A sweet potato cake with cream cheese frosting sits on a cake stand. Beside it is a freshly cut slice sitting on a plate.

Sweet Potato Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Fall calls for all sorts of recipes that include sweet potatoes, and this sweet potato cake with cream cheese frosting might just be good enough to topple pumpkin pie from the throne.

A sweet potato cake with cream cheese frosting sits on a cake stand. Beside it is a freshly cut slice sitting on a plate.
Sweet Potato Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This Sweet Potato Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is a treat for both the eyes and the tastebuds. The autumnal color of the cake contrasts perfectly with the creamy color of the frosting, and the warm cinnamon flavor gives you all of the nostalgic feelings you could wish for.

A slice of sweet potato cake on a white plate in the foreground, with the rest of the cake on a cake stand in the background.

Color. My life is dictated by color these days. I feel like ever since I started this blog, I have begun to see colors and light differently. The way the red in a napkin reminds me of cranberries. The brilliant color hidden within a sweet potato’s dull skin. The way the light coming from the window falls on my robe hook. Spending my days sharing here with you has heightened my awareness of life’s color palette. And that, I like. Color is beautiful.

Color can also be something I dread. I was staring blankly at my calendar the other day. Everything is color-coded, rainbow-hued and full. I like your color-coded calendar, mama. Even my son knows what a color-coded calendar is, and he’s five! The month of October barely started and I am already feeling a little tired just looking at what’s ahead.

But busy schedules can’t keep me out of the kitchen. So if it means that at ten o’clock at night I have to bake a cake that has been haunting me for weeks, then I must.

The cake on a stand with the first ring of frosting piped around the top.
The cake with a layer of frosting on the top, but bare sides.

Sweet Potato Cake

I was on the phone with my sister the other night and I found myself telling her about this cake I have been wanting to bake. How does a Kamote Cake sound to you? I asked. Kamote is Tagalog for Sweet Potato, and the idea of a Sweet Potato Cake was so exciting to both of us, I had to get started right away. It might have been late at night, but it was the only time I had to bake, and finally, I was feeling inspired.

A one layer sweet potato cake fully frosted with cream cheese frosting on the top and sides.

I wish my sister were here to share this cake with me. If you don’t know any better, you would think it was a carrot cake. Moist and dense, fragrant from cinnamon, and balanced by a light cream cheese frosting, Sweet Potato Cake is nostalgic and new at the same time.

As I set about plating and photographing the cake to share with you, my eyes were pacified by the subdued colors on the table. The initially vibrant orange sweet potato had calmed to a warmer shade of copper, with flecks of green. These colors are ones I would happily stare at all day.

Sweet potato cake cut and ready to serve.

Other Favorite Cake Recipes

Fresh Cranberry Tea Cake
Spanish Coffee Cake
Cassava Cake
Rhubarb Frangipane Cake
Moroccan Orange Cake

More Recipes Starring Sweet Potatoes

Chipotle-Spiced Sweet Potato Tacos
Sweet Potato Chips with Whipped Goat Cheese and Caviar
Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup
Sheet Pan Moroccan Chicken with Broccoli Rice and Sweet Potatoes
Sweet Potato Bebinca: Goan Pudding Cake

Sweet Potato Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This simple one-layer cake is easy to make, and even easier to eat! But these sweet potatoes still count as vegetables, right?
Course Dessert
Cuisine Filipino
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 774kcal


For the cake:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups canola oil
  • 3 cups grated sweet potato (about two sweet potatoes)

For the frosting:

  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 8 oz reduced fat cream cheese softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • Preheat the oven 350°F or 325°F (depending on your pan – see below). Prepare your baking pan by coating with cooking spray or butter. If using a round springform pan, use parchment paper on the sides of the pan, if desired.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs until light and frothy. Beat in the oil.
  • Add the flour mixture to the liquid mixture in two additions, until just incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
  • Stir in the sweet potato.
  • Pour the batter into the pan and place in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, then check. If using a 13×9 pan, bake at 350°F up to 45-50 minutes total time, or until the cake is springy and a toothpick comes clean.
  • If using a 9" springform pan, lower the temperature to 325°F and bake up to 45-50 minutes total time, or until a toothpick comes clean.
  • When the cake is baked, remove from oven. Let it sit cool completely. If using a springform pan, remove sides and trim the top of the cake with a serrated knife for a flat surface. Invert cake onto your wire rack or serving plate. Remove bottom of springform pan if using.
  • Wrap the cake well and refrigerate until ready to frost. This can be done a day or two in advance.
  • Make the frosting by whipping together the butter and cream cheese. Add the vanilla. Slowly add the powdered sugar and whisk well. Frost the cake and refrigerate.
  • Remove the cake from the refrigerator about 10-15 minutes prior to serving.


