This tender sweet potato cake is filled with pecan pie filling, and brown butter maple pecan buttercream.


Sweet Potato Cake Layers

20 ounces (or three small) sweet potatoes

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3 whole eggs room temperature

1/2 cup sour cream room temperature

1/2 cup buttermilk room temperature

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 box cake mix (yellow) I use Betty Crocker, but you can use something similar from different brands.

Brown Butter Maple Pecan Buttercream

4 sticks (2 cups) salted butter

1 cup pecans pulsed to a powder in a food processor

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 pinch salt

1 tablespoon maple extract

1/4 cup heavy cream

7-8 cups powdered sugar

Pecan Pie Filling

1 cup crushed pecans

1 whole egg

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1/3 cup brown sugar

1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 pinch salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

3 tablespoons salted butter


1 cup pecan halves


Sweet Potato Cakes

Preheat oven to 325 degrees convection bake, or 350 degrees convention bake. Prep three 6-inch cake rounds with a swipe of shortening and dust of flour. Set aside. 

Poke sweet potatoes with a fork in several places. Place sweet potatoes on a plate and into the microwave. Nuke for about 7-8 minutes, depending on microwave, or until sweet potatoes are baked through. Scrape soft sweet potatoes in a bowl and throw away the skin. 

In the large bowl with the sweet potatoes, stir in the rest of the cake ingredients with the exception of the cake mix. Hand whisk it together, no need for a stand mixer for this step. Sift in the cake mix and stir until just combined — don’t over-mix! Split between the three prepared cake pans, and bake for 30-32 minutes until center is baked through. Let cool completely, then wrap up with plastic wrap and freeze for at least two hours for easier stacking and assembling. 

Pecan Pie Filling

In a small saucepan, stir together the pecans, egg, corn syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon. Heat over medium heat, while stirring, until the mixture comes together and bubbles. Add in butter, stir. Let thicken, then add to a glass bowl to cool completely before adding to your cake. 

Brown Butter Maple Pecan Buttercream

Add one stick of butter to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until it melts. Continue to stir until mixture foams. After it foams, it will begin to “brown.” Watch very closely and keep stirring. Don’t burn it! It can go from brown to burned very quickly. Remove from the heat and add to a glass bowl to cool completely (make sure to scrape out all the brown bits — those have a lot of flavor. Cool completely before adding to your buttercream. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add in the three sticks of butter plus the browned butter and whip up on high speed until light and fluffy. Add in the salt, vanilla, pecan crumble, maple extract and heavy cream. Add in the powdered sugar slowly until it’s been incorporated. Add in a touch more heavy cream if needed. Whip up on high speed for 2 minutes until it’s light in texture and color. 


Using a cake turntable and cardboard cake rounds at the base, stack and fill the cake layers, making sure to pipe a dam on the outer rim of the cake to keep the filling inside. Crumb coat, and freeze. Using a Wilton 127 piping tip, pipe on the ruffles, starting on the top, around the sides of the cake. Add on pecan pieces on top for garnish.

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