Sweet Potato, Yogurt and Hazelnut Cakes

Stubborn. One of my bittersweet traits. Generally, I'm laid back and flexible. If things don't work, they were not meant to be. Go with the flow. And yet... I cannot admit defeat to a video game level. I will play the same damn stage over and over again until I beat it. I will practice the same move at session until it clicks in my brain. I don't care if it takes a week to a year (yah, I'm looking at you windmills). I want to wear a red shirt today- why can't I find my red shirt? No, it must be the red shirt! Okay Michele, you just wasted 10 minutes looking for a shirt that doesn't really matter- good job.

I was browsing recipes the other day and stumbled upon this exquisite website: Canelle and Vanille. The photos are poetry. The recipes polished and professional. It's ridiculous. However, the author measures in grams (its more professional) and some of the recipes can be temperamental.

Sweet Potato, Yogurt, and Hazelnut cakes... how could I NOT attempt this recipe? I decided to make these for the Bake Sale this past weekend. Bad idea. Long story short, they failed. No matter how long I baked them, they looked beautiful but the inside was still uncooked. My mom told me to let it go, it was the liquid in the sweet potato ratio to the dry ingredients.

Defeat? Never.
I made these again last night. I did my homework better this time and used 2 potatoes instead of 2 1/2. As it turns out (don't laugh at my ignorance), grams convert differently depending on substance. Thank you Metric Kitchen for getting me through this. Below are the conversions I used.

This is not a super sweet cake, it's actually more of a healthy sweet : ) I used a cream cheese frosting. The cake is moist and the texture sort of reminds me of banana bread but more cakey. Does that make sense? I greatly enjoyed the flavor with bits of hazelnut. Thanks Canelle and Vanille!


2 medium sized sweet potatoes (300 grams sweet potato puree)
1 1/3 cups flour
1/3 cup hazelnut flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon grams baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
large pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (or powdered)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/3 cup whole milk yogurt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Zest of half an orange
3/4 cups hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
3 tablespoons hazelnuts, chopped for topping


8 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup softened butter
1 1/4 cups confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place the sweet potatoes in a baking dish and bake at 400F for about 45 minutes to an hour until flesh is fork tender. Let them cool, peel the skin, and puree.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, hazelnut flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the sweet potato puree, brown sugar, sugar, eggs, yogurt, oil and orange zest. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and whisk until combined. It will be a runny batter. Fold in the toasted and chopped hazelnuts.

Pour the batter in the molds (about 3/4 of the way full), sprinkle the top with chopped hazelnuts and bake at 350F until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Time will vary depending on the mold. For small loaf pans, about 22 minutes, the smaller individual molds about 17 minutes.
For the frosting.... cream together with an electric mixer the cream cheese and butter till smooth. Add sugar and vanilla. Decorate with hazelnuts and nutmeg powder.