Breakfast Mashed Potato Cakes

Well, how did it go? Your Thanksgiving, I mean. The turkey, the football, the giving Thanks? Was it your best year yet?  I certainly hope so.  I also hope you made my Colcannon-style mashed potatoes that I talked about last week because I have a fantastic leftover recipe for you today.  I’ll give you a hint – we are going to patty these potatoes into “cakes” and pan-fry them.  Remember in this post for sweet potato fritters – I warned you I would enlist this method often because who doesn’t love pan-fried crispy veggie cakes?!?

While these mashed potato cakes would be great as a dinner side dish, topped with leftover shredded turkey and more gravy of course, I decided to enjoy mine earlier in the day. Since my favorite breakfast dish is an egg with a runny yolk, these cakes are getting a poached egg on top!

Colcannon Potato Cakes

The amazing thing about this dish is that by starting with leftover mashed potatoes, all the hard work is already done for you. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg and milk, then fold in the flour and baking soda. I add a little more salt and pepper to season the additional ingredients, plus, because I usually have it on hand, I added a little grated Parmesan cheese, too. Fold everything together to make a somewhat wet batter. The mixture will be a little gloppy, but not soggy.

Colcannon Potato Cakes

Pour enough oil so that it’s just about 1/4 inch deep and set over medium-high heat. Be prepared to adjust the temperature often as these babies will brown very quickly. You want them to brown slowly enough that they have time to cook all the way through before burning on the outside.

Add the batter to the hot oil in portions about 3 tablespoons big. I use a scantly filled 1/4 measuring cup. Flatten the pancakes slightly so they are not domed, and are just thicker than the depth of the oil.  Let them cook 2-3 minutes per side, then flip. Again, if they are browning too quickly, lower the heat. For this particular recipe, you may find that keeping your heat at medium-low works best.

Colcannon Potato Cakes

Colcannon Potato Cakes

Transfer cooked cakes to a plate of paper towel and season with salt while warm, then repeat with remaining batches.

Meanwhile, you can poach your eggs too. I like to poach my eggs in about 3 inches of water that has come to a boil, but then lowered to a rapid simmer. Before adding the eggs, I drop in a few splashes of mild vinegar. White distilled or rice wine vinegar work great. When you add the eggs, the temperature will likely drop and you’ll see the simmer die down. Increase the heat slightly at this point. Gently jostle the eggs to help ensure they don’t stick to the bottom, then cook for about 2-3 minutes. Lift the egg out of the water with a slotted spoon or spatula, pat dry with some paper towel then set on top of one or two potato cakes.

Enjoy while hot! Hot sauce optional, but highly recommended!

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Breakfast Mashed Potato Cakes

Breakfast Mashed Potato Cakes

  • Author: Emily Wilson
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Breakfast


My deliciously healthy mashed potato recipe makes the perfect leftovers for these breakfast potato cakes.


  • 1+4 eggs, large
  • 2 tablespoons whole or 2% milk
  • 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, grated
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 1/21 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 12 splashes of white, rice or white wine vinegar.
  • Hot Sauce, optional


  1. Fill a large saucepan with about 3 inches of water. Cover with a lid and set over high heat. Bring to a boil.
  2. Crack one egg into a large mixing bowl and whisk together with the milk. Fold in the leftover mashed potatoes, flour, Parmesan cheese and a little salt and pepper. Batter should be damp, but not liquidy.
  3. Pour oil into a medium or large saute pan so it’s just barely 1/4 inch deep. Set over medium-high heat and warm.
  4. Once the oil is warm, carefully add the batter. I use a scantily filled 1/4 cup measure so each portion is about 3 tablespoons. Press the batter into round shapes so it’s flat and just slightly thicker than the oil is deep. Cook for 2-3 minutes until golden brown, then carefully flip. If the batter is browning too dark too quickly, lower the heat. These brown quickly, but you want to give them time to cook all the way through. Transfer cakes to a plate lined with paper towel and season with salt while warm.
  5. Once the water is boiling, lower heat to a simmer.  Add a few splashes of vinegar. Crack eggs into the water one by one, then gently jostle with a spatula or spoon to make sure they don’t stick to the bottom. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the white feels firm all over but the yolk still feels soft.
  6. Lift the eggs out of the water with a slotted spatula and pat dry with paper towel. Set on top of one or two potato pancakes and serve warm, with hot sauce if you’ve got it!


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