This Golden Yam Cake has an extremely moist and delicate texture and is topped with a simple powdered sugar icing that complements it perfectly. This unique cake is one of the most requested desserts in my kitchen!

Although I bake this Yam Cake all through the year, I especially love to bake it as soon as when we start seeing the first signs of fall. It’s super easy to make and a great alternative to the traditional pies and pumpkin desserts you typically see at this time of year.
Cakes baked in a 13″ x 9″ dish, like this one, are an awesome choice when entertaining. They’re easy to transport and can be sliced in varying sizes to be served to a good sized group.

Don’t fear the yam! It does something really amazing to this cake and I’ve never had anyone try it that didn’t love it. I realize that the thought of yam baked in a cake might seem odd, but you’re just going to have to trust me on this.

There’s something sweet, simple, and old-fashioned about the look and taste of this cake that I absolutely love.
Give it a try at your next gathering and you’ll see what I mean.


This question arises with every recipe involving these tasty, red-skinned root veggies. I tend to go with whatever my grocery store has on their sign, assuming this will be easiest for my readers when they go out in search of ingredients. Good plan right? The problem here is that the sign placed above these red-fleshed beauties has gone back and forth between “Yams” and “Sweet Potatoes” nearly every time I go to buy them so apparently, not even the Produce Manager at Safeway can make up his mind on the matter. I had to chuckle out loud on my last shopping trip when the sign read “Red-Skinned Yams/Sweet Potatoes”.  They’re covering all the bases!
At some point in history when the red-skinned, super sweet, orange fleshed variety came about, the term “yam” started being used by sellers. Although, technically it may be a sweet potato, the term stuck and there’s no getting rid of it. And, I’m completely fine with that. Depending on the recipe, I use the names interchangeably as well. And, since this a nostalgic, old-timey cake, it seems suitable here.
So Yam Cake it is. Yes ma’am. I’m going with yam.
Just be sure to pick up the red-skinned variety which has a vibrant orange colored flesh and a sweeter taste than lighter skinned sweet potatoes and watch the quick video at the end of this post to see the yam in action.



  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small red-skinned yam peeled and shredded (approximately 2 cups)


  • 1-1/2 cup powdered confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter softened
  • 3 tablespoons milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9"x13" inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Use a spoon to stir the dry mixture into the batter just until blended. Fold in the shredded yam. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared baking dish.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly for 5 to 10 minutes before icing. 
  5. With your hand mixer, mix together the powdered sugar, butter, and milk until smooth. Spread over the cake while still warm.