Leftover Mashed Potato Cakes – An Old Fashioned Mashed Potato Cake Recipe

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Five ingredients is all it takes to make Granny’s Leftover Mashed Potato Cakes. Using a base of your favorite leftover real mashed potatoes, you can easily make this economical side dish that the whole family will love.

Real Mashed Potato Cake Recipe

Where did Granny’s Leftover Mashed Potato Cakes recipe come from? You guessed it, my granny.  She was the mother of eight hungry children, five of which were boys.  Did I mention that they were dairy farmers, and the kids got up extra early to milk the cows?  There wasn’t a lot of extra money sitting around, so Granny made every meal count.

Mashed Potato Cakes are an economical way to use up leftover mashed potatoes.  You’ve already made those delicious mashed potatoes, so don’t let the leftovers go to waste.  Make a whole new side dish from the leftovers.

My friend Maryann’s grandma also re-purposed her mashed potatoes but she used them in a potato salad! Maryann was nice enough to share the recipe with me so you can try it too! (Check out her sweet cornbread recipe too.)

Old-Fashioned Potato Cakes

This is an old fashioned potato cake recipe.  Granny used onion juice (grated onions), beaten egg and bread crumbs.  It’s a very basic recipe because using real mashed potatoes that are already flavorful and delicious creates an easy base.

You don’t have to add a bunch of crazy ingredients to make them yummy.  With that being said, feel free to add all those crazy ingredients (chives, cheese, parsley, etc.) if you desire.

While we serve ours without any toppings, you can definitely serve them with applesauce or sour cream similar to potato latkes. Honestly, if you have some leftover gravy in the refrigerator, that would make a great dipping sauce for these!

I found this “bonus” recipe on the back of a recipe card that Granny had given me.  The front of the card was Granny’s Homemade Brownie Recipe.  She included this Leftover Real Mashed Potato Cake recipe on back.

Seeing her scratchy writing puts a little tear in my eye.  We had a routine.  I would go visit her, and while we were chatting, I would flip through her cookbooks.  What I wouldn’t give to do that one last time.

How to Make Mashed Potato Pancakes (with real potatoes):

For the full recipe and ingredient list for mashed potato pancakes without flour, scroll to the bottom of this post.

  1. Add beaten egg to leftover mashed potatoes.  Add bread crumbs, a little at a time until the potatoes are thick enough to form into balls.
  2. Form into 2-inch patties.
  3. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  4. Fry mashed potato pancakes until golden brown; flip and do the same on the other side. Do not peak, and only flip once to prevent mashed potato cake from falling apart, and to allow a golden brown crust to form. You’ll know they are ready to flip when a brown crust starts to form around the edges of the potato cake.
  5. Serve hot.

Why do potato cakes fall apart when frying?

If you start with a very creamy mashed potato, you’ll need to add enough binder ingredients to hold them together.  The beaten egg and breadcrumbs act as the binder in our mashed potato cakes.  I recommend starting with 1 Tablespoon of breadcrumbs and add more slowly until the mashed potatoes are capable of forming a ball.

Another reason the potato pancakes fall apart is because you are moving or flipping them too often.  Do not move them around and only flip them once.  You’ll see the brown crust forming around the edge in the oil.  If you move them around, the crust will not form.

What can I add to mashed potato pancakes?

Granny’s Leftover Mashed Potato Cakes are very basic.  The mashed potato base should already be flavorful, so we only add grated onion and bread crumbs to thicken it up.

You could easily jazz up leftover potato pancakes in a hundred different ways. Try adding garlic powder, shredded cheese, chives, parsley or anything your heart desires.

Notes About Leftover Mashed Potato Pancakes:

  • Talk about economical! This recipe uses leftover mashed potatoes and creates a whole new side dish, mashed potato cakes.  And it is only 5 ingredients!
  • To get onion juice, grate the onion.  This gives the flavor of onion without the texture.  Feel free to finely dice the onion or use 1 teaspoon onion powder.
  • Our mashed potato pancakes are without flour.  Some old fashioned potato cakes use flour instead of breadcrumbs.  That is perfectly fine.  Start with a couple Tablespoons of flour and work up if needed.
  • Fry up the leftover potato cake in vegetable oil or butter. Your preference.
  • This flourless potato pancakes recipe starts with approximately 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes.  If you have more or less, adjust the egg, onion and breadcrumbs accordingly.
  • If you need a starter recipe for the mashed potatoes, we recommend MeMe’s Mashed Potato Recipe from Southern Plate.
  • Check out our Amazon store for our favorite kitchen items and pantry essentials.

