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. 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

Sweet Potato Latkes FAQs

Can you freeze latkes?

Yes, definitely. 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 until crispy.

What’s the best type of apple to use in these latkes?

The author prefers a green, firm-tart apple here. Rhode Island Greening and Granny Smith would both make excellent choices.

What should I serve with latkes?

These sweet potato latkes are wonderful when served with homemade roasted applesauce and a big dollop of sour cream. If you want to make several types of latkes, as the author suggests, see below for other recipes.

☞ Like latkes? Try these recipes:

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

Sweet Potato and Apple Latkes

5 / 2 votes
These crispy fried sweet potato and apple latkes are made with matzoh meal, sweet potatoes, and apples. They can be made ahead, which makes them perfect for holiday gatherings, or a quick weeknight dinner.
David Leite
Servings25 to 30 latkes
Calories248 kcal
Prep Time40 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes


  • Deep-fry or candy thermometer


  • 2 pounds garnet or jewel yams or sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 3 large (1 1/2 lbs) firm-tart apples such as Granny Smiths or Rhode Island Greenings, unpeeled, cored, and quartered
  • 8 small to medium shallots, peeled
  • 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup matzo meal
  • 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Sour cream and applesauce for serving, for serving (optional)


  • 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 the grated sweet potato, grated apples, and shallots 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 of sweet 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 sweet 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.
The Apple Lover's Cookbook

Adapted From

The Apple Lover’s Cookbook

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Serving: 1 latkeCalories: 248 kcalCarbohydrates: 20 gProtein: 3 gFat: 18 gSaturated Fat: 3 gMonounsaturated Fat: 4 gTrans Fat: 0.1 gCholesterol: 45 mgSodium: 301 mgFiber: 3 gSugar: 4 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2011 Amy Traverso. Photo © 2011 Squire Fox. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

These sweet potato 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!

This sweet potato and apple latke recipe was so easy—throw everything into the food processor, mix in a few other ingredients, form the latkes, and fry. The balance of sweet with tart rounded out by shallots was great, made even better by sour cream and applesauce (I used cinnamon applesauce for a little extra spice.)

The only thing to watch out for is grating the shallots in the food processor. It left some large chunks which I had to pull out and chop up. I will definitely make this again.

I liked the taste combination of sweet potatoes and apples.

The recipe does work as written, however, I think it was unnecessary to place the mixture on a spatula, make a patty, and then slide it into the oil. I did this once because the recipe requested it. For the remaining mixture, I gently dropped 1/4 cup of the mixture into the oil and flattened it a little for a few latkes, then for the last ones I just dropped the batter in without flattening it since we like our latkes a little thicker.

The results were delicious.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    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.