Hulk Hogan, Sorghum and Sweet Potato Pancakes

A Real American Breakfast, a cookbook borrowed from her mom’s collection, put Michelle in mind of this morning’s meal, and Steve in mind of Hulk Hogan. As Steve (or assorted Hulkamaniacs) can tell you, Hulk was once the “Real American.” Born from humble beginnings, pumped up in the steroid-fueld ’80s to fight the cartoonish Iron Sheik, he now spends his time on social media and reality TV and defending rumors that he’s less the man than he claims to be. While we in Gourmandistan cannot claim to follow all of Hulk’s “demandments,” we think these sweet potato pancakes fill quite nicely Hulk’s requirement to “take your vitamins.”

Readers will be unsurprised to find Michelle less than moved by Hulk Hogan, preferring to find her inspiration in a recent book by our friend, Rona RobertsSweet, Sweet Sorghum: Kentucky’s Golden Wonder is a paean to the sticky grain-based syrup that accompanies these pancakes. (Use maple syrup if you must. We won’t think less of you. But for god’s sake, don’t try using the sugar cane syrup that folks outside the southern U.S. call “molasses.”)

Yesterday, while baking something else, Michelle threw a giant sweet potato in the oven to roast. The mashed orange flesh was left in the ‘fridge overnight before being pulled out for what became a wonderful breakfast. We didn’t use as much spice as the original recipe called for (due to Steve’s most likely un-American aversion to “Christmas flavors”), but enjoyed the moist, firm cakes as a departure from the more traditional batter. Heated grassy-sweet sorghum, some butter and a glass of fresh-squeezed juice rounded out a real “red, white and blue” experience that you’ll most likely find much more pleasant than this one. Are you listening, Nikolai Volkoff?


(adapted, only barely, from Cheryl Alters Jamison & Bill Jamison’s A Real American Breakfast)

  • 1-3/4 c. flour
  • 3 TB light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • scant 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • scant 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 c. + 2 TB buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 12 oz. roasted and mashed sweet potato
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • Butter & sorghum syrup (or maple syrup)

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Whisk eggs, buttermilk and vanilla in a medium bowl.  Add sweet potatoes and stir until incorporated.

Pour egg mixture into dry ingredients.  Mix until combined.  Add water as needed to make batter just short of runny.  (It took almost 5 TB of water for us before the batter was right, but may take less depending on how dry the roasted potato is.)

Cook pancakes on both sides in an oiled skillet or griddle over medium heat.  1/4 cup of batter will make a 4″ cake.  Watch the cakes carefully, as the sugar in the sweet potatoes makes them burn quickly.

Serve with butter and sorghum syrup.


  1. Those pancakes look nice and filling! I love the last picture. So pretty. Do you have to get rid of the sinewy bits of the sweet potato before mashing it into the batter?

  2. Pingback: Sorghum and Pecan Pancakes | Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

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