Thursday, April 28, 2022

Y is for Yamcakes


#AtoZChallenge 2022 Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter

Yeah, so, it's "Y" and Imma say Yippee, the A to Z is almost over!

I couldn't think of anything to do for "Y" except yams, and I don't even like them.

I'm now making something with yams....

Okay, not really, because yams and sweet potatoes are two entirely different foods. According to the University of Illinois Extension Office, yams are native to Africa and Asia and can grow to 5 feet long. They have a tough, scaly skin that is hard to remove and are starchier and drier than sweet potatoes.

Sweet potatoes have a thin, smooth skin and are classified as either "firm" or "soft." The soft ones become soft, moist, and sweet when cooked and typically have dark orange skin and flesh. They are native to Central and South America. 

The confusion of names began when African slaves began calling "soft" sweet potatoes "yams" because they resembled the yams from Africa. The "firm" sweet potatoes were introduced to the US first, so when the "soft" variety were first grown commercially, they were called "yams" to differentiate them from the "firm" variety. Today, the USDA requires that when "yam" is being used to describe sweet potatoes, the words "sweet potato" must also be included in their labeling. Unless you found it at an ethnic market, most likely the yams you are eating are actually sweet potatoes. 

I couldn't find a recipe for anything I would remotely eat that was made with yams/sweet potatoes, so I decided to make my OWN recipe. If I can make pumpkin pancakes and applesauce pancakes, what's to keep me from making yams/sweet potato pancakes? Nothing! May I present....


15 oz can yams/cut sweet potatoes in syrup*
2 cups buttermilk complete pancake mix
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. clove
1-1/4 to 1-1/2 c. water (I didn't measure very well, so at the risk of turning into my great aunt Daisy, put in enough water to make a batter)

Forgot the brown sugar for the photo. Oops.

Drain the yams/sweet potatoes and mash well with a fork. Add the dry ingredients and mix, then start adding water until it "looks right". Lightly grease whatever griddle or pan you like to use for pancakes, even if it's a non-stick one (since the batter has sugar in it, they are more likely to stick than plain pancakes) and cook the yamcakes. Turn over when the bubbles on the surface stop popping. Remove to plate, sprinkle with powdered sugar, and serve with your favorite syrup. Makes 6-8 good sized yamcakes. 

*something you should know (or may already know if you use canned sweet potatoes for other dishes), but sweet potatoes have weird little hairy bits on them that don't always get removed in the peeling process in the sweet potato factory. I picked all of them out because YUCK

It may be part of the potato, but I
recommend picking off those hairy parts.

Sideways photo of dry ingredients.
Beyond caring about it.

Stir, stir

They smell really good.


With addition of pecans.

My husband said they were great, REALLY great, second only to the Hot Honey Chicken I made for "H" as far as my A to Z experiments went. I made him a couple with pecans sprinkled on them, and he declared them EVEN BETTER.

So what seemed like a big Yuck to me turned out to be an even bigger Yum!


  1. As a sweet potato fan, i approve!

  2. Sweet potato pancakes sounds good! We make them in a savoury version along with peanut powder and Sago pearls. Good going on the AtoZ! Have a great day!

  3. These sound like something I might try sometime!