Purple Sweet Potato Pancakes (aka Purple Sweet Potato Latkes)

When life gives a Jewish girl purple sweet potatoes, what does she do? She makes purple sweet potato pancakes and homemade applesauce.

These purple sweet potato pancakes are made from Stokes purple sweet potatoes. The Stokes are quite dry, so squeezing is less involved than with traditional latkes.

The difference between sweet potatoes and yams

Feel free to skip to the FAQs if vegetable phylogenetics are not of interest….

a bowl of grated purple sweet potatoes and onions

There is so much confusion about the difference between sweet potatoes and yams, and yet they are VERY different.

In fact, they are so different, that their common ancestry goes all the way back to the Phylum/Class split. Remember back to high school chemistry and “Kings Play Chess On Fine Grains (of) Sand”?

Sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) are in the morning glory Family (Convolvulaceae) in the Order Solanes. As you gardeners know if you rotate your planting, Solanes also includes potatoes (Solanum tuberosum), tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers.

Ube is not a purple sweet potato. Yams like ube (Dioscorea alata) are in the Dioscoreaceae family (Order Dioscoreales). They are monocots, while sweet potatoes are dicots.

one whole and one cut Stokes purple sweet potato on a cutting board

FAQs about purple sweet potato pancakes (purple sweet potato latkes)

Can I make potato pancakes from other sweet potatoes?

You can make sweet potato latkes with any other sweet potato just like with regular potatoes. Just remember that the key to a crispy latke is to use as starchy a potato as you have (like a Russet) and to squeeze out all of the water.

Can I freeze latkes?

Absolutely. Let them cool on a paper towel to absorb any oil and then layer them in a freezer bag. Warm them again in a single layer on a baking sheet in your oven.

How do you make applesauce?

If you don’t mind apple peels in your applesauce, core a few apples, cut them into chunks, and throw them into a small sauce pan just covered with water. Add a tablespoon of sugar (or more, if your apples aren’t sweet) and a pinch of cinnamon, and simmer until soft, stirring and mashing intermittently.

ingredients for these purple sweet potato pancakes

Purple sweet potato pancakes (aka purple sweet potato latkes)

Servings 12 latkes
Author uglyducklingbakery


  • 1 ½ lb sweet potatoes
  • ½ medium sized onion
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • neutral vegetable oil, for light frying


  • Change out of your white shirt, if you are wearing one, to avoid getting purple sweet potato juice on your clothing.
  • Preheat an oven to 200°F to keep the pancakes warm as you make the batch.
  • Peel the sweet potatoes. Then using a box grater, grate the sweet potatoes and onions, putting them into a strainer over a bowl as you do. Mix the onion around a bit to try to prevent the purple from discoloring.
  • Once you have grated all of the sweet potato and onion, squeeze with paper towels or cheesecloth to get rid of as much moisture as you can.
  • In a medium to large bowl, mix the sweet potatoes and onions with the flour, salt, baking powder, salt, and pepper. Then add the eggs and mix.
  • Heat a thin layer of oil in a griddle or frying pan. When hot, add large scoops (I used a large cookie scoop) of potato mixture and flatten them slightly. Fry for 2-3 minutes and then flip and fry the second side.
  • Place cooked pancakes in a single layer on a baking sheet and move to the oven to keep warm until ready to serve.
purple sweet potato pancakes on a griddle

What’s next?

If you make these purple sweet potato pancakes or just want to ask a question about sweet potatoes, please comment here or share a pic with me on Instagram!

Enjoy some other uglyducklingbakery recipes with purple sweet potato.

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purple sweet potato latkes on a plate with apple sauce and sour cream

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