a bit denser. As for the baking time, it really does depend on the size of the tin, the amount of batter and the individual oven unfortunately too. I have tested it several times in my oven and I stand by the timings specified in the recipe for a 2lb / 900g tin, but, like I say, ovens do wary, which is why the toothpick check is handy. Hope that helps! Ania
Katherinne Navarrete:
Thanks for sharing this recipe!. I made them into cupcakes, I used tahini instead of nut butter because my kids have nut allergy. I did add 1tbsp of apple cider vinegar just to be sure it could rise. The result was amazing, so moist and fluffy, absolutely will be part of my favourite vegan cakes. Also the frosting is delicious!
    Ania
    Ania:
    I am delighted to hear that, Katherinne. And thank you for taking the time to let me know that you enjoyed this recipe so much! x Ania
Paula:
Hi Ania,
I had some leftover sweet potato, so I baked this cake yesterday for my partner who needed a sweet treat. It was delicious! The hazelnut butter made it smell and taste incredibly.
Thanks for so many great recipes!
Paula
    Ania
    Ania:
    That's lovely to hear, Paula! Thank you! x Ania
Sue:
Do you take the skin off of the sweet potato?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Yes, for this application, I do! Ania
Carol McCollum:
Sounds yummy!! Wondering... if I substituted honey or pure maple syrup for 1/2 the coconut sugar, what adjustment might I need to make in order for the cake to not be too wet inside?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Carol,
    It definitely would need reduction in almond milk, but how much exactly I cannot say for certain. My guess is 0.25 cup less, but that's just a guess. Ania
Clarina:
Hi Ania,
Thanks for your response! I used caster sugar for this recipe so I'm guessing it's my oven - I've noticed it doesn't bake very evenly and just isn't very reliable in general so probably nothing to do with your recipe. I was still very happy with the result and will try again :)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Oh, I see. Yes, it might be that. Oven issues are tricky as quite difficult to rectify. I hope you'll be able to get it fixed without having to spend a fortune. I'm pleased to hear that you enjoyed the cake regardless. x Ania
Gemma:
A lovely recipe, definitely my favourite vegan chocolate cake as others taste of soda too much. The texture of this is lovely too. I have to admit though, I didn't read the recipe properly and I boiled my potato instead of roasting it so I don't know if it would be even better when roasted. Thankyou for sharing x
    Ania
    Ania:
    I'm delighted to hear that, Gemma! Boiling the potato is fine too, it probably introduced a touch more moisture to the recipe than baking it, but if you were happy with the texture of the cake then that's all good. Ania
jenn d:
OMG I made these into cupcakes. These are delicious, especially if you heat them up a little in the microwave. YUM!!!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks Jenn! I'm delighted to hear that! Ania
Carol Kidney:
Hi Ania,
This looks amazing and I want to give this a try ASAP . Is there ang alternatives to the almond or hazelnut butter as I have a slight nut allergy ?
Thank you!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Carol,
    How about tahini or another seed butter? You could also try oil (mild olive oil, melted coconut oil), but I have not tried and I worry that the amount may need tweaking a little. Hope that helps? Ania
Clarina:
Hi Ania!
I made this cake today and think the sweet potato is a beautiful idea and works perfectly for the texture of the cake as well as for the icing. I stuck to the original recipe but had to bake it quite a bit longer (90 minutes) until it was baked through. The crumb is really nice and moist but the cake has somewhat of a tough, chewy crust. I noticed that many vegan cakes I've made recently turned out this way and I'm wondering if this has to do with my oven or if that's just a characteristic of a vegan cake...? I'd appreciate your advice / opinion! Otherwise, great flavour and texture - I will make it again!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Clarina,
    I'm so happy that you enjoyed the cake. As for the crust, I suspect it's to do with the type of sugar used - what did you use? Caster sugar (white sugar in general) gives the nicest crust, alternative sugars like coconut sugar a bit less so. Hope that helps! Ania
Lindy Robyn:
Thanks Ania! I left out the nut butter completely and used maple syrup instead of sugar. So I definitely made it too wet then - whoops! Great to know about the cacao and baking soda! The flavour of the cake is gorgeous.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Lindy,
    Yes, that's the issue - you have effectively made this cake without any fat (nut butter provided fat) and the liquid to solid ingredient ratio was out because using maple syrup always requires a reduction in liquid volume. Glad to hear that you still liked the taste though!! Ania
Lindy Robyn:
Hi Anya - I absolutely love your recipes !!! Is lemon or apple cider vinegar needed to activate the baking soda? I made this cake last night and the mixture was thick and was baking over an hour and still not cooked through. I didn’t use nut butter and maple syrup instead so maybe that’s why..
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Lindy,
    I'm glad you like my recipes, but sorry to hear that this cake did not cook through. No extra acid is needed in this recipe as cacao is acidic and so baking soda gets activated from it. I'm not sure I understand the changes you made? Did you skip nut butter completely or did you sub it with another fat? Using maple syrup instead of sugar usually requires liquid reduction in a recipe so this is certainly part of the reason why your cake turned out too wet. Hope that helps! Ania
Allison Smith:
I baked this yesterday and its amazing, the crumb of the cake is just so moist, I was a bit hesitant about the fristing with the sweet potatoe but it works. The changes I made was I added three quarters of a cup of raw sugar, and added my little secret (to ensure a nice moist cake) a teaspoon of vegetable glycerine, a French pastrychef gave this tip to my Mum years aga and it works a treat. If appears that Claudia's over maybe not working properly, I baked mine at 165 degrees celsius and it took just over an hour
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Allison,
    I am so pleased it worked well for you. Interesting tip about adding glycerine - need to try it myself at some point. Thank you for taking the time to leave such a comment! x Ania
Claudia:
My bread is raw from the center and has been in the oven for more than an hour. :(
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Claudia,
    I'm sorry to hear that. I have no idea why that is - maybe it needs even more time? Ovens do tend to vary. Ania
Nirali Shukla:
This looks incredible, I'm defs making this ASAP. I don't usually like sweet potatoes, bit I got them just for this recipe!
    Ania
    Ania:
    So chuffed to hear that, Nirali. I hope you'll enjoy this cake :) Ania
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