Marfigs' Munchies

Adventures in vegan eats and feats

Sweet potato chocolate lemon cake


Sometimes you need an easy and delicious cake that happens to contain two of the world’s best ingredients: chocolate and lemon. This cake fits the bill, and can be modified to accommodate all sorts of nom lying around, such as the addition of nuts, ginger, and other shiny. This cake was for a trip to the wonderful in-laws yesterday, hence the lack of ginger, but that is simply a must for an even more flavourful delight. πŸ™‚


I was craving something dessert-ish to take along, and even with peeling and steaming this cake takes less than 45 minutes to bake, including the 30 minutes bake time! I woke up at 04h00 on Sunday morning and there was no going back to bed, so this was a really low-key affair in the kitchen – enough faffing to make one feel busy, without any actual effort or exhaustion. I even managed to drink a cup of coffee, hot!

Ingredients (serves 8):

  • 280g peeled and chopped sweet potato, then steamed
  • 1 medium, super ripe banana, sliced roughly
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 tsp blackstrap molasses (add 1 tsp more if you’re into the super strong taste)
  • 4-5 TBSP NuNaturals Simple Syrup OR 1/3 agave/maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 cup carob powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • Lots of cinnamon!
  • Optional (but recommended): lots of ginger spice! πŸ˜€


  • 1 cup powdered sweetner
  • 3 TBSP lemon juice
  • Optional: crushed nuts, melted chocolate drizzle, dried fruit sprinkles


  1. Steam your sweet potato for 5 minutes and let it cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C and spray and line a loaf pan.
  3. In a food processor, blend all your wet ingredients, including sweet potato and banana, until smooth. Taste to see whether you’d like it sweeter – remember tastes differ! Add more agave/maple/Simple Syrup as required, or otherwise shake out 1 – 2 packets of stevia.
  4. Add the dry ingredients and blend until combined, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary. Don’t overmix but ensure that there aren’t bits of flour or what not.
  5. If you want to add extras, such as nuts, now is the time!
  6. Bake for 30 minutes on your middle rack.
  7. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes, then remove it from the pan by the baking paper flaps and let it cool completely.
  8. Mix your powdered sweetener and lemon juice until the sugar is dissolved and a smooth glaze is formed (this takes just a few seconds – magic!).
  9. Poke a few shallow holes with a toothpick over the surface. Pour over the whole loaf and use the back of a spoon to ensure it’s evenly spread. It may drip over the edge, so just spoon it back up and use the excess to fill the gaps.
  10. Either serve immediately or place it for 1/2 an hour in the fridge to firm up the glaze somewhat into a sticky deliciousness before slicing into 8 pieces. YUM. Seriously.

cakenomspotatosidedelishAnd there you have it! This is actually the first time I tried to make a proper sugar icing, and it turned into a glaze without warning, but that’s because I couldn’t bring myself to use more than 1 cup of sweetener. Seriously, I admire the thick, crisp white icings that people manage to put on their cakes, but I’m just not capable of doing it without using beans or sweet potatoes as a base, and I think those are just as yummy as the traditional fare. Still, this sticky sweetness was just DELISH, and all the more because it was a rare treat. My family on all sides has been lecturing me about not being so scared about sugar, so there you go – sugar! But sweetener :p There’s always lots of debate about sweetener and whether that’s worse for you than “real” sugar, but honestly, I consume refined sugar so infrequently that I will just take a deep breath when I do and then enjoy myself.

cutcakepotatoEnjoy myself indeed! This was just lovely – I really enjoy the texture and firmness of buckwheat flour, which isn’t the same as an airy wheat cake. If you do enjoy the latter more, then replace half the buckwheat flour with brown rice flour, since that also has a stunning lightness to it that makes any cake a dream to munch through. Either way, I love cakes that take minimal ingredients based on what’s in the house. If you don’t have applesauce you can use a neutral tasting oil, and no bananas can be solved with some avocado.

cutslicetopsweetslicesquishnomsNomm! Just look at that glazed glory! It wasn’t too lemon-y because I was amazed at how quickly the sugar dissolved and became all liquid-y (again, what a n00b I am!), but one can always add more sugar and more flavouring (such as NuNaturals Lemon Stevia drops, which I am sadly out of).

slicesquishnoms3slicesquishnoms4Yum yum! Anyway, the family seemed to like it! They were simply marvellous and thoughtful yesterday – they bought and made me stir fry and roasted veggies (to counter their meat-based dishes), AND got soy milk and fresh fruit so that we could make custard! ❀ I’m such a custard monster so all that plus my surprise cake went rather well together. FIL chimed in that it was ok since it didn’t count as cake but rather as a vegetable anyhow :p A very practical worldview, methinks!Β slicesquishnoms5

What’s your favourite vegetable-based cake? Share the recipe or an idea!

What has someone done for you lately that you appreciated?

Author: Marfigs

Ahoy, I’m Margaux! History teacher and freelance editor; wench to my Man-thing; volunteer at a cat shelter; and handmaiden to our kitsy cats, Gatsby, Freyja and Atlas. This blog is dedicated to vegan food, occasionally overthrown by pictures of foster kittens and other fluffy creatures. I love sharing ideas and recipes, so don't be shy: stop by and say hi!

4 thoughts on “Sweet potato chocolate lemon cake

  1. Pingback: 10 last minute holiday dishes + 10 tips for last minute prep | marfigs' munchies

  2. Stooop it. Didn’t I mention sweet potatoes were on my no-go list?! At least as a dessert ingredient. Don’t tempt me to shell out the money for those monsters – the ones we can find are giant-sized – and try them in a cake or other kind of treat again. Though I wouldn’t object against the delivery of a single slice … (:


    • Hee! I couldn’t help myself, but I promise I’ll move over to pumpkin sometime soon instead :p I don’t actually usually eat sweet potatoes “clean” so it’s perplexing why they feature in so many of my recipes. You’re going to be sad when you see what’s coming up this week! πŸ˜€


      • Well, now that you’ve warned me I’ll just skip a few posts ;). You might be sad to hear I’m not a fan of pumpkin in desserts, either, though. Savoury, yes. But sweet? In my defense, I figure it has to do with growing up without any kind of pumpkin desserts or even canned pumpkin as is.

        Liked by 1 person

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