Sweet Potato Tea Cake With Meringue

Sweet Potato Tea Cake With Meringue

This beautiful tea cake from the San Francisco chef Elisabeth Prueitt has all the fall flavors of pumpkin spice channeled into a moist, spicy loaf with a base of sweet potato purée. It also has a delicious unusual addition: meringue, baked right into the top of the cake. Ms. Prueitt’s head of pastry at Tartine Manufactory, Michelle Lee, came up with the idea of swirling it over the top of the cake before baking. Use a spoon or toothpick to reach down into the cake batter and pull it up, creating beautiful peaks of batter-streaked meringue that bake up golden brown and crisp on the edges.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 1 person



  1. Step 1

    Prepare the cake: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil sweet potatoes until just tender, 15 to 20 minutes, then drain.
  2. Step 2

    Meanwhile, make the meringue: In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip egg white, sugar and vanilla until glossy, stiff peaks form. Scrape meringue into a bowl and set aside; rinse off the whisk attachment and bowl and return to stand mixer.
  3. Step 3

    Heat oven to 325 degrees and butter a 9-by-5-inch (23-by-12-centimeter) loaf pan.
  4. Step 4

    Transfer sweet potatoes to stand mixer bowl. Add orange juice and whisk until smooth, scraping down sides of the bowl to make sure there are no lumps. Add oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar and salt and mix until well combined. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition; use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  5. Step 5

    In a separate bowl, use a fork to mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Add to egg mixture in stand mixer and combine on low speed just until smooth. Transfer batter to the prepared loaf pan.
  6. Step 6

    Use a spoon to top the batter with the meringue, gently swirling it into the batter and pulling it back out a few times to create streaked peaks. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Let cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes before slicing and serving.