Sweet Potato Pound Cake with Brown Butter Glaze

I’m feeling this weird stress and anxiety about Thanksgiving, but not for the reasons anyone would expect. It’s not the idea of a full day of cooking everything from scratch (down to the candied pecans for the salad…yeah I’m that girl) or the trying to reach that perfect balance between new exciting recipes and old classic recipes. It’s not even spending a night with my family (and those of you who know me outside of my blog know what I’m talking about!).

Sweet Potato Pound Cake with Brown Butter Glaze

Sweet Potato Pound Cake with Brown Butter Glaze

All my stress and anxiety about Thanksgiving…it’s because I have too many amazing recipes I want to share with you that will no longer be socially appropriate after the 27th. So many recipes, so little time. Hey! It’s a serious problem! And what’s worse is that I just want to keep baking more and more and end up adding four more recipes to my already overflowing queue.

Yeah—I know it’s a Food Blogger Problem. But this is real life. And in real life, when things get stressful, we should eat cake.

Sweet Potato Pound Cake with Brown Butter Glaze

Sweet Potato Pound Cake with Brown Butter Glaze

Apparently in the South, sweet potatoes are common in desserts! Maybe it’s a California thing, but my sweet potatoes end up on my Thanksgiving table during the meal not after. So I was really intrigued when I was given a recipe for sweet potato cake as a baking request. And I am so glad I accepted this challenge because bless my heart this lightly spiced, buttery, rich, sweet pound cake was the bee’s knees (I’m trying to get my Southern belle on right now). Add on the nutty brown butter glaze and the entire cake will be gone before a June bug in July (too far?).

Sweet Potato Pound Cake with Brown Butter Glaze

Sweet Potato Pound Cake with Brown Butter Glaze

I don’t even know how to describe this cake. Its flavor is simultaneously strong and subtle on the sweet potato front; its texture is somehow dense and light at the same time. On its own, it’s a great breakfast type cake like you’d expect from pumpkin bread, but then you add that glaze and now is it for breakfast or brunch like a coffee cake or for dessert like a pound cake? I don’t know because I’m still trying to wrap my head around sweet potatoes for dessert!

But two things about this cake are very clear: (1) go ahead and be generous with that glaze because it literally changes this cake from good to gimme more now and (2) add this to your Thanksgiving dessert spread because cooking all day is stressful and at the end you deserve some cake.

Sweet Potato Pound Cake with Brown Butter Glaze

Sweet Potato Pound Cake with Brown Butter Glaze

sweet potato pound cake with brown butter glaze

For the cake:

  • 3 ¼ cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes


For the glaze:

  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


Make the Cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt with a fork until well mixed. In a small bowl, combine the milk and vanilla extract. Set both bowls aside.

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides a couple of times as needed. Add eggs one at a time, beating well each time. Add the mashed sweet potatoes. Mix at a low speed for 1 minute, until the batter is evenly mixed.

Add half the flour mixture and beat gently until the flour has been fully incorporated. Add half the milk mixture and mix again. Once fully combined, repeat with the remaining flour and the remaining milk. Stop as soon as you have a thick, smooth batter.

Pour batter evenly into the pan and bake for 60-75 minutes, until the cake is (1) evenly browned, (2) springs back when touched, and (3) a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then turn out onto the wire rack top side up and cool to room temperature. Prepare the glaze!

Make the Glaze: Sift sugar into glass bowl. In a measuring cup, combine the vanilla and the milk. Set both aside.

Over medium-low heat, melt butter in a sauté pan. Continue heating the butter until brown and fragrant, stirring constantly. As soon as there is a nutty fragrance, REMOVE FROM HEAT and pour into the sugar and begin whisking. If you turn away even for a second, your butter will burn. Add milk to the sugar/butter mixture and whisk until “glazey”. Add 1-2 tbsp milk if needed to reach desired consistency.

Drizzle glaze over cake. Serve immediately or wait until glaze sets.


2 comments on “Sweet Potato Pound Cake with Brown Butter Glaze

  1. anon

    Looks good. I’m a southern girl, but I go pecan of sweet potato. I think it is even more popular in the south than swwet potato or pumpkin. Anyhoo, have you tried deep south authentic chess pie? I have a recipe I can share if you want. It is amazing and extremely southern belle.

    1. Jenna

      I’d love a recipe! I keep seeing chess pie mentioned online but I haven’t made it yet :)

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