Sweet potatoes and chocolate chips seem like an unlikely combination, but they work really well together. I like to tell myself that the sweet potatoes help make the cake a nutritious snack as well as a sweet one. If you like baking cakes, it’s worth investing in a nice Bundt pan. They’re a simple way to make pretty cakes.–Tanya Holland

Why is there a hole in a Bundt cake?

The central column, or hole, in a Bundt cake pan allows more of the cake batter to be in contact with the hot pan, promoting more even heat distribution and faster baking. And, just to state the obvious, the resulting shape also looks quite lovely.

A spiced sweet potato bundt cake on a piece of parchment, being drizzled with chocolate glaze.

Spiced Sweet Potato Bundt Cake

5 / 2 votes
This spiced sweet potato bundt cake is laced with fragrant autumn spices and drizzled with a coffee and chocolate glaze. And since there’s plenty of pureed sweet potato in there, we’re going to go ahead and call it healthy.
David Leite
Servings18 servings
Calories450 kcal
Prep Time40 minutes
Cook Time2 hours 5 minutes
Total Time2 hours 45 minutes


  • 12-cup Bundt pan


For the sweet potato Bundt cake

  • 1 1/2 pounds orange sweet potatoes (about 2 large), peeled and cut into about 3/4-inch (18-mm) pieces
  • 2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled, plus more for the pan
  • 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground allspice
  • 1 tablespoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups chocolate chips or chopped chocolate

For the chocolate sauce (optional)

  • 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup brewed chicory coffee (such as Café du Monde) or regular coffee
  • 1 cinnamon stick


Make the sweet potato Bundt cake

  • In a medium pot, toss in the sweet potatoes and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and let cool for at least 10 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour a 12-cup (2.8-liter) Bundt pan.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, and salt.
  • Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed, beat the cooled sweet potatoes and eggs until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add the melted butter and beat until combined. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture, and mix just until combined. The batter will be thicker and heavier than most cake batters.
  • Remove the work bowl from the mixer and, using a spoon, stir in the chocolate.

    ☞ TESTER TIP: If you want to help ensure the chocolate chips keep their distance from one another and don’t glom together, toss them with a couple tablespoons of flour before sitting them into the batter.

  • Spoon the batter into the prepared Bundt pan.

    ☞ TESTER TIP: Don’t overfill your Bundt pan. You want at least an inch or so of clearance between the batter and the top of the pan. If your pan is on the smaller side and you find that you have extra batter, spoon it into individual ramekins, mugs, canelé molds, or a muffin pan and bake them alongside the Bundt for about 40 minutes.

  • Bake until a toothpick or skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes.
  • Transfer the pan to a wire rack to let the cake cool completely, about 1 hour. Loosen the cake from the pan using the tip of a dinner knife, place a wire rack over the pan, and flip it all upside down to turn the cake out onto the rack.

Make the chocolate sauce (optional)

  • Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream, coffee, and cinnamon stick and bring to a simmer.
  • Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate. Let stand, undisturbed, for about 2 minutes. Discard the cinnamon stick and then whisk until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is blended and smooth.
  • Serve the cake at room temperature, with a drizzle of chocolate sauce, if desired. (The cake can be covered with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days. Or you can wrap the unglazed cake in plastic and freeze for up to 1 month.)
Brown Sugar Kitchen Cookbook

Adapted From

Brown Sugar Kitchen

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 450 kcalCarbohydrates: 66 gProtein: 6 gFat: 19 gSaturated Fat: 11 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 4 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 73 mgSodium: 299 mgPotassium: 287 mgFiber: 4 gSugar: 37 gVitamin A: 5729 IUVitamin C: 1 mgCalcium: 54 mgIron: 3 mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2014 Tanya Holland. Photo © 2014 Jody Horton. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I really enjoyed baking this Bundt cake. The instructions were very clear and easy to follow. Even though it took more time to peel, boil, and cool the sweet potatoes, the output of the flavor was worthy! After that it was just measuring, mixing and baking. I loved the combination of the spices—so warm and Christmas-y!

