I used to enter recipe contests on Food52 quite a bit. It depended on the topic of the contest, but if I had appropriate recipes I would enter, in hopes of winning and also as a way to share my recipes with a different, broader audience. They have fewer contests now and the last several haven’t been in my wheelhouse.
Most of the recipes I entered in the contests didn’t go anywhere. But a couple, like my banana bread blondies and easy homemade cranberry sauce became super popular. The blondies have faded, though they are still a favorite in my house, so you should give them a try. But every year around Thanksgiving, the cranberry sauce is still a hit.
Apparently the recipe is hard to find on Food52 these days, but I have received more than a handful of comments from people who searched out the recipe, found it on my blog, and still make it every year because it is super easy to make, quintessentially Thanksgiving, and absolutely positively delicious.
It’s the most Thanksgiving-y food I like. I love it with salmon, steak, shaken up into a martini (do it!!!), over ice cream, and as a tart jammy layer in cake, like this sweet potato layer cake here. See, layer cakes need, well, layers of more than just cake. They need layers of flavor and texture. Here you have fluffy spiced cake, tangy and smooth cream cheese frosting, tart cranberry sauce, and crunchy candied pecans. It really is the perfect storm of flavor and texture that is so ready to be a part of any and every holiday festivity coming between now and the end of the year.Print
Fluffy sweet potato cake with tangy cream cheese frosting, tart cranberry sauce, and crunchy candied pecans.
½ cup coconut oil, room temperature
½ cup olive oil
1 ½ cups coconut sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs
3 cups paleo flour blend (2 cups almond flour, 1 ¼ cups tapioca starch, ¾ cup coconut flour)
¾ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
2 cups roasted sweet potatoes, mashed
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2–4 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla bean powder
2 cups pecans
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Homemade cranberry sauce, for assembly
Make the cake. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/ 325 degrees F convection. Oil 2 8 or 9 inch round pans and line the bottom with foil.
In a large bowl, beat the oils, sugar, and vanilla until well combined and lightened in color and texture. Beat in the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. Stir in half the flour, followed by the milk. Stir in the remaining flour along with the salt, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and cardamom. Finish the batter with the sweet potatoes. Divide the batter between the pans and bake 20-25 minutes until risen, golden brown, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan.
Make the pecans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F/ 300 degrees F convection. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Spread the pecans in an even layer on the tray, drizzle with syrup, and sprinkle with vanilla and cinnamon. Stir to combine and bake 20-30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes until caramelized and crunchy. Cool completely on the pan. May be made ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Assemble the cake. Make the frosting. In a large bowl, using a hand or stand mixer beat the cream cheese, syrup, cream, and vanilla until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Add more cream as needed to achieve a spreadable, fluffy texture.
Place one cake on the stand or platter of your choosing. Top with a generous amount of frosting, building up the edges slightly. Spread a thick layer of cranberry sauce on top. Place the second cake on top. Dollop most of the remaining frosting on top the cake and cover it in its entirety, working the frosting down the sides. Finish in any decorative way you choose. Top with pecans. Cake may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Recipe adapted from Saveur
- Prep Time: 40 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes