Sweet Potato Bundt Cake

Not everyone loves pumpkin. Why not? I have no idea. But for the non-pumpkin eaters in my family, I found a cake that doesn’t have pumpkin but still keeps the Thanksgiving theme.
You never know where you’ll find a great recipe. A guest sent me a novel to read, Eat Cake by Jeanne Ray. While the book was entertaining, the recipes at the end, gathered from a number of sources, are incredibly delicious, like this cake which is too good to make just for Thanksgiving.

3/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup dark rum
2 large or 3 medium-sized sweet potatoes
4 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons of vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus extra for salting the water
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup tightly packed dark brown sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons whipping cream
The remaining rum liquid left from macerating the raisins


  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt cake pan.
  • In a small, nonreactive bowl, soak the raisins in the rum for at least 30 minutes or several hours.
  • Peel the sweet potatoes, cut them in half, and then cut each half into four slices. Place the slices into a pot of cool salted water, cover, and bring the water to a boil. Reduce to a gentle simmer and cook until the sweet potatoes are very tender when pierced with a sharp knife.
  • Drain off the water and allow the potatoes to air-dry for a few minutes, and then roughly mash them. Measure out two cups of the mash and set aside to cool.

[Note: The above can be done the day before.]

  • In a large bowl using a whisk or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs a little just to break them up. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is thick and pale (about 2 minutes with the mixer, 3 if whisking by hand). Add the vegetable oil and vanilla, then beat to blend.
  • Drain the raisins and set the raisins a side, adding 1/4 cup of the rum liquid to the batter. (Save the rest of the rum liquid for the glaze.)
  • Add the mashed sweet potatoes and mix until thoroughly combined.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  • Add the flour mixture to the batter in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk in two additions, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Fold in the raisins.
  • Pour the batter into the bundt pan. Bake in the center of the oven for 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean and the cake is just beginning to pull away from the side of the pan.
  • Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then invert onto the rack. Set the rack over a baking sheet to catch the excess glaze. The cake must be glazed while the cake is still warm.
  • For the glaze, combine the brown sugar, butter and cream in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Continue to boil until the mixture thickens somewhat, about 3 minutes, stirring often.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the rum.
  • With a long skewer poke holes allover the cake, concentrating on the top. Spoon about half of the warm glaze over the cake and let the cake and remaining glaze cool for 10 to 15 minutes, until it has thickened slightly. Pour the rest of the glaze over the cake, letting it dribble down the sides. Let cake cool completely before cutting and serving or wrapping and storing.

From Eat Cake, by Jeanne Ray, from In the Sweet Kitchen by Regan Daley.

Birchwood Inn
Ellen Gutman Chenaux
Bed and Breakfast Foodie

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