Cinnamon and Spice Sweet Potato Bread

Sweet potatoes are always a winner no matter how they’re prepared.

But when baked into sweetly spiced soft bread, they become even better.

Cinnamon and Spice Sweet Potato Bread

I had a couple sweet potatoes to use and rather than just roasting them or making fries with them, I mashed them and baked them into bread. I do it with bananas all the time. Why not sweet potatoes.

I was blown away by the results. The bread turned out ridiculously soft, moist, tender, and richly spiced. It’s almost like cake it’s so soft, tender, and springy. If you like carrot cake or pumpkin-based recipes, you’ll love this bread.

Cinnamon and Spice Sweet Potato Bread


It’s easy to make, and no mixer is needed. Stir everything together and pop the loaf into the oven for about an hour. And your house will smell heavenly during that hour.

Begin by steaming two medium sweet potatoes or one very large sweet potato. Peel the potatoes, dice into one-inch chunks, place in a shallow bowl with a splash of water, cover with plasticwrap and microwave for about 15 minutes, or until fork tender. Drain off any water that’s pooled, and mash with a fork.

Cinnamon and Spice Sweet Potato Bread

If you have another method for steaming, go for it. I do it this way because it’s fast and easy. You could roast the sweet potatoes, but that takes almost an hour, the potatoes will be drier from being roasted than steamed, and you’d need to make some tweaks with dry and wet ingredient ratios in your batter.

After the potatoes cool just a bit so you don’t scramble the eggs, crack two eggs over them, add oil, vanilla, buttermilk (or yogurt or sour cream) and whisk.

Cinnamon and Spice Sweet Potato Bread

In another bowl, combine flour, sugars, baking soda, and a variety of spices. I used cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. Feel free to mix-and-match the spices based on what you have and enjoy. Try pumpkin pie spice, cardamom, or other favorites.

I love cinnamon and the bread is well-spiced and robust, without being overpowering. Many times sweet potato, pumpkin, or carrot-based cakes and breads can be so bland and blah. Orange root vegetables are very hearty and can really soak up, and necessitate, plenty of spice. I made sure to account for that, but add spices to taste.

Cinnamon and Spice Sweet Potato Bread

Add the wet to the dry, and mix until combined. I had to really stir and stir. And stir some more. The dry ingredients seemed to just multiply in the bowl and in the folds of the batter. Every time I thought I had it all folded together, I’d scape the bottom of the bowl and find more stray white bits. Take your time and make sure everything is well combined, but use a gentle hand when stirring so you don’t over-develop the gluten, resulting in tougher bread.

Turn the batter out into a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan or two 8-by-4-inch pans. I used one 9×5 and will probably opt for two 8×4 loaves next time or bake as a Budnt. It’s a cake-like bread and I think it would bake beautifully in a Bundt pan. Or try it as muffins.

Cinnamon and Spice Sweet Potato Bread

The sweet potatoes, oil, and buttermilk all do a wonderful job of keeping the bread supremely soft and moist. Although I’ve compared it to cake, it’s not cakey if that makes sense. It doesn’t have an airy, flaky crumb that many cakes have; otherwise known as being dry.

The interior is tender, springy, and bouncey with a dense crumb. The crust is firmer and slightly chewy. Normally I shun crust and edge pieces on bread, but I found myself seeking them out, like chewy edge pieces on brownies.

Cinnamon and Spice Sweet Potato Bread

The bread is sweet, but not too sweet. A slice or two for breakfast, as a snack, or as a healthier after-dinner treat is how we’ve been enjoying it.

The spices are homey and comforting. Warming spices like the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves are my favorites. I have to restrain myself from making Molasses Cookies and other similar treats for most of the year because they’re out-of-season, so to speak. The spices give the bread such great flavor and squelch my cravings. I want to snuggle up on the couch with a blanket and a cup of chai tea to wash it down with.

Cinnamon and Spice Sweet Potato Bread

It’s perfect on it’s own and doesn’t even need butter. It’s that moist and flavorful. But twist my arm and a little butter never hurts. Or try a Vanilla Browned Butter Glaze for an extra treat.

Sweet potatoes can do no wrong.

