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4 Twists on the Traditional Latke

Chef Zane Caplansky, chef and owner of his eponymous Toronto deli, Caplansky’s, helps make the Festival of Lights even brighter with these delicious recipes.

1 / 5

The miracle of Hanukkah may be that a tiny ration of holy oil lasted eight days, but it’s the potato pancakes we eat for this holiday that get me excited. In my house, we always had classic latkes: made with shredded and grated spuds, chicken fat, matzo meal, salt and pepper, and pan-fried on a cast-iron griddle. Hard to beat-however, for the last four years, I’ve held a latke cook-off at my restaurant, Caplansky’s, in Toronto, which has opened my eyes to a spectrum of possibilities. 

Latkepalooza is open to anyone who’ll bring in five dozen of their best potato pancakes. Judging is by popular vote. We’ve seen spicy Mexican latkes; latkes stuffed with meat; big, fat, greasy; and little, thin, crispy latkes, too. I love the colourful ones best of all-they’re so appealing to the eye, and the flavours and textures are exciting. May these past contenders inspire you.

2 / 5

Double Potato

A mixture of sweet potato and regular white potatoes gave a nice golden result. Crisped up perfectly, these were delicious with applesauce.

3 / 5


Beets were shredded with potatoes and pan-fried together. In this case, the star ingredient added sweetness and a gorgeous bright-red hue.

4 / 5

Purple Potato

The purple potato latkes were subtler visually than you’d expect, because the flesh was pretty white, but they still came out an interesting shade.

5 / 5


Shredding in some fresh carrot added crunch and lovely orange brightness. These tasty latkes went especially well with a little sour cream.