Sweet Potato Pancakes with Caviar and Crème Fraîche

December 23, 2014
2 Ratings
  • Makes 25 to 30 hors d'ouevre-size fritters
Author Notes

This recipe, a basic sweet potato fritter from The New Moosewood Cookbook, is a breeze to throw together, especially if you are comfortable making fritters of any kind. A food processor fitted with the shredder attachment makes for light work of the sweet potato-and-onion grating process, though a box grater works just as well, too. Topped with caviar and crème fraîche as featured here, these crispy bites make a festive hors d'oeuvre, but larger fritters on their own or topped with a fried egg are equally delicious. The batter can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. Before I fry all of the fritters, I like to test one for seasoning in a small skillet, then make adjustments accordingly. —Alexandra Stafford

What You'll Need
  • 4 cups coarsely grated sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup grated onion
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • Neutral oil, such as canola or grapeseed, for frying
  • crème fraîche, sour cream, yogurt, or apple sauce for serving
  • Caviar for serving (optional)
  • Fresh chives, minced, for sprinkling
  1. Combine sweet potatoes, onion, lemon, salt, pepper, eggs, and flour.
  2. Heat a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. (See note above re: making a test fritter before frying up the entire batch.) Add enough oil to coat the bottom surface. Using a tablespoon, scoop out mounded spoonfuls of the batter and drop into the pan. The batter should sizzle upon contact. Cook until golden and crisp, flip -- I use a fork -- and cook until the second size is golden and crisp. For me, it often takes one round to get the timing and temperature right. Transfer fritters to a baking sheet or cooling rack and repeat with remaining batter. Add more oil as needed.
  3. Let cool briefly before adding crème fraîche (it will melt!) and caviar. Arrange on platter sprinkle and sprinkle with chives.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Beth Benditt
    Beth Benditt
  • Kingfishercooks
  • DragonFly
  • Alexandra Stafford
    Alexandra Stafford
I write the blog alexandra's kitchen, a place for mostly simple, sometimes fussy, and always seasonal recipes. My cookbook, Bread Toast Crumbs is available everywhere books are sold.

23 Reviews

dekeesee January 1, 2024
I made these for New Year’s Eve. I made ahead and reheated on a parchment lined sheet pan. I read other reviews and was prepared to make adjustments but other than adding a small dusting of flour, the recipe was prepared as directed. I did have to keep the liquid stirred into the sweet potato mix, but that was easy. I served with caviar, crème fraiche, and chives. These are delicious and I will definitely make these again! I had the few leftovers with a fried egg this morning - still delicious!!! Thank you!
ruth B. December 24, 2017
Do you have any experience using a nut flour or tapioca/arrowroot powder in place of wheat flour in these? I would love to make them grain-free. :)
Alexandra S. December 24, 2017
I don't, but I think you can definitely give it a go. Do you ever use potato starch? I've had success using potato starch with potato latkes and imagine it would work well here, too. I am not completely comfortable here by any means, so you may want to do some additional research, but I think you typically use half as much potato starch as flour when substituting. Let me know how it turns out!
Beth B. December 5, 2015
These look sooo good!!! Can't wait to try them!!
Alicia G. November 14, 2015
I'm thinking of making these as an appetizer on Thanksgiving -- could I make the batter the night before Thanksgiving, and then cook the pancakes on Thanksgiving?
Alexandra S. November 14, 2015
Yes, definitely. The bowl of batter (or whatever vessel you store it in) will look very liquidy after a night in the fridge. Just be sure to really stir it up before frying the pancakes. Also, do a little tester pancake before you fry the whole batch — this lets you know if the seasoning is right, but also the consistency. You may find you don't need the portions to be super liquidy if that makes sense.
Kingfishercooks June 14, 2015
Made them ahead of time in the day and then reheated at350. Made them bigger than appetizer size as they were a side dish for grilled lamb and grilled zucchini. Set sour cream with chives next to them on the buffet. Did not line pan when reheating and they took about ten minutes. They were perfect and were devoured. Wonderful recipe.
Alexandra S. June 14, 2015
So wonderful to hear this! Love the idea of serving them as a side dish. Thanks for reporting back.
Kingfishercooks June 12, 2015
One more question. Peel the potatoes right?
Alexandra S. June 12, 2015
Yes! You can see better step-by-step photos where the article is posted: https://food52.com/blog/12014-what-to-do-with-an-overload-of-sweet-potatoes Hope that helps!
Kingfishercooks June 12, 2015
Perfect. Will make them tomorrow night! Thanks a million.
Kingfishercooks June 12, 2015
Alexandra, may I make these a few hours ahead and reheat?minhate to stand in the kitchen when the guests arrive!
Alexandra S. June 12, 2015
Yes, definitely! Just, of course, wait to top with sour cream, chives, caviar, etc, till after you reheat. I would transfer the cooked pancakes to a parchment lined sheet pan and reheat at 300ºF or 350ºF or so for 7 to 10 minutes. Also, just a head's up — the sour cream will melt quickly when the pancakes are hot/warm, so either serve immediately, or let them cool briefly again before topping. Fun!
Baiba R. January 17, 2015
The recipe was simple, proportions and directions bang on. I gave one side an additional sprinkling of pepper and for a few a wee sprinkling of curry. Lovely. Sour cream and lots of fresh chives enhance the taste buds, but my husband preferred them straight off the pan!
Alexandra S. January 18, 2015
Oh good! I'm so happy to hear this. Love the idea of a little curry. Glad to hear your husband liked them straigh off the pan. I have to admit I love a healthy dollop of sour cream and chives.
DragonFly December 30, 2014
Alexandra I do have some batter left, would it be okay to remove some of the moisture and add more flour to bind it better? I used raw sweet potatoes Monica, I probably should have removed some of the excess moisture after grating.
I will definitely try again tonight! Thank you!
Alexandra S. December 30, 2014
Oh good, and yes, you could add more flour, or you could give it a good stir, and then, using a very small spoon — I seriously use a tablespoon-size measuring spoon to form these — scoop out a bit of the batter and just make one pancake to start. Use a small frying pan, heat it over medium heat, add a little oil, and drop in your batter. Let it cook until brown on one side, flip and brown the other size. Let it cool briefly before tasting. This will help you see if it needs more salt, but also will help you gauge if the batter does in fact need a bit more flour to help bind it up. So sorry again for the trouble! I hope tonight's batch is a success. Smaller size pancakes are definitely more manageable to work with than larger ones. Good luck!
DragonFly December 30, 2014
Thank you, I will definitely try this using smaller amounts, can't wait! Much appreciated! I also used my Kitchen Aid food processor with the shredder attachment, (for the very first time) it was amazingly fast!
Alexandra S. December 30, 2014
Oh good, glad to hear the assembly was fast!
Monica December 30, 2014
I can't tell from the recipe, but are the sweet potatoes raw or cooked befor grating ?
Alexandra S. December 30, 2014
They are raw. If you have a food processor with a shredder attachment, this step takes no time. Good luck!
DragonFly December 30, 2014
I tried this recipe tonight but it did not turn out well nor did it resemble the beautiful picture above. I followed the recipe, I'm sure what I did wrong but it seemed to liquidly.
Alexandra S. December 30, 2014
Oh no! The batter definitely is liquidy, and it's one you have to stir up before shaping each patty. Do you have any batter left? For me, it's always a trial-and-error process before I get the method down. The oil needs to be hot enough to get a good sear but not so hot that the fritters burn. And you definitely have to be patient before flipping or the fritters will be soggy and soft. I'm so sorry to hear this!