Sweet Potato Cake with Molasses Cream Cheese Frosting and Georgia Pecan Crunch
1 can (15-oz) sweet potato
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup chopped Georgia pecans
20 hard caramel candies (like Werther’s)
3/4 cup coarsely chopped Georgia pecans
8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons molasses
Heat oven to 350°F.
Grease and flour a 9-inch round cake pan. Drain sweet potatoes and mash to a smooth puree.
Place in bowl. While using electric mixer add sugar, eggs, and orange rind.
Beat until smooth and well blended. Add oil in a steady stream.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, spices, salt, and baking soda.
Add to sweet potato mixture and beat on low just until moistened. Stir in 2/3 cup pecans.
Spread in pan and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until center springs bake when gently pressed.
Cool cake in pan 10 minutes; remove from pan and cool completely.
Meanwhile, prepare Pecan Crunch:
Maintain oven temperature. Remove candy wrappers and place candies about 1 inch apart in two rows on parchment-lined baking sheet.
Heat in oven until candies are melted, but not bubbling – about 5 to 8 minutes.
Quickly spread melted candies in a thin even layer; scatter chopped pecans over top, pressing into candy.
Return to oven and heat until candy bubbles – about 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool completely.
Meanwhile, prepare Frosting: In medium bowl, with wooden spoon, stir cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar until softened and smooth. Add molasses and mix until blended.
To serve, slice cooled cake in half horizontally; remove top layer and fill bottom piece with half the cream cheese frosting.
Place top layer of cake on top of filling. Spread remaining frosting on top with a thin coating on side of cake.
Break up pecan crunch into large irregular pieces and place decoratively on side of cake (thin layer of icing should help it adhere).
Nutrition information per serving – calories: 467; protein: 6g; carbs: 53g; saturated fat: 6g; monounsaturated: 13g; polyunsaturated fat: 5g; cholesterol: 56 mg; fiber: 2g; sodium: 225 mg.
Pairs Well With
Store-bought hard caramel candies, melted in the oven, are a fool-proof way to make a crisp pecan praline in just minutes. We use it to decorate this moist spiced cake, but it could also be served on its own or as an accompaniment to chocolate, fruit, or ice cream desserts.