Sweet potato pound cake with spicy, fragrant glaze: Just what we’re craving

Here’s the humble and mighty pound cake, with flecks of brilliant orange sweet potato brightening this simple dessert. I use this cake recipe all the time. Zero baking soda or powder in the batter — believe me everything will rise perfectly. The natural sweetness of the tuber adds an additional sugary layer. The spicy and fragrant icing provides the silent punch. I like to make a double batch so we can eat one and freeze the other — do it and you’ll be glad you did.

More: The secret to making a sweet potato pie that lives up to your aunt’s

Sweet potato pound cake with spicy & sweet glaze recipe

Serves 14



  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1/4 cup sweet potato, mashed
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • 1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, plus 1 tablespoon to coat pan
  • 1/2 cup (half an 8 ounce package) cream cheese
  • 2-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup sweet potato, mashed (medium to large potato)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus 4 tablespoons to coat pan, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract (see note below)


  1. To make the glaze, combine the dairy, sugar, ground spices and mashed potato using a whisk. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and flour a 6-x-9-3/4-inch loaf pan (flour well and shake out excess). Set aside.
  3. Using a stand or hand mixer, cream 1 cup of butter and cream cheese. Gradually add sugar and beat until fluffy. Slowly add the eggs (one at a time). Add sweet potatoes. In stages, incorporate 3 cups of the flour, but do not overbeat.
  4. Stir vanilla into the mixture (the batter will be thick). Transfer into the pans. Cook for around 1-1/2 hours. Use the toothpick method to test doneness (place a toothpick in the center of the cake; if no batter sticks, it means the cake is done).
  5. Transfer the cakes to a cooling rack and let them cool in the cake pan. Loosen the cakes by running a butter knife around the edges of the pans. Carefully turn out the cakes on a cake stand or plate.
  6. Pour glaze over the cakes and let set for an hour.

Note: Vanilla paste has a thicker consistency with specks of vanilla and a deeper flavor.


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