Purple Sweet Potato Cakes (紫薯餅)

My simplified take on the popular Chinese sweet treat known as 紫薯餅, or Purple Sweet Potato Cakes. They are crispy and toasty on the outside, soft and glutinous (or as we call it, “QQ”) on the inside —naturally sweet & irresistibly good.

I love these because they are not too sweet — you really get to show-case the natural sweetness of the sweet potato! These glutinous cakes are perfect for a quick & healthy breakfast. You can make them ahead of time and then re-heat in the oven.

Purple Sweet Potato Cakes

4 from 13 votes
Recipe by George L. Course: ChineseCuisine: SnackDifficulty: Easy


Prep time




Cooking time



A simplified version of the popular Chinese sweet treat known as 紫薯餅, or Purple Sweet Potato Cakes. Crispy and toasty on the outside, soft and glutinous on the inside. Not too sweet either.


  • 2.25 cups 2.25 (45o g) sweet potato puree, I used 2 medium-sized Okinawan Purple Sweet Potatoes

  • 1 cup 1 glutinous rice flour, I used the Mochiko brand

  • 2 tablespoons 2 water

  • 2 tablespoons 2 brown sugar (or more if you like sweeter)

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 white sesame seeds, to coat

  • flakey kosher salt, for topping


  • Make the Sweet Potato Puree: Wrap the sweet potato (whole, unpeeled) in aluminum foil and roast it in a 400 degrees F (204 C) oven for around an hour. Test the potato’s doneness with a parring knife and and once it’s done, unwrap it and let cool in a refrigerator.
  • Make the Dough: In a bowl, first combine brown sugar with the sweet potato puree (once it has cooled down). Also add the water and mix thoroughly to slightly re-hydrate the potatoes. Then, incrementally add the glutinous rice flour while mixing. Mix until a dough comes together and it no-longer sticks to your hands.
  • Make the Cakes: Roll the dough out into a log and divide it into the number specified (for a 1x recipe, that is 16 cakes). Roll each portion into a ball, then flatten into a disk. Prepare a separate bowl with white sesame seeds and place each flattened cake into the bowl, pressing down to make sure the sesame sticks. Shake off excess sesame seeds and set aside. Repeat for all the potato cakes.
  • Cook the Cakes: Heat vegetable oil in a non-stick pan on medium-high heat. Once the vegetable oil is hot, place the cakes into the oil ( do not stack them!) and fry until both sides are crispy and lightly golden. Once done, move onto a paper towel to drain off excess grease and sprinkle with a dash of flakey kosher salt.


  • Cooking the Cakes: a deep-fry method also works well for this recipe. Heat a generous amount of oil in a pan and once it’s hot enough to make a wooden chopstick (or other wooden utensil) bubble, place each cake in and cook until both sides are golden-brown and crispy.
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3 years ago

Jorge! your recipes are amazing! I’m so psyched to try some. In this one, I’d like to make my own flour (it’s more economical) so which rice would you recommend? (I use the vitamix to make flour) Thank you for all you do!

2 years ago
Reply to  Nancy

glutinous rice flour is made from sweet rice 🙂