I may have mentioned this before, but I started grad school this fall. I was so worried about the future of Oh Honey Bakes, I wondered if I’d have the time or energy to create these recipes I love so much. Last spring I found I’d burnt myself out. I put so much pressure on creating and was making myself sick (literally) with the self-imposed deadlines. I took a step back, took a little break and came back feeling so refreshed and inspired.
This blog has continued to be a creative sanctuary for me, a space I can come to when I’m over writing research papers and reading 100,000 books. It’s a space that invites me to play, and I’m so, so grateful for that and for you, my lovely readers. It absolutely makes my day when I get emails or messages that you’ve tried a recipe and loved it. I feel a little like I’ve had you into my home and baked a cake for you, like we’ve sat down at my table over slices of cake and cups of tea. That’s what this is about anyway, isn’t it? The connection that comes through repeating the same process and creating the same delicious treat even though we’ve never met and are miles and miles apart. I realize I’m getting really sentimental right now, but seriously, I’m grateful for every one of you that takes the time to read my words spend time in this space with me.
So, this cake. I’m all about the fancy, complicated cakes but sometimes, I just want something delicious that I can make in an afternoon. This is that cake. The layers are so moist and studded with little bits of chewy candied ginger. There’s a little rum in the cake and more rum in the buttercream, and the cake keeps beautifully for a couple of days after baking so it’s perfect for when you’re entertaining and need the oven space.
Cake recipe adapted from Sweetapolita.
- 2¼ c (450 g) cooked sweet potato, well mashed
- ¾ c (150 g) sugar
- ¼ c (50 g) dark brown sugar
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- ¾ c vegetable oil
- 1 c (115 g) cake flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp nutmeg (freshly grated, if you can)
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- 1 tbsp dark rum, I used The Kraken Black Spiced Rum
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ c plus 2 tbsp finely chopped candied ginger
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 3 x 6 inch cake pans, line with rounds of parchment, dust with flour and tap out the excess. Set aside.
- Beat the sugar and eggs together on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes or until light and fluffy, Add the oil and beat on medium until combined. Add the cooled sweet potato puree and mix until combined.
- Sift dry ingredients together and then add to sweet potato mixture.
- Add the rum and vanilla and mix just until combined, then gently stir in crystallized ginger.
- Evenly distribute batter into the prepared pans and smooth with a spatula. Bake for 20 minutes, rotate pans in the oven, then bake for an additional 3-5 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Let pans cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle, then invert cakes onto rack and allow them to come to room temperature. Can be made 2 days in advance, wrapped tightly in 2 layers of plastic wrap and stored at room temperature.
- 3 egg whites
- 1 c (200 g) white sugar
- 1½ sticks (12 tbsp) butter, cool but not cold
- 2 tbsp plus 2 tsp dark rum, I used The Kraken Black Spiced Rum
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp vanilla bean powder (or ¼ vanilla bean, scraped)
- pinch of cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- Wipe the metal bowl of an electric stand mixer, whisk attachment and a whisk with vinegar or lemon juice and a paper towel to remove any trace of grease.
- Fill a saucepan with 1 inch of water and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Place the metal mixing bowl over the pot of simmering water (bowl should fit snugly but should not touch the water) and add the egg whites and sugar. Stir constantly with a whisk until the temperature reaches 140 degrees on a candy thermometer or until all the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is foamy and hot. Remove from heat.
- Beat egg whites and sugar on high speed until the bottom of the bowl is completely neutral, about 10 minutes. Switch to the paddle attachment and turn mixer on low speed.
- Begin slowly adding the butter pieces and mix until the texture is smooth. If the buttercream curdles, keep mixing, it'll come back together.
- Add the rum, vanilla extract, vanilla bean powder, salt and cinnamon and mix well. Taste, add a pinch of salt, and taste again. Add more salt or cinnamon if desired.
- You can store buttercream in the fridge in an airtight container for 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 6 weeks. Bring back to room temperature and beat until smooth before using.
- If you want to crumb coat the cake, double the recipe. To completely ice the cake, triple it.