Day 133: Black Bean Soup, Hummus and pitas, and Sweet Potato Cake


Some good friends of ours arrived from Vancouver tonight, and since we didn’t know their ETA or whether they’d be hungry upon their arrival, we made a pot of black bean soup, baked a loaf of no-knead bread and some pita chips, and mixed up some roasted red pepper hummus. All things that keep well and provide the sort of nourishment one might need after spending 10 hours in the car with a toddler. (Further post-drive therapy included the couch, The Big Lebowski and plenty of White Russians.)

Earlier in the day I had baked a sweet potato cake (similar to a carrot cake, but with grated sweet potato in place of the carrots) to take photos for an article in What’s Up Kids magazine in Toronto. Willem stood guard by it all afternoon, and by the time our friends arrived and we got to eat it, the swirly icing had been further festooned by his tongue.


Sweet Potato Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Recipe link


May 12, 2008


2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 Tbsp. baking soda

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. salt

1 cup canola oil

4 large eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

1 medium sweet potato, unpeeled and coarsely grated (about 2 cups)

1 cup applesauce

1 cup chopped dried fruit, nuts or a combination (optional)

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8 oz. (250 g) pkg. regular or light cream cheese, at room temperature

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

2-3 cups icing sugar


1Preheat the oven to 325°F (170°C). Spray a Bundt pan or two 9" round cake pans with nonstick spray.

2In a large bowl, stir together the flours, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In a smaller bowl, stir together the oil, eggs, and vanilla. Add the oil mixture, grated sweet potatoes and applesauce to the dry ingredients and stir by hand until almost combined. Add the nuts and dried fruit and stir just until the batter is blended.

3Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s). Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes for a Bundt cake, or 40-45 minutes for layer cakes, until the tops are cracked and springy to the touch and the edges are pulling away from the sides of the pan. Cool the cake(s) in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then loosen the edge with a knife, and invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.

4To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer until smooth; add the lemon juice and 2 cups of the icing sugar and beat until well blended.

5 Add the remaining icing sugar, a bit at a time, until you have a soft, spreadable consistency.


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5 comments on “Day 133: Black Bean Soup, Hummus and pitas, and Sweet Potato Cake

  1. gail hope
    May 13, 2008 at 10:24 am

    I have my Grandson coming for 1 month in the Summer, so really apreciate all the quick and healthy menu ideas. I am attempting to try out the most appealing ones before he gets here. Thanks for al you great ideas.

  2. Jenn
    May 13, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    Can I just ask: which is sweet potato and which is yam (white and orange)? Even my local grocery store can’t seem to keep them straight.

  3. Colleen
    May 18, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    The sweet potato cake is delicious! I made it for my friend’s birthday and took it on our picnic, very yummy and a fun twist on carrot cake or something similar. Thanks for all the great recipes Julie!

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