Celebrating Fall Flavours: Sweet Potato Cinnamon Roll Cake

The fall season is once again upon us here in Niagara.  Surprisingly, the leaves have retained their lush green hues for much longer than usual.  Personally I have enjoyed the extended summer-like conditions, being a flip-flop wearing sun-lover, but I must admit that I am finally ready for autumn.   Time to break out the boots and scarves!

"O suns and skies and clouds of June, and flowers of June together. Ye cannot rival for one hour October's bright blue weather." -Helen Hunt Jackson
“O suns and skies and clouds of June, and flowers of June together.  Ye cannot rival for one hour October’s bright blue weather.” -Helen Hunt Jackson

But seriously, I love this time of year. I can finally go for a walk without the oppressive heat and drought we have had here in Niagara all summer, and there are ALMOST no mosquitoes following me either. The air is filled with crisp scents of leaves turning and grapes ripening, with hints of rosehips and woodsmoke, and the blue of the sky is made more brilliant by the changing colour of the leaves.

This would also be the time of year when everyone seems to remember their spice cupboard. For some reason, we North Americans (yes I am calling out both Canadians and Americans on this one) share a common taste.  We absolutely loose our collective minds for a spice blend known as Pumpkin Spice. We will put that stuff on just about anything. Frankly it is shocking how much it appears in everything from coffee and tea, confections and condiments to pasta. I like it as much as the next person, but I do have to laugh when I see things like this video posted in fun at our own obsession:

The Holderness Family’s Pumpkin Spice Anthem

So having said this, here is my own contribution to the pumpkin spice craze. Instead of pumpkin, I am using sweet potato although I assure you that it can quite easily be substituted for it. I originally came across the basis for this recipe on Pinterest, so I am including the details in case anyone wants to look it up, but I did adapt it to be dairy free and reduced the sugar as I was using sweetened almond milk. I often leave off the final glaze as I find it sweet enough without it, but do what you like.
The texture of this cake is amazing and the glaze is completely decadent. It tastes absolutely heavenly when served still slightly warm from the oven, but is also quite excellent when sneaking a square out of the fridge for a late-night snack after the kids and your spouse are asleep. Another bonus is that it contains vegetables and I guarantee you will not have to convince your kids to eat this.  I wish I had a picture to post, but every time I make it the thing is devoured before I can get my hands on the camera.

I hope you have enjoyed your (Canadian) Thanksgiving weekend. Do let me know if you decide to try this recipe out – remember, it also works great with leftover mashed sweet potatoes. I sometimes keep them in the freezer just so I can make this. Canned pumpkin or sweet potato will also work in a pinch. As always, I love to hear from readers, so drop me a line and let me know how it turns out!

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Roll Cake

Originally Posted To GFCAV Presents Food Recipe Central
Posted By: Sharon Daniel-Roane
Adapted By: Bonnie Servos (The Stay At Home Workaholic)

3 cups flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
2 cups cooked sweet potatoes or pumpkin
1 1/2 cups Vanilla Almond Milk
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsps vanilla
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

1 cup coconut oil, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 TBLS flour
1 TBLS cinnamon

Glaze (optional)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
5 TBLS vanilla almond milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13×9 inch baking pan.

In a large bowl combine flour,sugar,salt, and baking powder using a fork.  In another large bowl beat sweet potatoes and almond milk until smooth. Add beaten eggs, and vanilla, then blend until combined. Slowly add flour to sweet potato mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Slowly stir the melted coconut oil into the batter until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pan. Make topping.

Topping directions:
Mix all the topping ingredients together until well combined. Drop evenly over the batter and swirl with a knife. Bake cake for 30- 35 minutes. After cake is baked, cool slightly while making the glaze.

Glaze directions:
Combine glaze ingredients and mix until smooth. Glaze cake while still warm.