Today’s recipe is a classic Southern-Style Sweet Potato Bread with a hint of pumpkin pie spice and plenty of tender pecans throughout the bread and toasted, crunchy pecans on top. It’s the perfect fall snack cake for enjoying with a cup of coffee or tea.
Sweet Potato Bread Recipe
Who said sweet potatoes should just be served as a side? Why not serve it for dessert, too?!
Sweet Potato Loaf Cake is a sweet and tender loaf cake with a light hint of warming pumpkin spices and fragrant pecans.
It’s a traditional southern-style quick bread that is always a crowd pleaser, but my absolute favorite part of the recipe is that it makes your entire house smell absolutely amazing as it cooks in the oven.
It’s traditionally served at the holidays, especially Thanksgiving, and also makes for a great homemade gift for friends. Personally, I think a slice of this sweet potato pecan bread makes for a light and decadent breakfast.
It tastes just like spice loaf – the canned sweet potato lends an earthy, caramelized sweetness to the bread, similar to how pumpkin acts in baked goods. While you can use regular mashed sweet potatoes (which will still be virtually undetectable), I really enjoy the caramelized note of canned sweet potatoes – plus it allows you to skip having to peel, cook and mash sweet potatoes before preparing this recipe.
Sweet Potato Pecan Bread Variations:
- can be made into muffins
- can use pumpkin puree or freshly mashed sweet potatoes instead of canned sweet potatoes
- substitute applesauce in place of the 1/3 cup vegetable oil called for in the recipe
- replace up to half of the white sugar with maple syrup
- increase the pumpkin spice for a more flavorful loaf cake
How to store sweet potato loaf cake: Wrap the loaf cake with plastic wrap or tinfoil, or store in an airtight container, for up to a week in the fridge. At room temperature, it should be enjoyed within 3-4 days of making it.
Can this sweet potato loaf cake be frozen? Yes! Wrap the loaf in plastic wrap or tinfoil, then store in a ziptop freezer bag for up to three months. Thaw completely at room temperature before enjoying. (BTW, This set of freezer containers is a crazy bargain.)
For this recipe, I used Millican Pecan’s Pecan Pieces. I didn’t realize what a difference there could be between pecan brands, but these are so incredibly fresh and flavorful. They also have delicious snack options like the Sweet and Spicy Pecans which are perfect for the holidays. My next order, I’m trying their Pecan Butter and the Caramel Pecan Coffee! (And by the way, this is not sponsored – I just really love them.)
Ingredients for Sweet Potato Bread
- Sweet Potatoes
- White Sugar
- Vegetable Oil
- All-Purpose Flour
- Baking Soda
- Pumpkin Pie Spice <– grab our homemade pumpkin pie spice recipe here
- Baking Powder
- Pecans, chopped
Tip: for a more profound sweet and nutty flavor, toast the pecans before incorporating them in the recipe.
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
- Potato Masher
- Cooling Rack
- Loaf pan
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Mixing Bowl
- Wooden spoon or spatula <– I like these spatulas because they are one solid piece and don’t have removable heads for bacteria to get trapped underneath. Plus they are heat-resistant and have a lifetime warranty.
- Electric mixer <– this is a great hand mixer if you don’t want to make the investment into a stand mixer
How to Make Sweet Potato Bread
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a loaf pan with oil or baking spray, then set aside.
Add the sweet potatoes and the 2 Tablespoons of reserved sweet potato liquid in a large bowl. Mash the sweet potatoes.
Add sugar, water, oil and eggs to the mashed sweet potatoes. Mix well.
Slowly add the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and pumpkin pie spices. Stir to mix well.
Add the chopped pecans, stirring to mix.
Scoop the bread batter into the bread pan. Use a butter knife to even the op of the batter.
Bake at 350 degrees for 70 minutes. (Insert a toothpick in the center to make sure the bread is done, The toothpick should come out clean,)
Remove from the oven. Allow to cool for 15 minutes while still in the pan.
Turn out the bread on a wire rack to cool completely.
Grab your free printable recipe card for our sweet potato loaf cake recipe:
- 1 -15oz can sweet potatoes, drained, saving 2 TBSP liquid
- 1 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease a loaf pan with oil or baking spray, then set aside.
- Add the sweet potatoes and the 2 Tablespoons of reserved sweet potato liquid in a large bowl. Mash the sweet potatoes.
- Add sugar, water, oil and eggs to the mashed sweet potatoes. Mix well.
- Slowly add the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and pumpkin pie spices. Stir to mix well.
- Add the chopped pecans, stirring to mix.
- Scoop the bread batter into the bread pan. Use a butter knife to even the op of the batter.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 70 minutes. (Insert a toothpick in the center to make sure the bread is done, The toothpick should come out clean,)
- Remove from the oven. Allow to cool for 15 minutes while still in the pan.
- Turn out the bread on a wire rack to cool completely.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 244Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 261mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 1gSugar: 21gProtein: 3g
Sugar, Spice and Glitter uses an auto-generate nutrition calculator. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate unless analyzed in a scientific lab, so these should be considered more of a guideline than medical information.
I hope your family loves this southern sweet potato loaf recipe as much as mine does!
For more beautiful breads, check out our full bread recipe collection here:
For more decadent desserts, check out our full dessert recipe collection here: