Sunday, December 20, 2015

Sweet Potato Pecan Coconut Cake

I love sweet potatoes. Every year we grow some in our raised bed kitchen garden, and every year I'm happy when we harvest them and so is our oldest grandson who also loves them.

Did you know? Sweet potatoes are extremely versatile and make a great substitute for most any recipe calling for pumpkin. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene). They are also a very good source of vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6. Additionally, they are a good source of potassium, dietary fiber, niacin, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, and phosphorus.

Well then now you see you can enjoy this cake without guilt ... because it's good for you! 

For the cake: 
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sweet potato puree (2 small sweet potatoes, baked and mashed)
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans

For the frosting
1/4 cup butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tbls. milk

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 or 9-inch cake pan with non-stick spray, and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the brown sugar, canola oil, and sweet potato puree until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla extract, and beat until fully incorporated.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, allspice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir dry ingredients into the sweet potato mixture, alternating with the buttermilk in 3 additions, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Gently fold in the coconut and pecans.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, and bake for 30-40 minutes. The cake is done when it springs back when lightly pressed in the center, and the edges start to pull away from the pan. Allow the cake to cool for 10-20 minutes in the pan, and turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

When the cake is cool, make the frosting. Using a mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese until well blended. Add confectioner's sugar, vanilla and 2 tbls milk and whip until smooth and creamy. Frost cake.

Makes a single-layer, 8 or 9-inch cake. Serves 6-8.


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