My vegan vanilla sweet potato cake is HERE!
For all who know and love my vegan chocolate sweet potato cake, here is the ‘yellow cake’ version, a vanilla sweet potato cake AND vanilla sweet potato frosting!
And doesn’t it look absolutely divine?
And as much as I love the chocolate sweet potato cake, I think this yellow sweet potato cake is my favorite.
It was a “must-include” recipe when I wrote Dreena’s Kind Kitchen. I couldn’t release that book without including a vanilla version of my famous chocolate sweet potato cake from Plant-Powered Families.
Vanilla Sweet Potato Cake: the recipe
When I created this recipe for DKK it was important that the cake met a few criteria:
- it had to “look” like a yellow (vanilla) cake
- it had to be as delicious as my chocolate version (or more!)
- it had to offer a nut-free option
Indeed it meets all three!
And, it wasn’t especially easy to have this cake “look” like a yellow cake. Using orange sweet potato (“yam” in Canada) was out. Yellow sweet potatoes are the secret special ingredient! More on which sweet potato to use in the FAQ below.
As for deliciousness, I love this cake! The frosting is to-live-for and the cake is incredibly moist, even using whole-grain flour.
Next up: nut-free option. In DKK, I really wanted to offer as many nut-free options in recipes as possible. I know moms who struggle with how many vegan recipes use cashews and almonds to achieve that creamy, luscious consistency in recipes. In this recipe, I offer a nut-free option for the cake, and the frosting is nut-free using coconut butter.
But when I released DKK, I received complaints about the use of coconut in the recipes. This is unfortunate because most of the recipes that use coconut are desserts, i.e. special occasion foods.
And, I actually think the frosting for this cake is stellar with the coconut butter. And remember, coconut butter is NOT coconut oil. It is the whole coconut pureed into butter – just like almonds to almond butter! Nevertheless, in this post I will give you the coconut-free option for the frosting. That way, hopefully everyone has a cake to suit their needs: nut-free or coconut-free!
If you are making the Vanilla Sweet Potato Frosting coconut-free (ie with raw cashew butter), please read the notes in my recipe (below). Some tweaks are needed, so please do read the full recipe.
Before we get to the recipe, I will answer some questions that come up with this vegan yellow cake recipe:
Vegan Vanilla Sweet Potato Cake: FAQ
You have two options. First, you can use orange sweet potatoes, if you don’t mind the color change. I do find orange sweet spuds have a little more water content (just a titch) than yellow, so maybe reduce the milk measure by 1 tbsp in both the cake and frosting.
Another option is to use murasaki (japanase sweet potatoes). While hannah sweet potatoes have a yellow skin and underlying yellow flesh (see my video), murasaki spuds have purple skin with yellow flesh. The thing with murasaki spuds, however, is that some batches discolor when cooking. You can get grey streaks in the spuds. Also, I find these spuds have a little less moisture, so you may need 1-2 tbsp more milk for the batter and frosting. If possible, nab those hannahs!
No. If you want to avoid coconut, use raw cashew butter. But RAW. I repeat – RAW!! Roasted cashew butter is dark in color and also has a pronounced roasted/nutty flavor. For the best neutral flavor use raw cashew butter. Raw almond butter has a darker color, and macadamia nut butter is a little loose. So just go for the raw cashew butter. I love Wilderness Poets but you can also find some on amazon.com and amazon.ca.
Bake/roast. For best flavor and texture. Just pop on a parchment-lined baking sheet, don’t pierce the spuds, bake at about 400/425 for 45 minutes or until tender (depends on size of spuds).
Yes. I like to make the cake layers one day, and the frosting the next. Then, assemble the cake that same day or the next and let it ‘set’ overnight.
Yes! I think that would be magical.
Allow the sweet potatoes to cool to at least room temperature, or cook in advance and refrigerate until you are ready to make this cake.
No, no. Just the flesh. Peel away the skins and discard them or give them to your dog. 😬 Dogs usually love sweet spud skins!
Yes. I love – love – love vanilla bean powder. But you can substitute 1 – 1 1/2 tsp of pure vanilla extract in the frosting.
It’s not optimal. This frosting really benefits from a high-speed blender to get a beautiful smooth consistency.
I really prefer the coconut version. But, it’s up to you! And, a blend of both would be beautiful.
Finally, you can watch me assemble the cake on youtube (and there’s still time to enter the giveaway, comment over on youtube):
Now let’s get to the recipe!
I hope you enjoy this Vanilla Sweet Potato Cake, perhaps as much (or more!) than the chocolate sweet potato cake.
Let me know how you enjoy it – and which version of the sweet potato frosting you decide to make.
Vanilla Sweet Potato Cake (frosting recipe follows)
- 1 cup cooked yellow sweet potato flesh cooled (see note)
- 11/2 cups non-dairy milk
- 3 tablespoons raw cashew pieces or 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
- 11/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups spelt flour or 2 cups less 2 tablespoons white whole-wheat flour
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unrefined sugar see note
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly wipe two 9-inch round cake pans with just a smidgen of coconut or other oil, then fit a round of parchment paper on the bottom of each pan. Combine the sweet potato, milk, cashews, lemon juice, and vanilla extract in a blender (or in a deep cup if using an immersion blender) and puree until completely smooth. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Add the wet ingredients to the dry (be sure to scrape out all the blended ingredients with a silicone spatula). Mix until well incorporated. Transfer to the prepared pans. Bake for 21–23 minutes, until the batter looks dry in the center and is set to the touch. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely in the pans. Carefully invert the pans to remove the cakes and frost as desired. Makes 2 (9-inch) cake layers; serves 8
Vanilla Sweet Potato Frosting
- 2 cups cooked yellow sweet potato flesh cooled (see note)
- About 1 cup coconut butter not melted (see note) or 1 cup (little scant) raw cashew butter (see note)
- 2/3 cup unrefined sugar plus more as needed (see note)
- 1/2 – 2/3 cup vanilla or plain nondairy milk (ONLY for coconut version see note for cashew butter version
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon rounded pure vanilla bean powder (optional)
- Combine the sweet potato, coconut butter (starting with 1/2 cup; see note), sugar, milk (starting with 1/2 cup), and sea salt in a high-speed blender (see note). Process until very smooth, scraping down the blender as needed. If it’s not blending well, add another 2–3 tablespoons milk to assist the pureeing. Taste and add 1–2 more tablespoons sugar if desired. Add the vanilla bean powder (if using) and stir with a spatula. Transfer to a container and refrigerate until ready to use. Or, get a spoon and dig in! Makes 3-4 cups