How to make crispy vegan latkes

Growing up in my house, come Hanukkah, a good latke was currency. If you learned the secrets of a crispy, never soggy, fried potato pancake you had earned your keep. My mother kept us just out of the way of popping oil, letting my younger sister and I take turns flipping. We devoured them almost as quickly as we cooked them. Latkes were a special occasion, a greasy, savory delight topped with spoonfuls of tart applesauce and rich sour cream. Or a little of both. Normally bond together with an egg, these vegan latkes are absolutely just as, if not more so, delicious.

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forming latke patties
vegan latkes frying

While traditional latkes are made with onion and potatoes (I mean, what a combination) this is a great use-it-up recipe for other root vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnips, beets, and turnips. A wonderful way to showcase our winter produce. Latkes can be a seasonal delight. Who says you only need 8 days of lights just to fry up some joy?

You can also try swapping your herbs and seasonings with whatever you have handy. Garlic and onion powder are highly recommended but try infusing these vegan latkes with sage, rosemary, thyme, or dill for something unexpected. Potato starch will help bind and crisp these pancakes. The quicker you can toss off the excess liquid, the more starch you’ll be able to reserve. And who isn’t a fan of a crispy potato?

Applesauce and sour cream are the usual holiday toppers. A bright, acidic fruit to counter the fat and / or a smooth dairy to balance your flavors. Something like a zucchini top applesauce will always be a personal favorite. We’re indulging this recipe with a cashew sour cream for a plant-based alternative and friends, it is divine. So very excited to share a vegan option to celebrate the season of lights. Shalom and enjoy!

Stay hungry,
Hawnuh Lee
Founder | Editor, Closed Loop Cooking

How to make crispy vegan latkes   by

Delicious, vegan potato pancakes. Perfect for celebrating Hanukkah or any time of year! Crispy, full of seasonal root vegetables and plant-based perfection when topped with applesauce, cashew vegan sour cream, and scallions. Enjoy!

makes: 15, 3" latkes | prep time: 10 min | total time: 45 min

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vegan latkes


  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax meal + 2 tbsp water, let sit)
  • approx 2 large or 5 small potatoes like Russet, Idaho or Gold, scrubbed and dried, skins on (approx 1½ lb)
  • 1 large yellow or white onion, peeled and quartered (approx 1 lb)
  • 2 large carrots (approx ½ lb)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • approx 1/4 cup parsley, roughly chopped (optional)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp each garlic + onion powder (optional)
  • 1/4 cup + olive oil for frying (add as needed)

Cashew sour cream

  • 3/4 cup cashews, soaked
  • 1/3 cup water (add 1 tbsp extra, as needed)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt


  1. With the shredding blade of a food processor or a thick-cut box grater, grate potatoes, onion, and carrots. Into a large bowl, squeeze out excess liquid through a nut milk bag, cheesecloth, or clean dish towel. Reserve liquid* and let sit a few minutes.
  2. Toss or quickly strain off the liquid to reveal the layer of thick potato starch that has settled at the bottom of the bowl. Add remaining ingredients except oil to the same bowl and mix with starch for 2-3 minutes until thoroughly combined.
  3. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat and add ¼ cup oil. Pack about ¼ cup (60g) of the mixture together into a ball with your hands, then flatten between your palms into a 3″ patty. Once oil is hot, add patty** to pan, flatten out further with fingertips or back of a spoon and let cook until bottom is crispy and golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Carefully flip latke and cook the opposite side for another 4-5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and place on a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat with remainder of mixture, adding more oil if needed as you go***.
  5. For the cashew sour cream, soak cashews in hot water for 30 min, drain, and combine all ingredients in high speed blender until smooth.
  6. Serve with applesauce and/or cashew sour cream and scallions.
  7. Keeps well in the fridge 4-5 days. To reheat, add to a pan without oil and cook for a few minutes on each side.


*You should be able to get at least 1 cup of the liquid out and will have about 6 loosely packed cups of shredded vegetables after squeezing.
**I usually cook 3-4 at a time, but you can cook however many your pan holds.
***Latkes will not crisp up properly without a decent amount of oil in the pan, so don’t be shy.

We’ve only tested this recipe with olive oil so keep an eye on your cook time if you're using something else.

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