Sweet Potato Layer Cake

This is a Southern classic.



  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 1/2 cups finely shredded uncooked sweet potato (about 1 medium)
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 (5 ounce) cans evaporated milk
  • 4 egg yolks, beaten
  • 2 2/3 cups flaked coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Cake: In a mixing bowl, beat oil and sugar.
  2. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. Add sweet potato, water and vanilla extract; mix well.
  4. In a small mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff; fold into the sweet potato mixture.
  5. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; add to potato mixture.
  6. Stir in pecans.
  7. Pour into three greased 9-inch round cake pans.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F for 22 to 27 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  9. Cool for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks.
  10. Frosting: Melt the butter in a saucepan; whisk in sugar, milk and egg yolks until smooth. Cook and stir over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes or until thickened and bubbly.
  11. Remove from the heat; stir in the coconut, pecans and vanilla extract. Cool slightly.
  12. Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread with a third of the frosting.
  13. Repeat layers.

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