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!

A wooden board full of cooked cheesy potato cakes, sprinkled with salt and chopped parsley, one is cut in half and oozy.
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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.

A black pan full of cheesy potato cakes all golden brown and crispy, sprinkled with parsley on a grey table

How to make them

Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.

  1. Place the mashed potato in a bowl with the cheese, onion, salt and pepper and combine.
  2. Divide the mixture into 8 portions and form into flat-ish rounds
  3. Dip each one first into flour, then beaten egg, then bread crumbs and set aside
  4. 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.

🍽️ What to serve them with

  • Baked beans (my personal favourite side – with an extra sprinkling of cheese, because beans shouldn’t be served without cheese in my opinion).
  • A dollop of ketchup or BBQ Sauce
  • Crispy Bacon

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.

A little pile of three cooked cheesy potato cakes with more in the back ground, all sprinkled with salt and chopped parsley

🍲 More fantastic Potato-based recipes

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5 from 4 votes

Crispy Cheesy Potato Cakes

Cheesy mashed potato patties with a hint of onion, covered in breadcrumbs, then pan-fried until golden and crisp. It's a total family favourite!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 potato cakes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: British-American


  • 750 g (3 1/4 cups) mashed potato ensure it’s room temperate or slightly chilled*see note
  • 225 g (2 1/4 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 (1/2 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1 large egg lightly whisked
  • 150 g (1 1/2 cups) fine golden breadcrumbs
  • 120 ml (1/2 cup) sunflower oil

To Serve:

  • Maldon salt
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  • Preheat the oven to a low setting (around 120C/245F (fan)) 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.
    750 g (3 1/4 cups) mashed potato, 225 g (2 1/4 cups) grated strong cheddar cheese, 1/2 small onion or 1 shallot, ¼ tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black 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.
    60 g (1/2 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour, 1 large egg, 150 g (1 1/2 cups) fine golden breadcrumbs
  • Divide the mashed potato mixture into eight portions and shape each one into a ball.
  • Take one of the mashed potato balls, and flatten it 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.
    120 ml (1/2 cup) sunflower oil
  • When the oil is hot, add four of the potato cakes to the pan. Frying for 3-4 minutes on 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 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.
    Maldon salt


Note re: mash temperature:
It’s best to use room temperature mashed potato for this recipe.
We don’t want the mashed potato to be too hot, as it won’t keep its shape and will be difficult to handle when dredging.
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).


Calories: 368kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 400mg | Potassium: 618mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 315IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 258mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links – which means if you buy the product I get a small commission (at no extra cost to you). If you do buy, then thank you! That’s what helps us to keep Kitchen Sanctuary running. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors. For more information please see our Terms & Conditions.

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Hi, I'm Nicky and I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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  1. Carole says:

    Hi Nicky, can these be frozen as i can make a double batch
    PS Love your cookbook and gave one to my sister-in-law for Christmas and she loves it too ☺

  2. Miska Knezevic says:

    5 stars

  3. Jane Green says:

    5 stars
    Hi Nicky
    I made these last nite and I actually used Aunt Bessie frozen mash.
    They were delicious and so easy to make too. I’ll definitely be making these again and might try them with some salmon

    Love all your recipes
    Thhan you

  4. David says:

    5 stars
    Great, easy to make and kids and wife loved them!


    Nicky, same as you have been having these since time immemorial. Next time you make them try adding some sweetcorn kernels to the mix, takes them to the next level. They’re also great with fish in place of chips.

  6. Judy says:

    5 stars
    Looks and sounds delicious but why wouldn’t they be. Potatoes are delicious any way they’re cooked. Thank you.