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Mar 2, 2024

Irish Potato Cakes

Irish Potato Cakes are a delicious way to use up leftover mashed potatoes. If you don't have any leftover mashed potatoes, it is well worth making up a batch just for these potato cakes. 

Irish Potato Cakes stacked on a small plate.

These Irish potato cakes, or potato pancakes, are creamy on the inside and crispy on the outside. 

Potato pancakes are quintessential Irish pub food. My husband is Irish (from Dublin), and one of his favorite dishes was his mom's Irish potato cakes. Every time we visited his parents, his mom always made us these, and they were always such treat. As an Irishman, he loves potatoes. The stereotype is true, at least in our house. 

In fact, when I made the mashed potatoes for these potato cakes and tucked them into the fridge for later, he immediately noticed them. I assured him that potato cakes were in his future as long as he kept his hands off the mashed potatoes. 

Irish Potato Cakes on two black plates.

These potato pancakes are so easy to make too. You just mix some flour into already prepared mashed potatoes, Scoop the mixture into a skillet, and heat them in some melted butter until the outsides are brown and crispy. 

These are great for a hearty bacon and egg breakfast or topped with chopped red onions, capers, sour cream, and smoked salmon (like a bagel!). I had some with homemade ketchup. Ah-maze-ing.

Make Ahead Tip:

These potato cakes can be made in advance, and then refrigerated. Simply reheat them in a lightly buttered skillet or your oven or toaster oven. 

Irish Potato Cakes on two black plates.


You can also add an egg to the mixture if you like to bind the potatoes together, especially if your mashed potatoes are very creamy. If you do use egg, keep the ratio to 1 egg to every three cups of mashed potatoes. If you are making less, just use a portion of a whisked egg and save the rest for making scrambled eggs. 

Feel free to experiment with various add-ins such as chives, scallions, chopped cooked bacon, and even some grated cheddar. 

Note: If you do make mashed potatoes specifically for these potato cakes, be sure to add half and half, butter, and salt and pepper to the potato mixture as you normally would. Then, let the mashed potatoes cool before adding the flour and egg. 

Irish Potato Cakes on a long black serving platter.

Irish or St. Patrick's Day-themed breakfast recipes for Sunday Funday!

Tall stack of Irish Potato Cakes on a small plate.

More Tasty Irish Recipes: 

Irish Potato Cakes on a small plate.

Irish Potato Cakes

Irish Potato Cakes
Yield: 12 potato cakes
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 20 MinTotal time: 35 Min
Irish Potato Cakes are a delicious way to use up leftover mashed potatoes. If you don't have any leftover mashed potatoes, it is well worth making up a batch just for these potato cakes.


  • 3 cups leftover prepared mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 egg, whisked, optional
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper


  1. Mix the mashed potatoes with the flour and optional egg.
  2. Melt the butter in a skillet until bubbly. Scoop the potatoes with a half cup cookie scoop onto the surface of the skillet and gently press down with an oiled spatula. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Pan fry the potatoes for several minutes over medium low, until browned. Flip the potato cakes over, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and continue to cook until the other side has browned. Repeat with the rest of the potatoes.

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

4 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

3 g

Carbs (grams)

17 g

Fiber (grams)

1 g

Net carbs

16 g

Sugar (grams)

0 g

Protein (grams)

3 g

Cholesterol (grams)

24 mg
potatoes, potato cakes
side dish, breakfast
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Updated March, 2024 with new photos and information. Originally posted March, 2018. 

Would you like to comment?

  1. Love potato pancakes and this recipe sounds like a winner.

  2. excellent way to deal with leftover mashed potatoes - I tried something similar with sweet potatoes, but managed to end up with an epic failure, as far as looks were concerned

    we still called them side dish, though


    1. It's the flavor that matters, right? You should see the photos of the Irish rarebit I made for this post. Ugly bugly. We still ate it!

  3. Ha ha ha I love that you had to tell your husband to stay away from the leftovers. These potato cakes look so good. Time for a second breakfast lol.

    1. It's amazing how quickly he noticed them =)

  4. These potato pancakes look divine! I love potatoes as well, in every possible way, and as a pancake even better! Pinned and yummed too!

  5. Beautiful photos Karen! I could really use some potato cakes right about now.

  6. We love potato pancakes! Yours look gorgeous!

  7. Mmm, they look wonderful! I always say the mark of a true good cook is the ability to turn leftovers into something wonderful!

  8. Oh wow! What a delicious way to elevate leftover mashed potatoes! This is definitely going into my recipe rotation. I can think of all sorts of things to put on top of them. Mmmmm. . . .

  9. Oh my goodness - do these sound amazing or what? I definitely need to give them a try!

  10. Potato Pancakes are a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes. Thanks for joining in for this St. Patty's Breakfast Buffet.

  11. This was one of my favorite meals growing up. Only now, am I realizing that my mom made them because my father hated leftovers. These apparently didn't count as leftovers.

  12. These are my hubby's favorite potato cakes, whenever there is leftover boiled potatoes will always make this for him!


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