Chocolate Sweet Potato Spice Cake. Oil- and Sugar-free.

Chocolate Sweet Potato Spice Cake

Chocolate cake reminds me of my mother, who in my humble opinion, baked the best chocolate cake on earth.  It was coated in a creamy, buttery frosting that wasn’t too awfully sweet.  This cake is a single-layer, dim tribute to her shining, multi-tiered one – but it is rich, moist, and bursting with warm, complex flavors from the orange and spices.  The sweet potato replaces butter/oil and the frosting couldn’t be easier: melted chocolate chips sprinkled with chopped nuts (toasted coconut would be nice, too).

Chocolate Sweet Potato Spice Cake
Serves 8
Soft and moist without oil or refined sugar, this chocolatey cake gets flavor complexity from orange, cinnamon, cardamom, and allspice.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
522 calories
86 g
0 g
18 g
9 g
7 g
223 g
366 g
33 g
0 g
10 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 522
Calories from Fat 156
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 18g
Saturated Fat 7g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 6g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 366mg
Total Carbohydrates 86g
Dietary Fiber 5g
Sugars 33g
Protein 9g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  2. 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  3. 2 tsp. baking soda
  4. 2 Tbsp. Cafix or Dandy Blend (herbal coffee substitute)
  5. 2 tsp. cinnamon
  6. 1 tsp. cardamom
  7. pinch allspice
  8. 2 tsp. powdered stevia
  9. zest of one orange
  10. 1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk
  11. 1 cup fresh orange juice
  12. 1 cup roasted sweet potato
  13. 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  14. 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  15. 1/2 cup xylitol (or equivalent amount of sugar)
  16. 1 cup walnuts, divided
  17. 1 1/4 cups stevia-sweetened semi-sweet vegan chocolate chips, divided
  1. Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F and lightly spray a 10-inch springform pan with oil.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, herbal coffee substitute, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, stevia and orange zest. Set aside.
  3. In a food processor, combine the non-dairy milk, orange juice, sweet potato, vanilla extract, applesauce, and xylitol. Process until smooth. Pour mixture into dry ingredients and stir until well-combined. Stir in 1/2 cup of the walnuts and 1/4 cup of the chocolate chips.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Put the pan on a cooling rack and sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of chocolate chips over the top of the hot cake. Let sit for a few minutes to melt and then spread the chocolate evenly over the cake. Sprinkle on the walnuts and gently press them into the melted chocolate. After about 15 minutes, remove the outer ring of the pan and let the cake cool completely before slicing.
an unrefined vegan

Slice of Chocolate Sweet Potato Spice Cake

52 thoughts on “Chocolate Sweet Potato Spice Cake. Oil- and Sugar-free.

  1. tearoomdelights

    Few things beat a really good chocolate cake. I like the sound of the spices in this and it looks beautiful with the nuts on top.

  2. Gabby @ the veggie nook

    This cake is gorgeous in it’s simplicity Annie! Single tier cakes are so much easier to eat anyway right? I love the simple decoration with the nuts too- let’s get in some omega-3s with all that dessert ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Cadry's Kitchen

    That cake looks so lovely! It looks really dense and chocolatey, and I can almost taste the fall flavors of cinnamon & cardamom.

  4. biggsis

    This sounds so good Annie! Have you attempted a cake with a GF flour? I have some Bob’s Red Mill which is predominantly fava bean flour…. and I simply have to make this cake, but would love my husband to be able to eat some as well. Just wondered if you think a GF would be able to replace WW pastry?

    1. An Unrefined Vegan

      I’ve made this with a GF flour blend and it comes out a little denser, but delicious. FYI the mix I used comes from Fork & Beans: It’s the closest I’ve tasted to the “real” thing.

  5. narf77

    I could have done with a large wedge of this gorgeousness yesterday. We spent 5 hours finishing off a HUGE fully enclosed veggie garden and a slab of heaven like this would have given me back a bit of energy. Pinning it right now so that any other penniless student hippies in need of something gorgeous in their lives can home in on it with impunity ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. narf77

        Cheers Annie, I will tell Steve that I have permission to eat half when I make it…I am SURE he will agree ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Angela @ Canned Time

    Oh yea, and you just had an awful time eating that piece after the pics, didn’t you?
    My Mom’s specialty was German Chocolate cake but I prefer to spice the cake, like your’s, and have my icing too ๐Ÿ˜‰ Looks awfully good to me!

  7. coconutandberries

    Chocolate cake was never really my thing. I’m more of a vanilla girl. But this cake looks so much better than the chocolate cakes I’ve had- I bet the orange juice, sweet potato, spices and nuts make for a lovely complex flavour.

  8. Becky

    Aw, I think your cake looks lovely! My Nani Dorothy used to make a great chocolate cake, and I wish I knew where the recipe was now. I do remember that her secret ingredient was mayonnaise, which disgusted me as a kid but didn’t stop me from asking for seconds.

  9. Nikki Spigner

    Gorgeous! I’ve been looking at a few things which put chocolate and pumpkin together. I think this is the one!

      1. thehippiegypsy

        Great! I make pumpkin chocolate cherry cupcakes a lot and this made me think of doing a whole one in a more Mexican chocolate cake style with cinnamon and maybe a dash of chile with cherry juice instead of the whole cherries I put in the cupcake center. I will send you a link when I make it! Thanks!

  10. celestedimilla

    I can never say no to chocolate cake – sometimes even when it’s not vegan ๐Ÿ™
    I love the walnuts on this – that’s a great combo!!

  11. Sophie33

    Yesterday, I made this divine sweet potato spice cake & used coconut sugar instead of what you used. It was divine!
    I had my parents over for dinner & we ate this as a nice & lovely special dessert & we all loved it immensely, dear Anne! xxx ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Maggie Muggins

    Yum! I adore all things sweet potato, and the chocolate sure doesn’t hurt either ๐Ÿ˜‰ It looks so fluffy and delicious!

    1. An Unrefined Vegan

      Absolutely – it’s got a little hint of cinnamon to it – and if you have chocolate lovers in the house, they’ll be very happy. But I’ve got a recipe coming up on the 21st which would make a really good Thanksgiving Day dessert ๐Ÿ™‚ – also with sweet potato.

  13. Vildan Ayvalik

    Looks sooooooooo delicious. I was wondering how much of coconut sugar I can use instead and what if I also skip the Cafix. Can I use instant coffee? Thanks much in advance!!!

    1. An Unrefined Vegan

      Thank you :-)! Instant coffee should work just fine and as for the coconut sugar, I’d use the same amount as the xylitol – I believe the sweetness is about the same. You might want to taste the batter to make sure.

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