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The warm autumn spices, like cinnamon and ginger, make this Sweet Potato Bread an oh-so-comforting seasonal breakfast, snack, or perhaps a dessert. And even though this Sweet Potato Bread recipe is a loaf of quick bread, you’ll be surprised at how cake-like it tastes with just the right amount of sweetness.
Even better, it’s such a simple recipe. Easy Sweet Potato Loaf hardly takes any time to prepare the batter; then it bakes in the oven for about an hour.
Key ingredients & substitutions for Sweet Potato Quick Bread
- Sweet potato — Now, this recipe wouldn’t be called sweet potato bread without some cooked and mashed sweet potatoes to add to the batter. I suggest steaming the sweet potatoes and mashing them yourself for the best flavor rather than buying a canned product.
- Sugars — You’ll use equal amounts of brown sugar and basic granulated sugar to bring more sweetness to this festive sweet potato loaf. For the brown sugar, either light or dark will work.
- Flour and baking soda — As with most bread recipes, you’ll need all-purpose flour and baking soda.
- Salt — Just a pinch of kosher salt enhances the sweeter flavors in this loaf. You may adjust the measurement for table salt if that’s what you have on hand.
- Spices — To make the sweet potato bread especially fitting for the season, use some warm spices, like cinnamon, ginger, and allspice. You may swap the allspice for cloves or nutmeg if you prefer.
- Eggs — A couple of large eggs will help the loaf to rise and create a tender and light crumb. If necessary, one teaspoon of baking soda and one tablespoon of vinegar (per egg) are known to replace eggs in most recipes.
- Oil — The mild taste of canola oil is best for baking a sweet loaf of bread, so the other ingredients remain in the spotlight. It also helps to moisten the bread and create a tender texture.
- Orange juice — Add some fresh orange juice for a citrusy contrast to the sweet potato. If desired, you may use apple juice instead of orange juice.
- Chopped pecans — Bring some crunchy texture and extra flavor to the loaf by sprinkling in some chopped pecans. If you prefer, you can try other nuts, like walnuts.
- Golden raisins | Adding some golden raisins is another excellent way to break up the bread texture and add extra sweetness to the recipe.
How to make Cinnamon and Spice Sweet Potato Bread
This Sweet Potato Bread recipe is simple and made with basic ingredients. Effortlessly mix the batter, then bake, slice, and serve!
STEP 1 | Prep and preheat
To start this simple recipe, preheat the oven. Then, lightly spray a 9 x 5 loaf pan with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.
Make sure you leave enough parchment to overlap the sides for easy removal.
You’ll also want to ensure your sweet potatoes are cooked and mashed so they are ready to add to the recipe.
STEP 2 | Mix the dry ingredients
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice in a medium bowl.
STEP 3 | Add the sweet potato
Next, stir together the sugars, eggs, oil, and orange juice in a separate large mixing bowl. Add the cup of mashed sweet potato and stir until it’s mostly incorporated.
If the mixture has some lumps, that’s fine.
- To cook the sweet potato, I baked one jumbo sweet potato in the microwave for about 8 minutes. You can also bake it in the oven. However, it will take longer and may come out a little drier than if you steam it in the microwave.
STEP 4 | Combine the dry and wet ingredients
Now, you’ll combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients. Stir with a spatula just until all the flour is incorporated. Then, gently fold in the pecans and raisins.
STEP 5 | Pour batter and bake
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for around 60 to 65 minutes. If needed, cover the pan with aluminum foil during the last 10 minutes to prevent over-browning.
Then, insert a wooden toothpick in the center to check if the sweet potato bread is done. If it comes out clean, the bread is done baking and ready to cool!
- Smaller Loaves. Split this recipe to make two smaller loaves. Use two 8×4 inch loaf pans and reduce the cooking time to 40 to 45 minutes.
- Muffins. Yes, you can also make sweet potato muffins! Just reduce the baking time to about 20 minutes.
STEP 6 | Cool and serve!
Finally, transfer this tasty seasonal loaf from the oven to a wire rack, leaving the loaf in the pan until it’s completely cool.
Once cooled, remove the loaf from the pan, slice it, and enjoy all the flavors of fall!
Frequently asked questions
I have not attempted to make this loaf using canned sweet potato or puree. However, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work! Just be sure to drain any excess liquid. *If you do try it, let me know how it works for you by leaving a note in the comments. I’d love to know how it came out!
Absolutely! There are many additions you can make to this sweet potato loaf. For a few tasty ideas, try chocolate chips, chopped walnuts, dried cranberries, and unsweetened shredded coconut.
This seasonal treat will keep at room temperature for about a week. I suggest wrapping it in plastic wrap, an airtight plastic bag or container, or under glass to keep it fresh and away from pests.
Store the sweet potato bread in the refrigerator to make it last a little longer. Or place it in the freezer for about three months. Just be sure to allow it to come to room temperature before serving.
For something extra special, top this perfectly moist bread with a hearty pat of butter, maple syrup, caramel sauce, or even a vanilla glaze.
For a fall breakfast, serve with a fruit salad and orange juice, or perhaps with a cup of Hot Apple Cider.
Or serve it as a semi-sweet mid-day snack. Perhaps one of the best ways to serve this loaf is with caramel or hazelnut coffee in the evening while enjoying the company of holiday guests or visiting family.
Behind the recipe: Sweet Potato Quick Bread
Adding potatoes to bread is a common technique in cultures worldwide. It was initially attempted as a cheaper alternative but later was appreciated for how it made bread light and fluffy.
While sweet potatoes are a distant cousin of the typical potato, their uses are very similar.
Sweet potatoes originated in South America thousands of years ago. The humble crop spread across the globe with Spanish colonialism and other explorers.
However, it is thought that sweet potatoes were first used to make bread by the Cherokees in Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina.
Sweet Potato Bread
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon all spice
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 1 cup cooked & mashed sweet potato (1 large or 2 medium sweet potatoes)
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9 x 5 loaf pan with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper, leaving enough to overlap the sides for easy removal.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and all spice.
- In another large bowl, stir together the sugars, eggs, oil, and orange juice until well combined. Add the cup of mashed sweet potato and stir until mostly incorporated — some lumps are fine.
- Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet ingredients and stir with a spatula just until all the flour is incorporated. Gently fold in the pecans and raisins.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 60 – 65 minutes, until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. If needed, cover with aluminum foil during the last 10 minutes to prevent over browning.
- Transfer from the oven to a wire rack, leaving the loaf in the pan until it is completely cool.
- To bake 2 smaller loaves in 8×4 inch loaf pans, reduce the cooking time to 40 – 45 minutes.
About Sheila Thigpen
Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer
Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.