How to Make the Best Potato Cake: Tips and Tricks from an Italian

Potato cakes are a classic dish that can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They are easy to make and can be customized with different ingredients to suit your taste. In this article, we will share our tips and tricks for making the best potato cake that is crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

Understanding potato cakes is the first step in making the perfect one. Potato cakes are made from mashed potatoes that are mixed with flour, egg, and seasoning. The mixture is then fried in oil until crispy on the outside. The key to making a good potato cake is to use the right potatoes and to prepare the mixture correctly.

To make the best potato cake, you will need to choose the right type of potato. Russet potatoes are best for making potato cakes because they are high in starch and low in moisture. This makes them perfect for frying as they will become crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Once you have your potatoes, you will need to prepare the mixture by adding flour, egg, and seasoning.

Key Takeaways

  • Choose the right type of potato to make the best potato cake.
  • Prepare the mixture correctly by adding flour, egg, and seasoning.
  • Fry the potato cake until crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

Piero’s Recipe from the video:

  • Potatoes
  • Milk
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Cheese, Pecorino or Parmesan
  • Parsley
  • Garlic
  • Eggs
  • Oil
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Butter
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Understanding Potato Cakes

Potato cakes are a delicious and easy-to-make dish that can be enjoyed as a side or main course. They are made with mashed potatoes, flour, and other ingredients, and then fried until crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

Potato cakes are a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes, and they can be customized with different herbs, spices, and toppings to suit your taste. They can be served as a savory breakfast, a lunchtime snack, or a dinner side dish.

When making potato cakes, it’s important to use the right type of potatoes. Russet potatoes are a good choice because they are starchy and dry, which makes them ideal for mashing. Yukon Gold potatoes are another good option because they have a buttery flavor and a creamy texture that works well in potato cakes.

To make potato cakes, start by mixing mashed potatoes, flour, and other ingredients such as minced onion, egg, salt, and pepper. The batter should be thick and creamy, but not too runny or too thick. If it’s too runny, add more flour. If it’s too thick, add a splash of milk.

When shaping the potato cakes, use a spoon or your hands to form them into small patties. You can make them as thick or thin as you like, but keep in mind that thinner potato cakes will cook faster and be crispier.

To cook the potato cakes, heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and add a few tablespoons of oil. Once the oil is hot, add the potato cakes and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crispy.

In summary, potato cakes are a simple and delicious dish that can be made with leftover mashed potatoes and customized to suit your taste. By following these simple steps, you can make the best potato cakes that are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

Ingredients Required

To make the best potato cake, we need a few essential ingredients that will give it the perfect texture and flavor. Here are the ingredients required to make delicious potato cakes:

Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are the base of the potato cake. We need two cups of mashed potatoes to make the perfect potato cake. You can use leftover mashed potatoes or make fresh ones by boiling and mashing russet potatoes.


We need half a cup of all-purpose flour to bind the potato cake together. It helps to hold the cake’s shape and gives it a crispy texture.


One beaten egg is required to bind the ingredients together and give the potato cake a fluffy texture.


We need one tablespoon of butter to fry the potato cake. You can use unsalted or salted butter, depending on your preference.

Shredded Cheddar Cheese

One cup of shredded cheddar cheese adds a delicious flavor to the potato cake. You can also use other types of shredded cheese, such as parmesan or mozzarella.


We need salt to enhance the flavor of the potato cake. You can use regular salt or sea salt, depending on your preference.

Garlic Salt

A pinch of garlic salt adds a unique flavor to the potato cake. You can skip it if you don’t like the taste of garlic.

Vegetable Oil

We need vegetable oil to fry the potato cake. You can use any type of vegetable oil, such as canola or sunflower oil.


You can add vegetables such as onions, parsley, or salsa to the potato cake to give it a unique flavor. You can also add other vegetables such as bell peppers, carrots, or corn, depending on your preference.


A teaspoon of sugar can be added to the potato cake to balance the flavors.

