I'll be honest... I've never cared too much for pound cakes or Bundt cakes. Often times the cake I had (usually store made) was dry, crumbly, no glaze, not enough glaze or the glaze was so sweet my teeth would scream for help. The problem is, these instances happened as a kid and I grew up sticking to "I don't like pound cakes" before broadening my pound cake horizons. Aside from that, I always felt that if I was having cake, it should be CAKE! Layers, fillings, frostings. But as my palette started to transform I began to appreciate a pound cake here and there. My 'elegant mornings' as I call them in my head are those chilly mornings when I might steal a slice of pound cake from the fridge and toast it lightly in a pan with salted butter. The transformation that occurs is ridiculous, that with some hot tea, omg. Then there were moments when we'd visit family. I couldn't turn down that slice of pound cake or 7up cake, why that would be rude! I can't deny that while I was munching away my leg was doing a solid happy bounce and I was whisked away to a happy place. Okay...so maybe I like pound cake and am just particular about the kind I like.
Then out came the Bajan in me. I grew up hearing about my Gram's famous Sweet Bread. My Dad always told me how she'd be up cracking and grating coconuts, making this gorgeous dough, and filling every other bun with coconut. After her passing, It became a family goal to figure out this recipe. So, I dove in head first and in doing so came upon other Bajan (Barbadian) dessert recipes. Barbadian Plain Cake! I made this cake twice as a teen and both times it was PERFECTION. I'd made 4 loaves of this soft, moist cake with the perfect glaze. I was so proud of this cake that I wrapped them in plastic, gave some away and sold a few! Imagine my shock when I found out 'Plain Cake' in Barbados means Pound Cake to us! I said "NU UH! That's a pound cake!? But it was so moist, and GREAT".
I came to the conclusion that I'm an emotional foodie. Haters would call this picky, I call it knowing what you have a taste (or don't have a taste for) in that moment, and every moment has a different vibe. I began to listen to my Grandmother and her pound cake preferences. There was definitely a connection there. It's not that I don't like pound cake, I don't like dry cakes, I prefer a pudding like texture over a crumbly one. I don't dislike glaze, I dislike the taste of pure sugar - I need flavor in my glaze! And it's not that I dislike Bundt's, I'm just mad at the lack of cake from the hole in the center! It's making sense! Next step was to find the community. I didn't know this was the next step but my Grandmother did when she told me to join The Pound Cake Chicks! I must say, these are a group of food scientists! It's pound cake appreciation times ten. They come together to figure out the best ratio of butter to flour, cake flour or AP, cream cheese or pudding - and all this for the perfect crumb. Lastly I had to find my favorite Pound Cake Lady on YouTube, for inspiration. That's when I came across Donna from 'Beautiful Too Creations'. We watch her so often I think we may be cousins. Her family is beautiful and her pound cakes are EVERYTHING.
Needless to say this has been a journey all leading up to this video. My First OFFICIAL pound cake! My Sweet Potato Pound Cake! Let's dive in.
Sweet Potato Pounds Cake
Cooking Time: 1hr - 1hr 15 minutes
3 C Cake Flour or AP
1 1/2 C Unsalted Butter
8 oz Cream Cheese
1 1/4 C Sugar
1 1/2 C Brown Sugar
4 lg. Eggs
4 small or medium sweet potatoes (roasted until tender)
2 tsp Baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp. Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ginger
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Tbsp. Vanilla
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Lemon Zest
The juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 C Mandarin Oranges (save the juice)
2 C Confectioners Sugar
3-5 Tbsp. Mandarin Orange Juice
Optional: Orange Zest
1/2 Stick Melted Butter
1/2 C AP Flour
1/4 C Brown Sugar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray cake pan with nonstick spray, or grease and flour the pan. Make sure all ingredients (butter, cream cheese) are room temperature. Roast sweet potatoes in the oven for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees or in the microwave for 5-6 minutes or until tender. Let cool.
Use a handheld or standing mixer to whip sweet potatoes until smooth (about 3 minutes). Add cream cheese and butter, continue beating for another 3 to 4 minutes. Add in both sugars and beat the batter for 3 minutes. Add in 1 egg and a time and continue beating for another 5 minutes. Make sure to scrap the sides and bottom of the bowl in between each step.
Add lemon zest, lemon juice, spices, and vanilla extract to bowl. Add half of the mandarin oranges and continue mixing for 1 minute.
In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gently whisk by hand to combine. Mix the sweet potato batter on low speed and begin adding flour mixture one scoop at a time. Before the first scoop of flour fully incorporates add the next scoop of flour. Keep doing this method until all the flour is incorporated.
Scoop the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth out the top. Bake on the center rack for 1hr - 1 hr 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. When done, allow to sit in the pan for 15-20 minutes. When ready, carefully put serving tray on top of pan and flip the cake over. It should release easily from pan. Allow to cool for at least 45 minutes before glazing.
Combine all streusel topping ingredients with a fork. The mixture should form small pea size crumbs. Bake at 350 for about 8 minutes or until lightly golden. Keep watch.
In a mixing bowl, Add powdered sugar, begin mixing with 1 tbsp at a time of mandarin orange juice until you've reach a glaze that can coat the back of the spoon and drizzles easily. Feel free to add spices and zest.
6. Once the cake is fully cooled, pour the glaze over the cake and finish with a sprinkle of streusel crumbs. Enjoy!