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Sweet Potato Cake with Bourbon Cream Cheese Frosting

Susan Reid | October 9, 2020

This cake is lightly spiced, flecked with bourbon-soaked raisins for a bit of kick, and is moist and rich without being too sweet. Tangy cream cheese frosting only makes things more luscious. Baking the sweet potatoes is the best way to cook them; you don’t want them to be soggy before joining the cake batter.

Prep Time
1 hour, 15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour, 20 minutes
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Sweet Potato Cake With Bourbon Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe


  • 1 cup raisins
  • ¼ cup bourbon or dark rum
  • 2 cups cooked mashed sweet potatoes
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon each bourbon and vanilla extract



  1. In advance, pour the bourbon over the raisins, and allow them to soak for at least 30 minutes, up to several hours.
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a cast iron 9 x 13 inch pan. 
  2. In a large bowl with a whisk or the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle, beat the eggs enough to break them up. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is thick and pale. Add the vegetable oil and vanilla, then beat to blend. Add the sweet potatoes and mix until thoroughly combined, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  3. Separately, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the flour mixture to the batter in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Scrape the bowl, mix for 30 seconds more, then stir in the raisins and their liquid.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake in the center of the oven for 45-48 minutes, or until a paring knife inserted into the center comes out clean and the cake is just beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack. 
  1. In a large mixing bowl combine the cream cheese, butter, salt, and brown sugar until smooth.
  2. Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, mixing well after each addition until the frosting is smooth. Stir in the bourbon and vanilla, and use to frost the cooled cake. 


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Contributed By: Susan Reid

Chef Susan Reid is the food editor of Sift Magazine, a baking publication by King Arthur Baking Company. In her spare time, Susan shares some of her recipes on her blog, The Well Plated Life

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