Old Fashioned Mashed Potato Cakes

Old Fashioned Mashed Potato Cakes are a perfect side dish to so many meals! Transform your leftover mashed potatoes into this tasty side dish!

We love potatoes of all forms! From these crispy Shoestring French Fries to this Twice Baked Loaded Potato Casserole or our popular Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes!

Potato cake recipe on a white platter

What Are Potato Cakes?

Potato cakes can be made from leftover mashed potatoes or you can whip up your own batch from scratch in just a few minutes, like we did with these Old Fashioned Mashed Potato Cakes.

Sometimes we just have a lot of potatoes hanging around and we’re looking for something to make besides french fries or twice baked potatoes…both super delicious options but these potato cakes are out of this world good.

Potato cakes can be served as a side dish and even the main course! Add a salad on the side and call it a meal. We do this a lot with leftover mashed potato cakes…when we’re lucky enough to have leftovers.

Potato Cake Ingredients

All you need is a few simple ingredients to make these potato cakes!

  • Potatoes: Russet or Yukon gold will do. I prefer russet potatoes for making potato cakes because they are starchier and tend to hold together better, but if you have golds they’ll be fine too.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Grated or shredded parmesan cheese will work, just make sure it’s a good quality cheese.
  • Sour Cream: We add sour cream for some tang and extra flavor! But if you don’t have sour cream you don’t have to run our for it, it’s just for flavor not texture.
  • Milk or Cream: Either will do, again, it’s whatever you have on hand or what you normally put into your mashed potatoes. Cream is my go to for these potato cakes because they keep the mashed potatoes on the thicker side.
  • Breadcrumbs: Panko or regular breadcrumbs will work, they’ll give these potato cakes a crispy crust!
  • Egg: An egg will help to bind the mashed potatoes together so they don’t fall apart on you when you fry them.

Mashed Potatoes in a pot to make potato cakes

How To Make Potato Cakes

Of course, if you’re starting with leftover or store bought mashed potatoes you can forget all those ingredients above and just add an egg to your mashed potatoes and mix! This recipe yields about 4 cups of mashed potatoes so you’ll need to start with about that much.

Form the potatoes into patties using about 1/2 cup per cake. Dip into beaten eggs and then into the breadcrumbs. Don’t worry about the shape of them too much, you can fix them up when you get them in the pan to fry.

Mashed Potato Cakes stacked on a white platter with fork

Fry the mashed potato cakes for about 3 minutes on each side in a shallow layer of oil. You want a nice, crispy brown crust on the outside, once you see that you can flip them over and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Remove the potato cakes from the skillet and let them drain on paper towels. Add kosher salt and pepper to the potato cakes right when they come out of the oil.

How To Store and Reheat Potato Cakes

Reheating these potato cakes is as easy as warming them up for few seconds in the microwave. If you want to crisp up the outsides a little more though, you can quickly pan fry them again, or heat them up on a baking sheet in the oven.

The crust on these mashed potato cakes is really so crispy, that even when you reheat them in the microwave you’re still going to have that crunch to them. We even warm these leftover potato cakes up with fried eggs on top of them for breakfast! Our boys LOVE that, they’d eat it every day if they could!

Because you can make these potato cakes ahead of time, they make a perfect side dish for dinner or holidays! You can make them all the way through and reheat them using any of the suggestions above.

Mashed potato cakes on a plate with a black fork

What Goes With Potato Cakes?

What DOESN’T go with these Old Fashioned Mashed Potato Cakes?? We love these things so much we’d serve them with just about anything. But here are a few of our favorite dinner recipes to start!

Beef Recipes:

Chicken Recipes:

Turkey Recipes:

Pork Recipes: 

potato cakes on a plate with a black fork

Mashed Potato Cakes

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

These crispy potato cakes can be served as appetizers, a side dish or the main course!



  • 2 pounds potatoes, Russet or Yukon gold
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup cream or whole milk
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 3 eggs
  • Breadcrumbs for coating the potato cakes
  • Canola or vegetable oil for frying


  1. Peel and dice the potatoes, then place in a pot with cold water. Bring the pot to a boil and cook until tender, about 12 minutes.
  2. Drain the potatoes and return to the pot. Add the butter to the pot (the heat of the potatoes will melt the butter), once the butter is melted, use a potato masher to mash the potatoes.
  3. Add the salt, pepper, garlic powder, milk or cream, parmesan cheese and sour cream to the potatoes and stir together to combine. Taste for seasonings and adjust if needed. Now add 1 egg to the potatoes and stir to combine.
  4. Add oil to a large skillet over medium heat. You’ll want a shallow layer of oil to cover the bottom of the skillet. While the oil is heating up, form the mashed potatoes into cakes using about 1/2 cup per potato cake.*{See Note}
  5. Beat the remaining 2 eggs with a tablespoon of water, then add breadcrumbs to a shallow plate fro breading the potato cakes.
  6. Dip each potato cake into the egg wash, then coat in the breadcrumbs. Fry for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown and then place on a paper towel lined plate to drain any excess oil. Season the potato cakes with salt as soon as they come out of the skillet.
  7. Repeat with the remaining potato cakes. You can keep these potato cakes on a sheet pan in a 300 degree oven until ready to serve.

Recipe Notes

You’ll need approximately 4 cups mashed potatoes if using leftover or store bought.

You can make these potato cakes as big or small as you like, depending on whether you’re serving them for appetizers, a side dish or dinner.

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

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