Potato Cakes!

 In the South, we don't believe in wasting anything.  Many of us were brought up with this way of thinking deeply ingrained in us by parents who were brought up with this as a matter of survival and necessity.  If you have leftovers, you save them and eat them or figure out a way to reorganize them and make them interesting the second time around. 

 I am sure that is how the potato cake came to be.  I know that is when my own mother would make them, when we had leftover mashed potatoes.  I am not sure how my grandmother ever had enough leftover mashed potatoes to make them when she had to mash potatoes for 13 people, but I guess sometime she did. 

My mother-in-law only had 4 children and she used to tell me that in order to have enough leftover mashed potatoes for potato cakes, she would cook extra potatoes and put some aside for the next day.  We do love our potatoes in this part of the country. 

These are really very simple to make and just like salmon patties, everyone does it just a bit different to suit their own tastes and their families tastes.  They are also called several different names by different folks....potato cakes, potato patties, potato pancakes...all the same thing.

 This is the way my mother always made them and what we like.  Her potato cakes are a little puffier and light than some and you will see why if you make them.

 Here is what you will need:

2 cups cold mashed potatoes
1 egg
1/2 cup self rising flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbs. finely minced onion (optional, we don't use onion)
oil for frying

Mix the potatoes, egg, flour and baking powder.   Add onion if using it.   Heat about 2-3 Tbs. oil in a skillet until hot.  Make sure your oil is not enough or the potato cake will just spread out and not stay together.  

Scoop with an ice cream scoop and drop in the hot oil.  Flatten slightly, but don't mash down too much.  Cook until nice and brown on one side and then turn them over and cook until nice and brown on the other side.   Remove to a paper towel lined plate. 

Serve with a little sour cream and chives or green onion or just plain.  These are good with any meat or with beans and cornbread!


  1. I use onion in my potato cakes. I just love them.Thanks for sharing.

  2. exactly as my Mom made them. during summer when we had fresh bell peppers she would dice them and add.

  3. Bet would be good with ham chucks.



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