Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Southern Sweet Potato Pound Cake & October's Give-Away Apron

I bet you didn't know that North Carolina is the leading state in sweet potato production (38.5%); California and Louisiana are second and third.  Furthermore, the town of Benton, Kentucky celebrates sweet potatoes annually in their Tater Day Festival on the first Monday in April. (Whohoo, my Kentucky grandson would like that one!)

I know that my mother loved baking with sweet potatoes and quite often chose to bake a sweet potato pie rather than a pumpkin on several occasions.  This sweet, starchy tuber is rich in complex carbohydrates, beta carotene, and dietary fiber to name a few of the benefits so, understandably it was my choice when coming up with this pound cake.

Sweet potatoes are a reliable crop and grown all over the world for their resistance to the many common pests that plague other vegetables.  In addition to not requiring pesticides, they can be grown in somewhat poor soils without adding fertilizers.  That makes them one of the best "organically grown" vegetables we can eat.

Southern Sweet Potato Pound Cake
1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter at room temperature
1-8oz pkg. cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 1/2 cups (about 4 medium) mashed sweet potatoes
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
3 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour

Peel and cut into 1-inch chunks, the 4 sweet potatoes.  Cover with water and bring to a boil. Simmer on a low boil until the sweet potatoes are tender.
Preheat oven to 350F-degrees.  Spray a tube pan with a non-stick baking spray and set aside. 

In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and cream cheese together.  Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
Add the mashed sweet potato and mix together, then add the cinnamon and vanilla and beat on medium for 1 minute.

Sift the dry ingredients and add to the mixture on low speed.  Beat 1 minute more to incorporate thoroughly.  Transfer mixture into the prepared baking pan.
I placed the baking pan on a parchment lined baking sheet and placed in the oven for 65 to 70 minutes.  Allow to cool in the pan about 10 minutes, then, lift the bottom up and transfer to a rack to cool completely.
I used a metal spatula to loosen the bottom and around the "cone" then transferred the cake to a serving plate and dusted the top with confectioners' sugar. 
I remember my mother telling me how much more dense the sweet potato was than baking with pumpkin, so I can assure you that the cake transfers quite easily.

To serve, I whipped up heavy cream with 2 T confectioners' sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla.

 Now, finally the apron.  I've found this lovely quilt shop in Raleigh that had the perfect fabric for this month's apron.  The soft orange chrysanthemums revel the season and speaks volumes of the colours that Kelly loved.  She once said to me, after she was diagnosed with breast cancer..."you know, Mom, I really don't like the colour pink!"  We laughed and was reminded of a line from the movie Legally Blonde, when Reese Witherspoon says, "whoever said Orange was the new Pink!"  Well, that would be Kelly.
I'm back from traveling for work and should have quite some interesting recipes to share for the remainder of the month.  Just comment on any of the posts for October and you're entered to win this beautiful and memorable apron. Enjoy!    


  1. I stumbled upon your blog this even while google monkeying around in search of a vintage recipe. I could not have anticipated spending close to two hours as a guest in the warm, inspiring, hopeful, life affirming home you have created in this blog. You have given this daughter, currently in a very dark place, a tender reminder of how to feel and share gratitude (and how deeply my mother deserves it from me!), and what power it holds. Thank you for sharing your memories and your kitchen with the world.

    1. Life has taught me the lesson of no guarantees and no regrets. Thank you for visiting-- I enjoyed meeting you.

  2. A wonderful pound cake, Susan. Replacing a part of fat with sweet potato makes this pound cake perfectly healthy and super moist. Totally love it.

  3. Your pound cake sounds so yummy–and what a pretty apron!

  4. I enjoy your blog so much; just found the link from another blog.

  5. WOW! I am so making your Mother's pound cake Susan..just the recipe I was looking for to weekend visitors! A perfect item for the Autumn..thank you for sharing love!

  6. Oh boy, that cake looks great. I will try this recipe for sure. We are big lovers of sweet potatoes and may I say, even Kane loves them. The apron is all my favorite colours. I would have agreed with Kelly on the choice of pink.. Never been a fan. Hugs, Deb

  7. I've never been a fan of sweet potatoes eaten on their own, but cooked into dishes they are lovely. I had them in a Thai green curry on Monday...DELISH!
    Jane x

  8. Mmmmmm this sounds like a good cake. I like sweet potatoes so will be trying out this cake recipe....only thing won't call it pound cake because my husband hears that and says, "I DON'T like pound cake!" so it will just be sweet potatoe cake here in our house. thanks!
    stamping sue

  9. The cake sounds decadent and satisfying...hmmmm...

    The apron is beautiful. Glad that you've found a nice store for your fabrics. Kelly's comment made me laugh. Orange is a beautiful color!

    1. Thanks Vee, I wish you all could have met her; such a great sense of humor and love for people. She just brought out the best in us all.

  10. I am like Jane and not a fan of sweet potatoes, but do think baked in a cake is a good way to try them again! I had a pumpkin donut with Tiger the other day and it was so good. The colors of your October apron are so pretty! Glad you are home for a bit!!!

  11. Susan your mother's cake is winner for sure. I love sweet potatoes--they are so good for us. My Mama made the best sweet potato pie--I've tried to get the same taste that she achieved and have not had luck. They are good but not quite that same taste my Mama's had.
    Sounds like Kelly had a great sense of humor--Pink is not for all of us! xoxo ♥

  12. Don't enter me, as I just won your fabulous apron, but this recipe sounds so yummy!!!

  13. Beautiful apron! I am a big fan of pound cake and the Sweet Potato Pound Cake looks delish! Hugs

  14. Thanks for the great giveaway! This pound cake looks great, wonder how pumpkin would sub for the sweet potato.

  15. Oh I am bookmarking this post! Sweet potatoes are high in natural estrogen also, for those of us at That Time of Life. Can't wait to try and to share this recipe. Have a blessed week!

  16. The recipe sounds wonderful and love the color of the apron.
    theresa n

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