Mouthwatering Sweet Potato Latkes

Everyone in my home loves Sweet Potato Latkes, even my littlest ones. Savory, aromatic, and melt-in-your mouth delicious, they are oh so satisfying — particularly when fried in a flavorful fat like coconut oil or bacon grease.

These latkes use just a hint of buckwheat flour & eggs to hold them together. Contrary to it’s name, buckwheat is not a cereal grain. It’s the seed of a flower, and it can be ground fine into a powder.  It also happens to be gluten-free and relatively low in phytic acids, so it’s easier for our bodies to digest.

The Players

The How-To

Begin by grating your sweet potatoes and gathering your ingredients. These will come together quickly, so it helps to be prepared!

Next, chop up your scallion (I use the whole plant, minus the roots at the end). In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped scallion with the egg.

Now, add in your salt, pepper, & flour and stir until well mixed.

Now for the fun part. Add your grated sweet potatoes to your flour mixture and mix it together well. I use my hands for this, as it helps to sqeeze moisture out of the sweet potatoes and make sure all the ingredients are evenly distributed.

In a skillet, heat the oil over a high flame until hot but not smoking. Whatever you do, don’t use a flavorless fat like lard for this. These latkes are what they are because of all the great tasting fat they soak up when frying! So use an aromatic, flavorful oil like unrefined coconut oil or bacon grease. In this example, I’m using coconut oil.

Form the sweet potatoes into patties and place in your heated oil.

Turn the flame down to medium and let cook until golden, then flip and cook the other side until golden. When done, remove to a serving plate. After they’ve cooled for a minute or so, serve them with a dollop of cultured sour cream or creme fraiche on top.

This post is my entry into the Fight Back Fridays blog carnival of Real Food Lovin’ links. If you’re interested in finding other delicious recipes, meal ideas, testimonies, tips, or stories about people resisting the dominate food culture and choosing Real Food, be sure to check it out!

It’s also participating in the Real Food Holidays – Hanukkah carnival hosted by Real Food Digest!


  1. says

    These look absolutely delicious- but 2 questions:
    1. shredded sweet potatoes? I’ve never done that- just peel and shred raw?
    2. the buckwheat flour- do you get that at a health food store? I’ve never bought it.

    Thanks! I can’t wait to try this recipe.

  2. says

    Local Nourishment — Not much to tell. It’s something my mother bought for me a few years back — basically a 4 inch deep skillet with a lid. It’s got some sort of non-stick coating, so it’s really not ideal cookware. I’m hoping to replace it with a similar stainless steel pan soon, but don’t know when that will be.

    Angela — Yep. Just grate raw sweet potatoes just like you would potatoes to make hashbrowns. As to the sprouted buckwheat flour, I make that the same way I do all my flours — sprout it, dry it, & grind it fresh (a lot cheaper and more nutrient-dense that way). That said, I’ve seen unsprouted buckwheat flour on the flour aisle at my local grocery store, so it doesn’t necessarily have to be hard to find. Plus, you really could use any flour. I’m just going grain-free for a season, and this is a fairly suitable alternative to cereal grains (particularly if used sparingly).

  3. says

    These sound wonderful. I’m sure the coconut oil adds to the aroma as they’re cooking. I’ve got buckwheat flour in the freezer, but I’m out of sweet potatoes … so they’ll have to wait for the next trip to the grocery store.

    Shari Voigt

  4. says

    Lizriz — Thanks for stopping by. Hope you stick around for a while and make yourself at home! :)

    Vehement flame — Yes, these lend themselves well to variation. I could totally imagine doing a chipotle cilantro version.

  5. peggy says

    Your website is so wonderful. I have enjoyed everything that I have read and seen here. These look DELICIOUS! I will definitely try them. I really liked the chipotle cilantro idea. Going to the market today. Thanks!!

  6. says

    R.A. — Yes. That used to be obvious on my About page, but I guess I took it off at some point because it wasn’t particularly relevant to the site. :)

  7. Sasch says

    These looked so delicious, I had to try them right away! I didn’t have buckwheat, so I substituted with spelt. I was a little worried that they wouldn’t stay in patty form, but once they started frying in the pan (in coconut oil) they stayed together just fine. They were absolutely delicious and my husband, who typically doesn’t care for sweet potatoes, loved them! Thanks so much!

