Sweet Potato Cakes with Preserved Lemon Yogurt Sauce


Do you ever flip through a cookbook and a recipe catches your eye but wonder how to turn what looks like an appetizer into a full hearty meal for your family?

These sweet potato cakes with preserved lemon yogurt sauce are allergy friendly with dairy free, soy free and gluten free options.

Fritters and patties are a great way to get veggies incorporated into your family’s diet with minimal effort. These sweet potato cakes are in rotation in our house for an easy, flavorful weeknight meal. The original recipe is adapted from one of my favorite cookbook authors, Yotam Ottolenghi from his book, Plenty.

I’ve mixed in cilantro and plenty of cumin to add flavor. Instead of all purpose flour, I’ve made this successfully before with both rice and spelt flours. These flours impart a nice flavor and are good for you too.

The preserved lemon sauce adds zing that can be drizzled on top. Lemons are flavorful and abundant right now. My favorite variety are meyer lemons which grow abundantly here in Berkeley. They taste both sweet and tangy. If you can find them at your local market, give them a try.

Better yet, preserve them so you can enjoy all year round. Preserving lemons are easy and nice to have on hand. They taste great in salads, dressings, and sauces. I’m using up the last of my preserved lemons, hoping to make a new batch soon with my preserved meyer lemon recipe.

If you don’t have lemons to preserve or buy, don’t sweat it. Simply add lemon juice plus a little zest to the sauce. You can also use the sauce as a veggie dip or substitute thicker greek yogurt to serve on a crudite platter. I sometimes add fresh herbs such as mint or a garlic clove for extra flavor.

This allergy friendly meal will come together in an hour.  It’s versatile and can be served as a side with protein or add a poached egg on top to keep it vegetarian. It can be eaten at room temperature and makes a nice school lunch to pack for the kids. There are “plenty” of options. Enjoy 💚

Version 2

Sweet Potato Cakes With Preserved Lemon Yogurt Sauce

Adapted from: Yotam Ottolenghi, Plenty

Serving: 4

Free from: tree nuts, peanut, sesame, egg. Dairy, gluten & top 8 free options below.

For cakes: 

  • 2 1/4 pounds peeled yams or sweet potatoes, cut into large chunks ( about 3 medium). *See Notes below 
  • 2 teaspoon soy sauce, tamari (gluten free) or coconut aminos
  • scant 3/4 cup spelt or rice flour (gluten free option)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 small garlic, crushed
  • 3 tablespoon chopped green onion
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • avocado oil, for frying, about 2-3 tablespoons

For preserved lemon-yogurt sauce: 

  • 3/4 cup full fat yogurt. You can use any plant based yogurt too.
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 preserved lemon (pulp removed, skin rinsed & pat dried)- finely diced plus a little squeeze of fresh lemon juice or see *Notes
  • salt and pepper

Using an insert, steam sweet potatoes in a medium-large pot. Cover with lid until completely soft, about 15-20 minutes.  Drain and cool.

To make sauce: Whisk all ingredients together until smooth: set aside.

Once sweet potatoes have cooled, set into a mixing bowl and add remainder ingredients except avocado oil. Mix everything together by hand until mixture is smooth and even. Do not over mix.

Mixture should stick together. If it’s too runny, add more flour.  Using a small ice cream scoop, portion out single cakes onto a cookie sheet. Flatten down with your hand or the back of a spoon to create a disc. Make sure all discs are similar in thickness.

Warm a non-stick pan on med-high heat( use cast-iron if it is well seasoned). Add 1-2 tablespoons avocado oil.  Using a spatula, transfer discs from cookie sheet to pan. Fry cakes for about six minutes on each side or until you get a nice brown crust, adding more oil if needed. Place cakes on another large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper to soak up excess oil.

Serve hot or warm on a bed of greens or sprouts with yogurt sauce drizzled on top or on side.


  • I use yams for this recipe which have a dark orange, sweet flesh. Sweet potatoes and yams are sometimes referred to as the same vegetable.
  • If you don’t have preserved lemons, use 1 tablespoon lemon juice plus 1 teaspoon grated zest as a substitute

6 thoughts on “Sweet Potato Cakes with Preserved Lemon Yogurt Sauce

  1. I adore sweet potatoes (especially Garnet yams), but tend to prepare them the same way all the time. Thank you for this fresh & tasty inspiration Shahla! Plus, I can use my Meyer lemons in this too. Win-win 😉

  2. i’m always looking for new ways of using preserved lemon! This is such a nice and simple sauce idea that i’ll definitely try and drizzle on EVERYTHING.

    1. Hi Marias, it’s definitely a favorite especially if you love lemon. I hope you enjoy it! Thank you so much for reading & sharing ❤

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