Cook the Book: Sweet Potato Roll Cake

Cook the Book: Sweet Potato Roll Cake

A few days ago, some friends and I were talking about holiday baking and the conversation turned to Bûche de Noël, that lovely Christmas roulade, intricately iced to look like a Yule log. It's one of my favorite holiday desserts, especially when garnished with little meringue mushrooms, holly leaves, and a snow shower of confectioners' sugar. And it was with the Bûche de Noël in mind that I decided to try my hand at a Thanksgiving roulade.

This Sweet Potato Roll Cake adapted from Lyniece North Talmadge's The Sweet Potato Lover's Cookbook should be dubbed the Bûche de Thanksgiving—the spiced sweet potato cake is rolled around a cream cheese-pineapple filling. [Ed. note: You may remember the one Cakespy did last year, adorned with mini marzipan turkeys?]

Having never attempted a rolled cake before, I approached the rolling step very gingerly, fearing cake breakage. Surprisingly, the cake was incredibly easy to work with while still warm, rolling into a tight log with no problems at all. Easy-to-work-with (and tasty) cake aside, it was the cream cheese-pineapple that really made the cake. Who knew that adding a can of pineapple to cream cheese icing would amp up the deliciousness so much? It's the kind of icing that might just have you rethinking your Thanksgiving pies in favor of a Bûche de Thanksgiving.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The Sweet Potato Lover's Cookbook to give away this week.

Adapted from The Sweet Potato Lover's Cookbook by Lyniece North Talmadge. Copyright © 2010. Published by Cumberland House. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

  • Yield:8 to 10


  • For the cake:
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup canned puréed sweet potato
  • 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • For the filling:
  • One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup drained crushed pineapple


  1. 1.

    To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 375°. Line a jelly roll pan with waxed paper. Spray the waxed paper with nonstick vegetable spray.

  2. 2.

    Beat the eggs in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high for about 3 minutes or until frothy. Add the sugar, lemon juice, and sweet potato. Mix until blended. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the sweet potato mixture and beat on low speed until smooth. Pour the batter into the jelly roll pan and spread evenly. Bake for about 15 minutes until done.

  3. 3.

    To make the filling: Combine the cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl, beating until smooth. Add the crushed pineapple and mix by hand until blended.

  4. 4.

    To finish the cake: Immediately remove the cake from the pan by inverting onto a tea towel sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar. Roll into a roll, leaving the waxed paper on the cake. Unroll, remove the waxed paper, and spread with filling. Immediately reroll the cake. Let cool completely and refrigerate for about 1 hour before serving. Slice when ready to serve.