Make Sweet Potato Pancakes Vegan & Delicious The Easy Way

Making sweet potato pancakes vegan and delicious is easier than you think!

We love pancakes. 🥞 They’re a delicious breakfast treat we’re sure many of you have made, but they typically require a lot of time and effort.

We’ve broken down the process for you to make it simple and clear.

Once you become a sweet potato pancakes vegan expert, you can adapt this recipe to make new, flavorful creations.

Health

What Are Sweet Potato Health Benefits?

Sweet potatoes are a nutritional powerhouse packed with minerals, vitamins and fibers. They are so versatile in the kitchen that you can enjoy them for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a healthy snack.

Sweet potatoes have many health benefits:

  • Just one sweet potato (especially with skin on) is packed with essential minerals, nutrients and antioxidants that protect our bodies against free radicals. These are harmful, unstable molecules that can cause inflammation and are linked to premature aging, cancer and heart diseases.
  • We know how important gut health is in promoting stronger immunity, improved sleep, improved digestion and an overall feeling of well-being. The fibers and antioxidants in sweet potatoes encourage the growth of good gut bacteria and promote a healthy gut.
  • Sweet potatoes have a very high content of beta-carotene, which gives them their distinct orange color. This beta-carotene is vital for good eye health and can help prevent damage to eye cells. The deeper the orange hue, the higher the beta-carotene content.
  • The beta-carotene in orange sweet potatoes gets converted to Vitamin A in our bodies. Vitamin A significantly boosts immunity and supports gut health, keeping disease-causing pathogens at bay. Adding a little fat, as olive oil or coconut oil, can help in the absorption of beta-carotene.
  • The high fiber content in sweet potatoes helps with maintaining a healthy weight and also reduces the risks of chronic diseases such as diabetes and high cholesterol

Are Sweet Potato Pancakes Vegan?

A traditional pancake recipe needs eggs and milk. To make it vegan, we use alternatives for these ingredients. Any non-dairy milk – like almond milk, soy or oat milk – works well; just make sure it’s unflavored and unsweetened.

In pancake recipes, eggs provide lightness and lift, acting like a leavening agent. They also help bind the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. For vegan pancakes, there are quite a few substitutes for eggs:

  • Baking soda and apple cider vinegar react to form bubbles, which give the pancakes their lift and lightness.
  • Flaxseeds can be ground up and mixed with warm water (1 part flaxseed:3 parts water) to form a gel-like mixture, which acts as a binder.
  • Chia seeds can be mixed with hot water (1 part chia seeds to 3 parts hot water) to form a gel-like mixture that can be added to the batter.
  • Substitute 1 egg with a ¼ cup of mashed banana.

Are Sweet Potatoes Good For You?

Think of sweet potatoes as regular potatoes with a little extra oomph. Compared to the traditional white spud, sweet potatoes are lower in calories and carbohydrates. They’re also significantly higher in Vitamin A, which we know supports good skin and vision and gut health and higher immunity.

Sweet potatoes are also packed with other vitamins like B6 and C, which are essential for maintaining a healthy nervous system. The high content of magnesium and potassium improve heart health and regulates blood pressure.

So yes, sweet potatoes are good for us, but that doesn’t mean you reach for a plate of sweet potato fries every chance you get. There are many nutritious ways to incorporate this nutrient-dense food into your diet. Blend it into soup or a smoothie, oven bake into chips, add them to salads or stir-fries or enjoy in pancakes for breakfast.

Roasting, baking, boiling and steaming all preserve different nutrients in the sweet potatoes. However, be careful not to overcook as this can lead to loss of nutrients.

Are Sweet Potatoes High In Sugar?

Being a tuber, the sweet potato’s job is to provide a source of energy for plants by storing nutrients. In this case, this source of energy is starchy carbohydrates, so sweet potatoes are high in sugar. However, the type of carbohydrate matters.

This much sought-after tuber has a lower quantity of resistant starch, which makes up the carbohydrate content. Resistant starch cannot be digested by our bodies, so we rely on our guts to break these down. Since sweet potatoes have a paltry amount of resistant starch, they are actually easier on our gut and digestive systems.

Sweet potatoes also have a lower glycemic index, which is a measure of how quickly food converts to glucose. This is true when you opt to boil rather than bake or roast them. This means that sweet potatoes are less likely to cause a spike in blood sugar levels. The high fiber content in sweet potatoes slows down the conversion into glucose, thus avoiding that sugar spike and subsequent slump that most of us are afraid of.

Bottom line is that although sweet potatoes are high in sugar, they can actually satisfy our food cravings and keep us feeling full for a longer time. Their starch composition makes them easy to digest and, in moderation, they are a healthy addition to a balanced diet.

Are Sweet Potato Pancakes Vegan Gluten Free?