Cinnamon and Spice Sweet Potato Bread

Cinnamon and Spice Sweet Potato Bread - Eating your vegetables via soft, moist bread is the best way! My favorite way to eat sweet potatoes!

Cinnamon and Spice Sweet Potato Bread

Sweet potatoes do a wonderful job of keeping the bread extremely soft and moist. It’s almost like cake it’s so soft, springy, and bouncey. The interior is tender with a dense, moist crumb, and the crust is firmer and slightly chewy. The sweet potatoes are complimented by a variety of comforting and warming spices including, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves. The bread is robustly spiced and full of hearty flavor. If you like sweet potatoes, carrot cake, or pumpkin-based recipes, you’ll love this bread.


about 1 1/2 cups mashed sweet potatoes (2 medium or 1 very large)
3 tablespoons water
2 large eggs
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/4 cup buttermilk (or yogurt, Greek yogurt, sour cream, or buttermilk powder)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
pinch salt, optional and to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray one 9-by-5-inch loaf pan (what I used), or two 8-by-4-inch loaf pans, or a 10-cup Bundt pan, or a muffin pan with floured cooking spray or grease and flour the pan(s); set aside.
  2. Peel the sweet potatoes and chop them into 1-inch sized chunks. Place chunks in a large, shallow microwave-safe bowl. Add 3 tablespoons water, cover with plasticwrap, and cook on high power for 15 to 17 minutes, or until potatoes are very fork-tender. Pour off any water. Mash sweet potatoes with a fork. Allow them to cool momentarily so you don’t scramble the eggs.
  3. To the sweet potatoes, add the eggs, oil, buttermilk, vanilla and whisk until combined; set aside. (I used buttermilk powder and added 1 tablespoon powder to the dry ingredients and 1/4 cup water to this wet mixture)
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients – flour, sugars, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, optional salt, and whisk to combine. Pour the wet sweet potato mixture over the dry ingredients, and stir to incorporate. Take your time stirring until no stray bits of dry ingredients are visible, folding and scraping the bottom of the bowl with a spatula as necessary because it’s very easy to miss dry ingredients hiding at the bottom of the bowl in this batter. Stir and fold with a gentle hand as to not over-mix and over-develop the gluten, which results in tougher bread.
  5. Turn batter out into prepared pan(s), smoothing the top lightly with a spatula. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes for a 9×5 pan, or until top is domed, golden, loaf is springy to the touch, and cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Tent pan with foil in the last 15 minutes of cooking if top is browning a bit fast before interior has cooked through. I estimate that 8×4 loaves will take about 40 to 45 minutes, a Bundt about 1 hour, muffins about 18-20 minutes, but I haven’t tried those versions and they are just guesstimates.
  6. Allow bread to cool in pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Bread will keep at room temperature for up to 1 week. I store my bread by wrapping the completely cooled loaf in plasticwrap, and then placing loaf inside a gallon-sized Ziplock.
Only Eats

Related Recipes

Carrot Cake Loaf with Cream Cheese Frosting – My favorite carrot cake recipe of all time and I bake it in a loaf pan rather than cake pans. The recipe is similar to the sweet potato bread except uses carrots rather than sweet potatoes but the spices and ingredients are similar

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake with Chocolate Ganache – My favorite cake on my site. If you crossed the buttery-est yellow cake with pumpkin, added chocolate chips, and draped it all in a rich ganache, this is what you’d get. It’s a one-bowl, whisk-together cake that takes minutes to make, with amazing results. Moist, tender, flavorful, easy and everyone who’s made this cake writes to tell me they make it…again. Always a hit and the flavors, spices, and texture reminds me of the sweet potato bread

Sweet Potato Graham Cracker “French Toast” Sticks – Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. This recipe is how you make potatoes taste like French Toast sticks

Pumpkin Banana Bread with Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting – This quickbread pairs two of my favorites, pumpkin bread and banana bread, with plenty of cinnamon-and-spice and scrumptious frosting to boot

Coconut Spice Cheesecake Bars – Part cheese cake, part spice cake,with the flavors of carrot cake and cream cheese frosting. Chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and coconut are baked in between the cake and cream cheese layers for richly spiced bars that are very fast and easy to make since there’s a shortcut involved

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting – Swap out the pumpkin for sweet potatoes in these easy, fast cupcakes that make a batch size of just 6

Sweet Potato Red Pepper and Coconut Milk Soup (vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, microwave-friendly) – Fast, easy, and ready in 15 minutes flat

Roasted Sweet Potato and Goat Cheese Pizza on 1-Hour Whole Wheat Pizza Crust – Those are sweet potato rounds, not pepperoni, and so good. Never buy storebought pizza crust again with this easy, healthy, one-hour dough

Do you like sweet potatoes?

