Cranberry Sweet Potato Crumb Cake

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Featured Image for post Cranberry Sweet Potato Crumb Cake

Sweet potato is the secret ingredient that makes this coffee cake super moist and delicious. It’s also loaded with dried cranberries, topped with a crunchy almond crumb topping, then drizzled with a sweet icing. A delightful way to get your beta-carotene in the morning. 

Today bloggers have joined together to celebrate Sweet Potato Day. We’ve teamed up with Jane MaynardAlice Currah and ONE to help raise awareness of the life changing affects of the Orange Sweet Potato. ONE, it is a non-partisan, grassroots advocacy organization, co-founded by Bono, that fights extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa.

Did you know:

  • Every year, poor nutrition claims the lives of more than 3.5 million children. That’s more than one in three of all child deaths.
  • 2.3 billion children died in 2011 in part due to malnutrition.

No child should die from malnutrition. Fortunately, progress is being made by using new a technique called biofortification. A process by which crops are bred to deliver much stronger nutritional value. The orange flesh sweet potato was the first such crop to be introduced.

School children watering the fields

Sweet potatoes are widely eaten in Africa.  An estimated 7 million tons are produced each year.  However, they are usually white in color and low in vitamin A – an essential nutrient that prevents blindness and infant deaths.  More than one in three African children is deficient in Vitamin A. The health toll is enormous: more than 600,000 children die from vitamin A deficiency every year.

A Ugandan breeder developed a new orange-colored variety of sweet potato that is loaded with orange-hued beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A. More than 24,000 households received the orange sweet potato vine in Uganda and Mozambique between 2007 and 2009. The program resulted in increases in orange sweet potato adoption and consumption.  Impressively, vitamin A intake by women and children as much as doubled.

Child carrying a basket of sweet potatoes

Efforts are currently underway to reach more than a million households with this nutrient-packed orange-fleshed tuber over the next few years.  And the orange sweet potato is just the beginning: experiments are underway to transform other staple crops like beans, wheat and maize with other life-saving nutrients like zinc and iron.

Isn’t that amazing. That a small change like growing orange-hued sweet potatoes can have such a huge impact on people’s lives.

So how can you help?

Helping is easy. Just Sign the Petition. The US spends less than 1% of the budget on foreign assistance.  Now the smart programs that we spend so little on are at risk. Please take a minute or two to help.


For Sweet Potato Day, I decided to bake something using sweet potato. We love pumpkin chocolate chip bread because it’s so moist and tender, so I created a coffee cake recipe that uses mashed sweet potato.

This recipe makes a beautiful, tall coffee cake that rises high above the springform pan. It was taking forever for the center to finally get baked, so I decided to stick a metal skewer in the middle so it would bake faster. I think next time I bake it, I’ll divide the batter in to two 9″ cake pans and make double the crumb topping. Or bake it in my coffee cake pan instead.


If you’ve been wondering why I’ve been posting so many coffee cake recipes lately, it’s because my son asked me to make more coffee cakes for breakfast on the weekends. He doesn’t like breakfast very much. Most mornings he doesn’t bother to eat it. I’ll hand him a granola bar, but I often find it on the kitchen table after he’s left for school.

Since he asked me to bake him more coffee cakes, how could I refuse. Especially, since his I love coffee cake on the weekend too.

Featured Image for post Cranberry Sweet Potato Crumb Cake
Yield: 8-10 servings

Cranberry Sweet Potato Crumb Cake

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes


Crumb Topping

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, lightly crushed


  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup light sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk


  1. Prepare Crumb Topping: Combine 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup flour, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Add 3 tablespoons melted butter and mix with a fork or your hand, until mixture is crumbly. Mix in almonds. Set aside.
  2. Pierce the sweet potato with a fork. Microwave on high for 7 minutes, turning it over halfway through the cooking time. Let stand 5 minutes. Peel sweet potato and mash in a small bowl. Set aside to cool.
  3. Preheat oven to 350º. Butter and flour 2 9” cake pans or a 9” springform pan (or use baking spray with flour); set aside.
  4. Stir together 2 cups flour, whole wheat pastry flour, pumpkin pie spice, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside dry ingredients.
  5. In a mixing bowl, beat 2 cups sugar with softened butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Mix in vanilla, sour cream and 1 cup mashed sweet potato.
  6. Add dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Mix in cranberries. Spoon batter in to prepared pan.
  7. Bake in preheated oven 25 minutes. Sprinkle crumb topping on top of cake and return to the over for an addition 30 to 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean. Total bake time will be 55 -65 minutes.
  8. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan.
  9. Prepare icing: Whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice to create a thin glaze.
  10. Drizzle icing on cake. Cool completely on a wire rack before serving. (Unless you’re like us and would rather eat it hot even though the cake doesn’t cut as well.)


*Pumpkin Pie Spice substitute: 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves for 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice.

Please visit all the bloggers and help us celebrate Sweet Potato Day:

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burritos from This Week for Dinner
Truffle Sweet Potato Frites from Savory Sweet Life
Sweet Potato & Chicken Sausage Stew from Chefdruck
Honey Sweet Potato Biscuits from Food for My Family
Sweet Potato Burgers from Cutie Booty Cakes
What’s Gaby Cooking and Sweet Potato Day
The Mission List and Sweet Potato Day
World Moms Blog and Sweet Potato Day
Go Graham Go and Sweet Potato Day
Cranberry Sweet Potato Crumb Cake from Barbara Bakes
Bourbon and Marshmallow Sweet Potatoes from Boston Mamas
Documama and Sweet Potato Day
Sweet Potato Bread Pudding from Eat the Love
Lamb Shanks with Sweet Potatoes and Sausage from Kitchen Gadget Girl
Sweet Potato Love To Help End World Hunger from Love That Max
Celebrating Sweet Potato Day with Mom Trends
Sweet Potato Chili from Righteous Bacon
Cooking Sweet Potatoes for Picky Eaters from Rookie Moms
Sweet Potatoes and Global Health from Third Eye Mom
Indian Spiced Sweet Potato Kielbasa ONE Skillet Bake from Tickled Red
Sweet, Dude, Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash from Helen Jane
Oh My Sweet Potato Apple Bake from Bowl Licker
Sweet Potato and Peanut Gratin from Non-Reactive Pan
Sweet Potato Fries from When You Wake Up a Mother (also found on Million Moms Challenge)

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