Holiday Cake


The greatest joy in creating food is the community and creativity that it cultivates.  For this reason, the holiday season is all the more delightful for me.  Crafting new dishes as well and continuing traditions is such a sweet offering.  Being able to give this to folks who have allergies or conditions which limit what they can take in has been a challenge I’m eager to take on.  I want to share all of the wonderful things my grandmothers made for me and my siblings with our kids.  Navigating allergies and accommodating these limitations without losing the goodness can get tricky.  Lucky for the little foodies in my fam, I’m pretty stubborn, so I try and try and try again.

This is an easy and very adaptable take on a southern classic.  Pound cake is probably one of the most comforting, nostalgic, and always appropriate desserts that I can think of.  This variation is no exception.  The sweet potato and spice make it extra cozy and soul warming...and maybe even pass as healthy-ish.  We’ll pretend anyway.  I have included substitutes to make it both vegan and gluten free for allergy and diet preference sake.  


3 c all purpose or gluten-free cup-for-cup flour

1 T gluten-free baking powder

1 t baking soda

1 t salt

½ t nutmeg

½ t cinnamon

½ t allspice

½ t turmeric

1 c butter or coconut oil

1 ¾ cup baked/mashed sweet potato (pumpkin will work just as well if this is your jam)

4 eggs (or 3 bananas)

1 T vanilla

¾ c brown sugar

¾ c sugar (can sub 1 c monk fruit for both sugars if preferred)

***Optional 1 c chopped pecans or pumpkin seeds

Set oven to 350 (325 convection). Grease and dust a tube or loaf pan.  Mix flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and spices in a medium size bowl.  In the bowl of a mixer, beat sugars with butter/oil until fluffy (oil wont get so fluffy).  Lower speed and add eggs/bananas one at a time and then follow with sweet potato/pumpkin.  Add vanilla, and then slowly begin to add flour mixture one cup at a time just until well combined.  Pour into prepared pan, pour topping over and bake 55-65 minutes (until knife comes out clean).  ***Note that vegan and/or gluten free variants may increase bake time slightly


½ c brown sugar

½ c flour

½ c oats

½ butter/coconut oil

Fork or finger mix to create a crumble. Generously top cake before baking.

Amy Bouyett, a 2002 Madison Central grad, is the pastry chef/food manager at Coffee Prose in Jackson (locations are 1619 N West Street and southeast corner of Highland Village courtyard next to Aplos). I also do commission work for weddings, events and parties. I have a small portfolio of this work which can be viewed on Instagram @sweetamibakes