Mashed Potato Cakes

If you have leftover mashed potatoes in your fridge, these delicious cheesy mashed potato cakes are a fantastic way to use them up. You can add in lots of other optional ingredients based on what else you have leftover too.

Jump to Recipe (or scroll for photos and riveting information...)
Advertisement - Continue Below
Mashed potato cakes on a parchment lined plate with a metal spatula on the side, an electric griddle next to the plate and a little dish of sour cream.

Potato Cakes vs Potato Pancakes vs Latkes

This recipe for mashed potato cakes comes from having a lot of mashed potatoes leftover after a big meal, but they are actually a pretty great reason to MAKE mashed potato leftovers! I call them potato cakes because that’s exactly what they are – dense patties of mashed potato and cheese, fried up so they are deliciously crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. They are not potato pancakes or latkes, which are generally made from grated raw potato. These cakes start from already cooked (and seasoned) mashed potatoes

Ingredients on a butcher block countertop - mashed potatoes, egg, cheese, chive, flour, breadcrumbs, butter, oil, salt and pepper

How Long can you Keep Mashed Potatoes?

Generally, you can keep mashed potatoes in your refrigerator for three to five days, so using them up in a different way – like with these mashed potato cakes – is a great idea. You might have added sour cream, butter, cream, half-and-half, milk, chives, roasted garlic, cheese or any number of ingredients to your mashed potatoes. They can ALL be used to make these mashed potato cakes. You can even use mashed sweet potatoes – you’ll just learn how to adapt in the next step.

Mashed potato in a bowl with other ingredients and a wooden spoon sticking out of it.

How to Make Mashed Potato Cakes

Because there are lots of ways to make and season mashed potatoes, your leftovers might be thicker or looser than the potatoes I used. That is why you’ll see in the instructions to add flour to the mashed potatoes incrementally. If your potatoes are on the looser side you’ll need more flour than if they are stiffer and thicker. If you’re working with leftover mashed sweet potatoes, you’ll definitely need to add more flour because they will be more moist naturally and need the flour to help give them structure. Just play it by ear and add the flour as needed. 

A hand showing a ball of mashed potato over a baking sheet of portions of the same mixture and a shallow dish of breadcrumbs next to it.

How to Shape the Cakes

I like to scoop the potato mixture in a level ⅓ cup dry ingredient measure. That way every cake is the same size, which not only leads to fewer arguments at the table, but also helps them to cook uniformly at the same time. Roll the portioned potato mixture into a ball and then flatten the ball into a patty by pressing it into a breadcrumb-Parmesan mixture. The patty will be delicate at this time, so flip it over carefully and coat the other side as well before transferring the patties to a sheet pan.

Breaded potato cakes on a blue baking sheet.

Coating the Cakes

Coating the potato cakes with the Parmesan-breadcrumb mix has a couple of benefits. It helps give the cake a little more structure, it makes it easy to brown and crisp the exterior of the cake, and the Parmesan adds flavor. You can chill the potato cakes at this time if you’re not ready to cook them yet – that will make them a little more sturdy, but add a few minutes to the cooking time. 

Mashed potato cakes cooking on an electric griddle with a parchment lined plate and metal spatula in front of it.

How to Cook Mashed Potato Cakes

You can fry these mashed potato cakes in a skillet or on a griddle, using both oil (for its high smoke point) and butter (for its flavor). They will take 8 to 10 minutes per side. If you’re using a griddle, set it at 325˚ to 350˚F. If you’re using a skillet on the stovetop, pre-heat the pan on medium-high heat and then lower the heat to medium once the cakes have started cooking.

You can also air-fry these potato cakes. I start them on a piece of parchment paper to prevent them from sticking in the air fryer basket. Spray them with oil and cook at 400˚F for 10 minutes. Then, flip them over in the basket – I just invert them from the parchment paper right into the basket. The browned side of the potato cake won’t stick because it has a cooked surface. Spritz with oil and air-fry for another 10 minutes, until the cakes are nicely browned. 

A spatula serving a portion of a potato cake onto a plate.

