Mashed Potato Cakes Recipe (aka Potato Pancakes)

Mashed potato cakes, or potato pancakes, are a great way to play up leftovers. They are an easy, versatile dish that works for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or as a delicious snack. With a crisp crust on the outside and soft goodness inside, they just might be the perfect food.

What makes these little cakes so great is that you can totally put your own spin on them. Add some rosemary and thyme for an herby flavor or spice things up with a dash of coarse ground black pepper.

This is an easy potato pancakes recipe (which is amazingly delicious, by the way) but it gives you plenty of room to put your own creative spin on it. So go ahead, make something great! It takes just 30 minutes to whip these up.

Mashed Potato Cakes

Making potato cakes from mashed potatoes easy to do. They are the perfect recipe for leftover mashed potatoes. They are so savory and easy to make. This answers the question: What to do with leftover mashed potatoes?

You can make potato pancakes with frozen mashed potatoes. Allow them to thaw overnight. Drain out excess moisture. Mix them to get their consistency like they were when they were fresh. 

Follow my step-by-step guide down below to make your own homemade mashed potato cakes. It just takes a few basic ingredients and is easy to prep. Cheesy leftover mashed potato pancakes will be your family’s new favorite!

What You Need to Make Mashed Potato Cakes

  • Mashed Potatoes – This is the ideal recipe for leftover mashed potatoes.
  • Shredded Cheese – Colby jack or cheddar cheese
  • Scallions / Spring Onions – Use the white onion part and chop up some of of the greens for flavor and color.
  • Egg 
  • All-Purpose Flour – Make gluten free mashed potato cakes by using gluten free flour. I like Bob’s Red Mill 1-for-1 Gluten Free Flour
  • Olive Oil – Use to coat the pan. You can also use avocado oil or vegetable oil. 

To Replace

  • Scallions / Spring Onions – Teaspoon of onion powder.
  • Olive Oil or Vegetable Oil – Frying potato cakes in melted butter will give them a nice crust as well. 

Optional Ingredients

  • Sweet Paprika – This recipe calls for Sweet Paprika but if you don’t have it, it’s okay.
  • Sour Cream – Adds additional flavor when mixed into the mashed potatoes prior to cooking them but it’s optional.

How to Make Mashed Potato Cakes

  1. Coat the bottom of a medium frying pan with olive oil and heat over a medium flame.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and paprika. Add the onion and cheese. Mix together well.

  3. Add the mashed potatoes and egg. Mix well. It should have the consistency of a thick dough. If it’s too dry, add milk a teaspoon at a time. You can also add another egg. If it’s too wet, add more flour. Add flour one teaspoon at a time.

  4. Dust your work surface with flour. Remember, you can use gluten free flour to make these gluten free. Scoop out a tablespoon size of the mixture and form it into a ball. Coat with flour on all sides and pat down the ball to make a thick pancake.

  5. Add the pancakes and cook both sides, 2 – 3 minutes each side. Remove from the pan when the pancakes are golden brown. It should have a crispy crust on both sides.

  6. Transfer mashed potato cakes to a plate lined with a paper towel. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

Tips for Making Easy Potato Pancakes

  • For best results, make when mashed potatoes are at room temperature.
  • Be sure there is enough oil so it coats the bottom of pan. Add more as necessary.
  • Don’t flip the potato cakes too soon. You want them to fry long enough so they develop a crisp crust.

How to Serve Mashed Potato Cakes

You may find yourself purposely making mashed potatoes so you can turn them into mashed potato cakes…. They are that good! In my house, we devour them with freshly ground pepper and salt. Sometimes I make homemade applesauce too. There are so many ways to serve mashed potato pancakes. 

