Chocolate Sweet Potato Spice Cake

  • Chocolate Sweet Potato Spice Cake
  • Slice of Chocolate Sweet Potato Spice Cake
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Chocolate cake reminds me of my mother, who in my humble opinion, baked the best chocolate cake on earth.  It was coated in a creamy, buttery frosting that wasn’t too awfully sweet.  This cake is a single-layer, dim tribute to her shining, multi-tiered one – but it is rich, moist, and bursting with warm, complex flavors from the orange and spices.  The sweet potato replaces butter/oil and the frosting couldn’t be easier: melted chocolate chips sprinkled with chopped nuts (toasted coconut would be nice, too).

I shared this recipe on Healthy Vegan Friday over at The Veggie Nook and at Virtual Vegan Potluck 18.

Chocolate Sweet Potato Spice Cake


  • 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tbsp. Cafix (herbal coffee substitute)
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. cardamom
  • pinch allspice
  • 2 tsp. powdered stevia
  • zest of one orange
  • 1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup roasted sweet potato
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup xylitol (or equivalent amount of sugar)
  • 1 cup walnuts, divided
  • 1 1/4 cups semi-sweet vegan chocolate chips, divided


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and lightly spray a 10″ springform pan with oil.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, Cafix, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, stevia and orange zest.  Set aside.
  3. In a food processor, combine the non-dairy milk, orange juice, sweet potato, vanilla extract, applesauce, and xylitol. Process until smooth.  Pour mixture into dry ingredients and stir until well-combined.  Stir in 1/2 cup of the walnuts and 1/4 cup of the chocolate chips.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Put the pan on a cooling rack and sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of chocolate chips over the top of the hot cake.  Let sit for a few minutes to melt and then spread the chocolate evenly over the cake.  Sprinkle on the walnuts and gently press them into the melted chocolate.  After about 15 minutes, remove the outer ring of the pan and let the cake cool completely before slicing.

Slice of Chocolate Sweet Potato Spice Cake

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  1. Few things beat a really good chocolate cake. I like the sound of the spices in this and it looks beautiful with the nuts on top.

  2. This cake is gorgeous in it’s simplicity Annie! Single tier cakes are so much easier to eat anyway right? I love the simple decoration with the nuts too- let’s get in some omega-3s with all that dessert ;)

  3. Laura says:

    This looks so good – and we can call it healthy, right? :)

  4. That cake looks so lovely! It looks really dense and chocolatey, and I can almost taste the fall flavors of cinnamon & cardamom.

  5. What a wonderful way to use pumpkin. I’ll eat anything that is this filled with yummy chocolate!

  6. biggsis says:

    This sounds so good Annie! Have you attempted a cake with a GF flour? I have some Bob’s Red Mill which is predominantly fava bean flour…. and I simply have to make this cake, but would love my husband to be able to eat some as well. Just wondered if you think a GF would be able to replace WW pastry?

  7. narf77 says:

    I could have done with a large wedge of this gorgeousness yesterday. We spent 5 hours finishing off a HUGE fully enclosed veggie garden and a slab of heaven like this would have given me back a bit of energy. Pinning it right now so that any other penniless student hippies in need of something gorgeous in their lives can home in on it with impunity :)

  8. Oh yea, and you just had an awful time eating that piece after the pics, didn’t you?
    My Mom’s specialty was German Chocolate cake but I prefer to spice the cake, like your’s, and have my icing too ;) Looks awfully good to me!

  9. Chocolate cake was never really my thing. I’m more of a vanilla girl. But this cake looks so much better than the chocolate cakes I’ve had- I bet the orange juice, sweet potato, spices and nuts make for a lovely complex flavour.

  10. Becky says:

    Aw, I think your cake looks lovely! My Nani Dorothy used to make a great chocolate cake, and I wish I knew where the recipe was now. I do remember that her secret ingredient was mayonnaise, which disgusted me as a kid but didn’t stop me from asking for seconds.

  11. This looks amazing! I love the idea of sweet potatoes in cake – genius!

  12. Nikki Spigner says:

    Gorgeous! I’ve been looking at a few things which put chocolate and pumpkin together. I think this is the one!

  13. A brilliant cake my friend, simply perfection :D


  14. Do you taste the orange juice or is it in there as an acid/sweetner/liquid?

    • The orange flavor comes through just slightly – but feel free to omit it if you don’t like the taste. Use more non-dairy milk or water as a substitute.

      • Great! I make pumpkin chocolate cherry cupcakes a lot and this made me think of doing a whole one in a more Mexican chocolate cake style with cinnamon and maybe a dash of chile with cherry juice instead of the whole cherries I put in the cupcake center. I will send you a link when I make it! Thanks!

      • Yum! Go with it, I say :-)! Definitely share the recipe – it sounds scrumptious.

  15. I can never say no to chocolate cake – sometimes even when it’s not vegan :(
    I love the walnuts on this – that’s a great combo!!

  16. Richa says:

    the cake looks so moist and delicious!

  17. Sophie33 says:

    Yesterday, I made this divine sweet potato spice cake & used coconut sugar instead of what you used. It was divine!
    I had my parents over for dinner & we ate this as a nice & lovely special dessert & we all loved it immensely, dear Anne! xxx :)

  18. Yum! I adore all things sweet potato, and the chocolate sure doesn’t hurt either ;) It looks so fluffy and delicious!

  19. Is this a good call for Thanksgiving dessert?

  20. Vildan Ayvalik says:

    Looks sooooooooo delicious. I was wondering how much of coconut sugar I can use instead and what if I also skip the Cafix. Can I use instant coffee? Thanks much in advance!!!

    • Thank you :-)! Instant coffee should work just fine and as for the coconut sugar, I’d use the same amount as the xylitol – I believe the sweetness is about the same. You might want to taste the batter to make sure.

  21. […] Two great desserts are up next. Pumpkin mousse and brownie tart: I’d recommend making it in a springform pan. And sweet potato chocolate spice cake. I have made this twice, and it is delicious. The second time I used Bob’s Red Mill gluten free baking mix in place of the “regular” flour, and I omitted the baking soda. I did not use the caffix… I think that mostly is to darken the color. I prefered the cake with the gluten free mix, it baked more evenly and firmed up (the wheat flour version was yummy but kind of mushy). Here’s the recipe: […]

  22. huntfortheverybest says:

    great healthy idea!

  23. Poppy says:

    Now that’s my kind of cake……..

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