Cinnamon and Spice Sweet Potato Bread — Sweet potatoes do a wonderful job of keeping this bread extremely soft and moist. It’s almost like cake it’s so soft, springy, and bouncy!
Sweet potatoes are always a winner no matter how they’re prepared. But when baked into sweetly spiced soft bread, they become even better.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sweet Potato Bread Ingredients
This is such a quick and easy recipe for sweet potato bread that calls for very basic ingredients.
To make this sweet potato bread recipe, you’ll need:
- Sweet potatoes
- Canola oil
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Light brown sugar
- Baking soda
How to Make Sweet Potato Bread
If you’ve made pumpkin bread before, you can certainly make a sweet potato loaf! Full instructions can be found in the recipe card below, but here’s an overview of the baking process:
- Begin by steaming two medium sweet potatoes or one very large sweet potato. Drain off any water that’s pooled, and mash with a fork.
- 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.
- In another bowl, combine flour, sugars, baking soda, and a variety of spices.
- Add the wet to the dry, and mix until combined. 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 9×5-inch loaf pan or two 8×4-inch pans. I used one 9×5-inch and will probably opt for two 8×4 loaves next time or bake as a Budnt.
One thing I love about this recipe is how easy it is to customize! Here are some simple recipe variations you can try:
- Adjust the 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.
- Add mix-ins: You can try adding mix-ins like chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or dried fruit.
- Use a different loaf pan: I used a 9×5-inch loaf pan to make this recipe, but two 8×4-inch pans will also work. Or, use a small Bundt pan.
- Make muffins: Skip the loaf pan altogether and make muffins instead! Reduce the bake time to 18 – 22 minutes (use your best judgement when testing for doneness).
How to Store Sweet Potato Bread
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.
Can I Freeze Sweet Potato Bread?
I’m sure you can! I imagine this sweet potato spice bread will keep up to 6 months in the freezer.
Can I Use Canned Sweet Potatoes?
Possibly, but I’ve only made the recipe as written so I can’t say for sure. If you give this a try, leave me a comment letting me know how your bread turned out!
Can I Make This Recipe Gluten-Free?
I can’t say for certain since I’ve only made this recipe as written. However, I imagine you’d need to use a gluten-free flour blend that’s designed for baking rather than something like almond flour (which is far too heavy).
Tips for Making Sweet Potato Bread
If you have another method for steaming sweet potatoes, go for it. I do it in the microwave 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.
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.
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- 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
- 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.
- 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 plastic wrap, 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.
- 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)
- 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.
- Turn batter out into prepared pan(s), smoothing the top lightly with a spatula. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes for a 9x5 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.
- Allow bread to cool in pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- I estimate that 8x4 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.
- 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.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 306Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 267mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 1gSugar: 29gProtein: 4g
More Easy Quick Bread Recipes:
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Apple Carrot Bread— This apple carrot bread tastes like carrot cake that’s been infused with apples. It’s a no mixer recipe that goes from bowl to oven in minutes!
Pumpkin Banana Bread with Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting – This quick bread pairs two of my favorites, pumpkin bread and banana bread, with plenty of cinnamon-and-spice and scrumptious frosting to boot
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread — This is without a doubt the BEST pumpkin bread recipe! This pumpkin cream cheese bread tastes like it has cheesecake baked into the middle. You’ll definitely want a second slice!
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Cranberry Orange Bread— The fresh cranberries in this cranberry orange bread contrast nicely with the sweet orange glaze, making it the perfect blend of sweet and tart!
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread— This pumpkin chocolate chip bread is truly the best homemade pumpkin bread you’ll ever make. It’s moist, packed with chocolate chips, and tastes like fall!
Apple Fritter Bread — The bread tastes as decadent as the apple fritters of my childhood, no deep frying required and it’s more like cake disguised as bread.
Originally posted April 3, 2013 and reposted September 18, 2020 with updated text.