Incredible Chocolate Sweet Potato Cake

  • Prep-time: / Ready In:
  • Makes one 9-inch round cake
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You’d never guess that orange sweet potatoes are the secret ingredient behind this lusciously moist vegan chocolate cake. The tasty tubers lend their creamy texture and subtle sweetness to both the cake and the frosting to create an undeniably delicious dessert sans dairy. Nut butter makes the decadent frosting extra smooth while the batter delivers a one-two punch of chocolate goodness thanks to both cocoa powder and vegan chocolate chips, which get tantalizingly gooey as it bakes. This sweet potato cake would be great topped with fresh berries, edible flowers, or a light dusting of powdered sugar—with or without the frosting. So what are you waiting for? Get out a fork and satisfy your sweet tooth!

Tip: Orange sweet potato is ideal for this cake because it is a little sweeter and looser than yellow sweet potato. It’s best to use a blender or food processor (versus a stand mixer) to ensure the sweet potato in the batter and frosting become deliciously smooth.

Adapted from

For more chocolate vegan desserts, check out these tasty ideas:

By Dreena Burton,



  • 1 cup peeled, cooked, and cooled orange sweet potato (see tip in intro)
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup cashew butter or almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons plant-based milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt


  • ¾ cup peeled, cooked, and cooled orange sweet potato
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole grain spelt flour
  • ⅓ cup coconut sugar
  • ¼ cup miniature or regular nondairy chocolate chips
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon regular or sodium-free baking powder
  • 1 scant teaspoon baking soda


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9-inch round or 8-inch square silicone or other nonstick cake pan with parchment paper.
  • For frosting, in a blender or food processor combine sweet potato, coconut sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, cashew butter or almond butter, plant-based milk, vanilla extract, and sea salt. Cover and blend until very smooth, scraping sides as needed. If necessary, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of milk and 1 to 2 tablespoons of coconut sugar to make desired consistency and sweetness. Cover and chill until ready to use.
  • For cake, in a blender combine sweet potato, maple syrup, vinegar, vanilla, and ½ cup water; cover and blend until completely smooth.
  • In a large bowl stir together flour, coconut sugar, chocolate chips, and salt. Sift in cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda. Add sweet potato mixture to flour mixture. Use 1 tablespoon water to rinse blender to remove any remaining puree and add to flour mixture. Mix just until well incorporated. Transfer batter to prepared pan.
  • Bake 21 to 23 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Remove cake from pan and top with frosting.

Comments (52)

(5 from 20 votes)

Recipe Rating

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Stacey M

This is SO good and moist and tasty! I love it. My son loved it. He had no idea he was eating sweet potatoes 😂. Very good! I made it exactly as recipe is only I used stone ground whole wheat flour as the store I was at didn’t have the spelt flour. Turned out wonderful!


Wow! Made it for our New Year’s Eve dessert. My husband isn’t plant based and couldn’t believe how good it was. Very moist and delicious. Had to add a little more water to thin out the frosting a tad but other than that, the recipe was spot on. Will definitely make it again.

Andrea E

I used BRM gluten-free flour and some almond flour. "Cake" was very dense; more like a brownie. The frosting saved it (and followed the tip about Chef AJ - kept icing simpler).


Can you sub pumpkin for the sweet potato? Thanks!


What can substitute for the cashew or almond butter? I have peanut butter and raw tahini at home; can I use one of these?


Delicious. But very very rich. I used whole wheat pastry flour, doubled the recipe and baked in 3 inch ramekins and a tray of 2 x4 inch rectangular cakes. Also used expresso powder in the icing. Mine were about 3 inches high so cut in half and iced, to serve as halves not as layers because so rich. Baked for about 35 minutes. I think I wouldn't use chocolate chips or would use more. And I might add nuts.

Linda Maran

How long can I keep this cake out? I let it cool about 3 hours, then put it in the fridge. Not sure if this can be left out overnight due to the sweet potatoes. Thanks.

