Archive for December, 2009

Nope, the post title is not a hidden message about the baby’s sex – we won’t know that for a few more weeks yet.  For now, it’s just an “it”, a little one, a baby.  In the meantime, to keep my mind occupied, I’ve been on a baking kick.

I’ve become one of those infuriating people who makes fattening things but doesn’t eat them herself (I’m looking at you, Mom), since sweets haven’t been calling to me these days.  That hasn’t stopped me from running to the kitchen at 8pm because I just have to make chocolate chip cookies.

It’s been nice to have excuses to bake – it is the Christmas season, after all – and my friend Lynelle’s birthday was just such an occasion.  I had a glut of sweet potatoes from our farm share, and a need for something wintery and delicious.  This recipe fit the bill – sweet, spicy, moist and comforting – perfect.

Spiced Sweet Potato Cake with Brown Sugar Icing – from Epicurious


2 cups cooked and mashed red-skinned sweet potatoes – I prefer to roast them in foil until they’re mush, but they can also be microwaved

2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 325°F. Spray 12-cup Bundt pan with nonstick spray. Mix together wet ingredients (sweet potatoes, sugar, oil) and beat until smooth.  Add eggs 2 at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, baking soda and salt); beat just until blended. Beat in vanilla. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake cake until tester inserted near center comes out clean, about 1 hour 5 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack 15 minutes. Using small knife, cut around sides of pan and center tube to loosen cake. Turn out onto rack; cool completely.

For icing:
Sift powdered sugar into medium bowl. Stir brown sugar, whipping cream and butter in medium saucepan over medium-low heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil. Boil 3 minutes, occasionally stirring and swirling pan. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour brown sugar mixture over powdered sugar. Whisk icing until smooth and lightened in color, about 1 minute. Cool icing until lukewarm and icing falls in heavy ribbon from spoon, whisking often, about 15 minutes. Spoon icing thickly over top of cake, allowing icing to drip down sides of cake. Let stand until icing is firm, at least 1 hour. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and let stand at room temperature.)

I can see this cake being perfect without the icing as a special brunch coffee cake, but as a sweet after-dinner treat, it can’t be beat.

Of course, we’re always far too impatient to take a picture before digging in, but I was fortunate enough to snag these shots before it disappeared completely!

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