Sweet Potato Rye Bundt Cake

Sometimes a girl just needs a heads-up. Sometimes a cake is so unexpectedly perfect and fabulous, and you have no idea what you’re about to bite into because it looks like a regular cake-colored cake with a dusting of powdered sugar and no other ceremonial visual cues. In fact, you might even wonder what it is you’re getting into, being that you had mixed a not-insignificant amount of sweet potato purée into said cake. Is it going to be… weird? orange? savory? What I’m saying is that I had no warning from the original blog post about how amazing this cake would be; I would go so far as to say that it’s the sleeper hit of the season. It is lightly, perfectly spiced with the plushest of textures. It is e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. I’ve eaten, like, a lot of cakes, and I can think of nothing at the moment more lovely for a light fall/winter weekend breakfast with a cup of coffee. Or an afternoon snack. Or dessert with a side of whipped cream. (And if you need to sneak to the kitchen at midnight for a bite or five, no one will hold that against you.) It is quintessential November, but is perfectly at home in December.

In case I haven’t already beaten a dead horse, there are a couple more things I wanted to highlight. The combination of ingredients here is greater than the sum of its parts: sweet potato, nutmeg, rye flour, rum, buttermilk, vanilla. This is one of those recipes that I wish I could say was an original of mine– each of these ingredients elevates the others, bringing out the best flavor and texture that one could coax from a cake. Buttermilk for tenderness, rye flour for nutty depth, vanilla warmth to underpin everything. Furthermore, the cake lasts for several days and keeps getting better over the first few days.

Pretty please, do yourself and your holiday guests the bestest favor by serving this cake on your Thanksgiving dessert table, for a lazy post-turkey long-weekend brunch, or any other cozy holiday gathering coming up. Absolute autumnal perfection.

Sweet Potato Rye Bundt Cake

Adapted from 600 Acres

Serves 12-16

The recipe says that baking time should be around 80 minutes. My first one was done at 55 minutes, and the second time at 60, so it will depend on your oven.

  • 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (106g) dark rye flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (200g) canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons rum
  • 2 cups (426g) sweet potato purée (freshly roasted or canned)
  • ¾ cup (170g) buttermilk
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Preheat an oven to 350°F and set a rack in the center position. Grease a 12-cup Bundt pan very thoroughly, then sprinkle granulated sugar over the inside, turning it upside down to tap out any excess sugar.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and rye flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs with the sugar on medium speed until the mixture is pale in color, about 5 minutes.

Add the vegetable oil, vanilla, and rum, beating on medium until well combined.

Scrape the sweet potatoes into the bowl and mix; don’t worry if the batter doesn’t look completely smooth at this point.

Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix just until the mixture is smooth.

Scrape the batter into the prepared Bundt pan and smooth the top with a spatula.

Bake the cake for about 55-80 minutes (start checking around 50 minutes). The cake is done when a skewer inserted into the center comes out with no wet batter clinging to it.

Remove the pan from the oven and let the cake cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes before flipping it onto a metal cooling rack. Run a small offset spatula or knife around the top edges to loosen the cake if needed.

Once completely cooled, dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar.

Store the cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days (possibly longer, but it will get eaten before that so you’ll never know for sure).

© Dafna Adler & Stellina Sweets, 2022. 

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