Pan de batata (sweet potato cake) is a delicious dessert with a very exotic and spicy taste, the aroma of cinnamon, cloves, and a touch of ginger.
Pan de batata is one of those quintessential Dominican desserts that are kind of a rare treat.
It's not a dessert commonly made at home, but few would turn their nose at it, on the contrary. We love it. I think people are just intimidated by it, when in reality, making Dominican pan de batata is actually quite easy.
What's pan de batata?
Pan de batata is not actually bread, as the name (pan) would suggest; it's not a cake either. Pan de batata is a type of dense, spiced pudding made with batata, a type of sweet potato that is easily found in the Dominican Republic.
While very popular, most people buy at roadside stands, and from mom 'n pop shops that specialize in this and other Dominican desserts. Pan de batata, aside from batata, contains eggs, coconut, and several spices. Which spices will depend on the cook's preferred taste.
How to serve
Pan de batata is perfect with the afternoon coffee, but is also sometimes eaten as a snack, afternoon pick-me-up, and even breakfast. For breakfast, you can serve with our chocolate de agua (dairy-free cocoa), chocolate con leche espeso (our creamy dairy hot cocoa), or a simple café con leche (latte).
About this recipe
Sweet potato cake is one of those dishes that are very Dominican. With a short list of ingredients, it is easy to make, and full of exotic aromas and spicy flavors. The one in the recipes and pictures are made with Dominican sweet potatoes.
The recipe includes instructions to adapt to other types of sweet potatoes. While this dish is not generally related to Christmas, I find the combination of flavors and spices very apt for this time of the year.
[Recipe + Video] Pan de Batata (Dominican Sweet Potato Cake)
- Make batter: Peel the sweet potatoes (raw!). Chop and place in a food processor bowl. Grind it to the texture of brown sugar. Add eggs, brown sugar, milk, salt, oil, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg powder. Pulse until you obtain a smooth batter. Mix in the chopped coconut by with a spatula.If you do not have a food processor, grate the sweet potatoes with the least coarse side of your grater, then mix with the rest of the ingredients as instructed above.
- Bake: Grease a small bread loaf pan, if your pan tends to stick, line with greased parchment paper and also grease the paper. Pour the mixture into the pan and bake in preheated oven to 350 ºF [175 ºC] until you pinch with a clean knife and it comes out clean (about 35 mins).
- Serve: Cool to room temperature before removing from the pan. Serve at room temperature with a hot drink of your choice.
Tips and Notes
Nutritional information is calculated automatically based on ingredients listed. Please consult your doctor if you need precise nutritional information.