The Sweet Potato Cake

When I was in college, I used to love going to a restaurant called Brickstreet Cafe on Augusta Street in Greenville, SC. The food was great, but the cakes and pastries they served were divine.

Enter: my obsession with sweet potato cake. It may sound crazy — but you have to trust me. This is the best thing you’ll ever eat. It took me several years to perfect this recipe, but I have to say — I think I’ve got it down.



for the cake:

2 boxes yellow cake mix

6 eggs



2 sweet potatoes



3 9-inch round pans (greased)

plastic wrap

for the icing

2 8-oz packages cream cheese

1 stick butter

2 lbs. powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1.5 cups toasted pecans


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350. Poke sweet potatoes with fork to create vents in the skin. On foil-lined cookie sheets, bake both sweet potatoes until the flesh is soft, about 1- 2 hours. When they’re done, pull them out of the oven and let them cool for at least 10 minutes.

  2. Follow the cake mix instructions on the boxes, using a hand-mixer to create a massive bowl of cake batter (Normally, that means mixing in 6 eggs, 2 cups of water, and some butter, but just follow the directions.)

  3. Add 1.5 cups of the sweet potato flesh into the cake batter, mixing gently with the hand mixer.

  4. Add cinnamon and nutmeg to the batter to taste — normally I add about 2 teaspoons of each.

  5. Fill the batter into three greased round cake pans, and bake for 20-25 minutes (follow instructions on box) When the cake is lightly browned on top, pull out of the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. (Cooling is essential so you don’t break the cake when you flip it out of the pan.)

  6. Set three separate sheets of plastic wrap on your counter. Using a paring knife, carefully slide it around the edges of the cake pan to help loosen the layer of cake. In one swift motion, turn the pan over onto the plastic wrap. Wrap each layer in a separate plastic wrap, and freeze ( at least 1 hr, overnight if possible.)

  7. Mix the first four ingredients of the icing together with a hand-mixer. Fold in the pecans.

  8. Spoon a small bit of icing into the center of a cake stand. Unwrap the first frozen layer of cake and put it on the dollop of icing, securing it onto the cake stand. Smooth a layer of icing over the first layer of cake. Repeat with the next two layers.

  9. To ice the sides of the cake, work from the top down. If any drips of the cake stand, use a damp paper towel to wipe it up.

  10. Voila! Wait 30 minutes for the cake to continue to defrost, then enjoy!