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Candied Yam Pound Cake

You’d think that after six days of pound cake that I’d be good and tired of eating cake. Friends, let me tell you…this Candied Yam Pound Cake is the palette cleanser that’s helping me power right through. Welcome to Day 7 of the Twelve Days of Pound Cake!

My mother would laugh incessantly if she heard that, since I made an absolute scene every time she served me candied yams as a child. Sweet potatoes were definitely an acquired taste for me. And by “acquired”, I mean that I was a fully-grown adult before I voluntarily ate a sweet potato.

About this Candied Yam Pound Cake

This Candied Yam Pound Cake reminds me of my mother in a lot of ways. She loved, loved, loved traditional candied yam casserole (made from sweet potatoes) and served them every Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Her sweet potato casserole was a simple, buttery casserole with lots of brown sugar and toasted marshmallows on top. This cake is a sweet and simple homage to all of the missed sweet potatoes of my youth.

In addition to being simply buttery, I added just a kiss of bourbon to the batter and the simple syrup. The bourbon adds an excellent depth of flavor to this cake that is just incredible. Additionally, sweet potatoes always benefit from the smallest grind of nutmeg, so I added some to this cake!

This is a picture of a Candied Yam Pound Cake.

And of course toasted meringue was a must.

Candied Yam Pound Cake Ingredients

All-Purpose Flour: I love the pleasantly plump texture of a good pound cake. In my experience (and with my cakes), that beautiful texture comes from all-purpose flour. This cake really needs all-purpose flour to counteract the wateriness of the sweet potato puree.

Baking Soda: Sweet potatoes are ever-so-slightly acidic. Because of that, baking soda was the proper leavening to add to this cake.

Kosher Salt: Salt is very important in any dessert; it balances the sugar and keeps the dessert from becoming cloyingly sweet. If using table salt for this recipe, cut the amount in half.

Nutmeg: The slight amount of nutmeg in this recipe adds a big hit of warmth to this cake, and makes it super homey.

This is a picture of a Candied Yam Pound Cake.

Unsalted Butter: This cake has some heavy-duty ingredients, so I wanted to use butter instead of oil. The reason is surprising…butter helps this cake become lighter! Specifically, the process of creaming butter and sugar creates air pockets that assist with cake rise.

Light Brown Sugar: I added light brown sugar to this cake, to give it a slight molasses taste. The molasses and nutmeg play very nicely together here.

Eggs: The protein in the eggs adds structure to the cake, while the fatty yolk adds delicious flavor.

Pure Vanilla Extract: Make sure to use the good stuff, like Nielsen-Massey, for this incredible recipe! Whatever brand you use, make sure you use pure vanilla extract. It can be difficult to find this time of year, so make sure to stock up!

Bourbon: With this cake, I was looking for ingredients that added depth of flavor, not a boozy taste. A great bourbon gave me the depth of flavor that I was looking for!

Sweet Potato Puree: You can use canned or fresh puree for this cake. I preferred making it myself, but if you’re short on time then the canned will work just fine!

This is a picture of a Candied Yam Pound Cake.

Beginners Start Here

If you’re new to baking, or if you want to learn how to do some of the more tricky baking techniques, here are a couple of super helpful articles from the BwB site that will help you get set up for success with this Candied Yam Pound Cake.

These resources are super helpful to help you build consistency and confidence on your baking journey. Happy Reading!

This is a picture of a Candied Yam Pound Cake.

Important Tools Used in this Candied Yam Pound Cake

Below, you’ll find some tools that I used for this pound cake. These are the tools that I use all the time in my own kitchen.

**I get paid a small commission if you purchase directly from these links, but they are truly amazing products that you’ll find in my kitchen.**

This is a picture of a Candied Yam Pound Cake.

If you have them already, great! Think of this as a checklist to help you build the confidence that you’ll need to execute this recipe!

One of the best parts of the Twelve Days of Pound Cake is going down memory lane and remembering the sweet holiday times that I used to spend with my family. This particular cake unlocked so many memories about my mom and her famous yams, and I am so grateful to this cake for that.

Enjoy the recipe, Friends! See you tomorrow for Day 8!

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Candied Yam Pound Cake

This Candied Yam Pound cake is an amazing homage to all of the sweet potato casseroles of my youth.  It’s warm and cozy and a perfect addition to any dessert table!

