Sweet Potato Latkes Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Sweet Potato Latkes

“Latkes” is a word for pancakes, particularly those served on Chanukah, and is derived from the Greek for “olive oil,” or elaion. Originally, latkes were made from cheese, again focusing on dairy foods fried in oil. But in Eastern Europe, cheese was a luxury item during the winter months. For centuries, the potato was considered poisonous, and potatoes did not become inexpensive, respectable or readily available until about 1840, after a series of crop failures in Russia and Poland. Since then, potatoes have made the most popular form of a Chanukah latke. You may make this recipe ahead of time and refrigerate the batter for several hours before use. If you want, you can make these in batches and keep them warm in the oven before serving. This recipe comes from Sheilah Kaufman’s friend Sherron Goldstein, an author and cooking teacher.



Ingredient Line: 
2 lb. sweet potatoes (about 3 medium), peeled and coarsely shredded
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2 to 3 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
Ingredient Line: 
5 scallions, finely chopped
Ingredient Line: 
⅔ cup all-purpose flour
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¾ to 1 tsp. sea salt
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1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
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2 large eggs, beaten


  1. Combine sweet potatoes, ginger and scallions, and set aside. Combine flour, salt and pepper in separate bowl. Drain liquid from potatoes, and if needed, place potatoes in dish towel and wring out excess moisture. Return to mixing bowl, and combine slowly with flour mixture. Fold eggs into potato mixture. Line baking sheet with 3 layers of paper towels.
  2. Heat about 1 cup oil in large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Using 1/4 cup measure, scoop latke batter onto skillet to form cakes about 1/4- to 1/2-inch high and 3 inches round. Flatten with back of spatula, taking care not to crowd skillet.
  3. Cook until golden brown on one side, about 4 minutes, and turn to cook on second side, about 3 minutes more. Using spatula, transfer latkes to baking sheet lined with layers of paper towel. Keep in 225F oven if serving later, or serve immediately with sour cream or drained yogurt, if desired.

Nutrition Information: 

2 g
Total Fat: 
5 g
Saturated Fat: 
12 g
25 mg
140 mg
1 g
3 g

Comments on this Recipe

These were excellent! I made them vegan by replacing the eggs with a mixture of 2 Tb ground flaxseed and 1 tsp. baking powder beat together in 6 Tb water until creamy. Next time I will go a bit lighter on the ginger, since the flavor tended to dominate. Overall, very good! Perfect for an autumn dinner when cool weather sets in.

I tried these out for Hanukah dinner at my boyfriend's parents' place last night and they were great! I actually had to substitute the ginger for an equal amount of minced shallot because we were fresh out, and I'd say it was a good replacement. They tasted delicious on their own, but some people liked them with applesauce, too. Definitely going to pull these out again soon.

These are my favorite go-to latkes. I've shared these with just about everyone I know. Love the ginger in them; it gives them a nice zing. I usually grate dried whole ginger pieces into the mixture instead of using fresh. Great with chopped fresh chives instead of scallions as well.

These are delicious! I might use a bit less ginger as well and fried them in much less oil on a non stick skillet. Wonderful flavor and aroma! Will definately make them again.

These sound delicious. I need to know how many make up one serving. Can anyone help?

One should substitute whole wheat flour instead of all purpose. Also you could add crasins to the recipe.

So glad to re-find this old recipe that I lost. First fixed them back in the mid-1990s. Love them made both with egg or by substituting flaxseed mixture as noted in another post. Thanks VT for posting recipes!

A lovely recipe, thank you. However the word is of Yiddish origin, latka, (dial. form of aladka kind of pancake) Only the Russian expression oladǐya ( Russian oládʾya )can be traced to the Greek roots of elá ( i ) dion, derivative of élaion (olive oil)

I like the look of the sweet potato latke. Is there a substitute for the all purpose flour and the eggs..maybe just egg whites.. would that change the texture and taste?