My Sweet Potato Pancakes with Sweetcorn & Chilli are the perfect upgrade to a weekend breakfast or brunch. They’re a soft and fluffy excuse to add a little extra veg to proceedings and they make a great combo with avocado and bacon too. Or maybe just some syrup!
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Many years ago, I used to use a recipe for sweetcorn pancakes from a source that I simply cannot find again! I’ve been browsing the internet for years looking for it. All I can remember is that it involved whisking the egg whites, blitzed sweetcorn and the recipe included an avocado crema.
So I spent several weeks trying to recreate it. And then I added some sweet potato puree because sweet potato makes everything better. And you know what? I think the recipe I’ve ended up with it better. Go me!
These sweetcorn pancakes are just perfect as a brunch dish or light summer meal. They would also make a nice little starter or side to some grilled meat and salad.
How to Make Sweet Potato Pancakes – Step By Step Video
Ingredients for Sweet Potato Pancakes with Sweetcorn & Chilli
I started with an uncooked sweet potato, cooked it and made a puree. You could use another type of sweet potato puree like tinned or start with frozen cubed potato. 280g of uncooked sweet potato gave me 100g puree. So as long as you end up with the right amount of puree, it doesn’t matter how you get there!
If you don’t have a microwave for speedy potato cooking, you could roast the potato in the oven like a normal jacket or baked potato. Obviously this will take a little longer so you will need to factor in extra time.
There are two types of sweetcorn in this recipe – “cream style” and regular kernels.
The cream style corn is available in tins in most supermarkets. I always a keep a tin in the cupboard for emergency pancakes or chowder. You can make your own by blitzing regular kernels in a blender with a little milk or water. Don’t strain it though as the texture is still vital to the overall texture of the pancakes.
I use frozen sweetcorn kernels. Again this is something that I always keep stocked in the house but tinned or fresh kernels would work great too. I do actually love the crunch that fresh provides.
Cornmeal / Instant Polenta
Cornmeal isn’t quite such a common ingredient in the UK as it is in the USA. We interchangeable label it cornmeal or instant/quick cook polenta. They are all the same product but should not be confused with cornflour which is a much finer grind used for thickening sauces.
(Cornflour is called cornstarch in the US where they sometimes label cornmeal as cornflour. Confusing right!).
Whilst I wouldn’t advise messing with the quantities/rations of the basic wet and dry ingredients, you can change up some of the flavours.
The red onion and sweetcorn kernels, are fair game to be changed. I most often use shallot instead of red onion or even use chopped spring onion. You could use any other finely chopped or grated veg like courgette or carrot in place of the sweetcorn.
Fresh red chilli would work in place of the dried but if you are not a fan of chilli, simply leave the chilli flakes out.
I also love to add fresh coriander or chives to the mix and me being me, I also often add crispy fried bacon pieces right into the batter.
Your other option to mix things up is to bake the pancakes on a baking tray in the oven instead of frying them in batches. This is a great way to make larger quantities. The texture of the finished pancakes is a little chewier but this just makes them perfect for adding to a lunch box or taking on a picnic.
Make it Vegetarian
I actually didn’t add bacon to the recipe so these Sweet Potato and Corn Pancakes are naturally vegetarian!
Make it Vegan
Whilst these Sweet Potato Pancakes are easily suitable for vegetarians, there is a little more work involved in making them vegan suitable. But not remotely impossible!
You should first note that “cream style corn” doesn’t (or certainly shouldn’t!) contain cream. All of the tins I’ve checked are suitable for vegans. So thats one thing to not have to worry about!
Which leaves the egg. Firstly replace 1 egg yolk with 1 tsp vegetable oil. To replace the egg white, you will need aquafaba. This is the liquid in a can of chickpeas. (You could make my hummus recipe with the chickpeas – just sayin’!)
I know it sounds ridiculous but 2 tbsp of the liquid is equivalent to 1 egg white and whips up to look exactly the same as whipped egg. And don’t be put off the the odd smell, you do not taste or smell this in the finished product. Apparently.
Make it Allergy Friendly
This recipe is free from nuts.
Gluten Free: The only gluten containing ingredient in this recipe is a small amount of plain flour. You can either substitute a gluten free flour or use cornflour. Do also ensure that your baking powder does not contain gluten.
