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Coconut and ginger flavor our cakier version of a classic dessert from Macau
Milk Street Bowtie Lime-Glazed Sweet Potato and Coconut Cake

Lime-Glazed Sweet Potato and Coconut Cake

Appears in March-April 2018

3 hours 20 minutes active

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Lime-Glazed Sweet Potato and Coconut Cake

Free

In this cake inspired by the Macanese dessert called batatada, sweet potatoes give the crumb a plush, moist yet light texture. Yellow sweet potatoes are the traditional choice, but we preferred the color of orange-fleshed sweet potatoes. Both unrefined and refined coconut oil work; the former has a fuller, more intense flavor and aroma that accentuate the shredded coconut in the cake. You'll need a food processor with at least an 11-cup capacity to accommodate the sweet potato puree.

12

Servings

Tip

Don’t use sweetened shredded coconut. It will make the cake much too sweet.

3 hours

20 minutes active

12 ounces orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
195 grams (1½ cups) all-purpose flour
50 grams (⅔ cup) unsweetened shredded coconut
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon table salt
200 grams (1 cup) packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon grated lime zest, plus 2 tablespoons juice (1 to 2 limes)
3 large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
100 grams (½ cup) coconut oil, melted and warm, plus more for pan
90 grams (¾ cup) powdered sugar
Ingredients
  • 12

    ounces orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

  • 195

    grams (1½ cups) all-purpose flour

  • 50

    grams (⅔ cup) unsweetened shredded coconut

  • 2

    teaspoons ground ginger

  • 2

    teaspoons baking powder

  • ½

    teaspoon baking soda

  • ½

    teaspoon table salt

  • 200

    grams (1 cup) packed dark brown sugar

  • 1

    tablespoon grated lime zest, plus 2 tablespoons juice (1 to 2 limes)

  • 3

    large eggs

  • ¾

    cup whole milk

  • 1

    tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 100

    grams (½ cup) coconut oil, melted and warm, plus more for pan

  • 90

    grams (¾ cup) powdered sugar

Directions
  1. 01
    Heat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle position. Coat a 13-by-9-inch metal baking pan with coconut oil. Place the sweet potatoes in a microwave-safe medium bowl, cover and microwave on high for about 5 minutes, stirring once halfway though, until the potatoes are completely tender. Carefully uncover and set aside to cool slightly.
    See Demo
  2. 02
    In a food processor, combine the flour, coconut, ginger, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Process until the coconut is finely ground, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. In the processor, combine the brown sugar and lime zest, then process until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the sweet potatoes and process until completely smooth, 60 to 90 seconds, scraping the bowl as needed.
    See Demo
  3. 03
    Add the eggs, milk and vanilla, then process until combined, about 10 seconds. With the machine running, add the melted coconut oil through the feed tube, then process until fully incorporated. Pour the sweet potato mixture into the dry ingredients and gently whisk to combine. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread evenly.
    See Demo
  4. 04
    Bake until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the powdered sugar and the lime juice until smooth. Brush the glaze evenly onto the warm cake. Let the cake cool completely, about 2 hours.
    See Demo
Tip: Don’t use sweetened shredded coconut. It will make the cake much too sweet.
.
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Reviews
Ida H.

I wonder if I could make that sweet potato cake in a blender. I only have a small food processor.
I would appreciate an answer.

Janelle C.

Hi Ida,

Our Recipe Developer, Julia Rackow made the following suggestion. In this case, a blender wouldn't work, but you could make this work with a bowl and a whisk. The only note would be to grind the coconut in a spice grinder and use a potato ricer, handheld/tabletop stand mixer or food mill for the sweet potato. You want the potatoes to have a smooth texture, no lumps before mixing it in with the other ingredients.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Mary Ann S.

Thank you for your comment! Your comment is currently under moderation and will appear shortly.

Caitlin D.

Cannot express how good this cake tastes. Do yourself a favor and make this.

Sybil S S.

I thought it was great, not too sweet, a good dense yet light texture.

Armie L.

Thank you for your comment! Your comment is currently under moderation and will appear shortly.

Paula K.