Calories: 774kcal | Carbohydrates: 93g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 22g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 538mg | Potassium: 248mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 67g | Vitamin A: 6166IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see! Tag @kitchconfidante on Instagram and hashtag it #kitchenconfidante


Recipe Rating

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  1. Jeanette H Hamrick

    I have been making this cake for over 40 years now. My husband’s grandmother won a contest back in the 70s for this cake and had her picture taken for the local newspaper. I am so glad to have found the recipe again to bake it for my grandkids. It was originally called Yum Yum Yam Cake and had more spices in it than you have in your recipe including the cinnamon but also ginger, nutmeg and cloves. It is a very moist cake similar to a carrot cake but I like it much better. The original recipe had a coconut pecan frosting similar to that on a German chocolate cake. I like the cream cheese frosting better and this time I had a couple of oranges so I added the zest from 1 orange into the cake batter and also added chopped pecans and raisins. In my frosting I added the juice of 1 orange and the zest of an orange to your cream cheese frosting and it was delicious! Thank you so much for posting this recipe. It really brought back memories!

    • Liren Baker

      Hi Jeanette – I love learning about your husband’s grandmother’s cake and that this recipe brought back some delicious memories! I based this cake on a Filipino kamote (sweet potato) cake recipe, so it’s fun to see the similarities. I’m so glad you enjoyed it, thank you for coming back to let me know!

  2. Stephanie

    Love it. Wonderful cake. I had to cook it for 1 hour though.
    Not familiar with cups measures as I’m French so maybe I did something wrong, also reduced the amount of sugar as we don’t have a sweet tooth . 
    But it turned out beautifully, thanks for the recipe!

  3. Lisa

    Hi Liren!
    I made the cake and it is D E L I S H!! I had enough batter to make a 3 layer cake. My question is about the small green pieces throughout the cake. I noticed they’re in the pic you posted as well. What is it – pieces of sweet potatoe?? I’ve tried tasting it and I think that’s what it is – just not sure why it’s green.

  4. Cassady

    Hi Liren!
    I have been wanting to make this cake since originally finding it on Pinterest and have decided to make it for Thanksgiving this year! It looks so delicious. One question though- do you think I could substitute unsweetened applesauce, plain yogurt, or sour cream for the canola oil? I am leaning towards the applesauce but thought you might have a good suggestion having baked the cake before. Thanks so much for your help!

    • Liren

      Hi Cassady! This is one of my favorite cakes, and I was planning on making it again for my family this week while they are in from out of town. I have yet to try it with a substitute for canola oil, but if I were, I would try the applesauce. I hope that works out, let me know if you do try it with the substitute! Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. Sharon Needles

    Thank you so much Liren! I want to make a sheet cake for work, and have plenty of cake for everyone. I’ll let you know if it works.

  6. Sharon Needles

    Liren- Could I bake this cake as a sheet cake, in a pan that is 10 x 15 x 1 inch?

    • Liren

      That’s a good question, Sharon. When it comes to pan sizes and equivalents, I often use this as a general reference. According to this, you could, but you would have excess batter. Perhaps the extra can be used in a few muffins? Hope this helps, good luck!

  7. Jill

    I made this cake on Christmas day. Unfortunately, I had to throw the first one out. I followed the directions exactly, pouring the entire batter into one 9 inch cake pan. Baked it for 30 minutes. When I took it out of the over it was obviously not done. So I put it back in the oven for another 10 minutes, then another 10, then another 10. Still the middle was completely uncooked. After cutting the top off to take a look and trying to bake it again for another 10-15 minutes I gave up and threw it away.

    Luckily I had enough ingredients to try it again (good thing because I didn’t have a dessert back-up… yikes!). This time I split the batter between two 9-inch pans. Baked them for 40 minutes and they came out perfect. My family loved the cake in the end.

    So either cut the recipe in half for one 9 inch cake or divide the entire recipe between two 9 inch pans for a layer cake. You can also make 24 regular size cupcakes by baking at 350*F for 14-18 minutes.

  8. Mercedes

    this might be a dumb question but do you need to cook the sweet potato first? or just grate a raw sweet potato? thanks:)

    • liren

      Hi Mercedes, not a dumb question at all. Grate the sweet potato raw. Good luck, I hope you love it!

