May I first point out that I did, in fact, make this cake with yams?
It just sounds weird to say, Yam Cake.
Don’t you think?
The funny thing is the grocery store had them labeled as sweet potatoes…but they are most definitely, yams.
Yes, there is a difference.
Sweet potatoes (if you haven’t had them because most of us eat yams and call them sweet potatoes) are, imagine this, a lot sweeter.
I know. Shocking.
They are also closer to the color of a regular potato.
I always make sure I warn my husband, “They’re sweet potatoes!” before he bites into them. He doesn’t care that kind of a surprise so much.
We actually find we do prefer yams.
Not sure why exactly, we just do.
Ok. So now that is cleared up.
One other thing I feel I should mention is this cake looks incredibly dense when you cut into it. Keep in mind, however, it has YAMS in it.
And actually, I found, once I bit into it, it was completely and utterly divine.
Admittedly, I was skeptical. I thought maybe I just did a whole baking endeavor and photoshoot for naught when I first sliced into the thing.
But I persevered and went ahead and served it to myself and my husband and lo and behold, it was delightful.
Not heavy at all, certainly a denser cake than say, a regular butter cake, but still amazing.
And with a faux swiss merengue buttercream you can just slather that on and go to town in the frosting department, let me tell you.
Thats some great stuff there.
Of course I do admit to a slight swiss merengue buttercream addiction that possibly is getting out of control, but I digress.
If you have need of a Fall type cake, this is the one for you.
Make it. Eat it. Enjoy it.
- FOR THE CAKE
- ½ cup browned butter, cooled
- 1 cup soft butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons brandy
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 medium sized cooked, cooled and mashed yams
- 1 cup half and half
- 2½ cups all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
FOR THE FROSTING
- 4 whole eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 5 sticks (20 ounces) unsalted butter cut into tablespoon pieces
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons brandy
FOR THE CARAMEL
- 2 cups sugar
- 12 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup heavy cream, room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- I know I have the caramel ingredients listed last but actually you should make that first so it can cool completely.
- Put the sugar in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the sugar melts, this will take a few minutes.
- Once the sugar has all melted start adding the butter one piece at a time. Whisk until the butter is all melted
- Wait about 3 seconds and then add the cream slowly. Whisk as you add until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Remove from heat.
- Add the salt and whisk again a couple times just to incorporate.
- Let cool in the pan for a bit and then pour, carefully, into a mason jar to store. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
TO MAKE THE CAKE
- Preheat your oven to 350˚.
- Prepare your cake pans, I used 2 6" rounds for this and there was enough batter to make third round but I made a few cupcakes instead or you can do 2 8" rounds, grease the pans with butter and then line the bottom with parchment paper and set aside.
- Brown the butter by simply melting the butter over medium high heat in a large saucepan, swirling the pan around every so often so it heats evenly. Once the butter starts to foam up and turn brown, remove from heat and set aside to cool. To hurry things along I usually stick it in the freezer.
- Next place all the butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium high until the butter is fluffy, about 7-8 minutes.
- Lower the mixer speed to low and add the eggs, vanilla and brandy, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder and in another bowl combine the mashed yams and half and half.
- Alternate between adding the flour mixture and yam mixture to the butter mixture, making 3 flour additions and 2 yam additions.
- Once everything is added and the batter is smooth and homogenous, divide evenly between your cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
- Once done, remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan about 20 minutes and then run a knife around the edge of the pan, place a cooling rack on top and carefully flip the whole thing over so the cake falls out onto the cooling rack.
- Cool completely.
TO MAKE THE FROSTING
- Place the eggs and sugar in the bowl of your electric mixer.
- Place the bowl over a pan of boiling water and whisk the egg and sugar until the sugar is dissolved, to determine this, rub a little of the mixture between your fingers, if it feels smooth and not gritty, it is ready.
- Place the bowl back on the stand mixer and attach the whisk.
- Whisk on high for 10 minutes.
- Change to low speed and add the butter a tablespoon at a time.
- Add the vanilla and brandy and then change to the paddle attachment and beat until smooth.
TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE
- Place the bottom layer of cake on your serving tray or a cake board.
- Smooth a thin layer of frosting over the cake.
- Then pipe a well around the edge of the cake and smooth caramel over the layer. The well should keep the caramel from oozing out.
- Place the second cake layer on top and ice the cake.
- Top with caramel sauce.