Sweet Potato Cakes are easy to make with just a handful of inexpensive ingredients! Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, this sweet potato side dish recipe is ideal for holidays and weeknight dinners alike. Instructions for both baking and boiling the potatoes are included!
Sweet potato cakes make the perfect Thanksgiving side dish! However, I like them so much that I usually eat them for lunch and use them as an easy dinner side dish throughout the year no matter what season it is. Whether you top them off with sour cream or ranch, they’ll be a huge hit however they’re served!
To make life even easier, I’ve included instructions for both boiling and baking the sweet potatoes. Feel free to pick whichever method works best for you! Just keep in mind that baking sweet potatoes makes them sweeter because the baking process brings out the natural sugars. Boiling sweet potatoes will result in more savory cakes. Both versions are delicious!
Once the sweet potatoes are cooked, all you have to do is mash them and form them into patties with a few other ingredients. Cook them in a pan until crispy on both sides and call it a day! On a crazy busy day like Thanksgiving, you’ll want to rely on easy side dish recipes like this so you can really focus on that bird in the oven.
Sweet Potatoes – If you end up boiling them, they’ll need to be peeled. Leave the skin on if baking.
Bread Crumbs – You’ll need plain bread crumbs to help bind all of the ingredients together and keep the cakes from falling apart.
Sour Cream – Sour cream with the full fat content (not low fat) will create the best consistency.
Cilantro – This is an optional ingredient, but I’m really fond of the subtle fresh flavor it adds to the cakes.
Egg – This works with the bread crumbs to bind everything together.
See the recipe card below for the full list of ingredients and instructions.
How to Cook Sweet Potatoes for the Cakes
When it comes to preparation, there are actually two ways to make it. You can either bake sweet potatoes first or you can boil them. If you boil them, it will be much faster but you will save a lot more nutrients and vitamins by baking sweet potatoes first. Baked sweet potatoes are great for sweet potato pie as well, and boiled sweet potatoes are good in soups.
PRO TIP: Baking sweet potatoes will result in much sweeter cakes because baking brings out the natural sugars in the potatoes and keeps them. It will also produce more liquid so drain off all excess liquid. Boiling potatoes will result in more savory potato cakes.
To bake the sweet potatoes: Wash them well, poke a couple of holes with a knife, wrap in foil and bake at 400°F until soft (45-60 minutes). Bake time will depend on how large your sweet potatoes are. If you get smaller ones, you can significantly decrease cooking time. Once cooked, cool until easy to handle and scoop the cooked potato out of the skin and into a bowl.
To boil the sweet potatoes: Wash, peel and cut the potatoes either in half, or in four pieces, or more, depending on the size. Add the cut sweet potato pieces to a pot and fill it up with water, enough to cover the potatoes. Add some salt and bring the water to boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to medium and cook until a butter knife easily goes through the potatoes. Drain water well and add potatoes into the mixing bowl.
How to Make Sweet Potato Cakes
Mash them. Mash the cooked sweet potatoes in a bowl or pot until smooth (1, 2).
Mix it up. Add the green onions, cilantro, sour cream, egg, bread crumbs, pressed garlic and mix well (3).
Form the cakes. Use a cookie scoop and form the sweet potato cakes (4).
Cook the cakes. Add the sweet potato cakes to a pan over medium heat with a little vegetable oil. Cook for about 5-7 minutes per side (5, 6).
Yes! To make them gluten free, simply substitute gluten-free bread crumbs instead of regular ones. All of the other ingredients are already naturally gluten-free.
Nope! If you’re not a cilantro fan, you can simply omit it, or you can swap it with parsley.
If you used the baking method to cook the potatoes, it’s possible that the mixture for the cakes may look too thin due to extra potato juices. After you’ve mixed the sweet potato cake batter and it looks a little thin, you can simply add a little more bread crumbs. I recommend starting small, add about 1/4 cup and mix to see if it’s thick enough. If not, add a couple of tablespoons more and mix.
Additional Flavors to Try
Here are a few different ingredients you can add to your sweet potato cakes:
More Sweet Potato Recipes To Try
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Sweet Potato Cakes Recipe
- 1.5 lbs sweet potatoes
- 1/3 cup diced green onions
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs*
- 1 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro
- 2 Tbsp sour cream
- 1 large clove of garlic
- salt to taste
- fresh cracked pepper to taste
- Vegetable or avocado oil for cooking
Cooking sweet potatoes:
- Boiling sweet potatoes: wash, peel and cut sweet potatoes into about 1-inch chunks. Add cut sweet potato pieces into a pot and fill it with water, enough to cover them completely.
- Add some salt to water, bring water to boil over medium-high heat and lower the heat to medium. Cook until butter knife easily goes through the potatoes. Drain all the water and add sweet potatoes into the mixing bowl.
Sweet Potato Cakes:
- Mash sweet potatoes in a mixing bowl until smooth.
- Add green onions, cilantro, sour cream, egg, bread crumbs, pressed garlic, salt, pepper, and mix well.
- Preheat a cooking pan over medium heat and add some cooking oil.
- Use a cookie scoop to get even amounts of the mixture. Form sweet potato patties and cook for about 5-7 minutes on each side. Use a small spatula and flip carefully.
- *Mixture too thin? After you’ve mixed the sweet potato cake batter and it looks a little thin, you can simply add a little more bread crumbs. I recommend starting small, add about 1/4 cup and mix to see if it’s thick enough. If not, add a couple of tablespoons more and mix.
- Gluten Free: To make them gluten free, simply substitute gluten-free bread crumbs instead of regular ones. All of the other ingredients are already naturally gluten-free
- Baking sweet potatoes: Wash them well, poke a couple of holes with a knife, wrap in foil and bake at 400°F until soft (45-60 minutes). Bake time will depend on how large your sweet potatoes are. If you get smaller ones, you can significantly decrease cooking time. Once cooked, cool until easy to handle and scoop the cooked potato out of the skin and into a bowl.
Originally published on Will Cook For Smiles in November, 2014.