Cook the Book: Sweet Potato Cake with Pecan Streusel

You probably already know this combination of flavors as a Thanksgiving casserole, but Nicole Rees has reworked them into a lusciously moist cake. Like the rest of the recipes in Baking Unplugged, her sweet potato cake with pecan streusel is hand-mixed and requires no special equipment.

There's no better pick-me-up on a cold winter's day than a slice of pecan-strewn streusel cake with a steaming mug of coffee.

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Cook the Book: Sweet Potato Cake with Pecan Streusel

About This Recipe

Yield:12 servings


  • Pecan streusel:
  • 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • Cake:
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 1 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup baked mashed sweet potato, at room temperature or just warm (from 1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes)
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda


  1. 1

    For the streusel, in a small bowl stir together the flour, brown sugar, pecans, and salt. Drizzle in the butter and stir until well combined. Squeeze the mixture between your fingers to form small clumps; set aside.

  2. 2

    For the cake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9"-square baking pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, brown sugar, and eggs until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Whisk in the sweet potato, molasses, ginger, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg. Sift the flour and baking soda directly onto the batter. using a whisk or rubber spatula, combine the ingredients until well-blended and almost smooth.

  3. 3

    Pour the batter into the pan, spreading evenly with the spatula. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the batter. Bake until a skewer inserted near the center comes out with only moist crumbs clinging, about 45 minutes. Cool until just warm in the pan on a wire rack. Cut into rectangles.

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