  8. says

    These look delicious!! I liked the part about how lard is tasteless. I never could figure out why things just don’t taste as yummy when I use lard.
    Is there a variation that would make them taste similar to candied sweet potatoes?
    Ooh, or maybe like sweet potato fries you can dip in a sour cream with onion n spices sauce…. That would go over well with children, I bet!
    Happy Spring, Everyone!

  9. says

    Thanks Kristen.

    I never would have thought about grating sweet potatoes, but since they are one of my favorite root crops, I’m looking forward to trying this one.

    I’ve been using coconut oil for several months now and my wife loves the smell. I’ve found it adds a unique flavor to some dishes, but appears to add none to others. My primary reason for using it, is because it doesn’t break down at high temperatures like olive oil. Which makes it perfect for stir-fry.

    Thanks for the info on buckwheat – something else I didn’t know. One of the many reasons I love the Internet is learning new things.

    Rod Newbound, RN

  10. says

    Sasch — It’s great to know these work with spelt. I imagine they’d also work with coconut flour and an extra egg for those who want to avoid anything grain-like! Anyhow, I know how you feel about worrying that they’ll stay together! The first time I made these, I was sure they weren’t going to. But just like you, I discovered they did!

    Rod — I love coconut oil, too. I just found a fantastic deal on Tropical Tradition’s gallon-sized extra virgin gold standard oil, and WOW. It’s the best tasting coconut oil I’ve ever had!

  11. Sarah says

    These are on the menu for tonight! I forgot to buy any sour cream, so I’m thinking about throwing together some creme fraiche… but with only 5 hours to culture it, I might just skip it.

  12. says

    I love your site and your recipes are fabulous. I’d love to be able to print some of them out – does the site have a printer-friendly facility that I’ve missed somewhere? I have looked, honest, so if there is one and I just haven’t found it, accpet my apologies!

  13. says

    Well, no sooner did I submit that comment than I found the “print this post” button!! I adore sweet potatoes and this recipe sounds like heaven, but printing it out is running to four pages and is very heavy on printer ink. A cut-down version for printers that consists of one picture and the recipe would be good :-) By the way, I loved the article on the urban farmer. What an inspiring man!

  14. says

    You tweeted this just in time for dinner, and they made an excellent accompaniment to our thai chicken curry. I think I’ll be making these again!
    .-= Helen T

  15. Elizabeth Mincey says

    I just found this recipe and can’t wait to try it! It will just have to wait til after the Nativity fast.
    I noticed your prayer rope, do you have any suggestions on how I could make this recipe lenten?

  16. says

    Lately I’ve been thinking about buckwheat because I haven’t had it for such a long time, and it’s great to read about a unique creation like this! Super to have a gluten AND grain free dish. I wonder if most people realise that buckwheat isn’t a true grain. I feel better on a grain free diet with the occassional use of foods like quinoa and buckwheat, but finding recipes can be tricky. Thank you!
    .-= Lillea Woodlyns´s last blog post …Gluten Free Oats? =-.

  17. Shaun says

    Wow, these are wonderful! I’m eating some as I type this. One question: Can coconut oil be saved and reused? I know a lot of it gets soaked into the latkes, but there’s a bit leftover.

    • KristenM says

      Yes, you can “save” your coconut oil, though you’d probably want to save it the same way you would tallow — either keep a special place for your “used” oils so that you can distinguish between them or clean the oil.

    • KristenM says

      That depends on how large you make them. I usually get about 10-12. I would not bake them. Latkes are meant to be fried!

  18. Kate says

    I loved these! I scaled the recipe to use 4 big sweet potatoes. I made half savory and added curry. The other half got a little bit of brown sugar and cinnamon with some cardamom – served the sweet ones with applesauce and shaved ham and the family LOVED it! Thanks for the recipe!

  19. Sharon says

    These sound wonderful but could I use almond or coconut flour rather than buckwheat as my husband is allergic to buckwheat. Thank you.

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