Home » Recipes » Cakes and Cupcakes » Not pies November – Sweet potato bundt cake with buttermilk toffee sauce

Not pies November – Sweet potato bundt cake with buttermilk toffee sauce

Not pies November is still here with this most delicious sweet potato bundt cake with buttermilk toffee sauce.

In case you missed it, this month is Not pies November, desserts that are worthy of a spot on your Thanksgiving table (or any day of the week) that are not pies. And double in case you missed it, last week I shared the simplest and most delicious pumpkin mousse you’ll ever find.

Today I am sharing a delicious sweet potato bundt cake with buttermilk toffee sauce. I bet you thought sweet potatoes only worked as a side dish to your feast or in a pie…NOPE! Roast them, mash or puree them and they are outstanding in a cake. Similar to pumpkin but ever so slightly different. And warm spices like cinnamon and cloves turn this cake into the ultimate comfort food.


But if I am being totally honest, as stellar as this cake is on it’s own (I made the first one and ate as-is), it is really a vehicle for the most incredible toffee sauce ever. And I mean ever.

As-is this cake could be a breakfast treat or any time of day cake. But pouring a tangy and rich toffee sauce over the top and letting it pool up around the cake, and then scooping it up with your piece of cake is just f’ing amazing. The cake absorbs some of it too, and I mean, come on!

About using sweet potatoes

You could most definitely use pumpkin in place of sweet potatoes if you like, but the inside of a whole roasted sweet potato has a concentrated flavor that you will not get from canned pumpkin. Using canned pumpkin, you will get a raw kind of squash taste (I know because I tried that first). The soft roasted sweet potato gives you the rich seasonal flavor. Plus, I think it is super cool to tell everyone you used a sweet potato in a cake.

A mashed sweet potato has a similar texture to pumpkin but a lot less water content and gives you a cake that stands up nicely to having a sauce along with it.

Buttermilk is awesome

That is a fact, even in a sauce. I used buttermilk in place of heavy cream (which is typical in toffee sauces). This added a tangy element to a sauce that is normally sickeningly sweet.


Sweet potato bundt cake with buttermilk toffee sauce


For the cake

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 cups of roasted sweet potatoes mashed or put through a food mill

For the toffee sauce

  • ¾  cup  buttermilk
  • 1 ½  cups  sugar
  • ½  cup  1 stick salted butter use only real butter, no substitutions
  • Tablespoons  corn syrup
  • teaspoon  baking soda
  • teaspoon  vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • large pinch of salt really you can add salt to your taste, but a heavy pinch in this is really delicious


  1. For the cake, heat the oven to 350 and grease a 10-inch bundt pan really good - you don't want it to get stuck in there. In a bowl of a stand mixer beat the sugar and oil until well combined. Add the eggs and beat well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and all the spices. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, ALTERNATING with the mashed sweet potatoes, mixing on low speed after each addition until each is well incorporated. Spread the batter into the greased bundt pan and bake for about an hour. When you remove from the oven, cool in the pan for about 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. and then cool completely.
  2. To make the sauce, combine everything but the vanilla bean paste in a pretty big saucepan. The baking soda in this will cause an unbelievable amount of foaming for most of the time this cooks, so make sure to use a bigger pot than you think is necessary. Trust me, use something LARGE - I had to make a second time bc the first time if bubbled up so bad it took out the flame on my stove top...and the second attempt I still had to transfer it three times to a larger pot to avoid bubbling over. Bring it to a boil and continue cooking for about 15-20 minutes on low heat and stir every now and then. The only thing about this sauce is that you can't walk away from it because of the bubbling (which is a pain but the sauce is so good it will be worth it). When it starts to bubble too much to the top, simply pull of the heat for a moment until it calms down a bit and then return it to the heat. After about 15 minutes the foam will subside and you will see a stunningly beautiful amber color to the sauce and it will smell like toffee. Cook for maybe a few more minutes, stirring, until the amber color really deepens and then pull off the heat and add the vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract. Cool it to room temperature before pouring on the cake.
  3. Drizzle the top of the cake and serve additional along side for slices.



  1. I am drooling over this cake. This is something I need to bake.

  2. I am personally not a sweet potato person, but my husband loves them. He wants me to try this recipe and see if it changes my mind. I am sure he will love it!

  3. Omg. This looks so yum, i am now craving for sweets.

  4. I love the idea of this! I’ve never had a cake made with sweet potato!

  5. That looks absolutely amazing! I love that it is a very different idea than the normal cake types. I am making it this weekend!

  6. Love the buttermilk tip. I always use heavy milk and never really baked with buttermilk!! And this will be perfect for my sweet potatoes this weekend!!

  7. Oh wow, this looks absolutely delish!

    I never thought of using sweet potatoes for dessert before, this is amazing, will definitely bookmark this recipe!

  8. That looks DROOL WORTHY. Oh my goodness I so want to try that! Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

  9. I’m going to use your recipe for Thanksgiving this year! It looks moist, delicious and enticing. Thank you for sharing it!

Let me know whatcha think!