Irish Potato Cakes

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Irish Potato Cakes

Irish potato cakes

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I’ve been eating these Irish potato cakes since I was a child when both my Mum and her Mum, my Nanna Connie, used to make them.  My Mum still makes them, often planning for leftover mash when we go to visit so she can do us potato cakes for breakfast.  My Nanna used to revel in the fact that they had ‘butter in them, fried in butter and butter on them’ 🙂  You can see her original recipe on her recipe card below (I love how she used to type them out).  But times have changed and butter three ways has gone out of fashion!  We don’t put butter in them any more and I usually fry them in a bit of oil.  My Mum grills them but I think that’s taking the healthiness a bit too far!  Also, I do like a little bit of butter on them if I’m feeling indulgent.

Irish potato cake recipe

Even though they’re lovely in their own right they are essentially a dish you would make to use up leftover mashed potato.  I’ve given quantities in the recipe to make 4 potato cakes (to serve 2 people) but there’s an easy ‘formula’ to make them however much mashed potato you have:  Simply weigh your mashed potato and then add a quarter of that weight in self-raising flour and just enough milk to combine the potato and flour.


These potato cakes are good as a side dish or a nice breakfast treat.  They’re great with eggs or baked beans and today I had them for lunch with a fried egg and guacamole – not a classic combination but I was using things up and it actually worked very well.

Irish Potato Cakes


  • 240 g leftover mashed potato
  • 60 g self-raising flour
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • Oil to fry


  • Put the potato, flour and milk in a bowl and mix together just enough to combine them. You don't want to over-work the mixture or the potato cakes will be tough.
  • Divide the mixture into four and shape gently into cakes, again handling them as little as possible.
  • Heat a little oil in a frying pan over a low to medium heat and fry the potato cakes gently for about 5 minutes.
  • Turn over (they should be golden underneath by now) and fry for 5 minutes on the other side.
  • Serve with a little butter on top if you want.

A note about salt

You might have noticed that I rarely mention salt in my recipes. I just don’t use it a lot. I’m sure a lot of people would think my cooking is ‘under seasoned’ but I have to watch my blood pressure and I’m used to not using much. There are some things, like rice, where I add a bit at the table but I rarely add it into my cooking.