Baking Cocoa

A tablespoon of baking cocoa can be added to the potato cake to give it a chocolatey flavor.

Baking Soda

A pinch of baking soda can be added to the potato cake to make it fluffy.

2% Milk

A splash of 2% milk can be added to the potato cake batter to make it creamier.

Now that we know the ingredients required let’s move on to the next section, where we will discuss the steps to make the best potato cake.

Choosing the Right Potatoes

When it comes to making the best potato cake, choosing the right potatoes is crucial. Not all potatoes are created equal, and different types of potatoes have different textures and flavors that can affect the outcome of your dish. Here’s what we need to know about picking potatoes.

Starchy vs. Waxy Potatoes

The first thing to consider when choosing potatoes for your potato cake is the starch content. Starchy potatoes, like Russet potatoes, are high in starch and low in moisture. They are perfect for making fluffy mashed potatoes, but they can also be used to make crispy potato cakes. Waxy potatoes, on the other hand, have a lower starch content and higher moisture content. They hold their shape well when cooked, making them ideal for salads and dishes that require a firmer texture.

For our potato cake recipe, we recommend using Russet potatoes. They have a high starch content that will help the cake hold together and a mild flavor that won’t overpower the other ingredients.

Mashed Potatoes

If you have leftover mashed potatoes, you can use them to make potato cakes. However, keep in mind that mashed potatoes are already seasoned and may be too soft to form into cakes. To make them work, add some flour to the mashed potatoes to help bind them together and give them a firmer texture. You can also add some grated cheese, chopped herbs, or other seasonings to the mixture to enhance the flavor.

Other Considerations

When selecting potatoes for your potato cake, look for potatoes that are firm, smooth, and free of blemishes. Avoid potatoes that are sprouting, green, or have soft spots, as these can indicate decay or spoilage. Store your potatoes in a cool, dark place, such as a pantry or cellar, to prevent them from sprouting or rotting.

By choosing the right potatoes and following a few simple tips, you can make the best potato cake that will impress your family and friends.

Preparing the Potato Cake Mixture

To make the best potato cake, we need to start with a well-prepared mixture. Here are the steps we need to follow:

Step 1: Mashed Potatoes

The foundation of any potato cake is the mashed potatoes. We need to make sure that the potatoes are well-cooked and mashed to a smooth consistency. We can add some butter, salt, and pepper to the mashed potatoes to enhance the flavor.

Step 2: Adding Flour and Eggs

To bind the mashed potatoes, we need to add flour and eggs. We can use all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour. The eggs help to hold the mixture together and give it a fluffy texture. We need to mix the flour and eggs thoroughly with the mashed potatoes.

Step 3: Seasoning

We can add some chopped onions, salt, and pepper to the mixture to enhance the taste. We can also add some sugar, baking cocoa, and baking soda to give it a sweet flavor. We need to mix all the ingredients well.

Step 4: Adding Dairy

To make the potato cake moist and rich, we can add some dairy products like 2% milk and sour cream. The milk helps to make the mixture smooth and creamy, while the sour cream adds a tangy flavor. We need to mix the dairy products well with the potato mixture.

Step 5: Frying

We need to heat some oil in a frying pan and drop spoonfuls of the potato mixture into it. We need to cook the potato cake until it is golden brown on both sides. We can serve the potato cake with some sour cream or ketchup.

By following these simple steps, we can prepare the perfect potato cake mixture that is fluffy, flavorful, and moist.

Cooking the Potato Cake

Once the potato cake mixture is prepared, it’s time to cook it up! We have found that using a skillet is the best way to get a crispy and golden brown potato cake.

To start, heat up a skillet on medium heat. Add a generous amount of oil or butter to the skillet to ensure the potato cake doesn’t stick. Once the skillet is hot, add the potato cake mixture to the pan.

