Spring weather definitely isn’t for me. With the ups and downs and dramatic changes in the forecast at a moments notice, it's too much. Cold in the morning, too hot in the afternoon, rain whenever. It’s a lot to plan for. Will I need an umbrella? Will I be too cold after work? Are my shoes waterproof? There are outfits to choose, light layers to build, jackets to carry around. Geez Louise.
Yes, I’m aware how self-indulgent and ridiculous I’m being, but I have a point thankyouverymuch.
You see, the yo-yoing weather also means yo-yoing cravings. When it’s chilly I want soup, when it’s warmer I want salads, sometimes I’m craving hearty comfort and others I want light and lean.
Which is what led to this beauty's creation. The flavors are most definitely fall and winter inspired – hearty sweet potatoes with warm spices, but give a nod to light and lean spring too with airy marshmallow frosting. If you don’t have a kitchen torch, you don’t need to toast the frosting, but it adds that “sitting ‘round the campfire on a warm summer night” feel to truly make this cake fit for all seasons.
Sweet Potato Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Frosting
(makes 1 3-layer 8-inch cake)
2 ½ cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground ginger
Small pinch cloves, nutmeg, and allspice
¾ tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup canola oil
1 ½ cups brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. almond extract
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
1 ½ cups pureed sweet potatoes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 3 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper and spray with baking spray, set aside.
Whisk together all the ingredients from the flour to the salt, set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer cream together the butter, oil, and sugar until light and fluffy, scraping the bowl down as necessary. Add in eggs, one at a time, mixing until fully incorporated. Stir in the extracts and sour cream until blended.
Working in three batches, add the dry ingredients to the wet, alternating with additions of milk, ending with flour. Scrape down the bowl before stirring in sweet potato puree.
Divide batter among prepared cake pans and bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven and allow to cool in pans for 10 minutes before turning out of pans and allowing to cool completely.
While the cake cools, prepare the marshmallow frosting.
Toasted Marshmallow Frosting
(inspired by Martha Stewart)
1 ½ cups + 2 TBSP sugar
1 ½ TBSP corn syrup
6 TBSP water
pinch of salt
6 eggs whites, at room temperature
¼ tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
In a medium sauce pan, combine the 1 ½ cups sugar, corn syrup, water and salt. Heat on medium-high heat until mixture reaches 230 degrees.
While the sugar mixture heats, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar until small peaks form, slowly add in remaining 2 TBSP sugar and whip until stiff peaks form.
Once the sugar mixture has reached 230 degrees, slowly pour into the whipped egg whites.
Increase mixer speed and whip on high until cool – about 10-15 minutes. Frosting will be light and fluffy and shiny.
To frost cake:
Once cake is cooled, slice off any uneven tops to leave you with three level layers. Place one layer on a cake board and cover with a generous layer of frosting, so that the extra overflows onto the sides. Repeat with the second and third cake layers.
To crumb coat the cake: frost the sides of the cake with the residual frosting from the layers and place in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Cover the cake in whatever frosting remains. Using a kitchen torch, lightly toast frosting before serving.
Alternately, you can bake and freeze the layers – simply wrap tightly in plastic wrap before cool and defrost and frost (ha!) when ready.