Easy Mashed Potato Cakes Recipe

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By Barbara Hodge • Last Updated: October 26, 2023
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Easy Mashed Potato Cakes Recipe

These Mashed Potato Cakes are the best way to use leftover mashed potatoes after Christmas, Thanksgiving or any occasion. Crispy outside and fluffy inside, this potato cake recipe is delicious, easy to make, and a perfect side dish to almost anything!

Mashed Potato Cakes

Ever wondered what to do with leftover mashed potato? I love mashed potatoes, but I don’t like to waste the leftovers. Let’s face it, the amount of mash needed for any meal is hard to get right.

So, you need a backup plan for how you’ll use the leftover mash. And my favourite thing to do with it is to make mashed potato cakes.

My partner Andy loves all kinds of potato dishes. And he’s been telling me that he loves using leftover mash for potato cakes but it is often too dense, and breaks apart easily in the fry pan.

So, I took that as a challenge, and decided to come up with a potato cakes recipe that holds together, is full of flavour, and super easy to make.

This mashed potato cake recipe results in a delicious comfort food, and keeps the old fashioned potato cake feel.

I’ll step out how to make a potato cake with mashed potatoes in an easy, flavourful way. They’re crispy outside, super tasty and moreish, and have cheddar cheese thrown in for some cheesy goodness.

I’ll show you potato cakes which are baked in the oven and fried on the stovetop.

Have you ever tried potato cakes made before? Let me know how this recipe goes in the comments below.

Bring joy in your life and share it with loved ones. Read on!

leftover mashed potatoes into heavenly Potato Pancakes
Credit: Instagram @the_chunky_chef

Why you will love these potato cakes?

They are:

  • quick and easy to make
  • crispy delicious outside and fluffy inside
  • made with everyday ingredients
  • made to hold together, rather than break apart

Make ahead of the days

You can make these potato cakes in advance. Mix the ingredients together and keep them in the fridge in an air tight container for three days. Then cook on stovetop or bake in the oven just before serving.


Explore some add ons and make your own:


  • chives
  • scallions
  • parsley
  • spring onion


  • smoked paprika
  • grated garlic
  • more cheese like parmesan or mozzarella

What are the best potatoes to use for mash


You can use any potatoes for this potato cakes recipe, but the best are potatoes that are high in starch and low in moisture. They soften and break apart a bit on the outside when they’re boiled.

Russet Burbank in North America, and Kipfler in Australia are good for this recipe. They are good for the mashed potatoes, and their starchiness make the potato cakes crispy outside and fluffy inside when cooked on stovetop and in oven.

Ingredients for mashed potato cakes


It’s important to add all purpose flour for the structure of potato cakes. If you want gluten-free, replace it with cornstarch, or gluten-free flour.


Potato cakes with a hint of cheese is the perfect combination! I use cheddar, but you can use different cheeses – parmesan is good. Mozzarella is also good, but not as strong in taste.


I love sour cream, and it works perfectly well with potatoes like sour cream potato salad. Simply top it on the cake, or make the source by simply adding some ingredients as this recipe shows. And if you don’t fancy the cream, you can use yogurt.

Oven Baked Mashed Potato Cakes
Credit: Instagram @eatwell101

How to Make Potato Cakes

It’s simple. Make sure the potatoes are cooled down and quite dry. Mix the ingredients together, scoop it up with a spoon or ice cream scoop, and put it in a pan and cook.

I gently pushed the tops of the cakes with a spatula and slightly flatten them.

The hardest thing to do is to ensure it doesn’t break up while it cooks, or when you flip it. The issues is that the mash can be pretty dense and heavy, so it can lead to it breaking up as you move it around the fry pan or flip it. So be gentle.

A few things will help here:

Firstly, mixing in the ingredients I suggest, will not only make tastier but also lighten it a little. The egg yolk will also help to bind it.

Then treat it gently while in the pan. Don’t move it around too much, and take care when you flip it.

Fried potato cakes on the stovetop

I love the crispy part of the potato cake while it’s moist inside. Bring the frying pan to medium heat, and place vegetable oil on it. If you prefer butter, you can use it, but avoid burning it by reducing the heat a little. It takes about 4 minutes for each side.