Old Fashioned Potato Recipes

Potatoes are one ingredient that our family – both young and old – never complain about. So here are some of our favorite recipes that feature potatoes.

Crispy Friend Potatoes

Crispy Fried Potatoes starts with raw potatoes and ends with a perfectly pan-fried potato. Serve old fashioned fried potatoes with ketchup.

4 Ingredient Crock Pot Cheesy Potatoes

These 4 Ingredient Crock Pot Cheesy Potatoes are easy to throw together for a weekend dinner or your next family gathering.

Cheesy Potatoes with Bacon

Cheesy Potatoes with Bacon will be your new favorite side dish. It features an easy cheese sauce made with Velveeta, Miracle Whip, salt and black pepper and a bacon topping that sends the humble potato out of this world. 

Potato Casserole with Rice Krispies

Potato Casserole with Rice Krispies is a cheesy hash brown casserole with a crispy, crunchy topping.  Often called Funeral Potatoes, this is the perfect side dish for almost any entrée. 

Instant Pot Potato Soup

This Pressure Cooker Potato Soup has all the flavor of making it on the stovetop but takes a fraction of the time. Using your InstantPot, this soup can be on the table in no time!

Mom’s Ham and Cheesy Potato Casserole

Mom's Cheesy Ham and Potato Casserole was an all-time favorite recipe at our house growing up. Mom traditionally made this with leftover ham after the holidays. This stick-to-your-ribs meal will warm you up on a cold winter day and is the perfect casserole for a new mom or sick friend.

Leftover Mashed Potato Salad

Potato Salad with Leftover Mashed Potatoes is an ingenious way to use up mashed potatoes. It's also great for days when you're in a time-crunch and are wanting a delicious side dish.

Crock Pot Cube Steak with Mashed Potatoes

This dump and serve Crock Pot Cubed Steak & Mashed Potatoes is unique.  The mashed potatoes are layered underneath the meat, and the gravy makes itself in the cooker.  Follow these simple steps on how to make cube steak in the crock pot in just 4 hours.

Five ingredients is all it takes to make Granny's Leftover Mashed Potato Cakes. Using a base of your favorite leftover real mashed potatoes, you can easily make this economical side dish that the whole family will love.
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Granny's Leftover Mashed Potato Cakes

Five ingredients is all it takes to make Granny's Leftover Mashed Potato Cakes.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: flourless potato pancakes, Granny's Leftover Mashed Potato Cakes, how do you make potato cakes from scratch, leftover real mashed potato cake, Mashed Potato Cakes, Mashed Potato Pancakes, mashed potato pancakes without flour, real mashed potato cake recipe
Servings: 8 cakes
Calories: 101kcal
Author: Barbara

Ingredients

  • 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon onion juice
  • 2 Tablespoons breadcrumbs
  • 2-3 Tablespoons vegetable oil or butter

Instructions

  • Heat butter or vegetable oil in large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add beaten egg and onion juice and mix. Slowly add breadcrumbs starting with 1 Tablespoon. Add breadcrumbs until potato mixture is thick enough to form a ball about the size of a golf ball.
    Five ingredients is all it takes to make Granny's Leftover Mashed Potato Cakes. Using a base of your favorite leftover real mashed potatoes. you can easily make this economical side dish that the whole family will love.
  • Smash ball to form a 2 inch in diameter pancake, and gently add to the hot oil.
    Five ingredients is all it takes to make Granny's Leftover Mashed Potato Cakes. Using a base of your favorite leftover real mashed potatoes. you can easily make this economical side dish that the whole family will love.
  • Fry until golden brown, approximately 2-3 minutes. Do not move or flip until completely golden brown. You will see the crust forming around the edge of the pancake.
    Five ingredients is all it takes to make Granny's Leftover Mashed Potato Cakes. Using a base of your favorite leftover real mashed potatoes. you can easily make this economical side dish that the whole family will love.
  • Flip once, and fry the other side until golden brown. Serve hot.
    Five ingredients is all it takes to make Granny's Leftover Mashed Potato Cakes. Using a base of your favorite leftover real mashed potatoes. you can easily make this economical side dish that the whole family will love.