  9. Joy

    I made it for Thanksgiving and my family loved it!! My brother was initially disappointed when I told him that I’d make the sweet potato cake instead of sweet potato pie, but he loved it once he tasted it. It was super moist and delicious!!

    • liren

      Joy, this is a very belated reply to your comment, my apologies. But I am pleased that you enjoyed this cake last Thanksgiving! I am looking forward to making it again soon, I have a few sweet potatoes in my pantry right now :)

  10. rebecca

    Thank you for this recipe. I made it for Thanksgiving and it disappeared fast…no one touched the pies. My family asked me to bake it for Christmas. I made the frosting different though. I made a brown sugar maple cream cheese frosting and sprinkled pecans on it. Thanks again, it was fabulous!

    • Liren

      Hi Rebecca, I am so pleased that your family enjoyed the cake, thank you so much for stopping back to let me know! Your frosting sounds amazing – I will have to try that next time.

  11. Morgan

    Argh! I made this cake today and it didn’t turn out at all! It all spilled over into my oven and was still a goopy mess 50 minutes later. Don’t know what I did! Made it in a 9 inch springform pan and my oven thermometer said 350. So frusterating! I’ll have to try again sometime.

  12. Norma

    Oh Liren thsi is so fantastic. I cannot wait for my next party to spring this cake on my guests.

  13. Kasey

    Gorgeous cake, Liren. I’ve not tried making cake out of sweet potatoes, but I can imagine it would be just as delicious as carrot cake (and probably a little healthier, too). It’s so impressive to see how you juggle being a mom and everything that’s involved in creating, photographing and writing about the recipes. Kudos!

  14. N

    What is the texture of this cake? Moist and light? Or dense like a pound cake?

    • Liren

      Hello! The cake is very similar to a carrot or banana cake – it’s very moist but hearty. Not as dense as a pound cake which just sits in your stomach like a brick, but perhaps somewhere in between. I personally just love it. Hope you try it and enjoy it, too!

  15. Cristina, from BA to Paris

    Woww!! so original! I love it AND I love the dish too!

  16. L

    Perfect! I was just thinking about making some sweet potato muffins. I am not a big baker so am leery of changing this sort of recipe. Do you think the recipe would work as a muffin/ cupcake?

    • Liren

      This will work really well as a muffin or cupcake! My kids actually prefer it without frosting (but that is just their general preference overall). Just be aware of the baking time – try it at 350 and check on them after 17-20 minutes. They may or may not need a little more time to bake through. Good luck!!

  17. Kita

    Ok, novice question here – but what is the magic you used to remove the paper from under the cake between the frosting picture and finished photo?
    This cake does sound wonderful – and perfect for the weather. I don’t have a color coded calendar (though maybe I should try it) but I can already feel the days slipping away faster and more and more needing to be done. Thanksgiving and holiday plans are already being talked about. It’s craziness. Lol, it’s 10:12 PM, maybe I need to go bake a cake ;)

    • Liren

      Hi Kita! No magic involved :) I cut strips of parchment paper and slipped those in between the cake and the cake stand. After frosting the cake, all I had to do was remove the strips – no messy stand!

      Hope you got some baking done last night ;)

  18. Beth Michelle

    Your cake looks so beautiful. I love the sound of a sweet potato cake. Then again I love the sound of anything with sweet potatoes. I can only imagine how moist the addition of it must have made the cake!

  19. Heidi Leon

    Do you know that in Spanish we say Camote?. Funny, right?.

    This cake looks delish, I would love to give it a try and bake it at home, just one question: grated sweet potato is raw or cooked?. I assume it should be raw to be truly grated but would love your confirmation on this. Thanks.

    • Liren

      Hi Heidi! Yes, I do know that you say camote in Spanish! Tagalog and Spanish share so many words, and the c is often changed to k.

      I hope you do give the cake a try – grate the camote raw. I was going to try roasting the sweet potato first, but was feeling on the lazy side. I imagine that would taste very good, too.

      Good luck, hope you like it!

  20. Ann

    The cake looks stunning…I know how busy life can get – make sure you take time for yourself as well!

  21. Tracey@Tangled Noodle

    I do not need to be convinced that sweet potato anything is one of the most delicious food in the world – fries, pies and now cakes! As far as colors, I find that the tastiest kamotes here are pale-fleshed, but the flavor is just as fantastic. 8-)

  22. Patty

    Hi Liren!
    I love colors too but what I find particularly striking here is the contrast between dark and light in your photos, also this cake is looking scrumptious;-)

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