Crazy for Crust

Sweet Potato Crumb Cake

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I can honestly say that this is the BEST crumb cake I’ve ever eaten.

Sweet Potato Crumb Cake - this is the BEST crumb cake recipe I've ever had! It's an easy recipe that you'll want to keep making over and over.

Want to know something funny? Until I made this cake I’d never cooked a sweet potato. Actually, if I’m being truthful, until I made this recipe I’ve never even eaten a sweet potato, unless you count restaurant fries.

I know, I’m a sorry excuse for a food blogger, aren’t I?

Growing up, no one in my family liked sweet potatoes. They never appeared on our Thanksgiving table. Sweet potatoes are trendy now but back then they only showed up once in awhile covered in marshmallows. No one I knew would touch them with a 10 foot pole! Then I got married to Mel and the mere thought of a sweet potato turned his stomach.

I know, I’m really selling this recipe aren’t I? Be patient with me awhile longer! 🙂


See? That’s my dad and my Nana one Thanksgiving. Turkey, check. Knoepfle, check. Sweet potatoes? Nope!

But, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten more adventurous. I still haven’t cooked a sweet potato for dinner, but I have ordered them as french fries (and those suckers are goooood). So what would make me, the picky non-sweet potato eater, make a sweet potato crumb cake?

In a word: Grandbaby. Grandbaby Cakes, that is, and my friend Jocelyn Delk Adams (from the blog of the same name). She wrote a cookbook, a really gorgeous one, about cakes. (Psst, you can WIN a copy of her book below!)

Sweet Potato Crumb Cake from the Grandbaby Cakes cookbook.

When I received my copy of Grandbaby Cakes I couldn’t wait to dig in. The book is almost like a novel – every recipe has family photos and stories about the recipes and her family. The tagline of the book is “Modern Recipes, Vintage Charm, Soulful Memories” and it totally encompasses all of that. While reading the book I could see myself in the kitchen with Jocelyn, her mom, and her grandmother.

All of the cakes in the book are gorgeous, but I kept coming back to this Sweet Potato Crumb Cake. For one thing, I love me a good coffee cake. Until now I’ve only ever made my mom’s recipe. I can’t even say what I’m thinking about my mom’s coffee cake vs. this one. That would not be a good idea, politically. 😉

Sweet Potato Crumb Cake Recipe

The thing about this cake is that I could see myself eating it for breakfast with coffee or for dessert with wine. There are a few steps involved in making it, but they’re worth it. The cake itself is pillowy soft, probably because you whip the egg whites before adding them to the batter.

There is a ton of streusel all throughout this cake. I love that about any crumb recipe – there needs to be a lot of it! The crumb is sweet and crunchy, a nice accompaniment to the moist and soft cake. It may have been a hot summer day outside when I was baking this, but the inside of my house smelled like Thanksgiving.

And if the thought of a “sweet potato” dessert makes you a little wary – don’t be. This cake does not taste like a french fry, I promise. I liken the sweet potato in this cake to making potato rolls. The starch in the potato just makes the recipe that much fluffier! This is the perfect recipe to make the day after you’ve baked sweet potatoes for dinner. You need about 2 baked potatoes for this recipe. You can bake them special to make the cake, but if you have leftovers it gets even easier.

If you’ve never baked a sweet potato before, you just pop them in the oven wrapped in foil and bake them until soft; it’s just like baking a regular potato. Once you can handle them, peel the skins off and mash the potato before adding it to the cake batter.

I’m serious you guys, this cake is going to happen over and over again. I had to get it out of my house as soon as I made it or there would have been trouble.

Sweet Potato Crumb Cake - This is the BEST Crumb Cake recipe I've ever had! An easy recipe for dessert or breakfast!

I think that all the cakes in Jocelyn’s book are going to be fabulous. This is the perfect gift you need to give for Christmas. It’s the kind of book that will be handed down for generations, that’s for sure. I get a lot of cookbooks to review, you guys, and this one is top notch. From Classic Yellow Cake to 7Up Pound Cake to Caramel Cake and Red Velvet, this book has it all.

Also? It made me a sweet potato lover. What else can I make with them????!!!! #mindexploding

Okay, so one last photo. Of me. Baking when I was oh-so-small. It all started here, my friends!

me baking

4 from 11 votes
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Servings: 12 -16 servings

Sweet Potato Crumb Cake

This Sweet Potato Crumb Cake is my favorite crumb cake EVER. It's easy, moist, rich, and full of flavor! And it makes your house smell like fall!


For the Streusel:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar — packed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter — melted

For the Cake:

  • 4 large eggs — whites and yolks separated, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large sweet potatoes — roasted, peeled, and mashed
  • 1/3 cup hot water
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9x13” pan with foil or parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Make the streusel: in a medium bowl, whisk flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and cinnamon. Slowly add melted butter and whisk until crumbs are formed. The mixture will look wet, but it’s supposed to look that way.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form. Transfer the egg whites to a small bowl and chill until ready to use.
  4. Clean your stand mixer bowl and switch to the paddle attachment. Beat the granulated sugar and oil on medium-high speed until combined. Add the egg yolks 1 at a time, combining well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Add the mashed sweet potatoes, hot water, and vanilla and beat for another 3-4 minutes.
  5. Turn your mixer to it’s lowest speed and carefully add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, salt, baking soda, and nutmeg. Mix until the batter is just combined, being careful not to over mix. Remove the egg whites from the refrigerator and gently fold them in using a spatula or wooden spoon.
  6. Pour half the batter into the prepared pan. Top with half the streusel. Repeat with remaining batter and streusel. Bake for 55-65 minutes until a toothpick comes out moist but mostly clean. Let cool in the pan. Serve warm or room temperature. Store tightly covered at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Click here for more Brunch Recipes!

