Irish Potato Cakes Recipe

Want to enjoy some truly amazing potato pancakes? Then start off with one very unexpected ingredient: leftovers. Leftover mashed potatoes notoriously do no reheat very well, so this recipe provides a great way to repurpose them. And that is just what chef and recipe developer Jaime Shelbert of Wholly Nourished enjoys best about this Irish potato cakes recipe. "I love that this recipe turns leftovers into a tasty side dish that can be customized to your flavor liking," she says. 

And speaking of your liking, you can really take these Irish potato cakes in any number of ways, from the sweet to the savory, as Shelbert explains: "These parallel with your favorite Irish dish or alongside sauerkraut or any other cabbage dish. Popular toppings include sour cream, applesauce, caramelized onions, or savory jams." Frankly, these potato cakes are so tasty you may find yourself preparing mashed potatoes just to let them cool and serve as the basis for the recipe. Better idea? Just make a double batch of mashed potatoes for dinner tonight to be assured you have the primary ingredient needed for these cakes at the ready tomorrow.

Gather your ingredients for Irish potato cakes

As you probably guessed by now, the star of this recipe will be the leftover mashed potatoes. You'll need about 2 cups of leftover mashed potatoes (nice and cold!) to make four large cakes. You'll also need some flour, salt, an egg, some pepper, some chopped chives, and about 2 tablespoons of butter. "Here I added chives," Shelbert says, adding that "any fresh herbs will work, or sautéed onions, shredded Irish cheddar, or even bacon."

Make the potato cake dough

Start the recipe off by combining the potatoes with flour in a mixing bowl, starting with just ⅓ cup of flour. Then add the salt and pepper and lightly mix these ingredients with a spoon to combine them. Next, make a well in the center of the mixture, crack the egg into the well, and whisk it. Then fold the egg into the potato mixture. Now gently stir in the chives, and add more flour to the mixture as needed so that it can be easily formed into patties. "I would be mindful of the amount of flour you put in the batter," Shelbert cautions, adding: "You don't want too much flour where you lose the potato flavor." So, you may not have to use the entire ½ cup of flour, and that's okay!

Heat the butter and form the patties

Melt the butter in a skillet placed over a burner at medium heat, and if the melted butter starts to brown before you are ready to fry, turn the heat down until you start cooking the patties.

Meanwhile, form the four patties with your hands using equal parts the potato mixture. Press them until they are cohesive but not packed densely, then place the potato cakes into the skillet and watch for the perfect frying. "They should be just crispy on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside," says Shelbert.

Fry the cakes to golden perfection

Cook the patties until they are golden brown on each side, which will take about five to seven minutes per side at that lower-to-medium heat. Don't rush it, and don't flip them more than once or twice, if you can help it. Once the cakes are cooked, remove them from the pan and serve them ASAP for best taste and texture.

"These are best enjoyed fresh however can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days," Shelbert says. That's right, leftovers from cakes made from leftovers, and they'll still be tasty.

Irish Potato Cakes Recipe
5 from 140 ratings
These Irish potato cakes come together in a breeze and are loaded with hearty, savory flavors.
Prep Time
Cook Time
potato patties on plate
Total time: 25 minutes
  • 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes, cold
  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon chives, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  1. Combine the potatoes, flour (starting with ⅓ cup), salt, and pepper in a small mixing bowl. Lightly mix with a spoon to combine.
  2. Make a well in the center of the mixture, crack an egg into the well, and whisk, then fold it into the potato mixture.
  3. Gently stir in the chives.
  4. Add more flour to the mixture as needed, so that it can be easily formed into patties. Be careful not to use too much flour.
  5. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat.
  6. Form 4 patties with the potato mixture and place them into the skillet, cooking the patties until golden brown on each side, about 5 to 7 minutes per side.
  7. Remove from the pan and serve with extra chives.
Calories per Serving 231
Total Fat 10.4 g
Saturated Fat 4.7 g
Trans Fat 0.4 g
Cholesterol 55.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 29.8 g
Dietary Fiber 2.0 g
Total Sugars 0.7 g
Sodium 386.7 mg
Protein 5.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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