Sweet potato bread with pecan streusel – a vegan version of the classic Autumnal loaf cake with a crisp, buttery pecan crumble topping.
Sweet potatoes have to be my favourite vegetable as they are just so versatile. I always have some in the vegetable bowl and cook with them at least a couple of times a week.
As well as savoury dishes, they work really well in sweet ones too – as evidenced by my sweet potato waffles. This vegan sweet potato bread with pecan streusel is a great way to use up a couple of sweet potatoes and it is addictively good!
It is a lovely alternative to pumpkin bread. While tinned pumpkin may be common in the US, it is much harder to find in the UK. Sweet potatoes however are sold in all supermarkets so you’ll have no problem sourcing the ingredients for this recipe.
The cake* is very moist and soft, with a delicious spiced flavour and a crunchy streusel topping. Spiced vegetable cakes like this one are my absolute favourite to eat; and they smell amazing when they are cooking!
*Because it is cake, not bread. I don’t know why loaf cakes are so commonly referred to as bread; IT’S CAKE, PEOPLE!! (And yes, I know I’ve called it bread too – gotta go with what people search for).
I was very generous with the pecan streusel topping, as I love a thick, crunchy layer on top of this loaf; and as my husband says, the more crumble the better. The pecans add an extra bit of crunch and layer of flavour; they are such a perfect match for sweet potato and pumpkin.
This sweet potato bread is just about healthy enough to have for breakfast (it does contain vegetables after all); but I like it best as a mid-afternoon snack with a cup of tea or coffee. It will keep in an airtight container for up to five days so you can snack on it throughout the week.
The bread is made with mashed sweet potato; you will need two medium/large sweet potatoes to make enough mash for this cake. You can either bake the potatoes or microwave them whole. I don’t recommend boiling or steaming them as it will make the mash, and therefore the cake, too wet.
How To Make Vegan Sweet Potato Bread With Pecan Streusel:
Start by making your sweet potato mash – Take two medium-large sweet potatoes and prick them a couple of times with a sharp knife. Microwave for around 10 minutes, turning them over halfway through, until they are soft. You can also bake them if you prefer; but it takes longer.
Allow to cool a little then peel off the skin, place the flesh in a bowl and mash. Measure out 230g/1 cup of the mash for the bread and reserve any left over for another use. (I give it to my dog, he loves it.)
Next make the streusel. Place flour, light brown soft sugar and cinnamon in a bowl then rub in dairy free margarine until it forms crumbs. Stir in chopped pecans and refrigerate.
To make the sweet potato bread, sift together flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and salt.
Whisk together the mashed sweet potato, sunflower oil, almond milk, light brown sugar, caster sugar and cider vinegar.
Tip the dry ingredients into the wet and fold through. The batter should be quite thick.
Scrape into a lined loaf tin, level, and top with the streusel. Bake for 60-80 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
Sweet Potato Bread With Pecan Streusel (Vegan)
- 2 medium-large sweet potatoes to make the mashed sweet potato
- 80 g (2/3 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 50 g (scant 1/3 cup) light brown soft sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 55 g (1/4 cup) dairy free margarine (or coconut oil) cold
- 40 g (1/4 cup) chopped pecans
Sweet Potato Bread:
- 200 g (1 + 2/3 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 230 g (1 cup) mashed sweet potato
- 80 ml (1/3 cup) sunflower oil
- 120 ml (1/2 cup) unsweetened almond milk (or other plant milk)
- 1 tsp cider vinegar
- 100 g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
- 60 g (1/3 cup) light brown soft sugar
To make the mashed sweet potato, take two medium-large sweet potatoes and prick them a couple of times with a sharp knife. Microwave for around 10 minutes, turning them over halfway through, until they are soft. Alternatively, you can bake them at 180C/350F/gas mark 4 for around 40 minutes. I DO NOT recommend boiling or steaming them however as it will make the cake too wet.
Allow to cool a little then peel off the skin, place the flesh in a bowl and mash. Measure out 230g/1 cup of the mash for the bread and reserve any left over for another use.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Grease an approx 22x11cm/8.5x4.5in loaf tin and line with a strip of baking parchment.
To make the streusel, mix the flour, sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Add the margarine and rub in using your fingertips until no lumps of fat remain and the mixture resembles crumbs. Stir in the chopped pecans and place in the fridge.
To make the sweet potato bread, whisk together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, spices and salt.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the mashed sweet potato, sunflower oil, almond milk, cider vinegar, caster sugar and light brown soft sugar.
Tip in the dry ingredients and fold through until well combined but be careful not to over-mix. The batter should be quite thick.
Scrape the batter into the prepared tin and spread it level. Scatter over the streusel topping evenly and press it down very gently.
Bake for 60-80 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cover loosely with tin foil part way through baking if the top starts to colour too much.
Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then carefully lift out of the tin using the strip of baking parchment and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.