sweet potato snack cake

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Remember this cake from instagram? Heaven knows I've talked about it enough! And for good reason! It took a couple of tries to get this cake just right - but it was worth it. The results yield a not-too-sweet pillowy cake studded with melted bittersweet chocolate and toasty pecans. Don't skip the pecans. Even if you're not a nut person, the pecans and sweet potatoes here are like peanut butter and boysenberry jam = so good together. 

It's called snack cake for a reason - because it has sweet potato in it, therefore totally okay to snack on. Did you know that the sweet potato is one of the most nutrient packed vegetables out there, therefore a perfectly acceptable snack? Also. Breakfast. 

Okay, I love you! Go make this cake! 

(Have you subscribed yet? We talk more on Fridays in our Cocoa Chats. I'd love to have you in the kitchen with me.) xox 

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3 batter in the pan | sweet potato snack cake_.jpg
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sweet potato snack cake 

by robyn holland | sweetish.co

bakers note: I think the chocolate here is optional, but the toasted pecans are not. In fact if your people won’t oppose to nuts in their snack cake, I’d throw in a little more. My people aren’t crazy about nuts in ANYTHING (tough crowd), but because I chopped the nuts really small here, no one objected. I’d definitely add more next time. If you go for chocolate, please make it bittersweet. That bittersweetness plays with the toasted warmth from the pecans, and sweet potato and it’s this beautiful juxtaposition of cool tangy chocolate and toasty, buttery nuts that it can’t be beat. I realize there’s some sort of dirty joke in what I just said but roll with me on this.  

3 ½ cups / 440g whole wheat pastry flour or all purpose, unbleached flour (I used all purpose, whole wheat will yield a awesomely tender crumb though, just take care not to under bake)
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons medium grain kosher salt
2 cups minus 2 tablespoons  / 375g sugar
2 cups mashed sweet potato (about 6-8 small - medium sweet potatoes total)
¾ cup / 180g buttermilk, room temperature
¾ cup / 168ml sunflower oil or coconut oil, melted and cooled
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup / 113g chopped pecans, toasted (you can have more pecans than this if desired, this recipe really is magical with those pecans!)
¾ cup / 128g bittersweet chocolate discs or a large chocolate bar chopped into large chunks (optional)

Bake 6-8 medium-sized sweet potatoes at 400° F for 1 hour. Potatoes should be very soft and fragrant. Set aside to cool. Peel and mash sweet potatoes in a medium sized bowl. Measure out two cups of sweet potato, mash it all up and set aside. Mash should be room temperature.

If you’re pecans need to be toasted do that now. Lower oven temperature to 375°F and bake nuts on a clean sheet pan for 6-8 minutes until barely dark brown. Take care not to burn them. They should be fragrant but not smell burned.

Lower oven temperature again to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 13” pan with softened butter.

Using a whisk, combine all dry ingredients except sugar in a large bowl (flour, soda, powder, salt). Set aside.

In another large bowl, combine sweet potato mash, sugar, buttermilk and oil. Add eggs one at a time and whisk until combined. Slowly stream in oil, and whisk until combined.

Add sweet potato mixture into the dry ingredients, folding it all together with a spatula.

Once ingredients are almost all combined, add chopped pecans and chocolate. Fold gently until incorporated. Take care not to over mix. 

Pour batter into greased cake pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until cake is set. It should be very golden brown on the top and the center of the cake should spring back slightly when you press it.

Cool completely for 20-30 minutes before serving. It’s delicious with a cup of tea. xo

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This post was created in partnership with the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission. Their mission is to support non-GMO (and some organic!) sweet potato farmers by promoting the fact that sweet potatoes aren't just for marshmallow casseroles anymore! We're also promoting kindness, and being a little sweeter in life... just like a sweet potato.