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Sweet Potato Buttermilk Pancakes

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Leftovers never tasted so good.

stack of pancakes from Thanksgiving leftovers on plate with sugar

Pancakes are good. Buttermilk pancakes made with brown sugar, butter, and leftover candied sweet potato are even better. This recipe for buttermilk sweet potato pancakes transforms Thanksgiving side dish leftovers into an amazing, post-feast breakfast.

You’ll also like: Multigrain Waffles and How to Perfectly Fry an Egg

ingredients for sweet potato pancakes butter yams brown sugar

Thanksgiving leftovers can be tough — literally and figuratively. Sure, you can reheat everything into “Thanksgiving Dinner: The (Less Exciting) Sequel.” But I love when an old dish gets a whole new purpose in life, and becomes something fresh and wholly unrelated to yesterday’s dinner.

Enter these buttermilk sweet potato pancakes. These taste like traditional (good) breakfast pancakes, but with a bonus. In addition to their mild orange color, the sweet potato makes it extra moist, even silky. Add maple syrup and a generous dollop of butter and you just won breakfast.

buttermilk pancakes in skillet with pancake batter

Recipe Notes: Sweet Potato Buttermilk Pancakes

  • You can easily use plain sweet potatoes instead of candied sweet potato leftovers. Just add 1 tablespoon of packed brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of melted butter, and a pinch of salt to each cup of plain sweet potato and proceed. This mimics candied sweet potato.
  • This recipe is more about silky and rich texture than in-your-face sweet potato flavor. The candied sweet potatoes serve mostly to add moistness, color, and richness. Nutmeg, vanilla, and cinnamon add interest and mild flavor.
  • Your skillet temperature is key. Cook pancakes on a too-hot skillet and the outsides will burn while the inside stays raw. These sweet potato pancakes cook best on a medium-low heat, on a lightly-greased skillet. Sweet potatoes contain moisture and make a more dense pancake than regular pancake batter, so they will need longer to cook through.
  • Variation: Add a 1/2 cup of chopped pecans.

Did you make these pancakes with your Thanksgiving leftovers? How’d they taste?

stack of sweet potato pancakes from Thanksgiving leftovers on plate with sugar

stack of sweet potato pancakes from Thanksgiving leftovers on plate with sugar

Sweet Potato Buttermilk Pancakes

Transform a Thanksgiving side dish into a fabulous pancake breakfast.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keywords:: breakfast, brunch, buttermilk pancakes, leftovers, pancakes, sweet potato, thanksgiving, yams
Servings: 12 to 14 pancakes, for 2 to 4 people


  • 1 cup leftover mashed sweet potato, or 1 cup plain sweet potato mixed with 1 tablespoon each melted butter, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt
  • 2 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch grated nutmeg
  • neutral vegetable oil (such as canola) to grease the pan


  • Preheat the oven to 200°F. This will be your warming oven.
  • Combine the buttermilk, sweet potatoes, egg, vanilla, brown sugar, and melted butter in a bowl. Whisk until fully emulsified. It should look pale orange.
  • Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl. Whisk until fully mixed. Make a well in the center and pour in the buttermilk mixture. Stir just until combined. Do not overmix.
  • Lightly grease a large skillet over medium heat. Test the skillet with a small drop of batter. It should gently sizzle. Add 1/3 cup batches of batter to the skillet, leaving space between each. Lower the heat to medium-low if the pancakes are browning too quickly.
  • When the bottom of the pancakes have browned and the tops form bubbles and look dry around the edges, flip. Cook for another two minutes or so, until golden brown.
  • Transfer to a plate and keep warm in the oven. Repeat, greasing the skillet as necessary. Serve hot with pure maple syrup.


  • Wendy McIntosh

    5 stars
    Greetings from Toronto! I usually don’t make/eat pancakes because I think they are so plain, but these were wonderful! The sweet potato color/texture and the hint of cinnamon and buttermilk tanginess were great. I’m converted! Mostly. Usually I am an egg person 🙂 Love your blog.

    • Unpeeled

      Thanks, Wendy! That’s awesome. Hope you’re staying warm up there!!

  • 4 stars
    The flavor was excellent but I had trouble getting the center to fully cook. Maybe a skillet temperature issue?

    • Unpeeled

      That would be my guess. These are a little more dense than regular pancakes because of the sweet potatoes, so they take longer to cook through. Make sure the skillet is medium-low so they don’t brown on the outside too early, and give them just a little extra time perside next time. Hope it works out!

  • Marissa T.

    5 stars
    These sweet potato pancakes are the best thing I have ever made with leftover sweet potatoes! This batter was easy to make, and they were devoured! I probably should have doubled the recipe, in fact. I shared this recipe with my friends.

  • Francis

    5 stars
    wow are these good!!!! I am going to make these often. so much better than regular pancakes.

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