Now for the giveaway!

Grandbaby Cakes Cookbook Blogger Cake Walk Giveaway

The giveaway will run from September 15th- October 5th.  Winners will be randomly selected on October 6th and notified via email.  The contest is only open to United States residents.  All items will be shipped separately by each brand. No purchase necessary to enter, void where prohibited. Please enter using the rafflecopter form directly below this paragraph. Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Other cakes you might like:

Crumb Cake Bites

Little Crumb Cake Bites (2 of 8)

Carrot Cake Coffee Cake

Carrot Cake Coffee Cake (6 of 6)edited

Pumpkin Streusel Coffee Cake

pumpkin-coffee-cake (1 of 5)

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  1. My favorite family recipe is sour cream chocolate cake with flour and milk icing.

  2. This cake looks wonderful, great for fall.!
    Thanks a million

  3. I think my favorite family recipe would be my Mama’s chocolate cake. It is so moist and flavorful! 🙂

  4. can’t wait to make this cake!! I think my favorite family recipe would be my mom’s fudge pie!

  5. I love Jocelyn’s book with all her stories and photos…such a fun way to do a cake book!  Sweet potatoes are always a staple on our Thanksgiving Day table…I think I’m the only one that likes them though.  So I know I definitely need to give this cake a try…maybe I can trick everyone into eating and liking sweet potatoes.  Mwahahahahaha!

  6. My favorite recipe is a Hawaiian cake with pineapple, coconut and banana with a cream cheese frosting. We make it for everyone’s birthday, it’s so good!

  7. A big family favorite is our Hot Fudge Cake. I would love to win!

  8. I need to bake with sweet potatoes more often! This cake looks incredible!

  9. Could you estimate in cups how much mashed sweet potato you used?

  10. Looks DELICIOUS!

  11. This was fabulous cake…I was going to say that my coffee cake was favorite but now I’m not sure! 🙂

  12. Can i use white sweet potatoes?

  13. Sweet potatoes often on our menu & now will bake “extras” for this yummy recipe. Until now, our favorite coffee cake has been pretty generic.

  14. I never liked sweet potatoes growing up either, I was like a SWEET potato?! No, of course not, totally wrong. But then I tried Pizza Sweet Potato Fries and almost died and went to heaven. Now I’m completely obsessed and I think my body is 50% sweet potatoes. Now I need to make this cake and buy Jocelyn’s book because this looks amazing! 

  15. Oh my. I’m going to put this on the menu for the next Church breakfast in November. People are going to love it. 

  16. While I am a sweet potato lover, I never baked with it until last year, when I substituted sweet potatoes in my carrot cake and it was AWESOME!  I love that you made this recipe, as it is on my to-do list!

  17. My favorite family recipe is a Fresh Apple Cake given to me by my cousin, AnnaMarie over 30 years ago.  It is the first recipe I make when the local apples are available in september each year, but this cake is yummy any time of the year with any baking apple you can get at the supermarket.  

  18. My ultimate favorite family recipe is my great grandmother’s pumpkin pie!

  19. WOW that picture of you is so adorable!  A little Jordan! :o)

  20. I am from an Entenmann’s crumb cake loving family, so will see if this measures up! Nice to have another covert way to get veggies into my kiddos.

  21. My favorite family recipe are my Mom’s Apple Stack Cake and her Chicken & Dumplings. But, I LOVE sweet potatoes. Wondering if I can substitute canned sweet potatoes for fresh? If so,how much should I use?

    • As long as the canned are not very wet, I think you could sub them. I’m not familiar with canned sweet potatoes so I’m not sure of the water content. But as long as you make sure to get all the excess liquid out, go ahead and try them. About 2 cups mashed is what you need.

      • Canned sweet potatoes can be used drain them and let sit for a few minutes to dry some like fresh. G

  22. Favorite family recipe would have to be my Mom’s chocolate fudge. She’s 80 and in declining health so when she dies…it’ll all be a memory. We’ve tried about a million times and no one can make it like her !

    Well, as we say here in the south….bless your heart !!! WOW…sweet potatoes in my world are often one of a babies first veggies : )

    This cake is insanely YUMMY ! Made it for a family lunch over the weekend…it lasted about 45 minutes !

  23. My favorite family dessert is my sister’s Pecan Pie made with a homemade Gluten Free Crust that is always tender.

  24. Just wondering if you could incorporate sour cream in with the mashed sweet potatoes?  If so, what proportions do you think would be suitable?

  25. Thank you for posting such an amazing recipe. Never heard of the sweet potato crumb cake. But I must say its very amazing. I love baking cakes and desserts but the sad part is I do not get time to bake due the busy work schedule. Once my friend recommended me an online site where they serve very delicious and amazing desserts. I have not tried it yet, but she says it’s amazing. But this posted recipe I surely going to give a try.

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