Colcannon Cakes

Have you ever made colcannon? It’s a traditional Irish mashed potato dish with lots of greens. If there’s a heaven for kale, it’s this, mixed in with mashed potatoes and butter. Colcannon cakes, sort of an Irish version of potato latkes, are what you make with leftover colcannon. The only thing is, colcannon is so good, who has leftovers? So, you may just have to make a new batch to make these cakes. Or just make twice as much colcannon as you think you might need, just so you have enough to make these cakes. Oh my these are good. We liked them with a little fresh lemon juice squeezed on top. I had one with a runny egg for breakfast. Yum!

Colcannon Cakes Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6 as an appetizer.

You can also add some chopped fresh parsley to the colcannon mix. Here's a fun idea for breakfast, serve the colcannon cakes with a poached egg on top!




  • 2 1/2 pounds of russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • Salt
  • 5 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 lightly packed cups of chopped chard, kale, spinach, or cabbage
  • 1/2 cup of green onion greens, chopped
  • 1 cup milk or cream

Colcannon cakes:

  • About 3 cups of colcannon
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2-3 teaspoons salt
  • 4 Tbsp butter or vegetable oil
  • Lemon for garnish


1 Make the colcannon first (see our colcannon recipe.) Put potatoes in a pot, cover with cold, well salted water by an inch, bring to a boil, and cook until fork tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and remove them from the pot. Melt the butter in the still warm pot, add the chopped greens, cook for 3-4 minutes until wilted, then add the green onions and cook for another minute. Add the potatoes, milk or cream to the pot, mash until everything is well mixed.

2 Mix the egg, flour and salt in with the colcannon. You may want to chill the mixture for 15 minutes or longer to make it easier to shape the patties. Form into little cakes of whatever size you want, but make them flat so they will cook through without burning. If the mixture is too wet, add more flour until the mixture is easy to shape.

3 Heat the butter or vegetable oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, place the formed patties in the pan so they are not touching. Lower the heat to medium and gently fry until golden, abou 3-4 minutes. Turn and cook the other side. Let the cakes rest on a paper towel while you cook the others. Serve with slices of lemon.

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Colcannon Cakes - from If You Can Make That You Can Make This
Potato Latkes - from White on Rice Couple
Korean Potato Pancakes - from Apple Pie, Pastis and Pate
Sweet Potato Cakes - from Lisa is Cooking
Coleman Andrew's colcannon cakes - from The Country Cooking of Ireland


View Comments / Leave a Comment


  1. Lisa

    Oh, dear G-d! My husband and I (two Jews) were just talking about Colcannon the other day. I haven’t made it in a few years, and I always made it without any meat. Now I’ll have to make it vegan, but after seeing this recipe, I am up for the challenge!

    Thanks Elise!

  2. Amanda {Thinly Sliced Cucumber}

    Wow! These look amazing. I almost always add spinach or kale to mashed potatoes, but I never thought to turn it into crispy cakes- yumm. I will definitely be making these soon.

  3. homegrown countrygirl

    Seriously, Elise, you come up with some of the very best ideas… I love your suggestion to serve these with a poached egg on top! “Dia duit!”

  4. Val from PA

    Oh wow… I’m afraid to make these – I’d probably eat them all myself in one sitting! They look sooo good!

  5. brandi

    I’ve never had these before, but I think that needs to change. My husband would love them!

  6. June

    Fabulous! We made your delicious colcannon for dinner with corned beef on Saturday and coincidentally enjoyed some leftovers as cakes for breakfast Sunday. Although we just formed it into patties and fried it, I love your addition of flour and egg to the mix. We’ll be trying it your way soon! Thanks Elise.

  7. Adam Z.

    These look excellent! I have occasionally made colcannon. And I have occasionally made latkes. But I have never thought about where the two might meet. I will definitely have to try this.

  8. KariVery

    You know you’re in trouble when it’s only Wednesday and you’re planning breakfast for Saturday…. but that’s what I’m doing!

  9. Cynthia

    My grandmother always turned her leftover mashed potatoes into this type of “potato cake”. She didn’t use flour, but just dipped the patties in beaten eggs and fried them. Next time I make colcannon, I’ll turn the leftovers into cakes! Love the runny egg idea.

  10. Andrew

    It’s almost like pan boxty, which might just be the best thing on earth. I love colcannon, and if you can make it with nettles, it’s even better. My granma used to make it with nettles and buttermilk, and serve it with boiled onions.

    Nettles are so good, aren’t they? I love nettles on pizza. I can just imagine how good they would be in colcannon. ~Elise

  11. nylaw

    I misread the title as “colon cakes.” This sounds much better!

  12. Katie

    I was so excited to go home and make this well timed recipe with my leftover colcannon. Something went wrong, and I believe it must have been the flour. I ended up just frying the whole bunch into more of a cow patty than a cake because of the sticky mess that was beginning to form.

    Hi Katie, yes it can be a bit like pancake batter, just add a bit more flour. ~Elise

  13. Monty

    I made these last night — they were wonderful! They go really well with plain Greek yogurt.

