This delicious vegan sweet potato loaf is an easy quick bread recipe that is gently spiced and uses roast sweet potato for maximum flavor.
📖 Recipe Overview
- Quick & Easy - All you need is about 15 minutes of active prep to get this sweet potato loaf cake in the oven.
- Fluffy & Moist Texture - This recipe is made without butter and instead uses olive oil for a light and fluffy crumb. While butter is delicious in cakes, it can lead to a denser consistency.
- Pumpkin Alternative - Pumpkin has a stronger flavor than sweet potato, and is quite often less accessible and more seasonal, making this the perfect swap for pumpkin bread.
🧾 Ingredients Needed
Here's everything you need to make this homemade eggless sweet potato bread recipe from scratch:
- Sweet Potato - The star of the show, they are baked to enhance their sweet flavor. This sweet potato quick bread is also a great way to use up leftover roasted potatoes.
- Olive Oil - I love using EVOO to bake, as it adds a beautiful tenderness. The flavor doesn't shine through very strongly in my opinion but if you don't like olive oil or want a cheaper option you can swap it for another neutral-flavored oil such as sunflower oil or rapeseed oil.
- Vegan Yogurt - Non-dairy Greek-style yogurt helps to bind the ingredients and gives moisture, since it's made without eggs this is key for the right texture. You can also use regular soy yogurt, vegan sour cream, applesauce, or coconut cream.
- Pecans - They add a lovely flavor and texture to the sweet potato loaf.
- Spices - Ground cinnamon and nutmeg add warmth to the loaf that makes the flavor irresistible!
- Baking Soda and Powder - Again, since we're not using eggs, these leaveners work in tandem to create lift to the cake.
🥣 How To Make Sweet Potato Bread
This easy sweet potato bread comes together in just a few simple steps. Make sure you head to the recipe card for the full amounts, here is a visual of how it's done:
Step 1: Roast the sweet potato and cool it to room temperature. Puree it in a food processor along with the vanilla extract, zest, and vegan yogurt.
Step 2: In a large bowl, whisk together the brown and granulated sugar, sweet potato purée, and olive oil. Then stir in the vegan buttermilk until all wet ingredients are combined.
Step 3: Fold in half of the dry ingredients, followed by the other half and the chopped pecans until just combined.
Step 4: Make sure you stop mixing once there are no visible lumps or streaks of flour. Don't be tempted to overmix as this can result in a gummy consistency.
Step 5: Transfer the batter to a parchment-lined loaf pan. Then add a thin strip of vegan butter through on the surface of the center. This will help the batter split in the center while baking, rather than off to one side.
Step 6: Once baked, let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Next, lift it out onto a wire rack or tray to cool completely.
Step 7: Mix together the glaze ingredients and place the loaf on a tray to catch any overflow. Pour the icing over the cake, and continue to spoon it over the sides until the whole loaf is coated.
Step 8: Top the loaf cake with more chopped pecans before the icing sets.
I feel like this vegan sweet potato bread is perfect as written, but here are some ways you can adapt it to suit your dietary requirements or preferences.
- Sweet potato streusel bread - For that irresistible crunchy crumble topping, add pecan streusel on top before baking as shown in my pumpkin bread recipe.
- Cream cheese frosting - This fall bread is equally as delicious with a thick slathering of vegan cream cheese frosting and some crushed pecans on top.
- Purple sweet potato bread - I haven't tried this one, but I reckon you could swap in purple sweet potato or ube instead of orange ones.
- Skip the nuts - If you want to keep your sweet potato bread nut-free, just leave out the pecans from the batter. Likewise, if you're not a fan of pecans you can swap them out for walnuts.
- Spice it up - This loaf is delicately spiced to compliment the natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes. Feel free to amp up the spices by another teaspoon if preferred. You can also add some ground ginger, cloves, or pumpkin pie spice to the mix.
No, you don't *have* to, in fact, roasting them without the skins will give a nice crispy skin. Since we're only using the flesh for this sweet potato bread I recommend wrapping them in aluminum foil or baking paper. Wrapping the potatoes helps to keep the moisture in and keeps that lovely fluffy consistency.
When your cake has cooled, wrap any leftovers tightly in plastic wrap or foil, or place it in an airtight container. It will last at room temperature for up to 5 days (provided your environment is not too warm) or in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
To freeze, cut the bread into individual slices and separate them with sheets of parchment. Make sure they are wrapped well or place them in a sealed container and freeze for up to a month. To defrost, let it thaw at room temperature for a couple of hours.