If you have a favorite recipe that uses them, please share the links.

Thanks for the entries in the Canon Rebel T3i Camera Giveaway {$580 value}

307 comments on “Cinnamon and Spice Sweet Potato Bread”

  1. i am so loving the color of that bread…it just looks so perfect. I have one very large sweet potato just sitting on my counter and now i know where that potato goodness is going to go…in this bread!

  2. Averie, what a clever way to use sweet potatoes. This bread looks so moist and delicious. Yum!

  3. Just took it out of the oven and cut a piece. Couldn’t wait for it to cool. Of course the butter melted nicely on it. I used Greek yogurt in it and followed the recipe and it is very good. I steamed the sweet potato. The spices really made the house smell wonderful while it baked. The recipe is a keeper for sure. Thanks.

  4. Your pictures are absolutely lovely. I’m definitely trying this recipe (as soon as I’m not sick anymore!)

  5. Loving all of those spices! I’m undecided on if I’d have this with a caramel sauce or maybe some vanilla ice cream?

  6. 1 Tbs. of cinnamon in a loaf that size? You must have made this recipe just for me Girl!
    I’ll be making this one up on Sunday and I’m dreaming of my first bite. Love Sweet Potatoes and I have a huge one sitting on the counter waiting to be used….my favorite solo dinner meal is a big sweet potato with lots of butter and pepper…but a slice of this easy bread may be replacing that.
    Can’t wait to grab a slice for my breakfast on the go next week…if it lasts that long :p
    Outstanding ♥
    (oh, and that bowl you have the sweet potatoes in? Too cute!

    • Well all those potatoes, I mean, I didn’t weight them raw but I’d say 1.5 lbs maybe? They mash down into the 1.75 cups range but they NEED spices. I hate bland orange food! Like bland carrot cake, bland pumpkin desserts, bland sweet potato way! So it’s seasoned but not crazy or anything. They soak up so much of it!

  7. Yay!! I love no mixer recipes! I love the idea of using sweet potatoes in this recipe! Averie, you ROCK!

  8. I have done about a gajillion things with sweet potatoes, but I have yet to make bread with them. But now I’m convinced that I should!

  9. I love cooking with sweet potatoes, this looks amazing :) I have to make this soon!

  10. This bread sounds fantastic Averie! I know from the one time I’ve baked with sweet potatoes that it makes the final product so soft and tender, and I can imagine how tender and flavorful this bread is. Another amazing creation. :)

  11. This was an awesome recipe Averie.. You’ve done it again.. I love your website and love the new ideas I never thought of.. You’re the best.. I come on a regular and give you shout outs on Twitter.. (@RedDawn10) Thanks again..

  12. Just made this bread this afternoon – yum! The only change I made was to use soy milk plus cider vinegar in place of the buttermilk, due to milk allergies in the family. It baked up moist and delicious, and was a hit with my very very picky DS. Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  13. I just made the sweet potatoe bread. It is so delicious! One of the best I’ve made:) thanks for the recipe!

  14. This is a great recipe. I replaced the sugar with Xylitol for my diabetic grandad(1:1 ratio in terms of cups)
    It was delicious

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  17. Ohhhhhhhh man. This sounds absolutely wonderful!!! I’ve tried sweet potatoes in just about everything (I’ve even juiced them!) but haven’t tried them in a tasty bread loaf like this one. It makes such a stunning and vibrant bread, I need to try this very very soon! Thank you for sharing :)

    • Thanks for stopping by, Eva! I’ve admired your work for ages and you’re so inspiring! Congrats on being a Saveur nominee as well! Anyway, yes, this bread is so moist, dense, soft, full of flavor…if you like sweet potatoes (or pumpkin recipes), this is your bread. And it’s easy!

