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Orange Kissed Sweet Potato Cake with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

Ready or not, Thanksgiving is rolling towards us at full speed.  This year I’m hosting the holiday extravaganza and will welcome 10 people into my house for the week.  As stressful as hosting can be, I must say that I love the challenge of entertaining and, most of all, feeding the masses.  It really gives me an opportunity to get creative with what I prepare and allows me to test out new and appealing recipes.  The menu items before and after the big day are almost as much fun to put together as the big bird itself.  This year my family will be presented with such dishes as apple caramel breakfast casserole, pizza lasagna, breakfast burritos, and this little gem, the orange kissed sweet potato cake.

My little community garden had a few ups and downs this year, but one of the more successful achievements was my sweet potato crop.

I have a few more ideas up my sleeve for making use of the coveted orange tinted tubers, but this one really takes the cake (pun most definitely intended).  If you’re looking for something a little bit different from a traditional sweet potato pie, grab up your potatoes and let’s have it.

Start out by whisking together a handful of eggs and some brown and white sugar.  Get it nice and foamy; you want the egg mixture to lighten up in color from all the spinning.

Add a few more wet ingredients into the bowl including your sweet potato, a few squeezes of orange juice, some accompanying zest, a can of evaporated milk and a splash of vanilla.

In a separate bowl mix together all the dry ingredients.  With spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in the shuffle, your guests will be relishing this Thanksgiving inspired finish to their meal.

Add the dry in with the wet and spin it around a few times to incorporate the flavors.

Pour the batter into prepared pans (I like to use parchment to make the cakes come clean easier) and bake them at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.

While your cake layers are cooling, grab up a block of cream cheese, a stick of butter and a little vanilla.  Whip it up and then add in a few poofs of powdered sugar to thicken.  Stir in some coconut and you’re ready to frost.

If you love coconut like I do, then sprinkle a little more across the outside of the cake for good measure once you’ve finished with the creamy covering.  You can never have too much coconut in my most humble of opinions.

And…. you’re ready to indulge.

Finally, as we get ready for the biggest food holiday of the year, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my partnership with Pepperidge Farm and their new Stone Baked Artisan Rolls.  These tasty little bites are a perfect addition to any holiday table and will have your guests instantly asking for the recipe.  With so much on your culinary plate this time of year, why not leave the bread to someone who really knows how to do it well and do it right?

Pepperidge Farm has challenged me to come up with a few simple tips for elevating a typical holiday meal into one that will have your guests swooning for seconds and wondering how you did it.  I’ll be presenting them next week in time for the big event.  So now I need to ask you…

What are some of your tips and tricks for elevating your Thanksgiving day meal from ordinary to extraordinary?

Note: I am working in conjunction with Pepperidge Farm and am being compensated for my time.  As always all opinions and recipes are my own.

Orange Kissed Sweet Potato Cake with Coconut Buttercream Frosting

Yield: 1 2 Tier Frosted Cake

Total Time: 50 min

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

3 Eggs
3/4 Cup White Sugar
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Pureed Sweet Potato
1 12 Oz. Can Evaporated Milk
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1 Orange, Juiced and Zested
1 tsp Vanilla
2 Cups Flour
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Ginger
11/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt

For the Frosting:

1 8 Oz. Block Cream Cheese
1 stick Butter (8 tablespoons or 1/2 Cup)
4 Cups Powdered Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
3/4 Cup Coconut plus a few extra handfuls for sprinkling on outside of cake

Directions:

For the Cake:

Whisk together the eggs and the two sugars until frothy and light colored.

Add in the sweet potato, evaporated milk, olive oil, orange juice, zest, and vanilla.

In a separate bowl mix together the dry ingredients; the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Add the dry to the wet and mix.

Pour the batter into two prepared cake pans.

Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.

For the Frosting:

Cream together the cream cheese, butter, Powdered Sugar, and vanilla.

Mix in the coconut.

Frost the cake and, if desired, sprinkle additional coconut on the outside.