Traditional Irish Potato Cakes

Traditional Irish Potato Cakes


  • 2 tablespoons butter, more if needed
  • 2 cups cold mashed potatoes
  • 1 egg
  • a little flour if needed. a tablespoon or two up to 1/4 to 1/3 cup
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • optional ingredients: chives, cheese (better if in small chunks than grated), sautéed onion, roasted garlic, sliced green onion, leftover corned beef, cooked bacon, sea salt


When ready to cook, preheat a large skillet over medium heat, add butter and melt.

Using clean hands, mix mashed potatoes, egg, and enough flour to form a “batter” that is quite thick, not creamy, and “mounds.” Add salt and pepper to taste and any optional ingredients as desired.

The amount of flour needed is going to be dependent on how creamy and how rich the original mashed potatoes are – the more butter, cheese, etc. in the original mashed potatoes, the more flour will be needed. Do try to add as little flour as possible, though. Better to have a potato cake that runs a bit when heated than one that tastes of a lot of flour.

Mix right before frying and keep the potato mixture cold; by the time the outside is nicely browned and crunchy, the inside should be heated through and there is less chance they’ll become too “oozy” by the time they are done when you start with cold ingredients.

To cook, pick up about a quarter of the batter in one hand and form into a patty, much like a burger patty is formed.  Place it into one palm and press and turn into a uniform, round, flat shape.

Add to the hot pan; brown very slowly in the hot butter, turning once. Best if eaten at once.


  • These may be dipped in flour or dipped in egg, then in flour if desired. They may also go through a breading process of dipping in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs.
  • If no leftover mashed potatoes are on hand, it will take about 3 to 4 medium sized raw potatoes to make about two cups of mashed.
  • These may be made with leftover boiled potatoes, also. Simply mash, mix with a bit of butter and milk and proceed with the recipe.
  • This is a great recipe for “planned” leftovers – simply make extra mashed potatoes so there will be plenty to make potato cakes.
  • Potato cakes can be formed, make them rather thin, about 3/4″ thick, placed on plastic wrap and frozen. Once frozen, bag for later use. No need to thaw, simply cook as directed.

Keywords: Family Recipe, Freezes Well, hearty sides, Irish, leftover potatoes, leftover vegetables, Leftovers, Potatoes, Side.

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