This vegan sweet potato cake is incredibly fluffy and moist, loaded with spices and topped with an irresistable dairy free cream cheese frosting. You can make this easy cake with less than 10 ingredients!
Why this is the best sweet potato cake
- Each bite is like a much needed warm hug on a cold day.
- It's moist and packed with sweet potato
- You only need one bowl to make the cake
- It's a single EASY layer! No awkward stacking or worrying that the cake will collapse.
- It comes with a dreamy melt-in-your-mouth cream cheese frosting! Since this is a single layer cake, we can use a soft frosting (which tends to get squished in cakes with multiple layers).
- It's reminiscent of carrot cake but without the texture of carrots!
8 ingredient sweet potato cake!
Yep I'm not kidding! To make the cake, you'll need:
- Plain / all-purpose flour. If you're after a healthy sweet potato cake, use whole wheat or spelt flour. I've also listed a gluten free subtitute in the recipe card.
- Sweet potato puree. I made my own by simply boiling sweet potatoes and pureeing the golden flesh with a stick blender. The Spruce Eats demonstrates this process well. Canned pumpkin puree will also work!
- Brown or coconut sugar because they have a natural caramel profile which really enhances the sweet potato puree.
- Dairy-free milk, a usual suspect in vegan baking.
- Oil for the extra moisture! It also balances out the natural starches in the sweet potato and makes a soft and tender cake (rather than a chewy one). If you're oil free, you should be able to substitute it with applesauce but I haven't tried it myself.
- Pumpkin spice. I made my own blend using ground cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
- Baking powder and baking soda to make the cake incredibly FLUFFY.
Some optional extras are apple cider vinegar and vanilla extract. I've tried the recipe without these and the cake was still delicious!
This is an eggless sweet potato cake but we don't actually need any egg replacers :). There's enough starch and structure in the sweet potato puree to hold the cake together.
How to prepare the cake batter
I ALWAYS prefer one-bowl recipes and this sweet potato cake recipe is one of them!
To make the cake batter, add all the liquid ingredients to a large mixing bowl and whisk until combined. If you haven't pureed your sweet potato yet, just add your cooked sweet potato with the milk and oil to your mixing bowl. Then use a stick blender to puree the ingredients until smooth.
Then add all the dry ingredients and mix until combined. It should be a thick batter, kind of like a typical banana bread batter. Just make sure there are no pockets of flour or wet ingredients!
Baking the cake
Since we're baking this cake in a large 20 x 20 cm (8 inch) square pan, we only need to bake it for around 30 minutes. It's soo much quicker than a loaf tin!
The cake is delicate when it's still warm so I'd highly recommend leaving it in the cake pan to cool.
Alternatively, if you would like a layered sweet potato cake, simply bake the cake in 2 x 20 cm (8 inch) round cake pans or 3 x 15 cm (6 inch) round cake pans. The cakes may dome a little so make sure you cut off the domes before you stack them. Or use some cake strips!
Frosting and decorating the cake
This vegan sweet potato cake is best with a simple cream cheese frosting and some crushed walnuts or pecans. The tangy creamy flavour and texture really complements the warm spices and earthy sweet potato in the cake.
The sweet potato cake is also wonderful by itself as a snack cake.
However, you can also top the cake with:
- A simple dusting of powdered sugar or drizzle of maple syrup
- A two-ingredient glaze such as what I used in my pistachio lemon cake (use plant based milk instead of lemon juice).
- A pecan crumble from my vegan apple cake or wholesome oat crumble from my apple berry muffins. For a crumb topping, I'd recommend crumbling the mixture on the unbaked sweet potato cake then baking it for around 35 minutes.
- American-style buttercream, such as from my vegan gingerbread cake. You'll only need to make half the quantity of buttercream to cover this sweet potato cake.
- Whipped coconut cream, to mimic marshmallow cream, yum!
- Coconut yoghurt or warm custard 🙂
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Easy Vegan Sweet Potato Cake
Wet ingredients for sweet potato cake
- 1 ¼ cups (250g) sweet potato puree, canned or homemade (see note 1)
- 1 ½ cups (310g) dairy free milk, such as almond, soy or coconut
- ½ cup (125g) light-tasting vegetable oil, such as sunflower or rapeseed
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, optional
- 1 tsp vanilla extract, optional
Dry ingredients for sweet potato cake
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line or grease a 20 cm (8-inch) square baking tin.
To make the cake
- Add all the wet ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix until there are no lumps. Add all the dry ingredients (sift them first if they are very lumpy) to the bowl and mix until there are no pockets of flour or wet ingredients. Be careful to not overmix the batter!
- Pour the batter into your cake tin. Bake for 30 minutes or until you can insert a skewer in the middle and it comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the tin.
To make the frosting
- Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and cream the ingredients until smooth.
- When the cake has fully cooled, spread the frosting on the cake. Cut the cake as desired and serve!
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
- For homemade sweet potato puree, simply boil or roast 1 large sweet potato or 2 small sweet potatoes, and puree the flesh. I prefer boiling the sweet potato as it's much quicker! You can also use canned pumpkin puree instead of sweet potato.
- For a gluten free vegan sweet potato cake, substitute the flour with a good quality 1:1 gluten free all purpose flour. Or use 1 ½ cups (150g) almond flour and 1 ½ cups (240g) gluten free all-purpose flour.
- Or use 2 tsp ground cinnamon, ½ tsp ground nutmeg and ½ tsp ground cloves.
- If you only have access to spreadable vegan margarine, use only ½ cup (110g). Your frosting may be a little softer. Also, more icing sugar will create a firmer frosting whereas less icing sugar will create a softer frosting. For some frosting/decoration alternatives, check out the blog post above!
This post was originally published in 2019 and updated for simplicity in 2021.
Please leave a comment below if you made this recipe, have any questions or thoughts! Your comment will help other readers and Rainbow Nourishments.