Linda Maran

Can I use half carob powder and half cocoa powder? Caffeine really affects me negatively.


The cake was great. The icing tasted just a little weird. I didn't love it but the cake I'd definitely make again. I subbed 1 cup of whole wheat pastry flour for the spelt flour and it came out just fine.


I didn’t see the 1/2 cup of water in the instructions because I was adding the ingredients from the list, so my cake came out dry and crumbly. Please add the water to the ingredients list! The frosting was very good though.


What can I sub for spelt flour? I’m gluten free


Delicious, but it's the most chewy cake I've ever eaten. The batter was very thick and sticky. (yes, I added the 1/2 c water) I'm guessing that it makes a difference how the sweet potatoes are cooked. If they were boiled or steamed, they would have more moisture; mine were baked. The frosting is awesome!


For the icing, Chef AJ would just use the sweet potato, vanilla bean powder, and date paste.


These 51 sweet potato recipes are brought to us as free from processed ingredients. I find that rather misleading as I don't consider cocoa, vanilla extract, maple syrup, spelt foour and coconut sugar UNPROCESSED foods. I can also wonder how healthy this dessert truly is.

Marcey Siegel

Looks good. I see someone made it with GF flour and it worked. I need GF as well as Whole Food Plant Based, oil free. In general, I do wish that ForksoverKnives would have a GF option listed in all of their recipes. I'm finding this problem in the Forks over Knives magazine recipes and it is frustrating to purchase the magazine and then find so many recipes without a GF option or direction.


EPIC CAKE! This is not only delicious but far better than any regular cake recipes with butter, eggs, oil. My kids inhaled this amazing cake. This is a 10 star out of 5 winner!


I have had success with Brown Rice or Oat flours as substitutes. I usually use 1/2 the amount Brown Rice and 1/2 Oat flour. You may need to add more liquid.


Hi. Do you need to use a blender to mix?


Great recipe - I had to bake it for 35 min, but I used a smaller pan to get a thicker cake layer. The frosting was too liquid so I used almond flour to thicken it, worked beautifully.


I made this recipe and it was delicious! One commentor said, they didn’t make the frosting because the cake by itself was fabulous and I agree. The only thing I did different was I purchased an organic can of sweet potato purée, and it worked very well. The next day, I still had a portion of the canned sweet potato, so I went ahead and made the frosting and ate it by itself, and it was heavenly as well!


So good! I subbed millet flour for spelt and it worked great. This is now my go-to birthday cake recipe. Yum!!


Wow this cake is delicious I’ve made it twice and it’s a hit with my husband and friends.


Amazing! Perfect for a crazy PMS craving for chocolate. It’s my Grandmother’s in law heavenly birthday too so a good day for cake.

Juliette Jacques

This is the best cake I’ve ever tasted! Love the sweet potato moisture- consistency of brownies- -baked it in cupcake pan 2nd time around. Easy to find ingredients at Whole Foods . Really chocolate-y not too seeet!


I've made this cake multiple times. Definitely a favorite. I've done it in silicone cupcake liners as well. Worked great. I just double the recipe to make it a layer cake. For Christmas, I added some peppermint essential oil to the frosting and crushed a few little candy canes to sprinkle on the top.


I baked it 22 minutes but the inside is still completely raw and runny!


Would you be able to supply the nutritional breakdown? I made this today using regular flour and granulated sugar. It is super moist and delicious.


Can I sub date sugar for coconut sugar?

Courtney Davison

Hi JCB, yes, you can substitute date sugar for the coconut sugar. Thank you, Courtney Editor, Forks Over Knives


Could I sub date paste for the coconut sugar??

Courtney Davison

Hi LouAnn, In general, it’s always good to substitute dry sweetener for dry sweetener. Date sugar would probably make a better substitute here than date paste, since date paste would add moisture. If you do try using date paste, please let us know how it goes! Thank you, Courtney Editor, Forks Over Knives

Hera Lauritsen

This cake is AMAZING!!! So moist and delicious!