Using a spatula, flatten the mixture into a round shape and smooth out the edges. Let the potato cake cook for a few minutes until the bottom is golden brown and crispy. Then, carefully flip the potato cake over and cook the other side until it’s also golden brown and crispy.

If you’re making multiple potato cakes, we recommend cooking them one at a time to ensure they cook evenly. You can keep the cooked potato cakes warm in the oven until all of them are done.

Once the potato cakes are cooked to perfection, serve them hot and enjoy!

Serving Suggestions

When it comes to serving potato cake, there are plenty of options to choose from. Whether you’re making it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, it’s an incredibly versatile dish that can be paired with a variety of sides and toppings. Here are some of our favorite serving suggestions:


Potato cake makes for a great breakfast option. Serve it with a fried egg on top and a side of bacon or sausage for a hearty morning meal. You can also add some shredded cheese to the mix for an extra burst of flavor.


For a quick and easy lunch, pair your potato cake with a side of salsa. You can use any type of salsa you like, whether it’s mild or spicy. The combination of the crispy potato cake and the fresh salsa is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.


Potato cake can also be served as a side dish for dinner. Pair it with your favorite protein, such as grilled chicken or steak, and some roasted vegetables for a complete meal. You can also add some sour cream on top for a creamy finish.


When it comes to toppings, the possibilities are endless. Some of our favorites include:

  • Shredded cheese
  • Chopped scallions
  • Crumbled bacon
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Diced tomatoes

Feel free to mix and match toppings to find your perfect combination.


Adding vegetables to your potato cake is a great way to add some extra nutrition to your meal. Some vegetables that pair well with potato cake include:

  • Bell peppers
  • Onions
  • Zucchini
  • Mushrooms

Simply sauté the vegetables in a pan before adding them to the potato cake mixture.

Overall, potato cake is a delicious and versatile dish that can be served in a variety of ways. Whether you’re making it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, there’s no wrong way to enjoy this classic dish.

Variations to the Basic Recipe

We’ve covered the basic recipe for making potato cakes, but there are many variations you can try to add some variety to your dish. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Leftover Mashed Potatoes

If you have leftover mashed potatoes, you can easily turn them into potato cakes. Simply mix the mashed potatoes with some all-purpose flour, an egg, and any seasonings you like. Form the mixture into patties and fry them up in a skillet until crispy. Leftover mashed potatoes can also be mixed with shredded cheddar cheese for an extra flavor boost.

All-Purpose Flour

While the basic recipe calls for all-purpose flour, you can experiment with different types of flour to see how they affect the texture of your potato cakes. For example, using self-rising flour will give your cakes a lighter, fluffier texture, while using cornmeal will make them crispy and crunchy.

Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Adding shredded cheddar cheese to your potato cake mixture will give them a delicious, cheesy flavor. You can also sprinkle some cheese on top of the cakes while they’re cooking to create a crispy, cheesy crust.

Cold Mashed Potatoes

While the basic recipe calls for warm mashed potatoes, you can also use cold mashed potatoes to make potato cakes. The cold potatoes will be more firm and hold their shape better, resulting in a crispy exterior and a creamy interior.

Overall, there are many ways to customize your potato cakes and make them your own. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ingredients and techniques to find the perfect recipe for you.

Potato Cakes

Health and Nutrition Facts

When it comes to making the best potato cake, it’s important to consider the health and nutrition facts. We want to create a delicious dish that is also good for our bodies. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

Calories and Fat

Potato cakes can vary in calories and fat depending on the recipe and cooking method. Our recipe calls for using russet potatoes, which are naturally low in fat and calories. We also recommend using minimal oil or butter when cooking to keep the fat content low.

Crispy Texture

One of the best things about potato cakes is their crispy texture. However, achieving that crispy texture can sometimes mean using more oil or butter. To keep our potato cakes crispy without adding excess fat, we recommend using a non-stick skillet and cooking them on medium heat until they are golden brown on each side.

