Yam Cake


Food & Wine's Yam Cake is spiced with both fresh and ground ginger as well as cinnamon and a little freshly ground pepper. Slideshow: More Cake Recipes 

Yam Cake
Our phenomenal yam cake is spiced with both fresh and ground ginger as well as cinnamon and a little freshly ground pepper. Did we mention it's okay to eat cake for breakfast over the holidays? This glazed treat can be refrigerated for up to three days, which means three days of dessert in the morning. Photo: Justin Chapple / Food & Wine
Active Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs
1 10-inch loaf


  • 1 large yam, scrubbed

  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil

  • Nonstick cooking spray

  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus a pinch for the glaze

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 stick plus 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated fresh peeled ginger

  • 1/4 cup plain whole-milk yogurt

  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar

  • 2 tablespoons whole milk

  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Rub the yam with the oil and prick all over with a fork 5 or 6 times. Roast the yam on a rimmed baking sheet for 1 hour, until tender. Let cool slightly, then peel the yam and coarsely mash with a fork.

  2. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°. Spray a 10-by-5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper, leaving 1-inch overhang on the long sides. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking soda, the 1/2 teaspoon of salt, the ground ginger, cinnamon and black pepper.

  3. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, beat 1 stick of the butter with the brown sugar at medium-high speed, until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. (The batter will look broken.) Scrape 1 1/4 cups of the mashed yam and the grated ginger into the bowl and beat at medium speed until just combined. At low speed, beat in the dry ingredients in 3 additions, mixing until just combined.

  4. Scrape the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 1 hour, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 30 minutes. Using the parchment paper, lift the yam cake out of the pan and let cool completely on the wire rack.

  5. In a medium bowl, using the hand mixer, beat the cream cheese with the remaining ½ tablespoon of the butter at medium speed until just combined, about 2 minutes. Add the confectioners' sugar and beat until light and fluffy, 3 minutes. Pour in the milk and beat at medium speed until the liquid is incorporated and the glaze is smooth. At low speed, beat in the lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Pour the glaze over the cake. Transfer the glazed cake to a plate and refrigerate for about 20 minutes, until the glaze is set, before serving.

Make Ahead

The yam cake can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

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