I missed the whole pumpkin dessert bandwagon when Halloween rolled around, but then I thought, why not use another orange-y vegetable instead? Sweet potatoes are one of my favourite root vegetable and I love how brightly coloured they are.
Back in Hong Kong, my mum always used to buy these amazing little Japanese purple sweet potatoes, but I haven’t yet been able to find a variety as moist and with such an intense flavour as those in the UK. These sweet taters were so delicious that there was a cafe dedicated to making sweet potato soft serves 😀
Unfortunately, I think this place is now closed, but if I’m able to source some really good sweet potatoes from somewhere, I may give a go at making some purple ice cream too!
Anyway, back to this cake – since other vegetables have worked well in bakes (carrot, pumpkin and even courgette!), using sweet potato also made sense. I’ve adapted my recipe from the one I found here, mainly in cutting down the amount of sugar and upping the spices.
- 2 medium sweet potatoes (you’ll need 200 g of its cooked weight)
- 150 g caster sugar
- 120 ml vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 200 g plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp mixed spice
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 50 ml water
- For the topping:
- 80 g walnuts
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp mixed spice
- Cook the sweet potatoes (either in a microwave for 8 mins or until soft, or in a steamer), scoop out the flesh and mash. Leave to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C / 160°C fan / 350°F.
- Line your loaf tin with parchment paper.
- Whisk together sugar and oil, adding one egg at a time and mixing well.
- Add vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl, sift flour and combine with baking powder and spices.
- Add a third of the dry ingredients into the wet mixture, adding a splash of water in between mixes, until all the ingredients have been folded together.
- Stir in the mashed sweet potato.
- Pour the cake batter into the loaf tin and top with the walnut, sugar and spice mix.
- Bake for an hour, or until a skewer comes out clean.
This loaf cake turned out to be really tasty! As I cut down on the sugar, it is only lightly sweet and delicious with a cup of tea. The cake is more like a pound cake than a sponge but it isn’t uncomfortably dense, and the walnut topping adds a great contrast in the textures. All in all, another lovely cake for the cooler autumn season 🙂