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« Baker's Dozen: A Batch of Sweet Links! | Main | Sweet Book: Primrose Bakery Book »

Sweet Potato Pecan Pound Cake With Maple Buttercream

Sweet potato pecan cake

I have a problem.

The problem is that this cake is so delicious that I want to die. And I want the cause of my death to be "eating 200 pounds of this cake". It is seriously that good.

Of course, if you don't like sweet potato or maple (or joy) you should probably not bother with this cake. But if you do like these things, then you're in for a treat. A rich, buttery, spicy pound cake, decadently moist from the sweet potato and lightly crunchy from the addition of toasted pecans would probably be just fine all on its own or with a dusting of confectioners' sugar, but let's be honest: it's even better with buttercream. This simple maple buttercream is a joy to eat, subtle and mellowly sweet. Add a few more toasted pecans on top and you'll be joining me in "want to die a sweet autumn binge eating death" territory.

Here are a few process shots, and then the recipe. Enjoy.

Sweet potato pecan cake

Here is the batter being made. Um, the recipe doesn't require that many eggs. I was doing other stuff too.

Sweet potato pecan cake

Here's the first delicious slather of buttercream meeting cake.

Sweet potato pecan cake

Here's the batter in the pan.

Here's the recipe.

Sweet Potato Pecan Pound Cake with Maple Buttercream

Makes 2 8-inch cakes, 24 cupcakes, or one 2-layer cake

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups canned sweet potato pie filling
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped


  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • more toasted pecans, for garnish



  1. Heat oven to 350°. Line two 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper, and grease generously. You can also bake these as cupcakes, but you'll reduce the baking time later.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and spices; set aside.
  3. Cream the butter with sugars until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula with each addition and mixing well. Beat in the vanilla and sweet potato until blended.
  4. Stir the dry ingredients into the batter in 2-3 increments,  alternating with the milk, until blended. Fold in the nuts.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared cake pans.
  6. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 
  7. Cool in the pan for about 15 minutes before turning the cakes out on to wire racks to cool completely before frosting.
  8. Time to make the frosting. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and maple syrup for 3 to 5 minutes, until smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Add the confectioners’ sugar, cup by cup, until your desired spreading consistency has been reached. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed with a rubber spatula. If the frosting becomes too stiff, stir in a small quantity of milk to thin. 
  9. Frost the cakes generously, and garnish with more toasted pecans and cinnamon and nutmeg.


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Reader Comments (6)

This looks crazy delicious. Anything that combines sweet potato + maple flavors has to be good!
October 18 | Unregistered CommenterAmy
great post its and thanks, i love eating
October 19 | Unregistered Commentersadia
A combination of my three favorite things- sweet potato, pecans and pound cake! Thank you for the recipe and hello Thanksgiving dessert!
October 19 | Unregistered CommenterCali B.
My mom made this cake yesterday for our 7th anniversary yesterday. So. So. Good. It's the perfect Autumn Cake. Dense and spicy and would go great with coffee in the morning. The maple buttercream is superb! She thinks she took it out of the pan too soon and didn't let it cool enough as it didn't really stay in its form and broke up in large chunks a bit but that didn't matter to us. . . . .we ate those pieces very quickly!
October 22 | Unregistered CommenterK
K - how long did you let it cool in the pan? Did you use parchment paper on the bottom of it? That can make a big difference.
October 22 | Registered CommenterCakespy
Heeeelllllloooooo cakespy!!! Adooore ur website n i'm oooh sooo happy ur on the east coast!!! this jersey girl cant wait 2 visit, but for now i'll bake this yummy cake!! Question tho, can i sub in frwah sweet potatoes for the canned stuff? If so, how would i do it? Thanks soo much for the sugarcoated joy u put out :D
October 25 | Unregistered CommenterKelis

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