Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Baked Cinnamon Camote Cue (Cinnamon Caramelized Sweet Potato)

Outside my old high school in the Philippines, street vendors sold two quintessential treats on a stick: banana cue (deep fried caramelized bananas) and camote cue (deep fried caramelized sweet potatoes).  The vendors would line up outside along the high concrete walls of the school with their makeshift carts covered with colored umbrellas.  Amidst the busy streets, the scorching heat and the noise, they seem unmindful of their surroundings.  They prepare and cook these sweet treats on a portable gas stove with the sweet smell teasing our nostrils as we pass by. 

Looking back, I was always intimidated to buy from these street vendors.  It felt like I was buying something illegal.  Back then I hesitated buying street food, as I heard the warning of my Mama in my head, "That's unclean, You'll get sick!".  This would temporarily scare me not to buy. But eventually, I'd give in and get to snack on these treats on a stick, often preferring the banana cue.

It baffles me why Camote cue was not as popular as the banana cue.  It was as if the sweet potato was just the sidekick to the banana, always there as an alternative or to fill in once the banana cue is sold out.

Since it's sweet potato month,  I thought of re-visiting this quintessential street food and give it the center of attention it deserves.  I was inspired to share my take on the camote cue.

I skipped the deep frying part and baked them instead. And the result was a re-discovery of this underdog treat.  I relished the soft sweet potato under the crisp, caramelized surface. And the cinnamon brought the treat on a stick to a higher level. I love how it was simple to prepare, yet it was a culminating treat on a lazy afternoon.

Baked Cinnamon Camote Cue

2 pcs. camote (sweet potato)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Peel and slice the sweet potato; set aside. Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl.  Roll the camote pieces in the bowl and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until the sweet potatoes become soft and the sugar has caramelized on the outside.

See how simple it was?  Enjoy!


  1. Love street food - grew up with it in NYC and there's little of it here (a wee bit chilly in the streets). I am surprised this hasn't made it to the MN State Fair - everything is fried and on a stick! (But baking is better!) Gorgeous treat - nutrition and a sweet - can't be beat.

  2. These look so good! I can imagine what a treat these would be! I like the way you baked them.

  3. What a great recipe. I've heard mixed reports about street food - some saying it's unclean but most saying it's very affordable, delicious and that there's nothing unclean about it. I love sweet potato and this looks like a great way to enjoy it. You've photographed it really well. xx

  4. Thank you for sharing your take on street food. Your pictures look scrumptious.

  5. These are the most gorgeous looking grilled sweet potatoes, Malou!
    Such a treat, and beautiful presentation!
    Thanks so much for you sweet and kind words re: the Top 9, which was a huge surprise to me, because they have their same favorites repeatedly, over and over again. Always the same people, so that's why I was surprised!
    Have a wonderful weekend, my dear friend:DDD

  6. Oh, I have to try these! I love sweet potatoes and these flavors sound so warm and I love that you baked them :)

  7. This is lovely..simple and yum dessert! Could add a little cream to make it more exotic..

  8. These cinnamon caramelized sweet potatoes sound great. Thanks for the post.


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