Once you’ve fried the potato cakes, place them on kitchen paper. This way you can remove the excess grease and keep them crispy.

Oven baked mashed potato cakes

If you’re wanting to make lots of potato cakes it’s best to cook them in the oven. Just spray the oil or place butter on a baking sheet. Place the potato cake mixture on it. Leave it in a 350 F degree preheated oven for 15 minutes.

Topping for the mashed potato cakes

I love the sour cream and potato combination. Place a dollop on top of the potato cake for some extra tang and creaminess.

That’s it! Serve immediately. Enjoy!


Can you freeze mashed potato cakes?

Yes you can! Cool down the cooked potato cakes completely. Place them in a freezer bag or air-tight container for up to three months. Since the egg is added, freeze the cakes after you cook them.

Reheat the cake with the 350 F degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Or on the stovetop cooking for three minutes each.

Why do my mashed potato cakes fall apart?

I tried and tested different approaches, and found that they break apart in the frying pan because of the density of mash, too much moisture, or there is not enough flour in the mix.

If you feel the potato cake mixture is too moist, add a tablespoon of flour. Or if you don’t fancy flour, try a tablespoon of corn starch.

Can you make potato cakes out of instant mashed potatoes

Yes, you can! Follow the instruction of the instant mashed potatoes to cook the mash. Make sure to cool them down. Then make the potato cakes by following our recipe.

Do you put egg in potato cakes?

Yes. Eggs play a role as a binder and can avoid the cakes breaking apart while cooking. If you don’t fancy eggs, you can leave them out, but it won’t bind quite as well.

Looking for Potato Cakes without Flour

If you’re looking for gluten-free, just replace flour with corn starch, or use gluten-free flour.

More side dish recipes

Easy Mashed Potato Cakes Recipe

Mashed Potato Cakes Recipe

Barbara Hodge
These mashed potato cakes are the best way to use leftover mashed potatoes after Christmas, Thanksgiving or any occasion. Crispy outside and fluffy inside, this potato cake recipe is delicious, easy to make, and a perfect side dish to almost anything.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegetarian
Servings 14 potato cakes


  • 3 cups mashed potatoes (750g)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt (or kosher salt)
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese (or parmesan or mozzarella)
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup all purpose flour (note 1)
  • teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
  • ½ small onion finely diced (or spring onion)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (note 2: for cooking)
  • 1 tablespoon spring onion (or any herb for finishing)

Sour cream sauce

  • cup sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon mustard (I use Dijon)
  • pinch sea salt (or Kosher salt)
  • pinch freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon vinegar (I use rice wine)



  • Preheat the oven to 350 F°.
  • Spray oil on the baking sheet, or place a baking paper on it.


  • Beat a whole egg with a fork in a large bowl until consistent. Add mashed potatoes, salt, pepper and garlic powder, and mix them up throughly.
  • Add flour, cheese and onion, and combine the mix until smooth.

1. Frying on stovetop

  • Add heat to the frying pan, and place vegetable oil on it. Once the oil is hot, scoop up the mashed potato pancake mix with an ice cream scoop or spoon, and place the mix on the pan. Use a spatula to gently flatten the mix a little.
  • Cook the mix over the medium heat for four minutes each side until they become golden brown. Place all the cakes on a cooking rack with kitchen paper, and remove the grease.

2. Baking in the oven

  • Scoop up the mashed potato pancake mix with an ice cream scoop, and place the mix onto the baking sheet. Gently flatten them with a spatula.
  • Cook the cakes in the oven for 13 to 15 minutes.

Sour cream sauce

  • Combine the ingredients until well combined. Place the sauce on top of the cake.
    That's it! Serve immediately. Enjoy!


  1. For gluten-free, use corn starch or gluten-free flour. 
  2. Vegetable oil helps the potato cakes become crispier than olive oil. A skillet or non-stick frying pan is recommended to cook them. 
How to store: Make sure the cooked potato cakes are cooked and then cooled down. Place them into the air-tight container and leave for three days in the fridge. 
How to freeze: Let the potato cakes completely cool down. Place them into the freezer bag or container. Leave in the freezer for three months. 
How to reheat: Place the potato cakes in the 350 F degree oven for 10 minutes. Or on the stovetop cooking for three minutes each side.