Sweet potato cake, the Reunion's favourite dessert

Jason Kwan Tat

Published: 20/09/2015 11:04

The mystery cake which we served you during the Mougins festival is a typical dessert of the Reunion Island, based on sweet potato.

Sweet potato cake is a sweet dish emanating from the "heights", or the uplands of the island. It is enjoyed in the afternoon and is a favourite of young and old alike.

The recipe we used during the festival serves 10-12. Don't be intimidated by the large quantities - the cake stores very well. The natives eat it all week long as a snack.

  • 2 kilos of sweet potato (use the white variety from the Tropics rather than the orange variety from Israel)
  • 250 grams of butter
  • 130 grams of flour
  • 200 grams of brown sugar
  • 3 pods of vanilla
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of aged or regular rum 
  • 4 eggs

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

Start by peeling the sweet potatoes, then chop them into 3cm cubes and cook them for 20-25 minutes in a pot of simmering water. When the potatoes can be easily pierced with a knife, drain them and mash them with a potato masher in a large bowl. Add the flour, the brown sugar, the rum and the softened butter and mix it all with a spatula. The heat of the potato will melt the butter. Crack the eggs one by one over the mixture. Split the vanilla in two and tease out the beans without a knife before adding them to the dough. Grease a very large cake mould with butter (we used a rectangular mould of 25 × 35 cm) and pour in the preparation. Place in the oven for 45 minutes and allow to cool.

Bon appétit!



Children love this cake! At our festival stand we could hardly prevent them from gobbling the lot.