Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thanksgiving Ideas and a Sweet Potato Cake with Marshmallow Fluff Frosting

The holiday season is right around the corner, breathing down the calendar's neck. I've said it once and I'll say it again - Thanksgiving is my favorite! This Sweet Potato Cake with Marshmallow Fluff frosting was just the thing to kick off the season. Yes yes yes - pumpkin is the king of fall but let's give some credit to it's cousin, the sweet potato. 

Sweet potato is underrated. It can hold it's own without all the bells and whistles that we associate with pumpkin. That beloved pumpkin pie flavor that you're thinking of is really a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. The pumpkin itself is relatively plain. Sweet potato, on the other hand, can be eaten straight out of the oven. It provides a canvas that already has its own distinct flavor and depth. 

This recipe called out to me because it reminded me of the first time I ever tried sweet potato. It was my senior year of high school and the marching band (no judging!) was having a pot luck. My friend's mom made a casserole that was unlike anything I had ever seen or tasted. The entire top was toasted marshmallows which was sheer madness. The base was sweet potato and pecans. How can this be a casserole?

Turns out, Mrs. Demeter was in the know of an American classic. 

Immediately, I asked for the recipe. You can imagine the look of skepticism on my family's face as I took a savory ingredient and dumped sugar on top of it. There was a wave of awe as every one at the table took their first hesitant bite and fell in love with the combination. We shouldn't have been so surprised, in retrospect, as we make fried donuts from squash and roll it in cinnamon and sugar (love me some filhozes). One thing was agreed upon- the casserole was not savory and belonged on the dessert table. This cake embodies that casserole finally actualized into it's true form.

I reduced the amount of the brown sugar in the cake by 30 grams because the frosting needs to serve some purpose. The measurement for cinnamon is always generous in this house. Play freely with the spice ratio to meet your palette. 

This is a delicious cake that pairs the base and frosting in perfect harmony. It's slightly dense which strikes a lovely contrast to the fluffy homemade marshmallow topping. My preference is to serve the cake chilled which makes it a great "one less thing to do in the kitchen the day-of" kind of dessert.

If this recipe didn't tickle your fancy -that's okay. Here are some other ideas in the sweets department for this Thanksgiving that are tried and true:

Brûléed Bourbon-Maple Pumpkin Pie
The recipe for this Sweet Potato Cake with Marshmallow Fluff Frosting is brought to you by the one and only, Smitten Kitchen. Happy Thanksgiving!