Sweet Potato and Apple Latkes

These sweet potato and apple latkes are essentially a love child between pancakes and fritters made with matzoh meal, sweet potatoes, and apples. And they’re as appropriate at Thanksgiving as they are a random weeknight.

Several sweet potato and apple latkes on a paper towel with a bowl of applesauce in the background.

Every year, we host a big Hanukkah party for a couple dozen friends, serving four or five different kinds of latkes (potato pancakes) at a time. These sweeter latkes, accented with the oniony bite of shallots, are always the first to go. I like a green, firm-tart apple here. Rhode Island Greening and Granny Smith would both make excellent choices. And here’s a time-saving bonus: Because sweet potatoes contain less water than regular baking potatoes, you can grate them in the food processor without worrying about their releasing too much liquid.–Amy Traverso

How can I make latkes ahead of time?

Swell news for anyone who doesn’t care to stand at the stove frying latkes while guests get tipsy in the next room: Amy Traverso, the lovely and knowledgeable author of this recipe, explains in The Apple Lover’s Cookbook that you can make batches of latkes in advance and freeze them in anticipation of those times when you need to feed lots of folks faster than you can flip latkes or satisfy a solitary craving on a lazy (or crazy) night. Just rewarm them in a hot oven. No one will know the difference as long as you don’t tell (and we certainly won’t). And during our recent chat with Traverso in our podcast, we dubbed her book The Apple Bible. You’ll understand why when you hear her expound upon apple types.

Sweet Potato Apple Latkes

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 1 H, 10 M
  • 1 H, 10 M
  • Makes 25 to 30
5/5 - 1 reviews
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Special Equipment: Deep-fry or candy thermometer



Preheat the oven to 200°F (93°C).

Using the coarse side of a box grater or a food processor fitted with a medium grating disk, grate the potatoes, apples, and shallots. Toss together in a large bowl. 

Add the eggs, matzo meal, salt, and pepper and toss to mix well.

Pour 3/4 inch oil into a skillet over medium-high heat. When the temperature reaches 370°F (188°C), scoop 1/4 cup potato mixture from the bowl and then gently drop the mixture onto a wide spatula. (The point here is to keep your hands as clean as possible.) Press the potato mixture into a patty about 1/4 inch thick, then gently slide the pancake into the hot oil. Cook 3 or 4 pancakes at a time (do not crowd the pan) until the edges are crisp and well browned and the undersides are golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. 

Gently turn the latkes and cook until the other side is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes longer.

Transfer the pancakes to paper towels to drain briefly, then arrange in a single layer on 2 baking sheets. Keep the latkes warm in the oven while you cook the remaining pancakes. (You can instead cool the latkes to room temperature, then stack them in single layers between sheets of parchment or wax paper, and freeze them in resealable plastic bags. Crisp in a 325°F (163°C) oven for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.)

Serve the latkes hot with sour cream and applesauce on the side. Originally published October 15, 2013.

Print RecipeBuy the The Apple Lover's Cookbook cookbook

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

These latkes were so delicious that we ate every last one (although I did share one with my dog). The sweet potato is such a nutritious and often overlooked substitution for a russet and it made these latkes sing. This recipe was a perfect combination of sweet and savory. Kudos to Amy Traverso for a perfect recipe!

I love latkes and sweet potatoes, so this was a no-brainer for me. It was so easy to shred all of the ingredients together in the food processor. The outsides of the latkes were crisp, while the insides remained creamy and sweet. Definitely a keeper recipe!


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  1. This was my first attempt at making latkes, and they are fantastic! I used a hand-grater, which was not ideal for saving time and took some effort with the apple skins and fragile shallots. BUT…I am definitely going to add this to my holiday repertoire. As usual, a great recipe from Leite! (PS One hint: it helps to have a high-temp thermometer, such as a candy thermometer to regulate the oil; and definitely use either Canola or peanut oil; it must be a high-heat oil, NOT olive oil.) Thanks for a wonderful recipe!

    1. You’re so very welcome, Ava! Love to hear this! We so appreciate you risking your time and ingredients and expectations on yet another recipe from us. Rest assured, we make all the recipes in our home kitchens first to make certain they’re as spectacular as can be before we share them with you. (Nearly half the recipes we test never make it onto the site because they’re simply not sufficiently magnificent.) Here’s wishing you all the magic of the season…

  2. Oh, man! I can’t imagine a better combination. I wish my apple tree wasn’t through for the year — I’d be making a huge batch of these to eat now and to stock the freezer. There’s always the store, though. So, good! Thanks to Amy Traverso for the recipe and you guys for posting it. 😉

      1. I’m embarrassed to admit that I have no idea. My mom planted it when the house was built. I know she told me, but it was some variety I’d never heard of. They’re great cooking apples, stay green going to pale yellow. Definitely not Golden Delicious, though. More of a quince shape and not shiny. (In case you wonder, they’re not quinces — we have one of those trees, too 😉

        They seem to grow early and have a fairly short season. I’m getting the bulk of the crop by August. Early, but tree fresh apples are tree fresh apples! 😉 My favorites are Staymans. Don’t see many of those out here in California.

        1. No need to be embarrassed, ruthie. If I were you, I’d be too busy standing out there eating those apples out of hand while the season lasts to have time for being embarrassed! Whatever kind of apple tree it is, what a gift it is.

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