Great texture, but has an odd taste. Not quite sweet enough for me. I had to add way more liquid to the frosting to get it to blend.


The cake is moist and somewhat heavy. It has a nice chocolatey flavor. Next time I may add a little cinnamon and a few grains of cayenne. The frosting was somewhat disappointing. I used almond butter and almond milk. The consistency was glossy and thick, but the taste was off-putting. Perhaps the combo of almond and sweet potato? At any rate, I will not use the frosting, and will enjoy the cake with a sprinkling of powdered sugar and raspberries.


1/2 cup of water. Not mentioned in the ingredients list.

Ella ODonnell

I used walnut butter and chocolate almond malk for the frosting…it is delicious!


This cake is incredible. I used Robin Hood gluten free flour, and lowered the sugar a tiny bit in the cake and frosting by a tablespoon each. Delicious. I skipped the 2 tblsp of almond milk in the frosting, and it turned out like ganache in the food processor. The frosting alone would make a great pudding dessert for two. Sooo good. Really rich and luxurious cake. Don’t overmix the cake batter not to get rid of the air in the sifted flour.


Is there a diabetic version of this recipe? Suggestions? Thanks

Gladys Caddy

Can whole wheat pastry flour be used instead of spelt flour? Also is there any liquid in the making of the cake? Thank you.

Courtney Davison

Hi Gladys, We checked with Dreena Burton, the chef behind this recipe, for her advice on substituting whole wheat pastry flour for spelt. She says that her general substitution for spelt to whole wheat pastry is to use slightly less. So for a 1 cup measure of spelt, she'd use 1 cup of whole wheat pastry flour minus about 1 to 1.5 Tbsp. A scant 1 cup measure also works. Regarding whether there's liquid in the recipe, the cooked sweet potato, maple syrup, and balsamic vinegar provide enough moisture. Hope this is helpful. Thank you, Courtney Davison Editor, Forks Over Knives


There is water in the recipe .5 cup in the instructions but was left off of the ingredient list

Lisl Bove

This recipe is delicious! Very moist. Almost like a brownie. I have already made it twice!


Os it possible to use butternut instead of sweet potato?


This was too good! I subbed Japanese sweet potatoes because I already had some baked & ready to go. The directions have 1/2 cup of water for the batter, but it's not listed in the ingredients. Just FYI. Will definitely make again & again.


I will add. I didn't have the flour so used regular flour. But not eating GF.


Made the cake as cupcakes. It doesn't need frosting. Very good.

Sheri Huff

How long did you bake the cupcakes? Regular or mini size?


I made this as it was written. An absolutely gorgeous chocolate cake that everyone loved! I grated dark chocolate over the top so it looked even fancier. Definitely a make again, I think I will have fun and experiment with throwing a shot of espresso in the batter and/or some cinnamon or even better, cayenne in the icing. What a brilliant dessert, thank-you!

Silvia ferro

Is there a gluten free flour you’d recommend instead of spelt flour?


I was going to ask the same thing. Yes, a GF flour needed please.

Megan Edwards

Hi Silvia, We recommend Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Baking Flour. While it's not perfectly whole grain, it's pretty close, and will give you a nice texture. Let us know how it goes!


Used a scant cup of rice flour iso spelt flour and doubled the amount of water to rinse the blender in step 4 - turned out just perfect!! Thx for this great recipe for a fluffy chocolate cake!!!

About the Author

Headshot of Dreena Burton

About the Author

Dreena Burton

Dreena Burton has written six cookbooks charting her journey as a plant-powered cook and at-home mother of three. Always passionate about creating nutritious recipes, she is an advocate of using the “vegan basics” (beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables) to create dishes that are healthy but also very satisfying and delicious! For more on her plant-powered recipes and newest cookbook, Dreena’s Kind Kitchen: 100+ Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes to Enjoy Every Day, visit, and follow her on Instagram and Facebook.
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