Sweet Potato Cinnamon Swirl Cake {gluten-free}

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Swirl Cake is a beautifully flavoured and textured cake. Sweet potato and cream cheese are baked into the butterscotchy sponge whilst ripples of buttery cinnamon swirl through the centre. A generous pouring of thick maple cream cheese icing makes this cake one of the best of the season.

overhead shot of slices of Sweet Potato Cinnamon Swirl Cake on a plate with a sifter and sweet potatoes

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Swirl Cake is the recipe which I get the most requests for. A cheeky email from a friend here, a sly DM popping up from a customer there. And I’m always willing to oblige, this cake needs to be made, eaten and loved at any given opportunity. It’s also the cake I choose to accompany me anytime I volunteer to bring a sweet and it always goes down a storm. I have regular customers that return to the cake stall time and time again, making the trip across London, just for this Sweet Potato Cinnamon Swirl Cake. Believe me, it’s well worth the trouble. Even though I don’t restrict this cake to the cooler months since it seems to receive love all year round, Autumn is when the rich flavours of Sweet Potato Cinnamon Swirl truly shine.

straight on shot of Sweet Potato Cinnamon Swirl Cake on a plate with a sifter and sweet potatoes in the foreground

This Sweet Potato Cinnamon Swirl Cake began life as a wheat cake a few years ago on the stall, it quickly became a customer favourite and when I made the switch to gluten-free I immediately began working to convert this recipe. When I was finally happy with the finished cake I was not the only one to remark upon how much more flavourful and exciting the cake was in comparison to its wheaty mirror image. For this bad boy, it’s all about the oat flour.

overhead shot of Sweet Potato Cinnamon Swirl Cake on a plate with a sifter and sweet potatoes

Oat flour is one of those gluten-free flours that not all wheat intolerant folks can handle, so tread carefully here if you are making it for someone else who is gluten-free. It’s possible to buy gluten-free oat flour but if you can’t find it at your local health food shop or supermarket then you can grind your own gluten-free oats. For more detailed info on oat flour and grinding your own, see my post here. For those of us lucky ducks that are able to enjoy gluten-free oats to our hearts and tummies content then oat flour is a wonder, and especially shines in this cake. It’s rich toasted butterscotch undertones compliment the savouriness of the sweet potato, tang of the cream cheese and warmth of the cinnamon. I haven’t tasted another cake like this one.

straight on shot of Sweet Potato Cinnamon Swirl Cake on a plate with a sifter and sweet potatoes in the foreground

I would never normally sweeten my sweet potatoes when eaten as a savoury dish, instead I choose to boost the natural starches present by roasting the vegetable in wedges so the sugars are encouraged to the surface to create gloriously sticky caramelised edges. When I was in Alabama a few years ago though I ordered mashed sweet potatoes as a side and was astounded by the heavy sugar added into this already very sweet ingredient to accompany my fillet steak. I hesitate to say I didn’t like it, but at the risk of offending a whole lot of Americans, I really didn’t. If I’m going to sweeten my sweet potatoes then I think I prefer them as a dessert. Sweet Potato Pie, for instance, yummy. Or in this divine Sweet Potato Chocolate Truffle Torte. And in this Sweet Potato Cinnamon Swirl Cake the sweet potatoes find another extremely comfortable home.

straight on shot of Sweet Potato Cinnamon Swirl Cake on a plate with a sifter and sweet potatoes in the foreground

In order to achieve the sweet potato puree which is needed for the cake you need to bake whole sweet potatoes wrapped in foil for 1 hour at an oven set to 180°C. They are ready when you press gently into them and your finger squishes into the potato. Leave them to cool before unwrapping from the foil and their loosened skins. They should be so soft that you can just mash them with a fork.

overhead shot of slices of Sweet Potato Cinnamon Swirl Cake on a plate with a sifter and sweet potatoes

Another slightly unusual ingredient in this cake is the maple extract used in the maple cream cheese icing. I first came across maple extract in a recipe by The Pioneer Woman for her famous cinnamon rolls where she insists that it should not be substituted for maple syrup. So when I first made cinnamon rolls I complied to the letter of instruction. I have to say it does make all the difference. If you were to use maple syrup you would have to use a fair amount to really get the flavour of maple into your icing which then distorts the liquid ratio in the recipe and adds too much sweetness when you are already using icing sugar. The maple extract imbues the icing with its beautifully rich flavour without any of the former problems. It’s not easy to buy in shops but I use this Cupcake World Intense Food Flavouring Maple 100 ml from Amazon and it works brilliantly.

overhead shot of slices of Sweet Potato Cinnamon Swirl Cake on a plate with a sifter and sweet potatoes

Something else which might surprise you in this recipe is the use of black pepper. I love using freshly ground black peppercorns in some of my bakes as it adds a deep rich spice note. It doesn’t interfere with any of the flavours but just enhances the background kick. The baking process also removes its heat so don’t worry if you don’t like things too spicy.

overhead shot of slice of Sweet Potato Cinnamon Swirl Cake on a plate with a sifter and sweet potatoes

I urge you to give this Sweet Potato Cinnamon Swirl Cake a try, it’s really one of my favourites and a cake I will never tire of baking or eating. If you do make this Sweet Potato Cinnamon Swirl Cake then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you make the recipe or use it as a building block for another delicious gluten-free cake creation, say maybe swapping out the sweet potato for pumpkin, I’d also love it if you tag me on instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your creations and variations of my recipes.