Cholesterol and Sodium

Potato cakes can be high in cholesterol and sodium, especially if they are made with cheese or other high-sodium ingredients. To keep our potato cakes healthy, we recommend using minimal salt and avoiding high-fat cheeses. We also suggest using egg whites instead of whole eggs to reduce cholesterol.

Carbohydrate and Fiber

Potatoes are a good source of carbohydrates and fiber, which are important for energy and digestion. However, it’s important to balance our carbohydrate intake with other nutrients to maintain a healthy diet. Our recipe includes flour to help bind the potato cakes together, but we recommend using whole wheat flour for added fiber.


Potato cakes are not typically a significant source of protein, but adding some protein to the dish can help make it more filling and satisfying. Our recipe includes one large egg, which adds 3 grams of protein per pancake.

Nutrition Facts and Sugars

Here are the nutrition facts per pancake for our healthy potato cake recipe:


Our potato cakes are naturally low in sugar, with only 1 gram per pancake. This makes them a great option for those watching their sugar intake.

Helpful Tips and Tricks

When it comes to making the best potato cake, there are a few helpful tips and tricks that can make all the difference. Here are our top tips for achieving delicious and perfectly cooked potato cakes:

  • Use the right potatoes: Russet potatoes are the best choice for making potato cakes. They have a high starch content, which helps the cakes hold together and gives them a crispy exterior. Avoid using waxy potatoes like red or Yukon gold, as they won’t give you the same texture.
  • Drain excess moisture: After boiling or steaming your potatoes, make sure to drain off any excess moisture. Too much moisture can make your potato cakes soggy and difficult to handle. You can use paper towels to blot away any excess moisture.
  • Use a non-stick baking pan: A non-stick baking pan will help ensure that your potato cakes don’t stick and will make flipping them much easier. If you don’t have a non-stick pan, you can use a well-seasoned cast iron skillet.
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan: When cooking your potato cakes, make sure to leave enough space in the pan so that they have room to cook and crisp up. Overcrowding the pan can cause the cakes to steam instead of fry, resulting in a soggy texture.
  • Fry in hot oil: Make sure your oil is hot enough before adding your potato cakes. If the oil isn’t hot enough, the cakes will absorb too much oil and become greasy. You can test the temperature of the oil by dropping in a small piece of bread or potato – if it sizzles immediately, the oil is ready.

By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be well on your way to making the best potato cakes ever.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some tips for making crispy potato cakes?

To achieve crispy potato cakes, it is important to use dry mashed potatoes and to let the cakes cook undisturbed until they form a crust. Adding a little bit of cornstarch or breadcrumbs to the batter can also help to create a crispy texture.

Can I make potato cakes without eggs?

Yes, you can substitute eggs with a flax or chia egg, or even leave them out entirely. However, the texture of the potato cakes may be slightly different.

What are some variations of traditional potato cake recipes?

Some popular variations include adding cheese, bacon, herbs, or spices to the batter. You can also experiment with different types of mashed potatoes, such as sweet potato or cauliflower mash.

How do I prevent my potato cakes from falling apart?

Make sure the mashed potatoes are not too wet and that the batter is thick enough to hold its shape. Adding a binding agent such as flour or cornstarch can also help to keep the cakes together.

Sour cream, chives, and applesauce are classic toppings for potato cakes. You can also try serving them with ketchup, gravy, or aioli for a more modern twist.

What is the best way to store leftover potato cakes?

Store leftover potato cakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, place them in a skillet over medium heat until heated through and crispy.

Do you have other Vegetarian/Salad Videos?

Yes! we do here is a list:
Grilled Vegetables
Bucatini Pasta with Leek and Mushroom
Flash Fried Courgettes (fried Zucchini) With Mint and Garlic
Tagliata Rucola e Grana | Beef, Rocket & Parmesan

Do you have any other videos? Yes here are our latest ones:

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Cooking With An Italian

Ciao I am Piero coming all the way from Puglia Italy. I created this site to bring my love of food to all, hope you enjoy.