Sweet Potato Pound Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Sweet Potato Pound Cake

Total Time
Prep: 25 min. Bake: 50 min. + cooling
Your new favorite fall dessert awaits with our sweet potato pound cake and a citrusy orange glaze.

Updated: Dec. 04, 2023

Want to bake a fall treat that delivers a little more than pumpkin and spices? Our sweet potato pound cake is the clear choice!

This cake is one of our best sweet potato dessert ideas. It combines caramel-y sweet potato flavor with melt-in-your-mouth pound cake texture, all baked in a Bundt pan for a gorgeously fluted cake. Warm fall spices dot the batter, and a bright and citrusy orange glaze tops the cake.

Orange and sweet potato are always a wonderfully dynamic duo, and the addition of fall spices wraps up all the flavors like a cozy blanket.

Ingredients for Sweet Potato Pound Cake

  • Butter: For moisture and richness in the pound cake, we have butter to thank.
  • All-purpose flour: All-purpose flour provides structure and the perfect crumb texture. Bread flour would be too dense, and cake flour would be too delicate.
  • Cinnamon: Naturally sweet cinnamon imparts a warm and cozy flavor throughout the pound cake.
  • Nutmeg: Pre-ground nutmeg is great, but it’s worth grating a fresh nutmeg for a bolder, more pronounced flavor that elevates this pound cake a few notches.
  • Sweet potatoes: Cold, mashed sweet potatoes are the star of this recipe for their lovely, caramelized flavor.
  • Confectioners’ sugar: Confectioners’ sugar dissolves easily with other liquids, making it the perfect sweetener for the glaze.
  • Orange zest and juice: A bit of orange zest and juice add brightness and a citrusy tang to the glaze.

Directions

Step 1: Prepare the Bundt pan

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 10-inch fluted tube pan.

Editor’s Tip: We recommend using shortening to grease the pan. Butter’s milk solids can cause the cake to stick to the pan. Once you grease and flour the pan, tilt the pan over the sink, and pat the bottom of the pan firmly to remove excess flour. If you see any misses in the pan, grease and flour that area, then knock the excess flour out, and repeat as necessary.

Step 2: Create the batter

In a large bowl, use a hand mixer or stand mixer to beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, five to seven minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Add the dry mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with the sweet potatoes. Beat the mixture just until combined (batter will be thick). Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.

Editor’s Tip: Do not overmix the dry and wet ingredients, or your pound cake will be tough and dense. Instead, mix until they’re just combined.

Step 3: Bake the cake

Bake the pound cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool at room temperature for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan to a wire rack, and let cool completely to room temperature.

Step 4: Decorate with glaze

In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, orange zest and enough orange juice to achieve desired consistency. Drizzle over the cake.

Sweet Potato Pound Cake Variations

Cutting a Piece of Sweet Potato Pound Cake TMB STUDIO

  • Spread on frosting: Omit the glaze, and decorate your cake with a nutty browned-butter frosting. Or go rich and indulgent with a cream cheese frosting. For something lighter, opt for a quick dusting of powdered sugar.
  • Sprinkle on nuts: Top the glazed sweet potato pound cake with crushed candied pecans or toasted hazelnuts for a nutty, sweet flavor and crunchy texture.
  • Change the glaze: Swap out this recipe’s orange glaze for a simple quick vanilla glaze, a browned butter glaze, or the praline glaze from our heavenly praline cake.
  • Make it adult-only: Omit a smidge of the orange juice from the glaze, and make up for it with bourbon or rum.
  • Bake in a different pan: If a Bundt pan is daunting to you, we get it! We developed our guide on Bundt cake tips for this reason, but you can just as easily find baking pan conversions for a loaf or cake pan.
  • Make a trifle: Maybe you turned your cake out, the pan wasn’t greased thoroughly enough, and your cake broke apart. That’s OK! Mistakes happen in the kitchen, and there’s still a dessert we can create. Use the broken-up cake pieces in our pumpkin mousse trifle for another delicious fall treat.

How to Store Sweet Potato Pound Cake

Store the sweet potato pound cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days. If you put a cream cheese frosting on the cake, store the cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days.

To freeze the cake unglazed, wrap the room-temperature pound cake in several layers of storage wrap and a final layer of aluminum foil. To thaw, place the cake in the fridge overnight. When you’re ready to serve the cake, unwrap it, and pour the glaze onto it.

Sweet Potato Pound Cake Tips

Sweet Potato Pound Cake with Orange Slices on a PlateTMB STUDIO

How should you cook the sweet potatoes before mashing them?

We recommend roasting the sweet potatoes whole with their skins on in the oven. Roasting causes the natural sugars to caramelize and intensify the flavors. Boiling or microwaving the sweet potatoes works just fine, too. You can also use canned sweet potatoes, but don’t reach for canned yams thinking they’re the same. Yams and sweet potatoes are actually quite different from one another.

How can you prevent sweet potato pound cake from sticking to the fluted tube pan?

To prevent the pound cake from sticking to the fluted tube pan, learn how to grease a cake pan the right way. Also, be sure to follow the recipe’s cooling directions before removing the cake from the pan.

What can you serve with sweet potato pound cake?

You can serve sweetened whipped cream or pecan praline ice cream with sweet potato pound cake. A nice coffee or espresso is an excellent morning drink pairing. And who can say no to some of our favorite fall drinks? (We’re partial to the pumpkin spice latte or hot apple cider.) If you’re looking for an adult beverage, make one of our fall cocktails, or serve a glass of chardonnay, moscato or riesling.

Can I use pumpkin to replace the sweet potato?

Yes, you can use pumpkin to replace the sweet potato, but know that pumpkin isn’t as sweet or caramel-y. If you can’t find canned sweet potatoes and don’t have enough time to prepare sweet potatoes, reach for a good canned pumpkin brand.

How do you make pound cake moist?

The trick to keeping pound cake moist is to not overbake it. Overbaking evaporates too much liquid, resulting in a tough, dry pound cake. Another way to ensure your pound cake stays moist is by storing it in an airtight container at room temperature. The fridge may dry it out (unless you’re defrosting it from frozen).

Sweet Potato Pound Cake

Prep Time 25 min
Cook Time 50 min
Yield 16 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups cold mashed sweet potatoes
  • GLAZE:
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 3 to 5 teaspoons orange juice

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 10-in. fluted tube pan. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and nutmeg; add to creamed mixture alternately with sweet potatoes. Beat just until combined (batter will be thick). Transfer to prepared pan.
  2. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 50-60 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. For glaze, in a small bowl, combine confectioners' sugar, orange zest and enough juice to achieve desired consistency. Drizzle over cake.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 365 calories, 13g fat (8g saturated fat), 77mg cholesterol, 257mg sodium, 58g carbohydrate (35g sugars, 2g fiber), 5g protein.

Because we are from Texas, we naturally love sweet potatoes, but this sweet potato pound cake deserves to be a tradition in any home, whether you’re from the South, East, North or West. My rancher husband from Montana loves it, and I get great reviews from the ladies that I’ve treated to it at various social events. — Diane Mannix, Helmville, Montana
Recipe Creator