Strands of grated, in-season sweet potato give this versatile quick bread natural sweetness that works both with coffee in the morning or a scoop of ice cream for dessert. While full of typical fall spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, a heavy dose of cardamom adds an almost savory twist. The loaf stays fresh for days, and the flavor gets even more pronounced as it rests.
Though perfect on its own, you can add a variety of chopped nuts and dried fruits to suit your taste. We suggest currants and crystallized ginger, or toasted pecans and dried cranberries.
To learn more, read "Sweet Talkers."
Spiced Sweet Potato Bread
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 1 loaf
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes, plus 40 minutes cooling time
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon cardamom
½ teaspoon nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon cloves
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
½ cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
⅓ cup applesauce
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons molasses
1½ cups peeled, grated sweet potato, tightly packed (about 2 medium sweet potatoes)
½ cup chopped dried fruit or nuts (optional)
¼ cup turbinado sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease an 8½-by-4½-inch loaf pan and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and cloves. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated and light brown sugars, oil, vanilla, applesauce, water and molasses. Add the sweet potato to the wet ingredients and stir with a spatula until fully incorporated.
3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together until just combined. If adding dried fruit, stir it into the batter with as few strokes as possible.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the turbinado sugar on top in an even layer. Bake the bread until the edges are golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then allow it to cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before serving.