  14. Karen

    Are you using fresh spinach or kale, the greens, or are you using frozen? How would it be to substitute frozen? I would guess it is necessary to drain and dry the frozen spinach quite a bit first.

    I’m using fresh. If you use frozen I would defrost and drain first. ~Elise

  15. Katepdx

    With my leftover colcannon I added finely chopped (food processor) corn beef for a “corn beef hash” patties. We too eat it for breakfast with a runny egg on top!
    I didn’t however add the egg, flour and salt (the corn beef added enough salt) – but I think the addition will help as my version is prone to fall apart (I have to fry and turn over very carefully).
    I even have made breakfast burritos (with scrambled eggs) with the corn beef/colcannon patties – my son loves them!

  16. waiting for easter

    Yes, it’s true, I never thought mashed potatoes can to turn into crispy cakes. It’s realy amazing!
    Elise, thank you, I have learned another cake from you!

  17. Robert

    If you like this recipe, then try this.
    Coarsely grate equal parts of sweet potatoe and onions. Make a thin batter of egg, milk, flour, some salt and black pepper and add some dried sage. Put the potatoe/onion mixture in the batter until well coated. Drop large spoonfuls into a shallow pan with a covering of vegetable oil. Fry for about five minutes per side until golden. Can be eaten, hot, cold ( stored in the fridge between sheets of greaseproof paper). I actually like them for the BBQ where they are quick to reheat and taste amazing.

  18. Melanie

    My mother always used leftover mashed potatoes to make ‘potato pancakes’ similar to what you have shown here. She never added flour, but did add egg and sometimes some shredded cheddar or other cheese to help bind them, then fry them up crispy and brown. I have continued that tradition, and I am always asked to make extra mashed potatoes so we can have the pancakes on the weekend. Now, I know what to do with those leftover greens as well, mix it all up! Thanks for the lovely recipes as always.

  19. Geraldine Linnane

    Hi Elise,
    I am from Kinvara,Co Galway, Ireland and I often make these. I run a B&B and I sometimes make them for my guests for breakfast. I usually spread butter on top when they are fresh off the pan. The egg on top is a great idea…perhaps “poached” would be best to make us feel less guilty about the already calorie laden cakes.

  20. Arlene

    I believe you are mistaken when you write: “Colcannon cakes, or the Irish version of potato latkes…” Latkes are made with grated raw potatoes, not cooked mashed potatoes, a fact that makes all the difference in the world. I’ve been making what my dearly-departed German mother called “potato pancakes” (latkes, in Jewish cuisine) for over 60 years (I’m 74). Other than both are made from potatoes and fried in oil, the comparison between latkes and your Colcannon cakes is very dissimilar. The German potato pancake (Latke) is a thin pancake made up of mostly very crisp potato shreds; their cooked centers are definitely a different texture and with onions, not at all like mashed potatoes. Mother also used up her leftover mashed potatoes by making what she called “potato cakes” so I grew up knowing the difference.

  21. Carolyn

    Just made (and ate) colcannon for the first time in my life right before St. Paddy’s day. Dear heavens, where have I been? Food of the goddess, at the very least, and unbelievably easy. I used leeks instead of spring onions, and vegan butter and milk, but otherwise it was very similar to your recipe. I’m making it again tomorrow, but as you say, it can be difficult to have ‘leftovers’. If I can muster the willpower, I will set some aside to try your colcannon cakes, which look absolutely divine, but I’m not making any promises! (Must overcome urge to eat all at once…)

  22. Judy B.

    I made colcannon for our St Patrick’s Day dinner because it’s a family tradition for our Irish family. I actually make it several times a year because everyone loves it so much. (It’s amazing with Guinness Beef.) We sometimes add chopped leftover corned beef and egg to make the patties for breakfast. My dad used to put ketchup on his and have fried eggs on the side, but my hubby and I like the fried egg on top of the patty, sans ketchup. Never tried adding the flour.

  23. Elizabeth

    I always make a huuuuuge batch of colcannon JUST so we can make these!

  24. Jerry

    How did I miss this? This looks amazing! I have to do this just as soon as I can get to the farmer’s market for some fresh greens. Of course, I’ll probably add bacon, but that’s just me ;)

  25. KariVery

    I tried to make these without frying them in oil (I used cooking spray on my non-stick griddle) and they did not turn out at all :-/ Next time I will definitely go full-fat and use a frying pan!

  26. Jayne

    I’ve been looking for another potato cutlet recipe that doesn’t use Indian spices. This is perfect!

  27. Cake Michaels

    These are not only delicious but pretty healthy as well. And guess what, I got my son to eat it, so it means it is good!

  28. Paddy O'Furniture

    Bin’ atin’ dees all me loif! Troi addin’ pickled cream (sour cream) ‘stead o’ milk. Sarve wid a generous dollop o’ sweet budder an’ a fine greezy banger. Jaysus… Now dat’s breakfast!

  29. Marelda

    I love the plate!

  30. Milena

    This looks delicious!

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