  • Total Time: ~7 hours
  • Yield: 18 servings 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale

For the Batter:

  • 384 g all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 227 g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 500 g light brown sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 tsp bourbon
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 425 g (1 can) sweet potato puree (about 1.5 large or 2.5 medium sweet potatoes)

For the Bourbon Simple Syrup:

  • 84 g (1/3 c) water
  • 63 g (1/3 c) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp bourbon
  • 1 tsp vanilla

For the Meringue:

  • 300 g (1 c) granulated sugar
  • 5 large egg whites

Instructions

To Make Sweet Potato Puree:

  1. Peel and rinse sweet potatoes.  Dice into 1/2-inch cubes.  Place in a medium saucepan and fill the saucepan with enough water to completely cover the potatoes.
  2. Bring the potatoes to a boil, then reduce to a low boil for 12 minutes.  When potatoes are fork tender, remove from the heat and smash with a potato ricer or potato masher.  Set potatoes aside for about 45 minutes to cool to room temperature.
  3. Measure 425 grams (2 c) of sweet potatoes in a small bowl and set aside.

To Make the Batter:

  1. Set your oven to a true 325°F.  An oven thermometer is extremely useful here, since most ovens will not reach 325°F when set to 325°F.  
  2. Sift together the all-purpose flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, kosher salt and baking soda in a medium bowl.  Set aside.
  3. Add the room-temperature butter to the bowl of your stand mixer or a large mixing bowl.  Mix just the butter with your hand or stand mixer until the butter is completely smooth.  Add the brown sugar and cream until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing each egg until it is completely incorporated into the mixture.  Scrape the sides and bowl as needed to ensure even mixing.
  5. Add the vanilla and mix thoroughly.
  6. Add half of the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  7. Add all of the sweet potato puree and mix until just combined.
  8. Add the second half of the flour mixture and mix until just combined.  Using a rubber spatula, give the sides and bottom of the bowl a final scrape to ensure that the batter is even mixed.
  9. Prep a 10- or 12-cup bundt pan as you normally would (I use butter and flour to prep pans for this cake) and add the batter to the pan.  Use a rubber spatula to even out the batter, then tap the pan on the countertop several times to remove air bubbles from the batter.
  10. Bake for 55-70 minutes in a true 325°F oven, or until an instant-read thermometer reads 212°F-215°F.  

To Make the Simple Syrup:

  1. Add sugar and water to a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.  Remove from the heat as soon as the sugar is completely dissolved.
  2. Add pure vanilla extract and bourbon and stir to combine.
  3. Allow the cake to cool in its pan for ten minutes, then invert and place on top of a cooling rack.  Brush simple syrup on the cake and allow to cool completely.

To Make the Meringue:

  1. Bring 2” of water to a low boil in a large (3 qt.) saucepan.  
  2. Carefully separate eggs, placing them In a clean metal bowl (either a stand mixer or a large stainless steel bowl).  Add sugar and stir to combine.
  3. Place a metal bowl over the top of the saucepan while the water is still boiling.  Whisk the egg white mixture over the saucepan until all of the sugar is completely dissolved.  
  4. Remove the metal bowl from the stove.  Using the whisk attachment on either your hand mixer or your stand mixer, whisk the mixture on the lowest speed until it is nearly opaque.  
  5. Increase the mixer to medium speed until the mixture begins to look light and fluffy.
  6. Increase the mixer to the highest speed until the meringue is done.  To check the meringue, remove the whisk attachment from the mixture and invert it.  If the meringue slowly folds down over the whisk attachment, it’s complete.
  7. Using an offset spatula, quickly spread the meringue over the cooled cake.  If desired, use a butane torch to toast the meringue. 
  • Author: Shani
  • Prep Time: 1 hour (total)
  • Cook Time: 60-75 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Candied Yam Pound Cake

Check out these other cakes from the Twelve Days of Pound Cake 2022!

2 COMMENTS

  1. How much cream is required for the recipe? Didn’t see it called out in the ingredients list, but it appears to be called out in the directions

    • Hi there! There’s no cream used in this recipe. The references to the word “creaming” are talking about the technique of “creaming” butter and sugar. I hope this helps!

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