Meatless Monday: Sweet Potato Chocolate Cake | Winnipeg Humane Society
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Image Credit: Dreena Burton

When I first started transitioning to a Plant Based lifestyle, I thought that I had to eliminate a lot of my favourite foods; including dessert! The truth is, all you have to do is make some adjustments and you can find alternatives to just about everything…even chocolate cake!

I first enjoyed this amazing dessert from blogger Dreena Burton when Michelle, our “Plant Based Living Winnipeg” Group Leader brought it to our Monthly Whole Food Plant Based Oil Free Potluck Dinner. She now has to bake 3 whole cakes to make sure we all get to enjoy this rich, moist, nutrient dense, plant based piece of heaven!



  • 3/4 cup peeled  cooked, and cooled orange sweet potato (see notes)
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon water divided
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole-grain spelt flour
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup mini or regular nondairy chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp scant sea salt
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tsp scant baking soda


  • 1 cup loosely packed peeled cooked, and cooled sweet potato (see notes)
  • 2/3 – 3/4 cup coconut sugar or other unrefined sugar see note
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup scant raw cashew butter or almond butter
  • 1/4 tsp rounded sea salt
  • 2-5 tbsp nondairy milk see tip
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract



  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat an 8” x 8” brownie/cake pan or a 9” round cake pan with coconut or other oil, and fit the bottom of the pan with a small piece of parchment paper. In a blender (or using a handheld blender and a deep cup or vessel), puree the sweet potato, 1/2 cup of the water, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, and vanilla extract until completely smooth. In a large bowl, combine the flour, coconut sugar, chocolate chips, and sea salt, then sift in the cocoa, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the wet ingredients to the dry (be sure to scrape out all the blended ingredients with a spatula, and use the remaining 1 tablespoon of water to rinse the blender jar and get out any remaining puree). Mix until just well incorporated. Transfer to the prepared pan, bake for 21–23 minutes, remove, and let cool on a cooling rack.


  1. Place the sweet potato, coconut sugar, cocoa powder, cashew butter, sea salt, 1–2 tablespoons of the milk, and vanilla extract in a blender or food processor and puree until very smooth. It’s best to use a blender or processor (versus a stand mixer) if using orange sweet potato, to fully smooth out the potato. Taste, and add more sweetener if desired, and also another 2–3 tablespoons of milk if needed to thin to preferred consistency (you may need more milk using yellow sweet potato as they aren’t quite as moist as the orange). Puree until smooth, scraping down the blender/processor bowl as needed. Puree until as smooth as possible. Transfer to a container and refrigerate until ready to use on the Sweet Potato Chocolate Cake. Or, get a spoon and dig in!


Cake Notes:

Sweet Potato Notes: Orange sweet potato is a little sweeter and also a little looser than yellow sweet potato. I prefer orange in this recipe, but if you’d like to use yellow, add another 1–2 tablespoons of water, and another 1 tablespoon of maple syrup to the wet ingredients to loosen slightly.

Frosting Notes:

Sweet Potato Note: I prefer using yellow sweet potato in this frosting, but this is still ridiculously delicious with orange sweet potato.

Coconut Sugar Note: Because coconut sugar does not have a fine texture, it’s useful to first process in a blender to make it powdery. If you have a high-speed blender, simply pulse a cup or more until powdery (reserve the extra for another use). If using a regular blender, process 1 1/2–2 cups of sugar with 1–1 1/2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder, until it becomes powdery.

Kitchen Tip: This is a thick frosting. If you want to thin out, add more milk. After refrigerating, you can also transfer to a mixer with a whisk attachment to add the milk and fluff up the frosting.

Idea: Add 1–1 1/2 teaspoons of orange zest or 1/2 teaspoon of pure almond extract for a slight cherry flavor

Laura Platt has been enjoying a Whole Food Plant Based Lifestyle for almost two years, for her health, the environment and for the animals. She is happy to be a part of a local Winnipeg  group called Plant Based Living Winnipeg, and  has just completed an online Plant Based Nutrition Course with T. Colin Campbell Centre for Nutrition Studies. You can follow Laura’s Plant Based Instagram @lauraloon71.