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Sweet Potato and Ginger Cake (Autumn Delight Cake)

March 9, 2012

This post is a total self indulgence. Why, I hear you ask? (If you’re not asking, get with the programme please). Well I shall tell you: today is my 30th birthday – Hurrah. So I’ve made myself a cake.

This cake has been lodged in the back of my mind ever since Rosie Alyea posted it back in October 2011. I’m not sure why, but there’s something about autumn that I feel rather attached to. The crunch of amber leaves, the whiff of wood smoke and those bright, crisp, blue autumn days always bring a grin to my freckly face. Maybe it’s my autumnal, red-headed colouring that’s the cause. Now I realise that it’s not autumn, but given the crazyness of our weather at the moment, it could quite easily be. Yes it’s March, and yes it’s spring, but it’s my birthday and I’ll bake Autumn Delight cake if I want to (but I’ll also feed it to everyone else – I can’t eat a whole one!)

Autumn Delight Cake

It is actually a <deep breath> “Sweet Potato & Ginger Layer Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Filling, Candied Pecans and Brown Sugar & Cinnamon Buttercream” but where’s the intrigue in that? As Rosie aka Sweetapolita explains this is a time consuming bake, which is why I was waiting for a special reason to make it. I will list the ingredients at the end of this post, but for the full how-to and the measurements please head over to the original recipe.

Just a few notes though:

  1. I am so thankful for both Rosie and Whisk Kid‘s Swiss Meringue Buttercream tutorial. I had rather prolonged moment of panic when it went horribly curdled, but their reassurance that if you “keep mixer and your spirits on high then it’ll all be ok” turned out to be correct.
  2. I think the difference between American and UK marshmallows may have affected the texture of the filling – ours just melt too easily.  Have you ever tried to ‘turn over’ a british marshmallow after toasting under the grill? I challenge you. It makes a very entertaining spectator sport.
  3. It’s a very very moist cake (it gets more moist with time)
  4. With all the buttercream it’s very sweet so you don’t need much. I went for three layers instead of four because I couldn’t quite cope with the idea of an extra level of buttercream. I think I’m just too British for that much “frosting”. I might try it again as a simple one layer cake, possibly with a coffee icing.
  5. I upped the spicing a tiny bit (especially the ginger) and I think that helped it stand up to the amount of icing. Besides, you can never have too much ginger in your life <grin>
  6. It took me two attempts. Always read the recipe kids.

Lovely autumnal sprinkles

Now, back to the Birthday musings:

Perhaps I should be freaking out more but turning 30 really doesn’t bother me. Birthdays are still exciting, regardless of age. Recently a few people have asked me if I’ve achieved everything I wanted to by the time I was 30. I’m sure it won’t surprise you to know my that my reply is – “I was never organised enough to have a plan”. Also, I’m not working on a finite time frame. I realise that if you believe life ends at death then there’s every reason to get twitchy the older you get. You may have seen me mention church in passing on this blog and I hope you’ll indulge me for a moment so I can tell you this: There are two options in life – to acknowledge God or to ignore him. Find out more here: Two Ways To Live or find out where you can go to argue/discuss it with people here: Christianity Explored.

On a slightly related note, I was at our church bible study on Wednesday and the lovely Mr B surprised me by secretly baking a cake while I was out and bringing it along for us all to munch on while we studied. Some might say wasn’t the most refined cake and the chocolate had the results of some enthusiastic microwave melting (in Masterchef you’d say it was smoked cocoa or something) but you know what? The sponge was totally delicious. It reminded me that challenges are good, but simple is also great.

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So here’s that shopping list of ingredients for Autumn Delight cake:

Sweet Potato & Ginger Cake Layers
Sweet potatoes
Sunflower oil
Plain flour
Baking powder
Ground nutmeg
Ground ginger
Vanilla extract
Brandy or dark rum (I used a couple of drops of rum flavouring)
Crystallized ginger

Whipped Toasted Marshmallow Filling
White marshmallows
Unsalted butter
Icing sugar
Vanilla extract
Marshmallow Fluff (or more marshmallows and more butter

Brown Sugar & Cinnamon Swiss Buttercream
Egg whites
Light brown sugar
Unsalted butter
Vanilla extract

Oh and by the way – this was what my first attempt at Autumn Delight looked like:

This is what happens when you add the potato to the flour, not the wet mix.

Still, the rest of the mix went in cupcake cases, got covered in Speculoos buttercream and went down a storm!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 9, 2012 2:52 pm

    Beautiful cake 🙂 I love Fall too – definitely a nice reminder of it!

  2. March 10, 2012 5:16 pm

    Happy Belated Birthday!

    and well done for shouting out your faith to all that can hear. in today’s secular society too many feel pressurised not to.

  3. March 11, 2012 11:19 am

    Thanks very much

  4. March 14, 2012 10:52 pm

    Wow…this is a cake and a half…that’s some list of ingredients but it looks delicious…especially with the marshmallows! 🙂 Happy belated birthday!

  5. March 25, 2012 10:03 am

    HAPPY (slightly belated) BIRTHDAY GILL! I too turn the Big 3-0 in May and am embracing the next decade… plus the chance to spend the whole day eating considerably large and one might say far to greedy quantities of cake! Hope you had a fun time celebrating with both delicious cakes!

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