This cake is sweetened partially with cooked sweet potato, which also adds moisture
and a tender texture. Pair it with the Chocolate Sweets Frosting (below), and you have a cake fit for a special occasion! Makes 1 cake layer (double the batch for a 2-layer cake).
3/4 cup peeled, cooked, and cooled orange sweet potato (see note)
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon water, divided
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole-grain spelt flour
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup mini or regular nondairy chocolate chips
1/2 scant teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 scant teaspoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat an 8” x 8” brownie/cake pan or a 9” round cake pan with coconut or other oil, and fit the bottom of the pan with a small piece of parchment paper. In a blender (or using a handheld blender and a deep cup or vessel), puree the sweet potato, 1/2 cup of the water, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, and vanilla extract until completely smooth. In a large bowl, combine the flour, coconut sugar, chocolate chips, and sea salt, then sift in the cocoa, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the wet ingredients to the dry (be sure to scrape out all the blended ingredients with a spatula, and use the remaining 1 tablespoon of water to rinse the blender jar and get out any remaining puree). Mix until just well incorporated. Transfer to the prepared pan, bake for 21–23 minutes, remove, and let cool on a cooling rack.
Sweet Potato Note: Orange sweet potato is a little sweeter and also a little looser than yellow sweet potato. I prefer orange in this recipe, but if you’d like to use yellow, add another 1–2 tablespoons of water, and another 1 tablespoon of maple syrup to
the wet ingredients to loosen slightly.
Chocolate Sweets Frosting
Yes, this frosting is made with cooked sweet potatoes! Once blended with rich nut butter and other ingredients, it turns into a thick, irresistible frosting! Makes about 2 1/4 cups.
1 loosely packed cup peeled, cooked, and cooled sweet potato (see note)
2/3–3/4 cup coconut sugar or other unrefined sugar(see note)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 scant cup raw cashew butter or almond butter
1/4 rounded teaspoon sea salt
2–5 tablespoons nondairy milk (see tip)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Place the sweet potato, coconut sugar, cocoa powder, cashew butter, sea salt, 1–2 tablespoons of the milk, and vanilla extract in a blender or food processor and puree until very smooth. It’s best to use a blender or processor (versus a stand mixer) if using orange sweet potato, to fully smooth out the potato. Taste, and add more sweetener if desired, and also another 2–3 tablespoons of milk if needed to thin to preferred consistency (you may need more milk using yellow sweet potato as they aren’t quite as moist as the orange). Puree until smooth, scraping down the blender/processor bowl as needed. Puree until as smooth as possible. Transfer to a container and refrigerate until ready to use. Or, get a spoon and dig in!
Sweet Potato Note: I prefer using yellow sweet potato in this frosting, but this is still ridiculously delicious with orange sweet potato.
Coconut Sugar Note: Because coconut sugar does not have a fine texture, it’s useful to first process in a blender to make it powdery. If you have a high-speed blender, simply pulse a cup or more until powdery (reserve the extra for another use). If using a regular blender, process 1 1/2–2 cups of sugar with 1–1 1/2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder, until it becomes powdery.
Kitchen Tip: This is a thick frosting. If you want to thin out, add more milk. After refrigerating, you can also transfer to a mixer with a whisk attachment to add the milk and fluff up the frosting.
Idea: Add 1–1 1/2 teaspoons of orange zest or 1/2 teaspoon of pure almond extract for a slight cherry flavor.