Enjoy them with:

  • Think of loaded baked potatoes. You can load up your mashed potato cakes in the same way with sour cream, chopped scallions, and more. 
  • Applesauce and sour cream 
  • Extra shredded cheddar cheese on top
potato cakes from mashed potatoes
If your kids won’t eat them because they see green from the scallions, you can use onion powder or chop the white onion part very fine

Add-Ins

Remember to get creative on the flavor combinations. When making fried mashed potato cakes, you can mix in different herbs for any tastes. Try adding any of the following:

  • Chives 
  • Garlic powder
  • Parsley
  • Oregano
  • Basil

Frequently Asked Questions

What can be made from mashed potatoes?

Make mashed potato cakes from leftover mashed potatoes or extra potatoes.

Why do my mashed potato cakes fall apart?

If you defrosted the mashed potatoes, there may be excess moisture. Soak it with a paper towel before making mashed potato cakes. If you’ve already make the potato pancakes, they may be falling apart because they need more flour. Add flour a teaspoon at a time to thicken them up. 

What do you serve mashed potato cakes with?

Serve mashed potato cakes with any foods you would serve potatoes with. 

How do you store mashed potato cakes? 

Store mashed potato cakes in airtight containers. Glass is preferred over plastic. Keep it in the refrigerator for up to three days. You can also freeze it in covered containers or freezer bags for up to three months. 

Can you freeze mashed potato cakes?

Yes. Seal in airtight containers. When you are ready to use it, simply leave it to thaw in the refrigerator and use as needed. Put them on a baking sheet in the oven or fry them up again on the stovetop to heat. Do not microwave them or they will be mushy.

Using Leftover Mashed Potatoes

I love making mashed potato cakes from leftover mashed potatoes. This is an easy recipe that uses fresh and pantry staple ingredients. These potato pancakes are filling for breakfast and delicious for lunch and dinner as well.

It’s a really versatile recipe. You can add spices or change the cheese for different flavors.

Cooking foods at home is an easy way to eat cleaner. Once a very novice cook, in a short time I learned how to make most all of our foods from scratch. My kids like this recipe because they are light and crispy like French fries. My son has a palm oil allergy, and many store-prepared and restaurant foods are out of the question because of the ingredients in them. When I make them homemade, I know the source of the ingredients. 

If you’ve tried this delicious mashed potato cakes recipe, please leave a rating, and let me know how it was in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.

If you are looking for other easy potato recipes, and if you have an air fryer, check out air fryer home fries and hash browns in air fryer.

mashed potato cakes
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Mashed Potato Cakes (aka Potato Pancakes)

This recipe answers the question: What to do with leftover mashed potatoes?
These mashed potato cakes are fried goodness They're light and fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside. You can dress them up or down to suit your palate.
Mashed potato cakes are an easy way to use leftover mashed potatoes. This easy homemade mashed potato cakes recipe will have you eating breakfasts at home. Potato pancakes are also delicious for lunch and dinner.
Course Appetizer, Breakfast, Brunch, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword easy mashed potato cakes, easy potato pancakes, how to make mashed potato cakes, how to make potato cakes from mashed potatoes, how to make potato pancakes, leftover mashed potato cakes, mashed potato cakes, potato cakes from mashed potatoes
Prep Time 6 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 3 cups mashed potatoes
  • ½ cup shredded colby jack cheese
  • 4 scallions or spring onions finely chopped
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour plus a little extra for coating
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • olive oil

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and paprika. Add the cheese and onion. Mix well.
  • Add the mashed potatoes and egg. Mix well. It should have the consistency of a thick dough. If it is too dry, add milk a teaspoon at a time. If it is too wet, add flour a teaspoon at a time.
  • Dust your work surface with flour. Scoop out a tablespoon size of the mixture and form it into a ball. Coat with flour on all sides and pat down the ball to make a thick pancake.
  • Coat the bottom of a medium frying pan with olive oil and heat over a medium flame. Add the pancakes and cook both sides, 2 to 3 minutes each side.
  • Remove from pan when the pancakes are golden brown with a crispy crust.

Notes

Well-seasoned mashed potatoes will taste the best. Season in advance if necessary. You can add a tablespoon or two of sour cream for extra flavor.
You can also use pepper jack, mozzarella, or medium cheddar cheese.
 
 

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