Saturday, December 19, 2009

My Favorite Holiday Cake: A Spiced Sweet Potato, Cranberry, and Pecan Cake with Orange-Cinnamon Glaze

Spiced Sweet Potato, Cranberry, and Pecan Cake with Orange-Cinnamon Glaze  DSC_0337

You may think given my adoration of Christmas cookies, that I don't make anything else for the holidays. That's not true. I make cake. No, not fruit cake. Bad, bad childhood memory. I prefer this Spiced Sweet Potato, Cranberry, and Pecan Cake with Orange-Cinnamon Glaze.

I created this recipe last Thanksgiving and have made it a couple more times since, tweaking here and there as I go. With cranberries, pecans, cloves, and orange, it smells and tastes just like Christmas.

Spiced Sweet Potato, Cranberry, and Pecan Cake with Orange-Cinnamon Glaze  DSC_0348

This the final weekend to send in your Christmas cookies! Find out how here. The deadline is Sunday, December 20th at midnight PST. And don't forget to check out the stash of Christmas cookies we've gotten so far.


Spiced Sweet Potato, Cranberry, and Pecan Cake with Orange-Cinnamon Glaze
Serves 12-16
Print recipe only here.
This cake tastes even better the next day, so it's ideal for a Christmas brunch. 

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder 
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1 3/4 cups cooked mashed red-skinned sweet potatoes or garnet yams
3 large eggs
1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
3 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans, plus 2 tablespoons for optional garnish
1/2 cup chopped Medjool dates (or prunes)
2/3 cup frozen, unthawed cranberries, coarsely chopped
zest of 1 orange (about 1 tablespoon)

1 cup confectioners' sugar
zest of 1 orange
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
several droplets of milk

1. Place rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Butter or coat with cooking spray a 9-10-inch Bundt pan.

2. In a large bowl, stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

3. In a separate bowl, add butter and sugars. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter and sugars. Add the sweet potatoes and eggs and beat. Add milk, honey, and vanilla, and beat.  Add the flour mixture in small batches, beating after each, until just incorporated. Stir in pecans, dates, cranberries, and orange zest.

4. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a cake tester inserted deep into the center comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before unmolding. Cool  at least 30 minutes before glazing. 

5. Icing: In a small bowl whisk 1 cup confectioners' sugar, orange zest, and cinnamon. Add a few droplets of milk, and continue whisking until the icing is smooth and thin yet clings to the back of a spoon. Using a spoon, drizzle the icing in the grooves of the cake. Garnish with a few orange zest curls and/or chopped pecans, if desired. Allow to set for at least 15-20 minutes before slicing.

Here are more desserts you might like to have on your holiday table from Food Blogga:
Pear and Cardamom Cake
Upside-Down Clementine Cake
The Best Ever Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Italian Almond and Orange Torte with Blood Orange Compote

Here are more sweet potato desserts I'd like to try:
Sweet Potato Cake recipe at Foodaphilia
Sweet Potato Walnut Bread recipe at Culinary Types 
Cinnamon Ripple Sweet Potato Bundt recipe at The Food Librarian
Sweet Spud Cake with Pralines and Pecans recipe at A Southern Grace
Mini Sweet Potato Cheesecakes at recipe Cake, Batter, and Bowl