Make Ahead

Sweet Potato Buttermilk Bundt Cake with Brown Sugar Bourbon Glaze

November 10, 2010
0 Ratings
  • Serves 10-12
Author Notes

There are so many pumpkin cake recipes out there and not enough sweet potato ones and I adore sweet potatoes. There is a wonderful recipe by Regan Daley that this is heavily adapted and inspired by. I'm also on a huge bourbon kick right now (not drinking, just using in recipes!) - bourbon ice cream, bourbon icing, slipping bourbon into this's one of the best ingredients to use in savory or sweet fall recipes right now. I also liked the idea of using buttermilk (one of my other favorite ingredients) in this cake, to yield a moist, fluffy and tender crumb, which is precisely what it does. This cake is moist and flavorful - with some great spices but they don't overshadow the real star of the cake, which is the sweet potatoes. The bourbon glaze soaks into the cake and it almost tastes like bread pudding, and it is the pretty bow that ties up the package that is this cake. This is the perfect cake to make for Thanksgiving, especially if you have guests who aren't so crazy about the standard pumpkin or apple pies. Enjoy! —tiptoesinthekitchen

What You'll Need
  • Sweet Potato Buttermilk Bundt Cake
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter (softened)
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (cooked, skinned and mashed) - should be about a cup and 1/2
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • a few pecan halves for decoration (optional)
  • Bourbon Brown Sugar Glaze
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  1. Sweet Potato Buttermilk Bundt Cake
  2. Preheat the oven to 350. Butter and flour a bundt pan. Microwave the sweet potatoes on high for about 8 minutes (until they are steamed and tender). Peel the skin from them and mash them in a bowl.
  3. Add the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and spices all together in a medium bowl and whisk to thoroughly combine.
  4. In a separate large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar and gradually (one by one) add the eggs.
  5. Measure out the buttermilk and add the vanilla and bourbon to it. Mix in the sweet potatoes in the batter until they are evenly incorporated. Alternate in 3 or 4 batches, slowly adding the buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
  6. Pour the batter into the bundt pan and drop on the counter a couple times to prevent air bubbles. Bake for 35-40 minutes (depending on your oven and when a cake tester comes out clean).
  7. Let the cake cool for about 15 minutes, flip it over onto a plate or cake stand and pour the glaze on top. Decorate with pecan halves.
  1. Bourbon Brown Sugar Glaze
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and sugar on medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the heavy cream for about 3 more minutes. Remove from heat and mix in the bourbon.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Nancy Charlton
    Nancy Charlton
  • gabrielaskitchen
  • tiptoesinthekitchen
  • drbabs

11 Reviews

Abi K. February 15, 2018
I made this to use up a huge sweet potato and some buttermilk, I put half in a heart shaped pan, and half in a mini bundt pan, both turned out delicious.

When do you add the chopped pecans?

We happened to have left over bourbon pecan pie filling, so used that to top the heart shaped one. For the bundt, I was taking to a nut free event, so I made dulce de leche in the crock pot (works great - pour the condensed milk in small ball jars) - that worked great too!
Tot November 19, 2016
I've baked this a couple of times and it appears that the potatoes look like they have molded in the cake after a day or that caused by the heavy cream in the glaze?
Tot April 17, 2017
I've had the same issue.
Nancy T. April 3, 2016
I have no idea who you are but man, this cake "TAKES" the cake! I am a firm believer in buttermilk recipes for they are always so moist and delish! I may have to go just a little bit more Maker's Mark for this … to each his own! Tnx for getting this recipe out to all who love to cook!

Nancy Thurman … Denver, CO
carmen H. May 25, 2015
I'm happy to report that I made this cake yesterday as I had extra buttermilk and sweet potatoes that I had to use. I stumbled across the recipe using my handy-dandy Handpick food app that helps reduce food waste by suggesting recipes using ingredients you already have on hand. My husband gave this cake a "10 or 11" out of a 1-to-10 scale. I bake a lot. For sure, I'd bake this again. A wonderful fall dessert to unveil at a dinner. It's also most definitely worthy for Thanksgiving. I ended up using 5 small to medium sweet potatoes. The brown sugar bourbon glaze is wickedly delicious.
tiptoesinthekitchen November 17, 2015
Wow, thank you for your comment Carmen (I'm just now seeing it). It's so nice to hear you and your husband liked this so much. Also, I completely need to download that app, it sounds amazing, and right up my alley! :)
Nancy C. April 6, 2015
This sounds like heaven! A significant number of my friends use no alcohol at all, so I'm thinking of possible substitutions for the bourbon. I like the idea of orange juice, but I'm thinking also of some kind of caramel along with it. Perhaps a tiny bit of molasses or sorghum in the batter, and some caramelized sugar in the glaze. In fact, you could possibly make it praliné with the pecans. I'd use some orange extract, and some vanilla too. I once had candied yams at a Thanksgiving dinner that were treated this way, but IMO way too sweet for an entree side dish.
gabrielaskitchen November 12, 2010
I was gonna submit a very similar recipe I adapted from Dorothy Dalquist's Sweet-Potato Bourbon Bundt Cake (via Martha Stewart) but ya beat me to it :) In my rendition of the cake I omit pumpkin spice, use only cinnamon and add the zest of one large orange. I sub fresh orange juice for half the bourbon in the cake batter and increase the amount of bourbon in the glaze to 1/4 it's boozy enough! Glad to see this recipe on Food52- it's a good one- I'm making it this year for my family's "Southern Soul Food Thanksgiving Potluck"! Yum! Hope you make it to the finals, you have my vote.

kahlfin November 18, 2010
Thank you so much for the kind words and support! The addition of orange zest and juice sound great too! I hope your Southern Soul Food Thanksgiving goes well, it sounds like a lot of fun - what else are you having?
tiptoesinthekitchen November 10, 2010
Thank you drbabs!
drbabs November 10, 2010
This sounds amazing. I love sweet potatoes and bourbon. Have to make it!