Sweet Potato Cake Recipe

Top this Sweet Potato Cake Recipe with a decadent coconut frosting.

March/April 2015

  • A cake recipe that uses leftover sweet potatoes.
    Photo by Lori Dunn

Favorite Cake Recipes

Mary Salisbury, Owatonna, Minnesota, requested a number of recipes, including one for Sweet Potato Cake. In addition, we asked readers to send in their favorite cake recipes to help Mary replace a number of lost recipes.

Beth Harrison of Elberton, Georgia, sends a recipe from her mother’s collection. “I don’t know if it was her original recipe or if she copied it from somewhere, but it was the only kind of cake my brother would eat. Sadly, both of them are gone now, and I hadn’t thought about this recipe until I read Mary’s request for one.”

Sweet Potato Surprise Cake



• 2-1/2 cups sifted cake flour
• 3 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1-1/2 cups vegetable oil
• 2 cups sugar
• 4 eggs, separated
• 4 tablespoons hot water
• 1-1/2 cups grated, raw sweet potatoes
• 1 cup chopped nuts
• 1 teaspoon vanilla


• 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 stick margarine
• 3 egg yolks
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1-1/3 cups flaked coconut


1.Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease three 8-inch pans; set aside.

To make cake:

2. In medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

3. In large bowl, combine oil and sugar; beat until smooth. Add egg yolks and beat well. Add hot water, then sifted dry ingredients. Stir in sweet potatoes, nuts and vanilla, and beat well.

4. In small bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Fold into cake batter. 

5. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until done. Cool completely before frosting.

To make frosting:

6. In saucepan, combine evaporated milk, sugar, margarine, egg yolks and vanilla. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 12 minutes, or until mixture thickens.

7. Remove from heat and add coconut. Beat until cool and of spreading consistency.

Interested in more fun recipes? Check out Recipe Box: Sweet Potato Cake Recipe and More for cookie and cake recipes containing unusual dessert ingredients including navy beans.

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