Sweet Potato Pancakes and Cinnamon Roll Syrup

You know what’s awful?

No, not the pancakes. Those are freaking glorious. I mean, you should probably stop whatever you’re doing and make these, right now, for dinner if necessary, because they are the tastiest pancakes that have ever existed and you’ll never forgive yourself if you wait another day to make them.

The awful thing is that I made these almost two weeks ago. I ate them almost two weeks ago. And in the intervening time, I’ve done very little besides work and watch TV shows and dip various fruits in the leftover cinnamon-roll syrup.

We got Netflix for the X-Box. It’s the first time I’ve had unlimited access to television shows since I moved out of my parents’ house.

I’m not going to get my life back until I’ve watched everything good that’s come out in the last eight years. That’s just all there is to it.

Anyway. Pancakes. There’s a vegetable in them, which means that they’re probably healthy, which means that you definitely don’t have to feel guilty about the fact that you’re going to douse them in a syrup made completely out of brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon. It’s all about balance.

Pictured: Balanced breakfast. Sort of.

The sweet potato flavor is mild. The texture it imparts is not. These are the softest pancakes in the world. Also slightly salty. Also, you should probably just go straight to the recipe now, because everything that isn’t making these is really just a waste of your time.

Ingredients (makes 12 pancakes, serves 4)

1 1/4 cups sweet potato puree

3/4 cups flour

3/4 T baking soda

3/4 t kosher salt (bigger crystals are better)

1/2 t cinnamon

1/4 t nutmeg

2 T butter, melted

1 egg

3/4 cup milk

2 T molasses

1 T vanilla extract


Sift the flour, salt, baking soda, and spices together.

Push the sweet potato puree through a fine-mesh sieve onto the dry ingredients. It will take a lot of pushing. You will probably hate me for it.

This removes any unpleasant stringly bits. if you happen to like unpleasant stringly things in your pancakes, you may skip the sieve, but I do reserve the right to call you weird.

Mix the dry ingredients and the sweet potato together.

Pour in the butter, egg, molasses, vanilla, and milk.

Mix just to combine.

[Of course I didn’t take a picture of the batter. That would have been sensible. It looks like pancake batter, only orange.]

Plop some butter in your favorite skillet.

Yes, I have a favorite skillet. This one. And the cast iron. Not that other one, though. It's on the list.

Melt it over medium-high heat.

Pour pancake batter in 1/4 cup scoops into your buttery skillet.

Wait until the bubbles that pop on the topside of your pancakes leave determined little pockmarks behind instead of just filling back up.

Then flip ’em. Cook for about a minute on the second side.

While all that’s going on, you probably want to start thinking about the syrup. I’m guessing you have a bottle of syrup hanging out in your fridge door right now. It might be a cheap plastic bottle of mostly corn syrup. It might be best-quality Vermont maple.

You may as well just throw it away, because this syrup is going to knock your socks off.

I keep calling it cinnamon roll syrup, because that’s what it tastes like: the ooey, gooey cinnamon-sugar filling of a cinnamon roll.

Ingredients (serves 4-6)

1 stick (8 T, 1/2 cup) of butter

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup water

2 T cinnamon


Put the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.

Melt it. If you’re more patient than I am, brown it. I was extremely busy not burning pancakes, thank you very much.

Add the brown sugar. Don’t just upturn the cup measure into the butter, though! Tightly packed brown sugar will land in the butter like a rock and splash boiling butter all over you and you freshly laundered shirt. Not that I’d know from experience or anything.

Stir the sugar into the butter.

Bring it to a lovely sticky boil. Remember Candy Land? This stuff should look like Gloppy the Molasses Monster come to life.

If your parents made you play KosherLand instead, you have nothing to compare it with. Sorry about that.*

What, you thought I made it up?**

Once it’s boiling nicely, reduce the heat to medium-low. Move your camera a safe distance away and pour in the water.

Stir vigorously, then let it boil again.

Keep boiling for 8-10 minutes. It will become very rich and dark.

Remove the syrup from heat and let it cool enough to stop bubbling. Toss in the cinnamon and mix well.

Serve over the sweet potato pancakes, or dip bananas or apples in it, or just eat it with a spoon.

The syrup seems to keep in the fridge for at least ten days. I can’t vouch for longer than that, because I ate it all. As for the pancakes, we devoured them. Breakfast one morning, dinner the next night. I think this is one of those dishes we have to put on the guests-only list, or risk undoing any good our new cardio routine might be doing us. Because the pancakes themselves are almost–but not quite–savory, they really beg for this over-the top sweet syrup. Because the syrup is so over the top, the sweet-potatoful pancakes really smooth it out, providing a perfect base for the syrup. But really, I don’t know why you’re still reading this. Go make pancakes.

* My parents didn’t actually hate me, therefore I got to play real Candy Land, which is merely boring, as opposed to KosherLand, which is both boring and preachy.

** If I recall correctly, instead of Gloppy the Molasses Monster,  Kosherland has a swamp of Oops-I-Mixed-Meat-With-Milk, and also the treats are matzoh. With faces. Talk about nightmare fuel.




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  1. #1 by Princess Aioli on September 21, 2011 - 8:27 PM

    Looks awesome – I’m putting these on my must-make-immediately-if-not-sooner list. Question – is there a reason for the specific salt preference? I pretty must use sea salt in everything!

    • #2 by koshercorvid on September 21, 2011 - 9:35 PM

      Great big salt crystals don’t break down completely when the batter is mixed, and I like the little crunch and burst of salt flavor every two bites or so. Then again, I add a scary amount of salt to just about everything, so maybe normal people wouldn’t like that. Flaky sea salt would be perfect, I just try to avoid the use of fine-grain table salt in anything but liquids because it makes the flavor too uniform for my taste.

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