I have a special relationship with cake. I could literally eat cake every day and be perfectly happy, more than happy even. I would have a nearly perfect life. That being said, there is one kind of cake which I will never eat under almost any circumstances, and that is carrot cake and its cousin, spice cake.

It’s just not cake, it’s an impostor, and its only redeeming value is that it comes with cream cheese frosting. I have been known to eat all of the frosting off of a piece of carrot cake and leave the actual cake behind.

Now I’m going to eat my words because not only did I bake and eat this cake, but I liked it. I’m not sure why I made it in the first place. I think it was because the picture in the book was beautiful, it looked great for Halloween, and the use of sweet potato intrigued me.

But half-way through preparing it I realized what it was, a fall-themed spice cake (the word “spice” was not in the original title, but in the name of full-disclosure, I have added it) with sweet potato instead of carrot. By then it was too late and so I bucked up and carried on.

And surprisingly, I liked the results.


I liked the subtle hint of sweet potato, and it pairs really nicely with the cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg in the cake. You can’t go wrong with a rich cream cheese frosting, and as much as I enjoyed the cake, I admit the frosting was still my favorite part. But I’m just a frosting kind of gal. The cake is filled with cream cheese frosting flavored with orange juice. It was different but quite delightful. It brightened it up.

If you’re the type of person that likes spice cake, then you’ve got to try this cake. It’s right up your alley. And if you’re skeptical like me, you should try it too. I think it might make you change your mind.

You may also enjoy these fall cake recipes:

Triple Brown Cake by Completely Delicious
Autumn Delight Cake by Sweetapolita
Spiced Zucchini Pear Cake with Maple Icing by Completely Delicious
Snickerdoodle Cake by Always with Butter

For help with your cake, be sure to check out my tutorial on How to Build a Layer Cake.

Sweet Potato Spice Cake
Adapted from Sky High Cakes
Makes one 2 layer cake
View printable recipe


1 large sweet potato
3 cups cake flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
5 eggs
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (5 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prick the sweet potato with a fork, and bake for approximately 1 hour, or until the potato is soft. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Peel off skin and remove any dark spots. Put into a food processor and puree until smooth. Measure one cup of puree for this recipe.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Grease two 8 or 9 inch cake pans, line with parchment paper, then grease and flour both.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar and mix on medium high speed until light and creamy, 2-3 minutes. Add the sweet potato puree and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each. Add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with the milk, ending with the flour mixture. Mix until just combined.

Pour into the prepared cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few dry crumbs, about 30-40 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Fill the cake with the orange cream filling and frost the entire cake with cream cheese buttercream (recipes below).

Cream Cheese Buttercream

10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 pound confectioners sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons milk

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese and butter together until combined. Add the confectioners sugar and vanilla. Mix on low until smooth. Reserve 2/3 cup of this mixture and set aside for orange cream filling. Add milk a tablespoon at a time to the mixture remaining until desired consistency is reached.

Orange Cream Filling

2/3 cup sweetened cream cheese and butter mixture (from recipe above)
1 tablespoon frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1/4 teaspoon orange extract

Stir together all ingredients until well blended.

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11 Responses to Sweet Potato Spice Cake

  1. Cindy - Food For Thoughts says:

    Hi! It looks fab !!! I don't think spice cake or carrot cake are fake. Just different!
    I have a nice recipe for Butternut squash cupcake with cream cheese frosting or salted butter caramel frosting if you like. Really nice and subtle taste of cinnamon. Perfect fall treat!

  2. Priya says:

    Elegant cake, simply fabulous.

  3. Galexi Cupcakes says:

    I like it. I made a caramel spice cake recently and it was very aromatic and delicious. Btw, congratulations on your pregnancy. Jackie

  4. Becki Jacobs says:

    I love spice cake (and carrot cake:-))and this looks and sounds absolutely wonderful. I love your decoration of the chocolate wafers on the cake – so cute and colorful!

  5. Mary says:

    This is a gorgeous creation. I'm relatively new here and don't often comment, but I wanted you to know how much I enjoy the food you present here. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  6. Cookin' Canuck says:

    You are too funny! I adore carrot cake (and the icing) and know that this cake would be a hit in my house. So, does this mean you're coming over to the "carrot cake" dark side?

  7. Shannon says:

    Wow, just wow!! I love spice cake and I'm very intrigued by the sweet potato. It's really beautiful.

  8. Beth says:

    I do love spice cakes, and the sweet potato puts this right over the top!

  9. How on earth did I miss this, Annalise? First of all, I’m a total sucker for spice cake, carrot cake, sweet potato cake…okay, I’m seeing a theme here, and I think we were parted at birth! 🙂 Your cake looks incredible, and I love the cream cheese frosting. I really just don’t make it often enough. Thanks too for the cake link love!

  10. Jackie says:

    Hi AnnaLise

    Do you remember how many ounces or cups of sweet potato you used in this recipe.

  11. Carol says:

    Oh, I am so looking forward to this cake. I am making it now-just put it in the oven and I think its going to be a show-stopper!

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