If you are looking to make sweet potato pancakes vegan and gluten-free, you need to substitute wheat-based flours such as spelt and all-purpose flour with gluten-free alternatives. Here are a few options to choose from:

  1. Coconut flour can be used instead of regular flour – use ¼ – ⅓ cup of coconut flour for every 1 cup of all-purpose flour. However, coconut flour is super absorbent and will soak up liquids quickly, so if you are using an egg substitute, you might need to add an extra “egg”. Just make sure the pancakes are not too dry.
  2. Almond flour adds a lovely nuttiness to the pancake mix, but like coconut flour, also absorbs more liquid than regular flour, although less than coconut flour. Substitute in a 1:1 ratio, but follow the same instructions as above for coconut flour.
  3. A combination of coconut and almond flour might be your best substitute as they balance each other out in terms of liquid absorption – coconut flour is super absorbent, almond flour less so. Use a 3:1 blend of almond to coconut flour. There is no need to adjust egg substitutes with this flour blend.
  4. Gluten-free oat flour can be made from rolled oats by pulsing in a food processor to a fine flour texture. This can be used instead of regular flour – use 1-⅓ cup of oat flour for 1 cup of regular flour.

Can You Make Sweet Potato Pancakes Vegan and Oil Free?

To get a fluffy texture, we recommend some fat when cooking the pancakes. However, you could use almond or nut butter instead of oil. They release their own fat and give the pancakes a lovely nutty flavor that combines well with the taste of sweet potato.

Can I Make Sweet Potato Pancakes Vegan With Almond Flour?

An important note to consider here is to make sure you’re using almond flour and not almond meal.

Almond flour is finer and gives the batter a light , fluffy texture, whereas almond meal is more lumpy and will give the pancakes a more cake-like texture. If you’re going for fluffy, be sure to use almond flour.

Pancakes made with almond flour can be a little more temperamental, so you need to make a few adjustments to your batter for the pancakes to hold together well. If your mixture is too runny, the pancakes will fall apart because:

  • Almond flours don’t absorb moisture too well, your batter can become a little runny. In this case, add a little coconut flour to the mix. Start with a 1 tablespoon and slowly increase the quantity as needed.
  • Another great tip to hold batters made with almond flour together is to add nut butter. Almond butters add a deliciously nutty flavor to the pancakes, while helping to thicken a runny batter.
  • Gluten-free starches such as tapioca or arrowroot starch can also absorb extra liquid without making the batter too dense. Start with a small quantity and gradually increase as needed.
  • Mashed up or pureed banana can be added to the pancake batter to soak up some of the extra moisture and give the batter a good, pourable consistency.

How Many Calories Are In Sweet Potato Pancakes?

The calories in a pancake don’t come from the pancake itself, but from what you choose to put on it.

The amount of calories in a sweet potato pancake, without toppings, will vary from 100 to 150 calories based on the ingredients used. Sweeteners such as coconut sugar, caramel sauce and maple syrup will increase the amount of calories per pancake.

If you smother your pancake in vegan butter, toppings, sauces or maple syrup, that figure goes up to between 200 – 300 calories per pancake.

How Do You Make Sweet Potato Pancakes From Scratch?

Pancakes always remind me of home and that’s why they are such a popular food choice for many. There is a warmth and nostalgia associated with pancakes that other breakfast foods just can’t top!

So let’s look at how to make these delightfully healthy sweet potato pancakes vegan from scratch.

What Ingredients Do You Need And Why?

The list of ingredients is not long, but you can modify and adapt these to suit your health choices and tastes.

Here are the basics of what you will need to make a sweet potato pancake.

  • Flour – This forms the base of the pancake. Spelt and whole wheat flours work best for traditional pancakes. Substitute these with gluten-free flours for a healthier option.
  • Sweetener – Organic maple syrup, date syrup or coconut sugar all add wonderful flavors to a sweet potato pancake. Coconut sugar works well with the sweet potato for a rich, caramel flavor.
  • Baking powder – This gives the pancake its fluffy texture.
  • Ground flaxseed – These are the binding and leavening agents used instead of eggs in vegan pancakes. They bind the wet and dry ingredients together and also help to thicken the batter.
  • Vanilla and spices (cinnamon, nutmeg) – For a flavorful punch!
  • Salt – Enhances the flavors and balances the sweetness. If you are leaving out the sweetener, then omit the salt.
  • Sweet potato – For flavor and color.

How To Roast A Sweet Potato

The key to delicious tasting sweet potato pancakes is to get the maximum flavor out of your sweet potato. Roasting in the oven tenderizes the sweet potato and also caramelizes it for that sweet fall flavor.

To roast a sweet potato:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature allows the potatoes to cook through fully, while also caramelizing them a little.
  2. Clean your sweet potato with a vegetable brush and poke holes in it with a fork.
  3. Then wrap it in foil and place on your baking tray to preserve the moisture and prevent the oven from getting all messy. Alternately, you can also slice the potato in half lengthwise, rub a little olive oil on it to stop it from sticking and to help with caramelization and bake cut side down.
  4. A medium-sized sweet potato should take about 25-30 minutes to cook; a larger one can take between 45-60 minutes. A well-cooked sweet potato will have some give in it when pressed.

