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
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.