Sweet Potato Savory Cake Recipe

Photo Credit: Anita Jaisinghani

I am a huge lover of many regions of Chinese cuisines and have learned a thing or two about their cooking methodologies. Glutinous rice flour, common in Chinese and Japanese cooking and, to a lesser degree, in Indian cuisine, is often used in mochi and sometimes in making savory pancakes. It’s hard to find in mainstream grocery stores, but worth the drive to Chinatown to take in all the other sights and smells. Considered a prebiotic, sweet rice flour, as it is also called, is a good source of zinc, fiber, and other vitamins. Always wanting to balance sweet with savory and spicy, try this sweet potato cake recipe — it makes a delicious breakfast with lots of herbed yogurt, and poached egg on the side.

Makes 8-10 slices | 4 hours

Sweet Potato Savory Cakes


  • 100 grams (7/8 cup) glutinous rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric  
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons salt  
  • 550 grams (2 large) sweet potatoes, boiled or roasted, peeled  
  • 1 whole serrano pepper, minced (optional)  
  • 100 grams (½ cup) olive oil  
  • 2 large eggs  
  • 60 grams (¼ cup) plain yogurt, whole or non-fat  
  • Pumpkin and sesame seeds for sprinkling on top

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease an 8- to 9-inch cake pan, preferably with a removable bottom. Combine rice flour with turmeric, baking powder, and salt and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, mix the sweet potato, serrano (if using), olive oil, and eggs until smooth and evenly mixed. Add the dry ingredients followed by the plain yogurt and mix until even.

Pour into the greased cake pan. Sprinkle with pumpkin and sesame seeds until almost all the surface is covered. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool for 2-3 hours before serving — it’s best served at room temperature.



  • 2 cups plain yogurt, full or nonfat  
  • 1 teaspoon salt  
  • 1 teaspoon pepper  
  • ¼ cup olive oil  
  • 4-5 sliced garlic cloves  
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds  
  • 1 cup herbs (oregano, rosemary, thyme, or sage)

Whisk the yogurt with salt and pepper into a serving bowl. Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan, and when it is just shy of smoking, add the sliced garlic and turn the heat to low. Let the garlic turn golden at the edges, then add the coriander seeds. They will pop and sizzle; immediately turn the heat off. Let the oil cool for 5-10 minutes then add the chopped herbs and drizzle over the yogurt before serving.

Notes & Variations

  • The cake will rise toward the end of baking and will deflate a bit. The consistency will be dense yet delicious.  
  • The same batter can also be cooked as pancakes on a skillet.  
  • The flavors of this cake/yogurt are strong and assertive — leave out the serrano in the cake and reduce or omit the coriander seeds in the yogurt for milder or mellow flavors.

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