Sweet Potato Corn Cakes with Garlic Dipping Sauce

$5.96 recipe / $0.60 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.80 from 50 votes
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I’ve been dying to post this all week because these Sweet Potato Corn Cakes are SOOO good and I just know that you’ll love them as much as I do… and if you don’t, I might be forced to ask myself what is wrong with you.

These are “every bite is better than the last one” good. They’re so good that they make you wonder why other food even exists when flavors this bright and vibrant are possible.

…and thats what I was thinking when eating the reheated leftovers a minute ago. So, can you imagine how good they were fresh? Probably not. It’s unimaginable. You have to experience it.

Anyway, enough gushing. Onto the important stuff.

First – This recipe makes a HUGE batch, so feel free to half it. I wouldn’t suggest trying to half a raw egg, instead just add more than half breadcrumbs (probably 3/4 cup) to make up for the extra moisture.

Second – These sweet potato corn cakes are fried. You’ll just have to accept that. I tried to bake some and they were horrid. Dry, poor texture, just not good. If you’re brave enough to try baking them yourself and actually have success, please share your technique… because I just couldn’t make it work.

Third – I demand that you to try these.

Sweet Potato Corn Cakes with Garlic Dipping Sauce

Three sweet potato corncake on a white plate with a dollop of sauce on top

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Sweet Potato Corn Cakes with Garlic Dipping Sauce

4.80 from 50 votes
Cumin, cilantro, and cayenne pepper add big flavor to these savory Sweet Potato Corn Cakes. Dip them in the creamy garlic sauce for even more zing!
Servings 10 about 3 cakes each
Prep 50 mins
Cook 30 mins
Total 1 hr 20 mins

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs sweet potatoes ($3.17)
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels ($0.30)
  • 2 green onions ($0.19)
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro, divided ($0.21)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper ($0.02)
  • 1 tsp cumin ($0.05)
  • 1 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • 1 large egg ($0.25)
  • 1/3 cup yellow cornmeal ($0.19)
  • 1 cup plain breadcrumbs ($0.50)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil for frying ($0.43)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt ($0.55)
  • 1 clove garlic ($0.08)

Instructions 

  • Begin by cooking the sweet potatoes. The fastest way to do this is in the microwave. Prick the skin of each potato with a fork. Wrap one potato in a paper towel, place it on a plate, and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Carefully remove it from the microwave, squeeze it to make sure it’s soft in the center, and the allow it cool as you cook the next one. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them open and scoop the flesh into a large bowl.
  • Slice the green onions and roughly chop a handful of cilantro (about 1/8th of a bunch). Add the green onions, cilantro, frozen corn kernels, salt, cumin, and cayenne pepper to the bowl with the cooked sweet potatoes. Stir until well combined. You can taste it at this point and adjust the seasoning as desired.
  • Add the breadcrumbs, cornmeal, and egg to the bowl. These ingredients will bind the mixture together and keep it from falling apart while cooking. Stir until evenly combined. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the breadcrumbs to absorb moisture.
  • While the sweet potato mixture is refrigerating, mix up the garlic sauce. In a small bowl combine the yogurt, one clove of well minced garlic, and a handful of cilantro leaves (roughly chopped). Stir until combined and then refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • After the sweet potato mixture has refrigerated, it’s time to cook. Add enough vegetable oil to fully cover the bottom of a medium skillet. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until the surface appears wavy (if it begins to smoke, remove it from the burner immediately and turn down the heat). Shape the sweet potato mixture into small patties (about 2-3 Tbsp each) and cook about 4 at a time in the hot oil. Cook until golden brown on each side; about 2 minutes per side. After cooking, place on a paper towel covered plate to drain. Add more oil to the skillet as needed.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 3CakesCalories: 342.95kcalCarbohydrates: 40.24gProtein: 5.45gFat: 18.23gSodium: 566.18mgFiber: 4.37g
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Serve warm with the garlic yogurt dipping sauce.

