Sweet Potato Coffee Cake is the perfect fall treat. It’s made with a delicious layer of fall spiced brown sugar and topped with a nutty streusel. This breakfast cake is moist and has a tender texture.
When fall hits, it’s time to bring out the sweet potatoes, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves (or pumpkin pie spice). These are my favorite fall flavors not just for dessert, but also for breakfast treats like this sweet potato coffee cake.
Sweet potato adds a natural sweetness to the coffee cake and pairs well with all the fall spices. This cake is easy to make and has the bonus of a spiced brown sugar filling and an almond pecan streusel topping. You can enjoy this cake for breakfast or as an afternoon snack all season long.
Why this recipe works
- A delicious fall breakfast or snack option.
- Made with 4 flavorful layers.
- It can be easily made nut-free.
- It can be stored in the freezer.
Before you begin
Take out the following baking equipment.
Digital kitchen scale
9×9-inch baking pan
Stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment
3 small bowls
Allow the butter, eggs, and sour cream for the cake to come to room temperature.
Read the recipe through from start to finish.
Always use unsalted butter to control the amount of salt that goes into your recipe. For the recipe’s cake portion, make sure to take your butter out of the refrigerator at least 1 hour in advance. Softened butter should be close to room temperature, malleable, and able to hold its shape without looking oily. It should be slightly firm to the touch yet leave the impression of your finger when you press into it. However, for the streusel, you will want to use cold, diced butter.
Sour cream plays several essential roles in this cake. It adds moisture, the acidity and tanginess add a more complex flavor to the batter, and the extra fat adds another layer of richness. In cake recipes, you can usually substitute whole milk with sour cream.
Pureed sweet potato is the star ingredient in this recipe as it adds flavor and sweetness. It’s simple to make from scratch using 1 large sweet potato. It can be made up to 1 week in advance and stored covered in the refrigerator.
How to make sweet potato puree
You can cook sweet potatoes by roasting, boiling, or steaming them. I usually roast my potatoes as it doesn’t require much prep, and slowly roasting them adds a deeper flavor.
To roast sweet potatoes: use a fork to prick the sweet potatoes all over and place on a parchment-line sheet pan. Roast in a preheated 425°F/218°C oven until the skins become wrinkly, and the potatoes are fork-tender, about 1 hour. Allow the potatoes to cool, peel the skins, and puree in a food processor until smooth.
To boil the sweet potatoes: peel and dice sweet potatoes into 1/2-1-inch chunks. Add to a pot of water and bring to a boil. Simmer until fork-tender, about 15-20 minutes. Allow the potatoes to cool and puree in a food processor until smooth.
To steam the sweet potatoes: peel and cut sweet potatoes into 1/2-1-inch chunks. Place in a steamer basket and steam until tender, about 20–30 minutes. Allow the potatoes to cool and puree in a food processor until smooth.
Can I use pumpkin instead?
Yes! Pumpkin and sweet potato are very similar and can be used interchangeably in this recipe. You can make your own pumpkin puree, but for a simple swap, use pure canned pumpkin.
Because pumpkin is less sweet, you can increase the brown sugar in the recipe’s cake portion by 30-50 g. This is completely optional and not necessary.
Easy brown sugar filling
The filling for this sweet potato coffee cake is simple and adaptable to your preferences. All you have to do is whisk together the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over half of the batter.
You can easily alter the spices. If you prefer, you can substitute the spices with pumpkin pie spice. Although baking is a science, you can easily adapt the flavors when it comes to flavorings and spices.
Making a nut-free coffee cake
The nuts add a bonus texture and flavor to this recipe, but you can easily make this coffee cake nut-free. Substitute the 50 g of almond flour with 50 g of all-purpose flour and omit the chopped pecans.
How to store sweet potato coffee cake
Store your cake covered at room temperature for up to 5 days. Refrigerating the cake will not add shelf life; in fact, it will do the opposite.
You can also tightly cover your coffee cake in a freezer-safe container and freeze up to 2-3 months. To serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
Tips and takeaways
- If you do not have sour cream, you can substitute with Greek yogurt or plain whole milk yogurt.
- Add 80 g (1/2 cup) mini chocolate chips to the batter for an added layer of flavor.
- Do not overmix the batter. Once you add the flour, mix just until it completely disappears into the batter. Overmixing will cause your coffee cake to become dense.
- Use an offset spatula to spread the batter into your pan evenly.
- Once your cake has cooled, use the parchment paper to lift it out of the pan easily. Use a serrated knife for slicing to create neat pieces.
Looking for more breakfast ideas? Try these recipes…
Make sure to tag me @thesweetoccasion on Instagram and leave me a review below if you make this Sweet Potato Coffee Cake. I’d love to see your creations and read your feedback. And if you would like to make this recipe later, be sure to pin this recipe using the button on any of these images. Let’s make every occasion a sweet occasion!Print