Sweet Potato and Rye Coffee Cake

12-16 servings
1 hr 10 min

This sweet potato and rye coffee cake is a recipe you need to try! It is hands-down one of the best recipes I've created to date and always keeps people coming back for more. The coffee cake itself uses buttermilk to create a moist, tender crumb. A bit of rye flour is adding along with all purpose flour for a nuttier flavor, which complements the sweetness of the roasted sweet potatoes, which are mashed and folding directly into the cake batter. The cake is the then topped with a warm, ginger and oat crumble. Finally, just as the cake comes out of the oven, the whole thing is drizzled with a deceptively simple browned butter glaze. It's simple, flavor, and delicious! Find out more at www.gatheredatmytable.com

sweet potato and rye coffee cake

sweet potato and rye coffee cake

sweet potato and rye coffee cake

Sweet Potato and Rye Coffee Cake
Recipe details
  • 12-16  servings
  • Prep time: 20 Minutes Cook time: 50 Minutes Total time: 1 hr 10 min
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for the ginger crumble
  • 1/2 cup (65 g) rye flour 
  • 3/4 cup (75 g) rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2” piece of fresh ginger, grated (or 1/2 tsp ground ginger)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted butter, softened
for the cake
  • 1 1/2 cup (190 g) all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (100 g) rye flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 3/4 cup (170 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (220 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 3/4 cup (150 g) sweet potato, cooked and mashed*
  • 1 cup (242 g) buttermilk, at room temperature
for the browned butter glaze
  • 1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted butter 
  • 1 1/2-2 cups powdered sugar
  • pinch of salt 
  • about 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream* 
to make the crumble
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. 
Add butter and work together using your fingers until butter is completely mixed in and no dry spots remain. Place the crumble in the refrigerator to chill while you make the rest of the cake. 
to make the cake
Preheat oven to 350°F and line a 9x13” baking dish with parchment paper. 
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, making sure to scrape down the sides and ensure all butter chunks are mixed in. 
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, rye flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and ginger. Set aside. 
With the mixer on low speed, add eggs one at a time, mixing each completely before adding the next. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then add mashed sweet potato and vanilla extract. Mix on low-medium speed for 1-2 minutes more, until everything is combined and homogenous. 
With the mixer on low-speed, add 1/3 of the dry ingredients, followed by half of the buttermilk. When the buttermilk has mixed in, add another 1/3 of the dry ingredients, followed by the remaining half of buttermilk, then the remaining 1/3 of the dry ingredients. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then mix one more minute. Remove bowl from mixer and use a rubber spatula to gently fold the batter a few more times, ensuring that the batter is smooth and homogenous and everything is well combined. 
Pour batter into prepared baking dish and use an offset spatula to smooth into an even layer. Remove crumble from refrigerator and sprinkle evenly over the top of the cake. 
Bake for 45-50 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cake. Let cool completely in the pan while you make the glaze. 
to make the glaze
Place butter in a small saucepan set over medium heat and cook for 6-7 minutes, swirling occasionally, until butter is foamy and fragrant and small amber flecks appear on the bottom of the pan. 
Quickly remove the butter from the heat and pour into a heatproof bowl. Immediately whisk in powdered sugar, salt, and heavy cream, adding more heavy cream if needed to achieve your desired consistency. Drizzle glaze over coffee cake and let set before slicing. 
  • on sweet potatoes: For this recipe, sweet potatoes need to be soft and mashable. I like to point holes in a whole sweet potato and then roast it in a 400° F oven for 30-40 minutes until soft. I let it cool completely (sometimes even just pop it in the fridge overnight) and then peel it cold.
  • for the glaze: About 1/4 cup of heavy cream is a very vague measurement and for that I am sorry, but I’ve made this recipe many times and I think I use a slightly different amount every time. I would recommend starting with 3-4 tbsp of heavy cream and adding more if needed to loosen the glaze. If your glaze begins to separate and become oily, just add a little more heavy cream and keep whisking. The fat in the cream should help it emulsify and come back together. If you get a little heavy handed and your glaze is too runny, add a little more powdered sugar- it’s very forgiving!
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  • Mary Mary on Jun 26, 2021

    This looks so delicious, but, once again it is labelled as a coffee cake when it is actually more of a ginger cake. I can see no mention of coffee anywhere, and an actual coffee cake is one of the most delicious of cakes. Maybe this is a USA invention to refer to a coffee cake when it is intended for eating with coffee, but that would make sense to call it a Coffee Time cake. This recipe is a lovely ginger cake!! I look forward to making it, thank you.

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    • KittieDanger KittieDanger on Nov 05, 2023

      I would not like a cake containing coffee as I do not like the taste of coffee. But love cinnamon which most “coffee cakes” are comprised of. This IS a coffee cake.

  • Clair Reading Clair Reading on Jun 27, 2021

    Can this be used for cupcakes?

    • Gathered at my Table Gathered at my Table on Jun 27, 2021

      Hi Claire,

      I haven't tested this recipe as cupcakes, so I can't be 100% sure but most cakes adapt pretty easily. This is a pretty dense cake, so if you are attempting to make them as cupcakes, just remember that they will be thick and moist, not light and fluffy like most cupcakes. If you try it out, please let me know how it goes!