The consistency of the batter was heavy but smooth. I used Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips and chopped them.

This would be a great holiday snacking cake for brunch, lunch, or late-night snacking that will be good for a long weekend. No time wasted on special storage or handling. It has a quick bread-like texture and would also be great as a coffee cake—warm with a bit of soft salted butter. It can take the spread of the knife without falling into a crumbly mess. For those who are hesitant about too much allspice, it WASN’T too much. Nor was it too much nutmeg, which can also overwhelm.

Be aware that if you use fresh nutmeg, 1 tablespoon is almost a whole nutmeg. It took a while to grate, but the flavor is so much better than pre-grated.

My bundt pan was NOT a 12-cup pan. I think it must be 10 cups. I filled the prepared pan about 1-inch below the top, which left a good bit in the bowl. I decided to put the extra batter in two 8-ounce ovensafe ramekins. The cake needed 50 minutes in the big oven. The ramekins took 40 minutes in the toaster oven.

Based on the pattern of my Bundt, I would get 20 slices from this cake. I let it cool overnight. I cut two 3-slice-worth chunks and put one in the freezer and one in the refrigerator. After 2 days in a resealable lunch-sized baggie in the freezer, I let the frozen chunk thaw in the bag on the counter. I’m happy to report that the flavor was good and no signs of off-taste or change in texture. After leaving the larger portion of cake at room temperature on the counter, covered loosely with plastic wrap, it was still moist.

I wouldn’t mind an additional flavor of orange (peel?)—something that would go well with the warm spices. I would increase the salt to 1 teaspoon to help the flavors pop. Maybe even add some black pepper for a little bite.

I’d like to try it with some canned pumpkin puree to see if it would work as a time-saving option.

Upon tasting this cake, everyone exclaimed that it tasted like Christmas. It certainly evoked all the holiday feels and was great with a cup of coffee. At first it seemed like a shocking amount of spices, but it came out perfectly balanced. The amount of sweet potatoes and eggs make the cake perfectly moist and kept it from being too dense. I opted out of the chocolate sauce (I know, who does that?) but it was great without it. I actually think there was a sufficient amount of chocolate chips in the cake while still letting the warm spices shine through.

I would recommend cooling the sweet potatoes slightly and being careful when beating in the eggs. The hot potatoes can scramble the eggs. Looking forward to making this again once the fall weather hits!

I took to potluck. No leftovers so that’s a good sign!

I love these types of moist spiced cake recipes. This one is definitely a keeper. The sauce is really good. The cake is really good. My husband and kids used a lot of the remaining sauce on ice cream. It was delicious in this application!

I used a mix of bittersweet and semi-sweet chocolate in the cake and enjoyed finding different tastes in each bite. I think lots of different mix-ins would be possible, and would love to see how white chocolate chips fared in my next bake of this lovely cake. The sauce is delicious as well, but I really loved the cake on its own. While the sauce was decadent, the cake doesn’t need the separate adornment.

This is two desserts in one: an excellent spiced Bundt cake, reminiscent of the best slice of cake you’d ever get in a high-end coffee shop to go with your afternoon latte, and a chocolate sauce that takes the whole thing to holiday formal dessert levels. I was almost going to pass on making the sauce because it didn’t seem like it would be memorable, and am so glad I didn’t make that mistake. Freaking delicious. Everyone who tried it wanted the recipe and I can’t wait to make it again this fall. It would be a great holiday dessert and travels well at room temperature.

The cake will get slightly more dense as it sits, but we found it just as moist and delicious on day 7 as on the day it was made. If you want a more orange-colored cake, stick with chocolate chips, but if you want it to be darker and more chocolate forward, chop your own chocolate (as I did). I used the weights exclusively for the spices and it turned out perfectly.

I was unable to find chicory coffee for the sauce so I subbed regular coffee and it was 100% delicious. I stored the chocolate sauce separately in the fridge, reheating and drizzling it over slices of cake with ice cream. It also makes an epic ice cream sundae.

A spiced sweet potato bundt cake dusted with confectioners' sugar.

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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