Cheesy mashed potato patties with a hint of onion, covered in breadcrumbs, then pan-fried until golden and crisp.
My mum used to make these for my sister and I when we were young, and it was always one of our favourites. I love making them for my family now. Served up with baked beans, it's a comforting dinner that's hard to beat!
Why is it that 'Mums cooking' is always better the way she does it? It doesn't seem to matter if it's these cheesy potato cakes, her famous chicken stroganoff, Turkey gravy or THE BEST fried rice. Mums always know how to make it best!
Fortunately I grew up with these potato cakes - watching mum closely and being taught exactly what she does. So I've made them many times over the years.
They are AMAZING! Comfort food at its very best. Yes a little fiddly, but well worth it.
They're great with baked beans and crispy bacon for breakfast, lunch or dinner, that's how much we love them, oh wait...... I think I just realised mums secret ingredient.. Love, she makes them with love.
So make these with love for your little ones (and big ones too) and hopefully these will be a family favourite for you too.
📋 What do we need?
Mash: These can be made with leftover mashed potato, although we regularly make fresh mash just so we can have these.
Cheese: Cheddar is best, but red Leicester or even a ready-grated cheese mix will work too - so long as they can melt.
Breadcrumbs: For us, these have to fine breadcrumbs (not panko). I use fine golden breadcrumbs, as these ensure a perfect golden crust all around the patties.
Onion: Yes, I put raw onion in the mix. Sounds unusual, but it works! It's give a little bit of texture to the mash, without overpowering it with onion-y flavour. You only need have a small onion, and be sure to chop it finely.
How to make them
Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.
- Place the mashed potato in a bowl with the cheese, onion, salt and pepper and combine.
- Divide the mixture into 8 portions and form into flat-ish rounds
- Dip each one first into flour, then beaten egg, then bread crumbs and set aside
- Shallow fry in oil for 3 - 4 minutes until each side is golden brown and piping hot
👩🍳PRO TIP Once formed into rounds, they can be kept in the fridge for a couple of days before shallow frying.
Just a perfect little pan, full of cheesy potato cakes.
They can tend to burst a bit if your mash is too soft, so skip the milk and butter for this recipe, you want firm mash, the cheese and onion will do the rest flavour-wise, and anything pan-fried is going to be good - let's be honest.
So there you have it, these are a keeper, kids love them and by that I mean one is never enough. They're great with sausages too, but it's bacon for me every time.
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Crispy Cheesy Potato Cakes
- 750 g (3 ¼ cups) mashed potato - – ensure it’s room temperate or slightly chilled*see note
- 225 g (2 ¼ cups) grated strong cheddar cheese
- ½ small onion or 1 shallot - peeled and very finely diced
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 60 g (½ cup) plain/all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg - lightly whisked
- 150 g (1 ½ cups) fine golden breadcrumbs
- 120 ml (½ cup) sunflower oil
- Maldon salt
- Preheat the oven to a low setting (around 120C/245F) and place a baking tray in there to warm up (this is to keep the first batch of potato cakes warm, while the second batch is cooking).
- Place the mashed potato in a bowl with the cheese, onion, salt and pepper.
- Mix together until combined.
- Place the flour in one bowl, the lightly whisked egg in a second bowl and the breadcrumbs in a third bowl.
- Divide the mashed potato mixture into eight portions and shape each one into a ball.
- Take one of the mashed potato balls, and flatten into a thick (1.5cm) disc in your hands.
- Dredge the potato disc in the flour, then the egg, and then coat in the breadcrumbs. Ensure the disc is fully coated with each dredge.
- Place the potato cake on a plate and repeat until all of the potato cakes are coated.
- Place the oil in a large frying pan and heat over a medium heat.
- When the oil is hot, add four of the potato cakes to the pan. Frying for 3-4 minutes each side, until golden and hot throughout.
- Don’t have the heat up too high – we need the middle of the potato cake to cook through, without the outside burning.
- Also, try not to move the potato cakes around in the pan, except for when you’re turning them over. This helps to ensure they don’t break apart.
- Place the cooked potato cakes on the warm baking tray, in the oven, to keep warm while you cook your second batch.
- Once cooked, serve the potato cakes with a light sprinkling of Maldon salt.
We don’t want the mashed potato to be too cold, as it will take longer to fry the potato cakes in order to get them piping hot through the middle.
This could cause the coating on the potato cakes to burn. Can I make them ahead? Yes, these can be made ahead up until just before you fry them. Just make the potato cakes up, cover and refrigerate for up to two days. Take them out of the fridge for an hour before you fry them - otherwise the interior will be too cold by the time the exterior is fully cooked.
Shallow fry gently in oil until piping hot and golden brown. Ingredient swaps: Why not try adding crispy bacon to the mash or cooked salmon or tinned tuna fish to make cheesy fish cakes How to scale up and scale down this recipe This can be doubled up so you can make lots Nutritional information is approximate, per potato cake (this is based on all of the breadcrumbs and oil being used up. You may find you use a little less oil and breadcrumbs).
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