  18. Oh my this bread sounds amazing but I only have can sweet potatoes will it work? How much to use?

  19. Made this weekend! So so moist and spicy. I recommend leaving this in for longer than the suggested baking time- I baked for maybe 75 minutes, and it wouldn’t have hurt to leave it in longer since it retains it’s moisture so well. It just puffed up so much and the center was very thick so it takes awhile to cook through. Mine turned out incredible and was enjoyed by all!

    • Thanks for trying this and yes, due to the moisture content in sweet potatoes, how they were cooked/steamed, as well as possibly summertime humidity and moisture in the air, this loaf does take awhile to cook from all the moisture & could vary quite a bit from person to person. Glad to hear yours turned out incredible and it was enjoyed by all! Thanks for LMK!

      Did you ever make the Choc Chip Cookies/Bars? I have a 5/23 comment from you I’m looking at also, and wondering if you tried them or what you did on those?

      • I never did make them into bars, but I will let you know if I do. Thanks for your response and great suggestions!

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  22. Would love to try this, because it looks amazing!!! Any ideas for substituting the AP flour with possibly almond flour or coconut flour? 1:1 ratio? What about maple syrup or honey substitutions for both of the sugars??

    • First, I love love love this bread, as written. Normally I am one for substitutions and modifications, but in this bread, I strongly advise to just make it as written. You will love it.

      If you are trying to avoid AP flour on account of gluten, use a GF baking blend. Coconut flour is highly absorbant, almond/nut flours are not. Neither of them will sub at a 1:1 ratio.

      You cannot substitute a liquid sweetener (honey or maple) for a dry sugar without changing the flour ratios.

      If you want to play around with it and tweak, go for it – all of cooking is one big experiment. But you’re the scientist, not me – so your tweaks are yours and you’d have to play around til the recipe works. As written, it works beautifully. :)

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  24. I so wish you’d go back to vegan cooking. Yes, I know you’ve done a few recently, but I”m veganizing this recipe. I really used to like following you when it was all vegan, and it’s too bad you felt you needed or wanted to change back to using animal products again.

    • Life moves on, people change; not everyone is vegan, not everyone is vegan for a lifetime. Life ebbs and flows and it’s not the end of the world to me to use a stick of butter or an egg in a recipe. It’s not like I sit down to a dinner of prime rib; I bake with eggs and butter.

      And yes, I provide a mix of vegan and non-vegan recipes. I am not a vegan blog, not a healthy living blog; I make desserty things and breads/breakfasty things. There are plenty of those other kinds of blogs out there. I hope you find what you’re looking for on one of them.

      I wish more people told me in 2009 how much they loved my vegan recipes at the time. It seems I get more comments in 2013 about the recipes I used to make way back when. Funny when I was making them at the time, I got very little positive feedback and my readership was 1/100th of what it is today.

      • The plant based world is really building a strong momentum…it doesn’t have to be “vegan” per se, but you were at one time, which is why I followed you I think by RSS at the time, I guess just keep adding those recipes back in. You apparently still care, or you wouldn’t feature them at all, and the reason you get more comments now, is because you are catering the SAD eaters who are addicted to sugar, oil, and salt, and people gravitate to that.

        I still love your photography, yes, I’ll still pop in from time to time, just know I am one of your past afficionados of your vegan cooking/baking, although with nearly no fat now.

  25. Just made this yesterday for a potluck and everyone loved it! Really wonderful flavor and depth. Thanks for the great recipe… and also for mentioning buttermilk powder. I actually had no idea that existed, and am very excited about this discovery. I constantly avoid recipes with buttermilk because I always feel wasteful when I buy it- powder to the rescue!

    • And in most places where a recipe calls for buttermilk you can use about half the amt of yogurt, and top off with regular milk. i.e. 1/2 cup of buttermilk I’d use a generous 1/4 cup yogurt and add milk to get to 1/2 cup.Not a perfect science but generally it’ll work; another way to save on buying buttermilk if you don’t have it. Or use that trick with sour cream, too.

      Glad that the powdered b.m. and the bread are hits for you!

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