Top view of a plate of sweet potato corn cakes with a bowl of dipping sauce in the middle

Step By Step Photos

Four raw sweet potatoes being pricked with fork
Start by pricking the skin of each sweet potato to allow steam to escape as they cook. No one wants to clean exploded sweet potato out of their microwave.

one sweet potato wrapped in paper towel ready to microwave
Wrap one potato in a paper towel and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Carefully squeeze it to make sure it’s soft in the center and then cook the next one. I used one paper towel for all four sweet potatoes.

cooked sweet potato with top sliced open
They’ll be super hot when they come out of the microwave, so let them cool just a bit before cutting into them. Slice it open and scoop out the cooked flesh.

cooked sweet potato and other ingredients in mixing bowl with spoon
Place the cooked sweet potato in a bowl and add the frozen corn kernels (they’ll help cool the sweet potato the rest of the way), sliced green onions, roughly chopped cilantro, salt, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Stir it all together.

add binders (egg and cornmeal) to bowl of other ingredients
Now it’s time to add the binders. I used one egg, 1/3 cup of cornmeal (it helps bind and gives more texture than just breadcrumbs) and one cup of breadcrumbs. The breadcrumbs are not in the picture (don’t ask). Stir it all together and then refrigerate for 30 minutes.

garlic yogurt sauce in bowl with spoon
While the sweet potato mix is refrigerating, make the garlic yogurt sauce. Finely mince a clove of garlic and roughly chop another handful of cilantro. Stir those into a cup of plain yogurt. You can add a pinch of salt if you’d like. Refrigerate the sauce until you’re ready to serve.

chilled sweet potato mixture being measured out to form into cakes
After the mixture has chilled, it’s time to cook. Take about 2 Tbsp of sweet potato mix and shape it into a small patty. My mixture was still pretty wet/sticky, but it was shape-able.

four cakes in skillet with hot oil to fry
Heat some vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. You want the oil to be quite hot before adding the cakes. It should look wavy on the surface. You can take a pinch of the sweet potato mixture and add it to the skillet to test it. It should sizzle heavily. Add about four patties to the skillet and cook until deep golden brown on one side, then flip.

fried cakes in skillet
Cook on the other side in the same manner. It should only take about two minutes per side. Try not to make your patties too thick otherwise the inside won’t heat through before the outside browns. About a half inch thick is good.

sweet potato cakes draining on paper towel
Place the cooked sweet potato cakes on a paper towel lined plate and cook the next batch. Add more oil as needed, always allowing it to heat up before adding more sweet potato cakes.

Four sweet potato corn cakes on a plate garnished with cilantro

Close up of one corn cake dipped in sauce
Why, hello there little warm, delicious sweet potato corn cakes…

Cumin, cilantro, and cayenne pepper add big flavor to these savory Sweet Potato Corn Cakes. Dip them in the creamy garlic sauce for even more zing! BudgetBytes.com
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  1. I’m honestly a terrible cook, so I was reluctant to try making these, but you explained the recipe really well and it was easy to follow. My first batch was a little bit thick, then my next batch was a little bit burnt, etc, etc, but I eventually got them just right and. . They were so delicious! They’re my new favorite food, and I make them every chance I get using your tutorial. Thank you so much!

    1. I know it’s a year since this was asked but maybe useful for others, cashew cream would be a great vegan sub for yogurt. 

  2. Loved these! What I especially loved is that I didn’t have to read a novel to get to the recipe. Well done! Love this blog!

  3. So good, my husband loves anything with sweet potatoes! He came home from work and gobbled them down while I was still cooking them!!

  4. Do these freeze well? I’m the lone vegetarian in my household so would not even close be able to eat them all at once! Thanks! 

    1. Yes I think if you put them on some parchment or wax paper in a freezer bag they would be great to snag and reheat at your leisure!

  5. I actually baked these and they were just fine! I didn’t put in any breadcrumbs though as I didn’t have any, just doubled the cornmeal and used loads more spices. Then baked for 30 mins or so at 180 c on a silicone baking mat. They weren’t as crispy as they look in the pictures but they tasted great.

  6. Hi! I wanted to make these for a dinner party – can I make the mixture a day before and keep in the fridge overnight, then shape and fry the next day? Also, how many sweet potatoes would equal the pounds you mentioned? Is it 4 medium as you mentioned in the step by step? Thank you!

    1. Hi, yes, I think you can definitely mix this up and refrigerate overnight, then shape and fry the next day. The exact number of sweet potatoes will vary quite a bit depending on the size and shape of the sweet potatoes, so make sure to use the scale at the grocery store and aim for as close to 3 pounds as you can. :)