Carrot-Apple Latkes

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These perfectly crisp Carrot-Apple Latkes are mostly savory with a touch of natural sweetness from carrot and apple.

Carrot-Apple Latkes 1

I love blurring the lines between sweet and savory recipes, like serving savory garlic-y mashed potato cakes with sweet raspberry ginger mustard chutney. Or using black pepper in a chai-spiced ricotta cake with nutmeg-scented glaze.

Once that perfect balance of flavors is struck, an ordinary dish becomes unforgettable.

Carrot-Apple Latkes 2

I’m so happy that apple season is here…I picked up a bag of  freshly picked apples and it became the secret ingredient in this dish, providing a slight sweetness to an otherwise mostly savory latke. The garlic is crucial; it provides just the right savory touch. The warm spices like black pepper, ginger, and cinnamon add depth of flavor and complexity.

Carrot-Apple Latkes 3

And be sure to read through my tips in the Notes to make sure you get perfect latkes every time!

Carrot-Apple Latkes 4

Carrot-Apple Latkes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 16 to 18 latkes; about 6 servings
These perfectly crisp Carrot-Apple Latkes are mostly savory with a touch of natural sweetness from carrot and apple.
  • ½ medium sweet, crisp apple (such as Fuji), unpeeled, cored, and shredded
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 medium-large carrots, shredded
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced into half-moons
  • 2 large cloves garlic, grated
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Oil, for shallow frying
  • Minced fresh chives, for serving
  • Sour cream and/or applesauce, for serving
  1. As soon as you shred the apple, toss it together with the lemon juice in a medium bowl. Stir in the carrot, onion, garlic, salt, black pepper, ginger, and cinnamon, then stir in the egg. Stir in the flour just until incorporated, being careful not to over-mix.
  2. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat; add enough oil to generously coat the bottom.
  3. Once the oil is hot, use a 1½ tablespoon scoop to measure the batter into the oil, being careful not to over-crowd the skillet. Cook the latkes until golden on both sides, about 2 to 4 minutes per side, flipping once. (You can adjust the heat down as necessary so the latkes don’t cook too quickly.) Transfer the cooked latkes to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil, and cook the rest of the batter the same way. (Using a 1½ tablespoon scoop, you should get about 16 to 18 latkes.)
  4. Serve hot with minced fresh chives sprinkled on top, along with sour cream and/or applesauce.
Tips for making perfect latkes:

1) As the batter sits, the apple, carrot, and onion will give off water. As you’re scooping out the batter, tip the bowl so you can get the batter out while leaving as much of the accumulated liquid as possible (then discard the remaining liquid once the batter is gone). This helps prevent your latkes from spreading too much in the pan.

2) To keep them from falling apart in the pan, don’t move the latkes around in the pan until they are fully set on the bottom.

3) Don’t be tempted to add more flour! The batter should be thin and the latkes should be crisp, not doughy.

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  1. says

    gahhh…latkes with sour cream or Greek yogurt=heaven. So delicous. I love the addition of apples too (creative lady!). I need to comeover for dinner…or lunch …or breakfast :)

  2. says

    I just took out some sweet potato-latke like things I JUST made…5 mins ago and they’re cooking and I’m about to do a photo shoot on them. And came to my desk to kill a couple mins and saw…these! Omg I wish I had seen these an hour ago – they look amazing!!

  3. says

    These sound awesome Faith. I love latkes so much – they are such a comfort food for me and reminiscent of my childhood. I like to mix it up every year when I made them and make classic potato and some variation of another vegetable to keep things interesting. I’ll bookmark these. Plus latkes usually freeze so well, the extra work pays off!

  4. says

    Gorgeous recipe. I really love the unexpected, and playing with the sweet-savoury thing is a favourite theme for me. Love these. Apples are relegated to desserts and sweet things but they have so much to offer a savoury recipe – as you ably demonstrate. I think they would be amazing with the vegan borscht I just posted!

  5. says

    These look delicious! Although I’m not Jewish, I grew up in a suburb of Chicago that had a large Jewish population and I grew up loving Latkes. They are a total comfort food for me. I have never attempted to make them myself… that will change! I can’t wait to try the recipe and blog about it in one of my GROW campaign posts! Thank you!

  6. says

    I’ve also been experimenting more with naturally sweet ingredients in my savory dishes, with generally good results! I used to be very against adding fruit to a main course, but now I see how it can add dimension and interest without skewing a dish into dessert territory. Your latkes sound like a perfect example of just that. :)

  7. says

    How absolutely gorgeous! I love combining sweet and savory also, although I’m nowhere near your league :) My favorite sweet-savory combo is apples and onions, sauteed together — a bit uncouth, but there you are. I’ll definitely have to try these latkes. I really don’t know how I’m going to get through all the recipes of yours I have saved!

    Have a great weekend, Faith!!

    • says

      Jessie, You are so sweet…and uncouth or not, sauteed apples and onions is a favorite of mine too. :) (Especially with a little fresh thyme in there!) Hope you have a wonderful weekend as well. :)

  8. says

    I’m definitely looking forward to apple season and am collecting so many delicious recipe – shall definitely add this to the collection! Love the combination of flavours and their amazing colour!

  9. Veronica says

    Look lovely!

    Would these hold up overnight in the fridge to throw into school lunches the next morning? Or do you think they’d get soggy and icky?

    • says

      Veronica, I haven’t tried it so I don’t know for sure; of course they wouldn’t be as good as they are when they’re first made, but they might still be ok the next day.

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