What to Serve with Mashed Potato Cakes

My favorite way to serve these cakes is with a side salad and some sour cream to dollop on top. You can also use them as the side for a number of dishes, like a perfectly cooked ribeye, or easy glazed pork chops, or even as a base for a chicken marsala. You can basically put them anywhere you’d serve potatoes, but don’t be mad if they end up taking center stage!

Mashed Potato Cakes - Stovetop Version

  • Prep Time: 10 m
  • Cook Time: 16 m
  • Total Time: 26 m
  • Servings:
    10
    cakes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups leftover mashed potatoes
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Sour cream for serving optional
Optional Add-Ins:
  • cup diced ham
  • ¾ cup crumbled cooked bacon
  • ¾ cup shredded carrots
  • ¼ cup chopped scallions

Instructions

  1. Combine the mashed potatoes, egg, Monterey Jack cheese, chives, and 2 tablespoons of the flour in a large bowl. If your mashed potatoes are loose, stir in additional flour for a stiffer consistency. Season the mixture with salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir in any add-ins you might be including.
  2. Using a ⅓-cup dry ingredient measure, divide the potato mixture into 10 even portions and shape them into rough balls.
  3. Combine the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese in a shallow dish. Place each potato ball into the breadcrumbs and flatten it to form the mixture into a 3-inch patty. Carefully flip the cake over and coat the other side with crumbs as well. Flatten the edges of the cakes with your hands or a spatula so that each one is a straight-sided disk. This will help to prevent the potato pancakes from spreading out too much while cooking.
  4. Heat an electric griddle to 350˚F or pre-heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a glug of vegetable oil and a tablespoon of butter to the griddle or skillet. Add the potato pancakes, cooking in batches if necessary and cook for 6 to 8 minutes on each side until lightly browned. Flip the cakes over carefully - they will be soft and delicate until both sides are browned. When browned on both sides and heated through in the center, transfer the potato cakes to a plate lined with parchment paper or paper towels. Repeat with the second batch of potato pancakes, adding additional oil and butter as needed.
  5. Garnish with fresh chopped chives and serve warm with sour cream if desired.

Mashed Potato Cakes - Air Fryer Version

  • Prep Time: 10 m
  • Cook Time: 20 m
  • Total Time: 26 m
  • Servings:
    10
    cakes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups leftover mashed potatoes
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Vegetable oil
  • Sour cream for serving optional
Optional Add-Ins:
  • cup diced ham
  • ¾ cup crumbled cooked bacon
  • ¾ cup shredded carrots
  • ¼ cup chopped scallions

Instructions

  1. Combine the mashed potatoes, egg, Monterey Jack cheese, chives, and 2 tablespoons of the flour in a large bowl. If your mashed potatoes are loose, stir in additional flour for a stiffer consistency. Season the mixture with salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir in any add-ins you might be including.
  2. Using a ⅓-cup dry ingredient measure, divide the potato mixture into 10 even portions and shape them into rough balls.
  3. Combine the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese in a shallow dish. Place each potato ball into the breadcrumbs and flatten it to form the mixture into a 3-inch patty. Carefully flip the cake over and coat the other side with crumbs as well. Flatten the edges of the cakes with your hands or a spatula so that each one is a straight-sided disk. This will help to prevent the potato pancakes from spreading out too much while cooking.
  4. Place the potato pancakes on a piece of parchment paper and transfer the parchment and cakes to the air fryer basket. Spray the top with oil. Air-fry at 400˚F for 10 minutes. Flip the cakes over - the easiest way to do this is to use the parchment paper to flip the cakes right onto the basket. Because one side is browned at this point, there is less chance of it sticking to the basket. Spray the uncooked side with more oil and air-fry for another 10 minutes.

  5. Garnish with fresh chopped chives and serve warm with sour cream if desired.
Advertisement - Continue Below
Advertisement - Continue Below
Advertisement - Continue Below

Comments (2)Post a Reply

  1. 5 stars
    Grew up with these delicious potato cakes. My grandmother called them something else can’ t remember what. Thanks for reminding me about these. Great recipe.😏

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *