Bake up a tray of this soul-warming Buttered Rum and Candied Sweet Potato Crumb Cake for your family this weekend! It’s gorgeously spiced with cinnamon and clove, and such a perfect start to a crisp fall weekend. Don’t forget to scroll all the way to the bottom of the post for a fabulous giveaway!
The weekend is almost here, and it’s looking like it’s going to be cool, crisp, and perfectly “fall,” in every way. I highly suggest you start it off with this coffee cake.
I wish I could take credit for this one, because it has been a huge hit with my family members and friends. It’s moist and sweet and gorgeously fragrant with cinnamon and clove. We’ve been nibbling away at it for days (it can feed a crowd!). But all the glory here goes to one of my dearest friends, Jocelyn Delk Adams, author of Grandbaby Cakes (the blog), and now, Grandbaby Cakes: Modern Recipes, Vintage Charm, Soulful Memories (the book).
This book. You have got to get your hands on this book! I love cookbooks as much as the next person, but this one is on a whole different level. It was highly anticipated, by myself as well as many others. A lot of my friends have devoured it cover to cover in one sitting. Personally, I prefer to savor it. I’ve been carrying it around in my tote bag ever since I received my advance copy several weeks ago. Whenever I find myself with a few spare moments, at one of my kids little league games, on a long car ride to meet family for a dinner out, even while waiting in line at the bank, I whip it out and read as much as I can get in. It never fails to be the bright spot in my day.
I love it because it’s so much more than just a cookbook. It’s a love letter. A love letter to her family. We all owe a debt of gratitude to Jocelyn’s family because she is one of the most vibrant, passionate, and warm people ever. The world is a happier place because she is in it. And so much of that is due to the way she was raised.
Every recipe in Grandbaby Cakes is accompanied by a story. Why the recipe is so special to her heart, who made it so, and how she puts her own modern spin on it. It’s so heartwarming! And such a fun read too.
Jocelyn wanted me to include family pictures of my own in this post, and stories about how the different generations of my family helped instill a love of baking in me, in the same way hers did. I wish I had that kind of rich history. When I really thought about it though, there really wasn’t a whole lot of that for me. Sometimes things are not in our control. Sometimes families just fall to pieces, despite your hardest efforts. And when I was talking to a friend about it recently, we both agreed that that was really the thing that got us into baking: that we ourselves missed that growing up, but wanted to provide it for future generations.
So I’m dedicating this post to those goobers up there. Those are my two sons. The reason I bake, and the reason I started this crazy blogging adventure. I feel like I owe them so much! I’m getting teary just typing it lol. But if I could write a beautiful baking love letter like my friend Jocelyn did, these two would be the recipients.
Buttered Rum and Candied Sweet Potato Crumb Cake
Bake up a tray of this soul-warming Buttered Rum and Candied Sweet Potato Crumb Cake for your family this weekend! It's gorgeously spiced with cinnamon and clove, and such a perfect start to a crisp fall weekend.
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 4 large eggs, whites and yolks separated, room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large sweet potatoes, roasted, peeled, and mashed*
- 1/3 cup hot water
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons rum
- 2 tablespoons water
For the Streusel:
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Slowly whisk in the melted butter, letting it coat the dry ingredients until crumbs are formed. The mixture will seem wet, but this is normal. Pinch pieces together to form more crumbs. Set aside.
For the Cake:
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 9x13-inch baking pan with baking spray.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form. Transfer the whipped egg whites to a small bowl and place in the refrigerator.
- Clean your stand mixer bowl and whisk attachment. Beat the granulated sugar and oil on medium-high speed until combined. Add the egg yolks, 1 at a time, combining well after each addition and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the sweet potatoes, hot water, and vanilla extract, and beat for another 3 to 4 minutes.
- Turn your mixer down to its lowest speed and carefully add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, salt, baking soda, and nutmeg. Mix the batter until just combined. Be careful not to overmix. Remove the egg whites from the refrigerator and gently fold them into the batter.
- Pour 1/2 of the batter into the prepared pan. Cover with 1/2 of the streusel. Repeat with the remaining batter and streusel. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out moist but mostly clean.
- Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Poke the top of the cake in various locations with a toothpick. Lightly cover the cake with foil or plastic wrap so it does not dry out. While the cake continues to cool, prepare the sauce.
For the Butter-Rum Sauce:
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the granulated sugar, butter, rum, and water to a boil. Once at a boil, whisk until the sauce thickens, about 3 to 5 minutes. When the sauce can thickly coat the back of a spoon, remove from the heat and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Pour the sauce over the warm cake. Serve at room temperature.
*To roast the sweet potatoes: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Prick the sweet potatoes with a fork, then rub each with 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil. Individually wrap each potato in foil and place them all on a baking sheet. Bake for 35 to 55 minutes, or until they are nice and soft. This time will vary based on the size of your sweet potatoes. When you can easily squeeze the sweet potatoes and the insides are tender, they are done.
So maybe you didn’t grow up quite the way Jocelyn did, at your big mama’s knee learning to bake and appreciate good food and family from the moment you were born practically, but maybe you can be the pioneer, and start a new legacy. Grandbaby Cakes is the perfect starting point and it will inspire you!
In hopes of doing just that, I’m offering a giveaway! Get FIVE SIGNED COPIES of the Grandbaby Cakes book (hello Christmas presents for all!), plus a KitchenAid stand mixer, plus a DNA kit from Ancestry.com. Everything you need (and then some!) to instill a love of baking in your own children and grandchildren.
Disclaimer: The giveaway will run from September 15th- October 5th. Winners will be randomly selected on October 6th and notified. The contest is only open to United States residents. All items will be shipped separately by each brand.
So go forth and bake! Good luck!