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Swirl Cake {gluten-free}

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Swirl Cake is deeply flavourful with butterscotch undertones rippled with buttery cinnamon and drizzled with maple cream cheese icing.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 752kcal


  • 170 g sweet rice flour
  • 170 g oat flour
  • 35 g potato flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 245 g sweet potato puree* about 3 sweet potatoes
  • 245 g cream cheese
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 200 g light soft brown sugar
  • 225 g butter melted
  • 3 eggs

Cinnamon Swirl

  • 15 g butter melted
  • 30 g light brown sugar
  • 40 g icing sugar
  • 15 ml whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Maple Cream Cheese icing

  • 200 g icing sugar
  • 30 g salted butter at room temperature
  • 80 g cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoons whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon maple extract/flavouring


  • Pre-heat oven to 170°C and grease and flour a 10 inch bundt tin.
  • First of all prepare the cinnamon swirl by mixing all the ingredients together in a small bowl and then set aside.
  • For the cake, sift together, in a large bowl, the flours, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt and pepper, then set aside.
  • In another bowl beat together the sweet potato, cream cheese and vanilla extract. Again, set aside.
  • Beat the sugars and butter together in a food mixer until well incorporated.
  • Add in the eggs one at a time until the batter is smooth.
  • Finally spoon in 1/3 of the flour, beat into the batter then add 1/3 of the sweet potato mixture and beat in. Repeat until all the flour and the sweet potato mixture has been incorporated into the batter.
  • Spoon 1/3 of the batter into the prepared bundt tin and smooth down. Dot half of the cinnamon swirl mixture in and swirl with a cocktail stick.
  • Spoon the next 1/3 of the batter and repeat with the cinnamon swirl.
  • Spoon the rest of the batter in, smoothing the surface.
  • Bake for about 50 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven, rest for five minutes and then carefully remove the cake from the bundt tin. Cool completely on a wire rack then drizzle with the maple cream cheese icing.
  • Finally spinkle some extra cinnamon over the top of the cake.
  • For the maple cream cheese icing beat the icing sugar together with the salted butter and cream cheese until smooth.
  • Then add the whole milk and maple extract and beat until combined.
  • Drizzle over the top of the cake.


Calories: 752kcal | Carbohydrates: 101g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 143mg | Sodium: 622mg | Potassium: 366mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 68g | Vitamin A: 5890IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 109mg | Iron: 1.5mg


I saved up for an age to get this Nordicware Heritage Bundt Pan. It’s absolutely my favourite cake tin. I love the clean crisp edges of the swirl and how you can drizzle the icing right on in there and in this cake it makes me think of snowy mountain peaks. I recommend greasing and flouring this tin so that your cake has no problems popping out. The quality of the tin is excellent but it can be pricey. I have noticed that the price really fluctuates on Amazon- so wait until it’s around £40 before you choose to buy.

To grease your bundt tin well I recommend using professional cake release spray. It doesn’t matter how little or often you bake, you will be so glad to have this little shortcut around, there’s nothing worse than messing around with butter or oil on your fingertips to get the grease evenly into all the crevices of the cake tin. I use Dubor PR100 Professional Cake Release Spray 600 ml it lasts longer and doesn’t dry out like some of the cheaper brands. Really worth your time and money this one.

It’s not easy to buy certified gluten-free sweet rice flour in the UK, for some reason Bob’s Red Mill is astronomically expensive. However I have finally found a brand which is 100% certified gluten-free and it’s fantastic. The brand is yourhealthstore Premium Gluten Free Sweet Rice Flour (glutinous) 1kg

Oat flour can be picked up at most health food shops and if I run out that’s where I head to. However, like all alternative flours it can be expensive so I find the most economical way is to buy it online. I go through bags of the stuff as it’s the flour I use most regularly so I like to buy in bulk. My favourite brand is Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Whole Grain Oat Flour 400 g (Pack of 4) at a reasonable price. Even better if you go the subscribe and save option.

You want to use potato flour and not potato starch in this cake, they are different ingredients and do different things so make sure you are using the right one. I use Wholefood Earth Organic Potato Flour, 1 kg which is a lovely fine flour.

I do try and stick to natural ingredients and flavourings in my cakes but if the need calls for it then I can be persuaded otherwise, which is where this Cupcake World Intense Food Flavouring Maple 100 ml comes into play. I only use the smallest drop in the icing as a little goes a very long way, so we’re really not doing any harm here and it’s really worth the difference rather than using actual maple syrup, the flavour is true and intense.

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