Homemade Potato Cakes

Homemade Potato Cakes

Keeping up the wintery baking, potato cakes are a real trip down memory lane for me.  Tastes of my childhood, tubs and tubs of potato cakes – toasted and slathered with butter.  I always wondered where my love of the buttery stuff came from.

These are great for making a big batch and then whacking them in the freezer to have at your leisure!


350g cooked potatoes, good firm mashing potatoes are needed here

(if I knew anything about potatoes I would tell you which, but I don’t – I head for the red skinned ones, they haven’t let me down yet.  It is becoming very obvious I’m not a foodie!)

50g butter

80g flour


Boil the potatoes, drain and allow to cool fully.  You can’t make potato cakes with hot potatoes, you end up with glue.  I know, I tried.

Preheat the oven to 180c (fan)/200c/Gas Mark 5.

Mash the potatoes with the butter.  I don’t like mashing, it’s boredom inducing and it hurts my arm. (Just in case you were wondering!)

Add the flour and mix together well. (Now you realise there’s lumps in it – refer to comment above)


With your hands, gather the dough together into a ball.

On a lightly floured surface roll out the potato dough to a 0.5 cm thickness.  What do you mean you can see lumps in it – I can’t disguise them, I think I should invest in a potato ricer.  You won’t have that problem – I’m sure you’re good at mashing with no lumps!

I like them rectangular (that’s how Mum makes them) so I’m trimming off the scraggy edges.  The trimmings can be gathered together and re-rolled.  At this stage it’s too late to do anything about lumps – let’s call it rustic charm.

Cut into individual cakes and place on a lined baking tray.

Re roll any trimmings until it’s all used up.  I end up with ten good sized cakes but I am not known for skimpy measures.

Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes until lightly golden brown on the top and underneath.

Allow to cool slightly on the tray before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely, that’s if you don’t scoff them straight away with a slather of butter, lumps and all!

Potato cakes can be reheated later, either in the toaster or under the grill.  For me a knob of butter is essential.  The boys like them with baked beans piled on top.  Serve them with a fry up – they go with all sorts of everything.  Remember if you can, get some in the freezer in an airtight container and then defrost as you want them!

 Homemade Potato Cakes

Homemade Potato Cakes

Apologies for the running commentary through this recipe!

Ruth Clemens, Baker Extraordinaire

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43 Responses to Homemade Potato Cakes

  1. Cookie jar says:

    love them dipped in brown sauce.

    You can use the potato mixture as a pizza base.

  2. Laura says:

    Hi Ruth, Very intrigued by these they sound great! But i have to say i’ve never heard of them before so my question may seem quite obvious; but what texture do they have? They seem quite firm, so are they hard on the inside, or mashed potato soft, almost like a croquette?

    Similarly, are they a good alternative to chips in meals? Or would it be like serving a buttery crumpet with my fish? Haha don’t want to make knowingly make a weird serving! Thanks so much x

    • They are firm-ish smooth and a soft crust on the outside a bit squidgier in the middle but not quite like mashed potato soft. They are a nice alternative to chips with some meals – I would say if something goes with a jacket potato then it will go with potato cakes x

      • Holly Soole says:

        Made these potato cakes with my 3yr old nephew this week, he loved them and so did everyone else. Makes a change to the usual mash or roasties and my nephew calls them mash cakes!! Thanks for the recipe Ruth x

  3. Lisa James says:

    These look amazing – I will be doing them for the kids’ tea with baked beans, and then mine with cream cheese and smoked salmon.

    Don’t apologise for the running commentary – it’s what makes your recipes so much more refreshing than other people’s.

  4. These look great – lumps and all! 😉

    I love potato cakes but had never really thought about making them myself. This recipe looks pretty simple though so I think I’ll have to change that soon…thanks!

  5. Alison Tudgey says:

    I use a hand held mixer to mash potatoes since Ainsley Herriot said on TV once. Think it was the only good tip I ever heard from him and use regularly.

  6. shirley says:

    Ever tried to do canape-sized versions of these? I have, for a party of French people. It was a bit bizzare but they seemed to go down well topped with small bits of black pudding. Think I managed to improve the standing of Scottish cuisine with these particular French… PS – I loved your running commentary!

  7. Deborah Beeston says:

    i like you dont like mashing potato, so i use my kitchen slave..my Kenwood, does it is a quarter of the time and with perfect results…..why buy a dog and bark yourself lol x

  8. tracey says:

    ooh now these look nice ruth,
    think they would go nice with some tasty sausages and baked beans mmmmmmm
    thanks ruth x

  9. elizabeth henderson says:

    My Granny used to make this for us coming in from school – but she added a layer of stewed apple in the middle(like a sandwich) and called it Apple Slim – its the least slimming thing I can imagine — but yummy!! ( N Ireland)

  10. Lynne Rowe says:

    Don’t apologise for the running commentary Ruth – it made me smile. I’m a fan of potato cakes too – mum used to make them (and still does). Dripping with butter is the best. Now I need to make some with gluten free flour of course. I’m sure they’ll taste just as nice. Mmmm dreaming of them already, Lynne x

  11. Pauline M says:

    I can’t wait to try these, a taste of childhood for me also.
    Invest in a potato ricer, they are amazing and worth the washing up. Buy the best.
    Would it work if I riced the potatos whilst hot, allow them to cool and then continue with your instructions – which I tell you are fab, don’t apologise for the way you do them it is just as if you were here in my kitchen.
    Keep up the good work.

