North Carolina: Sweet Potato Cake with Molasses Cream Cheese Frosting 

North Carolina


Population: 10,042,802
Capital: Raleigh
Admission to the Union: November 21, 1789
Source: Wikipedia

Oh hey, remember when I was going to do that thing where I created a recipe to represent each of the 50 states, but then I put it on hold for like a year and a half? Well Super Bowl Sunday seemed like a perfect excuse to finally pick it back up today.

In case you are a reader from outside the US or you reside in the US, but live under a rock, yesterday was Super Bowl Sunday and this year it was the Denver Broncos vs the Carolina Panthers. Chris and I didn’t have much of a rooting interest in this game since our teams weren’t in it, but we both leaned towards cheering for the Broncos (woo hoo!) since we have a bunch of friends who are Broncos fans. This lead to the very easy decision to make my Colorado style bison tacos for dinner to represent Denver, but what about Carolina?

Despite being called the “Carolina” Panthers, the team actually plays in North Carolina so I wanted to represent that state. The food North Carolina is most famous for is most certainly bbq, but since Chris and I were watching on our own this year and I already had a main course, bbq was clearly too much. I asked a friend who is from NC what other foods were synonymous with the state. He mentioned a few things including sweet potatoes.

I am a huge sweet potato fan. I’d probably consider them one of my favorite foods so I was intrigued. A quick Google search revealed that NC is the number one grower of sweet potatoes in the United States. With that an NC Super Bowl dessert idea was born: Sweet Potato Cake with Molasses Cream Cheese frosting.

Truth be told I liked the cake I ended up with, but I found the frosting too rich and too cloying. If I made this again I would likely only use half a stick of butter and one tablespoon of molasses. Still I rarely make frosted cakes so this was fun to try.

whole frosted

Sweet Potato Cake with Molasses Cream Cheese Frosting

For the cake:

  • 1 1/3 cups cooked mashed sweet potatoes (I microwaved a giant sweet potato until it was mushy)
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • zest of one medium orange
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

Grease a 9 inch round pan and preheat the oven to 350.

In a large mixing bowl beat together the sweet potato, oil and sugar using an electric hand mixer. Add eggs one at a time beating after each addition.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda over the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.

Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.

Pour mixture in to greased pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool in the pan for about 15 minutes then transfer to rack to cool completely.

For the frosting:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • 1 cup of powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp molasses

In a medium sized mixing bowl beat together the cream cheese and butter.

Add the sugar and molasses and beat together until fluffy and creamy.

Frost your cake and serve.



2 comments on “North Carolina: Sweet Potato Cake with Molasses Cream Cheese Frosting 

  1. I am glad you are picking your project back up! I did not realize NC grew so many sweet potatoes… admittedly I did not learn much about the state when I lived there, though. 😉 When I think of NC, I think of bbq and pimento cheese. I thought pimento cheese was disgusting – it was like cheese whiz with pimentos in it, so I didn’t understand why people liked it so much but I am sure there’s things we love in MN that people don’t understand either!

  2. That cake sounds sooooo good!! I’ve never had any dessert with sweet potatoes before!

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