Around this time of the year everyone is talking about sweet potatoes, even Ellen DeGeneres. Last week she proclaimed on her show that the brown potato with the orange flesh is in fact a yam, and the white potato with golden brown skin is a sweet potato. Finally I had the facts, thank you Ellen! Until I read this Huffington Post article which says the exact opposite. According to HuffPo (who I am going to trust over Ellen on this one) both the white and orange oblong shaped potatoes are sweet potatoes, and a yam is some ancient breed with a hard shell and is rarely found in supermarkets.
On to the cake! This cake is moist, delicious, and super easy to make! The base of this cake is good ole’ boxed cake mix. Now, you might turn up your nose at the thought of a boxed cake, but let me tell you, I have made many a boxed cake and people proclaim it is the best cake they have ever had. My secret is adding a little something to the standard recipe. Whether its fresh vanilla bean, pureed fruit, or in this case, sweet potatoes! Sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie spice definitely take this cake from standard to crowd-pleasing Thanksgiving favorite!
If you are new to baking, you can make this cake no problem. The “marshmallow” topping is a bit more advanced, which caused me a little baking heartache that I will tell you about later. FYI- the marshmallow topping contains no actual marshmallows. I got this recipe from Betty Crocker and would recommend it in every way. EXCEPT for the fact that the directions for how to make the topping are way more complex than necessary. I like simplicity. There is no need to do the step with boiling the water and whipping the egg whites over the boiling water. Just beat those egg whites and
salt sugar until the cows come home and you are good to go. Soft white peaks should form within 5-7 minutes if you have a strong mixer. I used my Grandmas hand mixer from the 1960’s, works like a charm. I love that mixer. I never got to meet my Grandma, but I think its cool that I get to cook with the same mixer she used.
On to the heartache. I used salt instead of sugar in my topping. So upsetting. I don’t swear a lot, but cooking disasters call for a few four letter words. Of course I didn’t realize until I had completely covered my cake with the topping. I took a nice dollop of frosting to taste, expecting this glorious sweet and creamy flavor, instead I got a revolting mouth FULL of salt! What the heck was I thinking? Nobody switched the ingredients on me. I poured 6 tablespoons of salt straight from the salt shaker into my frosting!! I’m so upset, I can barely write this post. Its even giving me baking PTSD and leading me to rethink every step of the cake making process. Did I forget the pumpkin pie spice? How many eggs did I use? I attribute it all to those stupid complex directions that Betty Crocker gives you. Please just disregard step number 4 on the instructions.
If you would like an alternate topping, that’s a bit easier, I recommend a standard vanilla cream cheese frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 1 cup cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the complete recipe please visit the Betty Crocker website!