Dairy Free: Despite the word “cream” in the ingredient list, there is no dairy in this recipe.
Egg Free: Follow the instructions given above to make the pancakes suitable for vegans.
Please note that this recipe may contain other allergens not referred to above and any variations suggested have not been tested unless otherwise stated. For more information regarding any dietary information provided on this website, please refer to my Nutritional Disclaimer.
Equipment Notes for Sweet Potato Pancakes with Sweetcorn & Chilli
If your microwave hasn’t yet arrived, you can cook the sweet potato in the oven just as you would a baked potato.
I generally whip out my electric hand mixer to whip up the egg whites. I could alternatively pop them in my stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Or you could use an old fashioned whisk and some elbow grease. They won’t take that long to whisk to be fair.
I use a good large frying pan so that I can make as many pancakes in one batch as possible without crowding the pan. A pancake pan would work if you have one but I wouldn’t recommend buying one especially.
I almost never use an ice cream scoop for scooping ice cream as I don’t eat it much. But mine is used constantly for portioning out cake or pancake batter. The trick is to look for an old fashioned one with a spring loaded scraper.
A comprehensive list of the equipment used to make this recipe is included in the main recipe card below. Click on any item to see an example. There are no hard and fast rules so many items can be sensibly substituted to achieve the same results.
This is not the best recipe to make ahead of time if you are looking for a warm and fluffy pancake. Some of the ingredients can however be prepared in advance. Most notably the sweet potato puree will keep in the fridge for a day or two. The dry ingredients could also be weighed out and put aside for later.
The rest of the ingredients really should be combined just before baking, especially the egg.
Baking the pancakes in the oven which results in a slightly chewier pancake does however make a pancake that keeps in the fridge and retains its texture for a couple of the days.
Sweet Potato Pancake Tips
When whisking your egg whites, make sure that your bowl and whisk are perfectly clean. Any grease can make the eggs fail to whisk up properly.
Talking of whisking egg whites, if you crack your yolk and get a little in the white, you will unfortunately need to start again. Yolk has the same effect as any grease.
Be gentle, they’re quite fragile pancakes despite being fairly dense.
Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you try making this recipe – I want to know what you think and if you made any substitutions, how did it turn out?
Still Have Questions?
Simple! Just contact me and I will do my best to help as quickly as I am able. Head over to my Contact Me page, any of my social media channels or post a comment at the bottom of this page and I’ll see what I can do.
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Sweet Potato Pancakes with Sweetcorn & Chilli Recipe
- 280 g Sweet Potato - Rough uncooked weight
- 1 Egg
- 50 g Red Onion
- 200 g Cream-style Sweetcorn
- 150 g Sweetcorn
- 20 g Cornmeal / Instant Polenta
- 25 g Plain Flour (All Purpose)
- 1 tsp Sea Salt Flakes
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Dried Chilli Flakes
- Oil Spray
- Prick 280g Sweet Potato all over and pop in the microwave for 8 minutes. Check if soft all the way through and if not, continue to microwave in 1 or 2 minute increments.
- Meanwhile, separate 1 Egg and pop the egg yolk in a small mixing bowl.
- Whisk the egg white until firm peaks form.
- Finely dice 50g Red Onion and add to the egg yolk.
- Also add 200g Cream-style Sweetcorn, 150g Sweetcorn, 20g Cornmeal / Instant Polenta, 20g Plain Flour, 1 tsp Sea Salt Flakes, 1 tsp Baking Powder and 1 tsp Dried Chili Flakes.
- The sweet potato should be cooked by now so take it out of the microwave. Chop it into quarters and leave it to cool slightly.
- Once cool enough to handle, remove the flesh from the sweet potatoes and use the back of a fork to make it into a puree.
- Add the mushed sweet potato to the other ingredients and stir everything together.
- Gently fold in the whisked egg whites. Start with one spoonful.
- Then fold in the rest.
- Don’t overbeat the batter or you will lose the air whipped into the egg whites.
- Warm a frying pan on a medium heat and spray in a little oil. When the pan is hot, use a large dessert spoon or small ice cream scoop to add four scoops of the mixture into the pan.
- Use the back of the scoop or spoon to pat the mixture down into thinner patties.
- Cook for 3 to 4 minutes before flipping each pancake over. Cook the second side for another 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown.
- Continue to cook the pancakes in batches of 4 until all cooked.