  12. Helen G says:

    Hi Ruth, loving your recipes – just a quick question on these, do you freeze them cooked or uncooked? Thanks!

  13. SarahC says:

    Nostalgia! My grandma used to make these, my mum never did, so they hold very dear memories … and I can almost taste them now. YUM. Your recipes are absolutely brilliant in their detail, commentary and photos, don’t ever apologise!

  14. I’ve often thought about making these. They look so good!

  15. Charlene says:

    These are a Northern Ireland favourite! We eat them toasted or fried with an Ulster fry (lovely dipped in a runny egg!) Some have been known to eat them cold with butter and homemade jam.

  16. Lemon Scent says:

    I have a potato ricer which is absolutely brill for mashing potatoes. its like a huge garlic press, and saves so much effort

  17. kathryn almond says:

    I’d never heard of these, but was intrigued. Made them yesterday, and they were a huge success. My 5 year old believes all vegetables, including potatoes(mashed, chips, roast etc) are poisonous and avoids them at all costs, which makes “what would you like with your chicken” an interesting debate. He loved these, as did everyone else! I will be making a big batch of these to store. Thank you xx

  18. stanley armstrong says:

    Spotted you on the bus at the NEC Cakecraft Ehibition. The most famous person I saw all weekend. Were you exhibiting or contesting ? I looked for you but only saw you once more when you were having a cuppa. Looked for ages trying to find this recipe, they are just like my mother in law made for me in year 1956. Do you think its an old Manchester recipe?

    • Hello! Thanks for dropping by! I was demonstrating on the Dr Oetker stand at the show on Saturday and Sunday – you should have popped over to say hello! The recipe definitely comes from Manchester, Mum is a Manchester lass! x

  19. Bugs says:

    Thanks for this recipe, bookmarked back when you posted it (as I had never seen them done in the oven before) and tried, with trepidation (in an almost new oven, too). Oh my, better than I ever remember potato bread; even my better half who doesn’t like potato bread has said “they aren’t too bad”. I used up a bit of leftover mash as well as the cold potatoes, and put the potatoes and butter through the ricer (buy one, now), beat them together and mixed in the flour. I also took the liberty of turning the cooked cakes over on the baking trays, to colour up the other side.

    Now I am planning to dig out my Marguerite Patten books and try out some potato pastry.

    If anyone should read this belated comment take it from me this is worth your time and potatoes (and I am not one to direct misuse of a potato).

  20. Lucy benbow says:

    Hi, can you add cheese to these or would that be wrong? If so, how much would you reccommend? Thanks!

  21. ken richardson says:

    My Granny (Liverpudlian) used to make these 70 to 80 years ago, recently we have bought the supermarket version, which only half awakened the old memories.
    We used to put butter on and eat fresh but we also put salt on, which you don’t mention.
    Oh I’ve just remembered they were always round not square.
    Thanks for the memory.

  22. Diane says:

    These were the highlight of Sunday tea for us 45 years ago. Mum always did extra mash for dinner, then me and my sister would help make them. We always made two round ones in Victoria sponge tins. I’ve been promising my son I’d make him some, as shop ones just aren’t the same, but was never sure of the quantities to use. As a connoisseur on the art of eating them, potato cakes should be served warm with butter and golden syrup that escapes down your hand when you try to eat them. No knives and forks allowed peeps! Great memories come in many forms. Thanks for the recipe.

  23. bev says:

    just stumbled across this recipe while looking for something to do with the kids now the weathers getting cold my mum and nana used to make these wen i was younger so finding such an easy recipe is brilliant as my 2 eldest love to help me cook (usually by stealing the mixing bowl lol) thank yu very much for putting this up x

  24. Michael Allen says:

    Thank you for this recipe, I took it today to the pre-school where I work and made it with 14 3-4 year olds for St Patricks day and they loved it. Great recipe. 🙂

  25. Claire Lucas says:

    My Mum makes this at home in Belfast, except we call it potato bread! Much nicer than the bought stuff, which has a soda taste and isn’t as good. Looking forward to making them when the more floury potatoes come into season!

  26. Helen says:

    This could be my fault because I forgot to add salt to my potatos when I boiled them and the cakes were a bit tasteless as a result. But my two year old loved them.

  27. ray says:

    I used this recipe last month and i could not believe how perfect in smell, texture and taste, this is certainly a keeper.

  28. Wendy Mason says:

    Many thanks, a proper potatoe cake recipe, not full of onions and egg. Well done they are delicious .

  29. Anne Heining says:

    Could you make these using wholemeal flour? I love potato cakes (they remind me of my childhood too!) but I stopped eating anything containing refined flour a while ago so wondered if a wholemeal version would work?
    Many thanks!

  30. Vicki says:

    Hurrah! I’m so glad I found this recipe.
    My Grandma used to make potato cakes but I never asked her how (I think she would’ve said “just throw in a bit of flour”).
    I’ve had several attempts without any luck. Other recipes seem to have a lot of ingredients/require frying (something Grandma would never have done!) and the shop-bought ones taste like cardboard.
    I made some potato cakes today following your recipe and they turned out just like Grandma’s and delicious. My 3 year old likes them too 🙂

  31. Siobhan says:

    Hi I have just come across this recipe and can’t wait to try if for my allergy prone wee monster. He loves potatoes and as it is so simple, nothing allergy wise for him is needed, yey! I’m just wondering if they need turned half way or are they ok on one side? x

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