I like to bake it on an aluminum baking sheet which conducts heat and helps bake the cake evenly from underneath.
But how you cool the bread is also essential to preventing a soggy bottom! Once baked, make sure you allow the bread the cool in the pan for the first 10 minutes. Then remove it from the pan and transfer it to a cooling rack to cool further.
If you leave it inside the loaf pan, it will create steam, and that can cause a gummy bottom layer in the bread.
🥧 More Loaf Cakes
- 350 g (12.35 oz) sweet potatoes, *see note 1
- 50 g (2 ½ tbsp) vegan Greek-style yogurt, *see note 2
- 1 teaspoon mandarin or orange zest, freshly grated, optional
- 160 ml (⅔ cups) soy milk, *see note 3
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 118 ml (½ cup) olive oil, or neutral oil such as rapeseed/sunflower
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 100 g (½ cups) granulated sugar
- 80 g (⅓ cup) brown sugar
- 270 g (2 ⅛ cups) all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 100 g (1 cup) pecans, roughly chopped, optional (plus extra for garnish)
- 160 g (1 ⅓ cups) powdered sugar
- 3-4 tablespoons soy milk, *see note 2
- Roast the potatoes: Preheat the oven to 220°C (430°F). Wrap the sweet potato/potatoes in foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 40-45 minutes until softened. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature.You can cook the sweet potato/potatoes a day in advance and store in the fridge if you'd like to save time. I often pop them into bottom of the oven while I have it on for cooking dinner!
- Preparation: Before preparing the recipe, get your oven preheated to 175°C (350°F). Lightly grease a 1-pound loaf pan with some oil or vegan butter and line it with a sling of parchment paper - leaving an overhang on the sides.To make vegan buttermilk, mix together the soy milk and apple cider vinegar and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
- Puree the sweet potato: Once cooled, peel the sweet potato and weigh out the flesh - you need 300g. Add it to a food processor with the vegan yogurt, vanilla, and zest and blitz until smooth. (*see note 4).
- Mix wet ingredients: To a large mixing bowl add the sweet potato puree, granulated and brown sugar, olive oil, and vanilla. Whisk to combine, then whisk in the vegan buttermilk.
- Mix the dry ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
- Make the batter: Sift half of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and fold the ingredients into the batter. Then fold in the chopped pecans and the remaining dry ingredients until there are no pockets or streaks of flour. Do not be tempted to overmix!
- Assemble: Add the batter to the prepared loaf pan and smooth out the top of it with a spatula or knife. Place the pan on top of an aluminum tray or baking sheet. Optionally, cut thin strips of vegan butter and place them down the center of the loaf, this will help the loaf to crack in the center once it bakes (*see note 5).
- Bake: Bake for 60-70 minutes. The loaf will rise and the top will be golden brown. Check the cake is done at the 55-60 minute mark by piercing it with a toothpick or a knife, the knife should come out clean with a small few crumbs on it. Continue to bake in 5-minute increments as and if needed until baked through.Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring it to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Make the glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and non-dairy milk until smooth. Cover and set aside until ready to use. Once the loaf is completely cool, transfer it to a tray or sheet of parchment paper and drizzle the glaze all over the top.
- Storage: When your cake has cooled, wrap any leftovers tightly in plastic wrap or foil, or place it in an airtight container. It can be kept at room temperature for up to 5 days (provided your environment is not too warm) or in the fridge for up to 7 days.To freeze, cut the bread into individual slices and separate them with sheets of parchment. Make sure they are wrapped well or place them in a sealed container and freeze for up to a month. To defrost, let it thaw at room temperature for a couple of hours.
- Sweet Potatoes - I use a large 350g raw unpeeled sweet potato which yields 350g after peeling and cooking.
- Greek-Style Yogurt - Sub with soy yogurt, vegan sour cream, applesauce, or coconut cream.
- Soy Milk - Sub with oat milk or almond milk.
- Food Processor - If you don't have a food processor, you can mash the cooked sweet potatoes instead. Just make sure you get the consistency as smooth as possible to avoid a lumpy texture.
- Adding a thin line of butter slices down the middle of the batter helps to create a lovely crack in the center of the cake.
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