Disclosure: I received a copy of Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking: A Cookbook by Toni Tipton-Martin for purposes of writing this post. All thoughts and opinions are mine.
This simple and delicious sweet potato bread is filled with spices, cranberries, and pecans. It’s the perfect combination of fall flavors and can be served for breakfast or a sweet simple dessert.
To say I was elated to be chosen to review this cookbook by Toni Tipton-Martin, is not even close. I am a history nerd and love to cook. So this cookbook had me all kinds of happy to review and to read the history behind the making of it, and the history behind the recipes. When you read the title of this book, your mind goes to “soul food” and for a brief moment mine did, too. But within the first few paragraphs of the introduction, I was quickly corrected.
You see, plantation chefs were typically slaves and their style of food was served to their owners making the dishes not just soul food but good ole’ southern cooking. Those recipes were cooked by generations and generations of families and even with the tweaks throughout the years, the food is not just sustenance but part of history. The recipes tell stories. It’s history.
After reading Jubilee from cover to cover, yes that’s the nerd in me, I realized that I now have a new favorite cookbook. I’ve got quite a few on my list that I want to make! Some include:
Sweet Potato Biscuits with Ham
Baked (Barbecued) Beans
String Beans a la Creole
Chicken and Dumplings
Louisiana Barbecued Shrimp
Sweet Potato Mango Cake
Peach Buttermilk Ice Cream
Of course, this Sweet Potato Bread was the first one I made as it sounds delicious and is perfect to showcase fall flavors from the sweet potatoes, spices, cranberries, and pecans. The author comments that this bread tastes like Thanksgiving – she’s totally right.
It’s an easy recipe to make – no electric mixer needed. Just a bowl and a wooden spoon. I wish I would have doubled the recipe because the bread went quick and I wanted more! I did cook extra sweet potatoes, mashed them, and after they were cooled, froze them in a container. So, I can make this again on the spur of the moment!
Tips to Make Sweet Potato Bread:
About one large sweet potato will give you the one cup mashed. I chose to peel, cube and boil the potatoes until they were tender. Then mashed while still hot and allow to cool to room temperature before using in the batter. Alternatively, you can bake the sweet potato and then scoop out the flesh and mash.
As with most of my baking recipes, you start with whisking the dry ingredients together before adding the wet. Lastly, you will fold in the cranberries and pecans.
Depending on your oven, this bread will take from 50 – 65 minutes to bake. Mine took 65 minutes and it was perfect.
Sweet Potato Bread
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes, cooled to room temp
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 stick butter, melted (I used unsalted)
- 1/2 cup milk
- You will need to cooked the sweet potatoes and mash them first, unless you have some on hand. I chose to peel, chop, and boil the potatoes until they were tender. Then mash them and allow to cool to room temp.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the cranberries and pecans with 2 tablespoons of the flour (from the 1 1/2 cups). Toss to coat the fruit and nuts. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining flour (1 cup plus 6 tablespoons), baking powder, salt, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add the cooled mashed sweet potatoes, beaten eggs, milk, and melted butter. Using a wooden spoon, combine all the ingredients until just mixed.
- Gently fold in the cranberries and pecans.
- Pour the batter evenly into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow bread to cool in pan a few minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool a bit more.
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This sounds delicious and I love reading your list of “must tries.” There are so many I want to try too! The book is amazing.