It was Friday night and as I turned over and snuggled my cheek into my pillow, my thoughts drifted to just one thing: pancakes. I was already thinking of Sunday morning pancakes. And I knew I wouldn’t be able to wait for Sunday.
But there was one more thing. As I began to dream of a leisurely Saturday morning, I thought of the sweet potatoes I brought home from the market. I knew what must be done.
I rose this morning and even before I poured myself a cup of coffee, I set to work preheating my griddle and measuring out my flour. Buttermilk was poured and eggs were cracked. And then I began to mash some sweet, steaming sweet potato, their vivid orange brightening my spirits. A dash of cinnamon and a wee bit of nutmeg, and I was soon stirring up autumn in a bowl.
With a generous drizzle of maple syrup, the edge of my fork chiseled out a wedge of the Sweet Potato Pancakes. And as brought the bite to my mouth and tasted the sweetness of the potato, I nearly had to remind myself that I was no longer dreaming. My vision was finally reality.
Note: This post first appeared November 4, 2012; the recipe has been updated from the archives with improved kitchen notes and recipe annotation. I hope you enjoy this favorite from my kitchen.
Sweet Potato Pancakes
If you love pumpkin pie...or sweet potato pie...or sweet potato cake...or all of the above...then you will LOVE these pancakes. This stack of steaming pancakes burst with the flavors of autumn (and will disappear in no time). They're also a delicious way to enjoy leftover Thanksgiving sweet potatoes!
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (I prefer Clover - it really makes a difference in taste and rise!)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus ½ teaspoon for griddle
1 sweet potato, cooked (can be boiled, or baked in oven or microwave), peeled and mashed (about 3/4 cup). [See notes below.]
Heat griddle to 375°F.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl.
Add egg, buttermilk, and 2 tablespoons butter using a whisk until just combined. Stir in the mashed sweet potato. Do not over mix; the batter should have small lumps.
Test griddle by sprinkling a few drops of water on it. If water bounces and spatters off griddle, it is hot enough. Using a pastry brush, brush remaining ½ teaspoon of butter onto griddle. Wipe off excess with a paper towel.
Using an ice cream scoop or ladle, pour pancake batter (about half a cup), 2 inches away from one other. When pancakes have bubbles on top and are slightly dry around edges, about 2½ minutes, flip over. Cook until golden on bottom, about 1 minute.
Serve warm with a drizzle of pure maple syrup.
You can also use leftover sweet potatoes from a Thanksgiving casserole, just be careful of sweetness. If you are using pureed sweet potatoes, you may need to add a touch more flour if you find the batter is too thin.
Adapted from Best Buttermilk Pancakes, Martha Stewart Living, January 2001.