We have an allergy to dairy. Can almond milk be substituted for the whole milk?

Lynn C.

Hi Paula -

You should be able to substitute almond milk for the whole milk in the recipe. Just keep in mind that almond milk is lower in fat (more like 2% cows milk) so it may be slightly less rich, though you may not even notice a difference. Also, almond milk has more water than cows milk so the water will evaporate and the cake may rise and cook faster. Good luck!

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Jess F.

This looks like a great recipe, do you think substituting canned pumpkin for the sweet potato would work as a Thanksgiving dessert, or is the sweet potato would work well for Thanksgiving as-is?

Lynn C.

Hi Jess -

I think this would great on its own as a non-traditional Thanksgiving dessert! We haven't tested it with canned pumpkin so I can't provide any real advice, but I do think the difference in moisture level between the two might impact how the cake turns out.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Dee T.

I took Caitlin’s advice. This is a wonderful cake.

Linda L.

I was wondering could you cook sweet potatoe the day before? Would you need to to warm potatoe or can you use it directly from fridge?

Lynn C.

Hi Linda -

We would advise against making the potatoes ahead. Baking requires such a delicate balance of ingredients to make a successful recipe that we think the potatoes would dry out too much overnight in the fridge and throw off the overall moisture of the cake. Same if the potatoes were cold and had to be reheated. Fortunately we found we could shortcut the cooking by using the microwave, which only takes about 5 minutes.

Best,
The Milk Street Team


Down arrow

Lime-Glazed Sweet Potato and Coconut Cake

Get Ready to Cook

12

Servings

3 hours

20 minutes active

Tip

Don’t use sweetened shredded coconut. It will make the cake much too sweet.

Ingredients
  • 12

    ounces orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

  • 195

    grams (1½ cups) all-purpose flour

  • 50

    grams (⅔ cup) unsweetened shredded coconut

  • 2

    teaspoons ground ginger

  • 2

    teaspoons baking powder

  • ½

    teaspoon baking soda

  • ½

    teaspoon table salt

  • 200

    grams (1 cup) packed dark brown sugar

  • 1

    tablespoon grated lime zest, plus 2 tablespoons juice (1 to 2 limes)

  • 3

    large eggs

  • ¾

    cup whole milk

  • 1

    tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 100

    grams (½ cup) coconut oil, melted and warm, plus more for pan

  • 90

    grams (¾ cup) powdered sugar

Step 1 of 4

Soften the potatoes

12
ounces orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

Heat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle position. Coat a 13-by-9-inch metal baking pan with coconut oil. Place the sweet potatoes in a microwave-safe medium bowl, cover and microwave on high for about 5 minutes, stirring once halfway though, until the potatoes are completely tender. Carefully uncover and set aside to cool slightly.

Step 2 of 4

Combine and process

195
grams (1½ cups) all-purpose flour
50
grams (⅔ cup) unsweetened shredded coconut
2
teaspoons ground ginger
2
teaspoons baking powder
½
teaspoon baking soda
½
teaspoon table salt
200
grams (1 cup) packed dark brown sugar
1
tablespoon grated lime zest

In a food processor, combine the flour, coconut, ginger, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Process until the coconut is finely ground, 1 to 2 minutes.


Transfer to a large bowl. In the processor, combine the brown sugar and lime zest, then process until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the sweet potatoes and process until completely smooth, 60 to 90 seconds, scraping the bowl as needed.

Step 3 of 4

Combine the dry and wet ingredients

3
large eggs
¾
cup whole milk
1
tablespoon vanilla extract
100
 grams (½ cup) coconut oil, melted and warm

Add the eggs, milk and vanilla, then process until combined, about 10 seconds. With the machine running, add the melted coconut oil through the feed tube, then process until fully incorporated.


Pour the sweet potato mixture into the dry ingredients and gently whisk to combine. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread evenly.

Step 4 of 4

Bake, glaze and serve

2
tablespoons lime juice
90
grams (¾ cup) powdered sugar

Bake until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes.


Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the powdered sugar and the lime juice until smooth. Brush the glaze evenly onto the warm cake. Let the cake cool completely, about 2 hours.

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