Sweet Potato Bourbon Cake

For a limited time only, the perfect fall dessert.

Sweet Potato Bourbon Cake / Especially Edible

Sweet potatoes. Pie pumpkins. Butternut squash. Cranberries. Eggnog. I can’t get enough of limited-time ingredients, the ones that only appear on store shelves in October and vanish after December 31, much like the way Christmas cards are mysteriously replaced by pink Valentine’s Day merchandise come January 1. So I go after sweet potato and eggnog recipes like a fast food junkie clamors for the McDonald McRib sandwich.

Sweet Potato Bourbon Cake / Especially Edible

The only thing better than recipes like pumpkin chicken chili and butternut squash hummus is one that incorporates more than one of the holiday-season ingredients. With that, I give you a modified Martha Stewart recipe: sweet potato bourbon bundt cake with cranberries. (Yes, that’s a mouthful.) The only thing that could have made it better would be . . . oh, who knows – an eggnog glaze, maybe? But I stuck with bourbon and powdered sugar, replacing Stewart’s bourbon glaze because – well, because drizzled icing is just prettier.

Sweet Potato Bourbon Cake / Especially Edible

And did I mention this bundt cake has pecans too? While pecans aren’t exactly a limited-time ingredient – think German chocolate cake and praline anything – they do feature prominently in the classic Thanksgiving pecan pie.

Sweet Potato Bourbon Cake / Especially Edible

I haven’t always had good luck with Martha Stewart recipes – the user reviews are always pretty harsh, which I hope has more to do with high expectations and more experienced bakers than any general sexist Stewart hatred – but when they work, they really work. After one disastrous macaroni and cheese dish from Stewart’s website, I was ready to swear off her – well, her test kitchen flunkies’ – recipes. Then I realized the butternut squash macaroni and cheese recipe that I made twice in one month was also a Stewart recipe. So I decided to give this bundt cake a shot.

Was it worth it? Heck, yes.

This cake is Thanksgiving and Christmas all rolled into one. And it doesn’t feature an ounce of that ever-present fall ingredient, pumpkin. It’s also beautiful, studded with bright cranberries and drizzled with a delicate pale glaze. So without further drooling ado, I give you a (delicious) mouthful of sweet potato bourbon cake with cranberries and pecans. Sweet Potato Bourbon Cake / Especially Edible

Sweet Potato Bourbon Cake

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Yield: 1 cake


For the Cake

1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, packed

1/3 cup butter, softened

2 large eggs

1 cup cooked, mashed sweet potato

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3/4 cup milk

1/3 cup bourbon

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 Tbs. baking powder

1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

3/4 tsp. salt

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 cup chopped cranberries

For the Glaze

4 Tbs. butter

3 Tbs. bourbon

2 cups powdered sugar, sifted


For the Cake

Cook the sweet potato by steaming for 20 minutes over boiling water. Remove from heat, let cool, and mash.

Preheat oven to 325.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs one at at a time. Add sweet potato, vanilla, milk, and bourbon. Add dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.

Pour batter into a 10- or 12-cup bundt pan and bake for 50-60 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Glaze

Melt the butter in a saucepan with the bourbon. Remove from the heat whisk in sifted powdered sugar until smooth.

Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake.

Cake recipe adapted from Martha Stewart . Glaze recipe from Food Network



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