Sweet potato & orange pound cake

March 11th, 2014

While it may not look like I’ve been cooking up a storm lately, I kind of have. Between recipe testing for Remedy Quarterly (which is currently at the printer!!), introducing Claire to solids (FYI, baby-led weaning has been amazing for us), and making sure Aaron and I eat dinner together, my kitchen looks like a tornado came through on a daily basis. After many months without the urge to cook, it feels good. I’ve been enjoying making those messes and it’s hard to explain the awesomeness that is watching Claire learn to enjoy food.

With recipe testing behind me, and an unexplainable surge of energy, I decided mama needed a treat for herself. After seeing a photo of this sweet potato pound cake in my Instragram feed, I knew exactly what that treat would be. Right then and there, I put on a little cooking show for Claire—complete with lovely background music composed of Claire clanging her toy against her tray and a few gah blah blahs just to mix it up a bit. It was pure entertainment as you can imagine. But since we were the only two to experience that magic, it’s only fair that I share the results of my baking with you, because it was SO GOOD.

One of the fun things about cooking for (and eventually with) Claire is that I’ve begun looking for new ways to eat better while still enjoying what we eat. That means incorporating more veggies and whole grains into our meals and cutting excess sugar when possible (geez, that sounds so grown up—who am I?!). It’s been way easier than I imagined and I don’t feel like I’m missing anything. For instance, I swapped out the cake flour for white whole wheat flour (my new favorite flour—I have yet to run into an instance where I can taste the difference); cut the sugar by half, and—this is big—added orange zest. Zest is such an easy way to pack a flavor punch into something—in fact, I think it elevates just about everything—from salads to rice to yes, this pound cake. And I’m not just stuck on one citrus—I like them all: lime, lemon, orange. I have yet to try grapefruit, but it’s coming, just you wait.

Now I’m not saying that this is a “healthy” treat—it’s still got it’s fair share of butter and sugar (I haven’t gone completely health nut) but at least it has some vitamins and whole grains in there too. That’s what I told myself when I took a second slice. Don’t worry, you can use the same excuse.

sweet potato + orange pound cake

makes 1 loaf | adapted from this sweet potato pound cake

For the Cake

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup mashed roasted sweet potato

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

zest of half an orange

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.2. Cream the butter, brown sugar and sweet potato in the bowl of your mixer on high until fluffy and smooth, about 4-5 minutes.3. Add eggs one at a time into the mixture.

4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon and nutmeg. Add half the mixture to the butter mixture until well combined, then repeat with the second half.

5. Add the vanilla extract and orange zest and beat on slow speed until mixture is smooth.

6. Line a loaf pan with parchment (or butter it) and pour cake batter into pan.

7. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.  Remove cake from oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes.

8.Next, gently remove cake from loaf pan and place on wire rack to cool completely.


For the Orange + Browned Butter Icing

1/2 stick butter, unsalted

1 1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

zest of half an orange

1 Tbsp orange juice, fresh squeezed

2 tablespoons milk

Let the cake cool completely before beginning the glaze.1. Melt the butter over medium low heat on your stovetop. Continue to watch until the butter turns a golden brown color and the smell is sort of nutty. Once butter gets to this point, quickly remove and whisk in powdered sugar, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, orange zest and juice and half the milk until mixture is smooth and pourable. If the mixture is too thick, add the remaining milk.

2. Drizzle icing over the completely cooled cake and serve.

Comments: 2 Total

  1. Katrina @ WVS

    March 11, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Well thank goodness you made a treat for yourself like this!! It looks unreal!

  2. Marie @ Little Kitchie

    March 12, 2014 at 4:40 am

    What a gorgeous cake!!

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