The flavors of sweet potato and chocolate are surprisingly compatible. This moist chocolate chip vegan sweet potato cake recipe offers a subtle hint of this beloved vegetable to your tastebuds.
Once you’ve got the pureed sweet potato, the rest is easy to make. It’s a nice choice when you need something just a little more elegant than brownies and less of a project than carrot cake.
In praise of sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are one of the most ancient, nutritious, and valuable food crops of the Americas. Not to diminish the value of white or golden potatoes, but in comparison, sweet potatoes are substantially richer in nutrients.
Sweet potatoes are especially high in vitamin A, have a good amount of B6, and the major minerals. They’re also a good source of fiber. Despite how sweet and rich they taste, they’re surprisingly low calorie and have no fat. Here’s a complete view of the nutritional profile of sweet potatoes.
Squash swap-in: If you enjoy the subtle orange vegetable goodness in this cake, it’s also good made with butternut squash or pumpkin puree. You’ll need one cup of these, the same as the amount of the sweet potato called for in the recipe.
This recipe makes one 9-inch round or square cake that serves 8 or more.
Recipe is from Vegan on a Budget by Nava Atlas. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky.
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- 2 cups whole wheat pastry, light spelt, or einkorn flour (see note)
- 1/2 cup natural granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup smoothly pureed cooked sweet potato (see Note)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup or agave
- 2 tablespoons safflower, light olive oil, or other neutral oil
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup orange juice, preferably fresh, or as needed
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup vegan chocolate chips or mini chips
- 1/3 cup raisins, optional
Frosting and topping
- 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon plant-based milk (almond milk, oat milk, etc.)
- 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter, preferably smooth
- Thinly sliced apple or pear for garnish, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350º F.
- Combine the first 6 (dry) ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir together.
- In another bowl, combine the sweet potato puree (see note), syrup, oil, and orange juice. Whisk together until smooth.
- Make a well in the center of the dry mixture and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir together until completely mixed. If the batter is too stiff to mix, add a small amount of additional juice, but it should remain a thick batter. Stir in the chocolate chips and optional raisins.
- Pour the batter into a 9-inch round cake or springform pan, or an 8- or 9-inch square baking pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center tests clean, other than the chocolate. Let cool to room temperature in the pan.
- For the frosting, combine the ingredients in a heatproof bowl. Set it in a saucepan of gently simmering water and heat until the chips are melted enough to whisk the mixture together. Or, simply microwave for 45 seconds, and whisk together.
- Frost the cake at once, then let it stand until the frosting cools. Embellish with thinly sliced apple or pear if you’d like, then serve.
Use your favorite method for cooking sweet potato — bake or microwave whole until soft; or peel and dice, then simmer in water until soft. Puree in a food processor, adding just enough water or plant-based milk to help it along until it purees smoothly. You’ll need about 1 large sweet potato.
To make this cake gluten-free, use a GF flour blend like Bob's Red Mill.
if you don't have any of the flours suggested on hand, all-purpose flour works fine, too, though it's not as wholesome.
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