Sweet potatoes can be baked and frozen a few days before to save time.

How Do You Make Sweet Potato Pancakes?

There are many recipes on the internet for making sweet potato pancakes vegan and gluten-free.

This recipe from Virtual Vegan is simple, uses readily available ingredients, and the pancakes are deliciously light, fluffy and not cloyingly sweet.

Credit: Virtual Vegan

Dry Ingredients

  • 200g / 1½ cups flour , all-purpose (plain in the UK), spelt or whole wheat
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda, (bicarbonate of soda in the UK)
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or pumpkin spice or allspice

Wet Ingredients

  • 300 ml / 1¼ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 85g / ⅓ packed cup cooked and cooled orange sweet potato
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon coconut oil, plus a bit more for the pan when cooking them
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

The recipe for vegan sweet potato pancakes is pretty straightforward.

  1. Mix all your dry ingredients well in a separate bowl.
  2. Blend your wet ingredients together in a blender till smooth.
  3. Add these to the dry ingredients
  4. Mix lightly until all the flour from the sides has been mixed in. Then allow the mixture to rest for a few minutes.
  5. Don’t over beat the batter and don’t use a blender – this activates the gluten and you’ll likely end up with chewy rather than fluffy pancakes.
  6. Oil a griddle or skillet with some coconut oil and use a quarter cup to measure out the batter for each pancake.
  7. Keep the heat medium to low so the pancakes don’t burn.
  8. Add to the skillet, cook 5-6 minutes or till you see lots of little bubbles forming on the top.
  9. Then flip and cook for 3-4 minutes on the other side till a nice golden brown.

Cooking Notes

Making sweet potato pancakes vegan and gluten needs a little more TLC than their traditional counterparts.

Here are a few tips to make sure you get the lightest, fluffiest and most flavorful pancakes that are moist and cooked to perfection!

  • You can’t rush a good pancake. Keeping the heat low to medium will ensure light fluffy pancakes and also prevent them from getting burnt.
  • These pancakes can be tricky to make, so unless you are a seasoned pancake maker, follow the quantities in the recipe. Weigh out the correct amount of flour and don’t tamp it down as you want the mixture to be well aired.
  • Don’t go crazy stirring the batter. For pancake perfection, it is important to mix the wet and dry ingredients until just combined.
  • Since vegan pancakes have no eggs in them, the batter tends to be thicker. Do not be tempted to add in more liquid or you’ll end up with a runny batter and flat pancakes.

Credit: Virtual Vegan

Can I Make Simple 3-ingredient Vegan Sweet Potato Pancakes?

If this recipe still feels too complicated and you just want a quick, easy fix, try this 3-ingredient vegan sweet potato pancake from Zucker & Jagdwurst. It needs just three ingredients: sweet potato for the base, applesauce as a sweetener and rice flour to bind and add a crispiness to the two softer ingredients. 

Just combine the three ingredients together to form a thick batter, shape into pancakes and fry till golden brown. Top with sweet or savory toppings. 

Credit: Zucker and Jagdwurst

How To Serve Vegan Sweet Potato Pancakes

There are many toppings you can add to enhance the flavors of sweet potato pancakes.

You might choose to go with sweet toppings to enhance the sweetness of the sweet potato. You could go with sweet fruit like blueberries or bananas for a healthy option, or sweet liquid toppers like maple syrup, walnut syrup, caramel sauce or coconut cream. You can even top with a dollop of vegan vanilla ice cream.

If you’re looking to have these for dinner or as a main meal, then you might even go for savory toppings like vegan butter, cheese, sour cream, chives, scallions, and even seitan or tofu! 

Or get creative and combine them – go with contrasting flavors like vegan cheese, syrup and walnuts as a topping. 

Depending on what you are in the mood for, sweet potato pancakes have such a delicious, mild sweetness that you can experiment with pretty much any topping.

Can I Freeze Vegan Pancakes?

You can store sweet potato pancakes in two ways: make the amount of pancakes you want and store the leftover batter or store individual cooked pancakes in the freezer. 

To store the batter, place in a zipper bag and freeze. When ready to make more pancakes, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, cut a corner of the zipper bag and pipe the batter onto the skillet. 

If storing pancakes, let them cool to room temperature and stack in a freezer-safe container, separating each pancake with a cookie sheet or baking paper. 

To reheat, you can microwave them, warm them on a skillet, pop them in a toaster or reheat in an oven until crisp and warm. Then enjoy with your favorite topping. 

Still Want More?

We hope you enjoyed this sweet potato pancakes vegan recipe. If you’re a pancake nut like us, you might enjoy our other cake recipes here:

Did you make this? Let us know in the comments (bonus points for pictures 😄)

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