Video

Notes

  • Talk about economical! This recipe uses leftover mashed potatoes and creates a whole new side dish, mashed potato cakes.  And it only is only 5 ingredients!
  • Granny's Leftover Mashed Potato Cakes are very basic.  The mashed potato base should already be flavorful, so we only add grated onion and bread crumbs to thicken it up.  
    • You could easily jazz up leftover potato pancakes in a hundred different ways. Try adding garlic powder, shredded cheese, chives, parsley or anything your heart desires.
  • To get onion juice, grate the onion.  This gives the flavor of onion without the texture.  Feel free to finely dice the onion or use 1 teaspoon onion powder.
  • Why do your potato cakes fall apart when frying?  If you start with a very creamy mashed potato, you'll need to add enough binder ingredients to hold them together.  The beaten egg and breadcrumbs act as the binder in our mashed potato cakes.  I recommend starting with 1 tablespoon of breadcrumbs and go up until the mashed potatoes are capable of forming into a ball.
  • Another reason the potato pancakes fall apart is because you are moving or flipping them too often.  Do not move, and only flip once.  You'll see the brown crust forming around the edge in the oil.  If you move them around, the crust will not form. 
  • Some old fashioned potato cakes use flour instead of breadcrumbs.  That is perfectly great.  Start with a couple tablespoons and work up if needed. 
  • Fry up the leftover potato cake in vegetable oil or butter. Your preference.
  • This leftover mashed potato pancake recipe starts with approximately 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes.  If you have more or less, adjust the egg, onion and breadcrumbs accordingly.
  • Looking for more potato recipes? Try our 4 Ingredient Crock Pot Cheesy Potatoes, Cheesy Potatoes with Bacon, Instant Pot Potato Soup and Mom's Ham and Cheesy Potato Casserole.

Nutrition

Calories: 101kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 42mg | Potassium: 177mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 30IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg

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9 Comments

  1. This recipe we called potato pancakes when me and my siblings where growing up
    The only thing my mom used flour instead of bread crumbs , ever thing else is the same. I still use this recipe today. My brother-im- law think they are the best thing ever. He made them one night for his girlfriend and she thought they where the best thing ever. I’m going try your recipe use to see how well they taste.
    Thank you and God bless

    1. Yikes…not sure we can complete with your mom’s recipe!! Thanks for sharing, what wonderful memories wrapped up in a recipe.

  2. Mom made potato pancakes years ago. If she had leftover mashed turnip she would add it in with the potatoes, make a ball, pat it down, coat it with flour and fry it in butter. If there was left over cabbage she mixed the mashed potatoes with the cabbage and fried them together in butter. Don’t know if this was the real name or not but she called it “bubble and squeak”. She came from Scotland maybe that was what it was called over there. In any case they are both yummy dishes!

    1. Bubble and Squeak! How fun is that! Thank you for sharing your memories, we love the use of other “leftover” ingredients in hers.

  3. My grandparents also ran a dairy farm when I was growing up. Many fond memories of my childhood center around going “Home” to Mississippi and Grandmother and Granddaddy’s house. They also had 8 children and only had 2 boys one of whom died at age 21 of MD. The other one was next to the baby and needless to say the 5 older sisters could do anything in that dairy barn better than their baby brother and as an adult he would tell them that he was so glad at how talented his sisters were…laughing like a hyena the whole time. My grandparents raised the biggest garden I’ve ever seen and my aunt Janelle did lots of the cooking as she grew up. My grandmother and aunt Janelle were fabulous cooks. I stood at aunt Janelle’s elbow and am proud to say that I’m a good cook too but not as good as either one of them.

    1. What great memories! Our mom was the oldest so she could work with the best of them as well. Thank you so much for sharing!

  4. Thank you for the recipe. I kept finding recipes that started with making potatoes instead of using leftover mashed potatoes. My mashed potatoes were so thin that I needed to add extra bread crumbs to give them enough body to form into the pancakes.

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