Every once in a while, I get a flash of inspiration. It’s usually fueled by desperation or exhaustion, actually. Such was the case of this Thanksgiving and the dessert selection.
I had the idea to make Paula Deen’s Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake. The problem was…it called for a small can of pumpkin, and all I had was large cans. That would have forced me to make something else out of the remaining pumpkin. I was out of steam, and I had several unused roasted sweet potatoes staring at me, waiting for their fate.
Why not make a sweet potato version?
It wouldn’t have been the first time that sweet potatoes were substituted for pumpkin, or vice versa. They have the unique ability to be used back and forth in a lot of recipes. But…I also had no idea exactly how much pumpkin was in the smaller can, I had really BIG sweet potatoes, and I was going to use one whole very fat sweet potato…hell or high water.
It was peeled, the fibrous ends discarded, and tossed into the bowl. The mixer turned it into a smooth puree in no time, and the remaining ingredients from Paula Deen’s recipe was added. I knew I had substantially more sweet potato than the recipe called for pumpkin, so some adjustments had to be made…so in went some Greek yogurt, a hair more spice, and soon, the filling was made.
The end result wasn’t exactly what Paula Deen had in mind, but it sure was something that was a “do again” recipe. It’s as though it didn’t know if it was a gooey butter cake, cheese cake, or pie…but combined all of the best qualities of each into a delicious “piecake”. The filling was far too substantial to be a “gooey butter cake”, too delicate to be a baked cheesecake, and far too refined to be merely a pie. Best of all, it was utterly easy to make!
Sweet Potato Piecake
- 1 yellow or vanilla cake mix
- 1 egg
- 1/2 c. butter, melted (don’t use margarine!)
Mix ingredients together with mixer until evenly combined. Divide in half and press into bottom of lightly buttered 9″ cake pan or springform pan. Set aside.
1 large sweet potato (or two regular sized ones) baked and cooled
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. butter, softened (don’t use margarine)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 c. Greek non-fat yogurt
1 lb. powdered sugar
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Peel sweet potato and trim off fibrous ends. Using mixer, beat until smooth. Add cream cheese and yogurt, and beat until smooth and creamy. Add butter, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and beat together until combined evenly. Beat in powdered sugar.
Spread half of filling mixture over each crust. Bake about 60 minutes or just until barely set. Do not overbake! Best served at room temperature, so remove from refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving.