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Black Sesame Sweet Potato Pancakes

These pancakes are chewy black sesame-stuffed nuggets that are great for snacking. The dough is finicky to handle, but they fry up beautifully.


  • For the black sesame sugar:
  • 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • For the pancakes:
  • 3/4 cup cooked mashed sweet potato (baking the potato yields the best and sweetest flavor, but you can also microwave or steam it)
  • 10 tablespoons sweet rice or glutinous rice flour
  • ½ tablespoon sugar more to taste
  • white or black sesame seeds for garnish (optional)


  • Rinse your sesame seeds in a very fine mesh strainer and then toast in a skillet over medium heat until they begin to pop. In a food processor, add the toasted sesame seeds and sugars. Process until fully combined and the seeds have reached the consistency of sugar (do not overprocess to a paste).
  • Stir the sweet potato together with the sweet rice flour and sugar until fully combined. Add more rice flour, a tablespoon at a time if the dough seems unmanageable sticky. You can add additional sweetener to compensate for any added starch to taste.
  • Start preheating a lightly greased pan over medium heat. Scoop out slightly mounded tablespoons of dough at a time and flatten in your palm. Fill with ½ teaspoon of black sesame sugar and gently fold the edges of the pancake over the mound of sesame sugar. This can be a finicky process; I’ve found wetting my hands with a little water helps keep the dough from sticking quite as much.
  • Press a few sesame seeds on top (this is purely for aesthetic purposes).
  • Nudge the tablespoon of dough directly from your palm into the pan. These are so delicate that I found I had to cook them as I made them; there can be no transferring of the pancakes from your palm to anywhere else lest you tear them.
  • Cook for a few minutes on each side until golden. Eat warm!


The recipe as written will make more than double the amount of sesame sugar you'll need, but I wasn't sure if my food processor would manage to properly process half the amount. Use the rest to make another batch, or throw it into a frosting for an interesting kick!
Black sesame sugar from here, pancakes adapted from here.

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