Old Fashioned Mashed Potato Pancakes (And Cleaning Up the Grease!)

Old Fashioned Mashed Potato Pancakes at

A few weeks ago, I mentioned on Facebook that I had once again failed at making Mashed Potato Pancakes.

As a child, I loved them. I even asked my mother to make them for breakfast at one of my slumber parties. My friends (who had never had them) were skeptical, but fell in love with them as well.

I had tried multiple times in the course of my adult life, but after the last attempt, I gave up hope.

I served my family stir-fried mashed potatoes for dinner. Which isn’t even a thing. And shouldn’t be a thing.

When I shared my failure on Facebook, about half  of you shared my frustration, but the other half gave ideas of how to make them work. It’s possible that I’d heard some of the tips before, but since I generally only attempt these once every two to three years, I had forgotten any advice.

So this time, I decided to try again sooner so I’d be able to build upon the lessons of my recent failure. AND, it just so happened that Formula 409 had asked to sponsor a post specifically about how you don’t need to be afraid of cooking greasy stuff since 409 cleans up grease so easily.

Cleaning Up the Grease with Formula 409 at

I don’t cook with grease very often (almost never, in fact), so the timing was perfect!

Because that was the other frustration of my recent failed attempt. Grease splatters everywhere. Ick.

The four things you all mentioned in your advice were:

  • Make sure the oil is very hot.

  • Add eggs.

  • Add flour.

  • Season the leftover mashed potatoes again, even if they were seasoned before.

Hot Oil for Potato Pancakes at

I put the oil in my skillet before I started dealing with the mashed potatoes so it would have time to get good and hot.

Making Potato Pancakes at

And I now understand why these are made from leftovers.

I made a big ‘ol batch of mashed potatoes, and it was way too much. I made 12 servings (don’t judge) of instant (don’t judge) mashed potatoes.

I added three eggs, 1/2 cup of flour and pepper.

I did the old test-the-oil-to-see-if-it’s-hot-enough trick:

Testing the Oil at

I decided it was. (I was guessing, since I almost never fry.)

I started dolloping them in, and could tell immediately that things were going to turn out better than the last time.

Hot Potato Pancakes Bubbling in Oil at

I tried to follow the advice I’d heard on cooking shows past. I let the edges get brown, waited to turn them until they were not sticking on the bottom and salted them as soon as they came out of the oil.

They were (mostly) perfect. The few casualties weren’t a problem since I’d made TWELVE servings.

I do believe I lived up to my 10yo’s request. When I told him I was making Potato Pancakes, he asked if, this time, I could make them the way Grammy makes them.

I may or may not have stifled a snarky response.

We enjoyed our dinner, and then it was time to clean up. When a company hires this Slob Blogger to demonstrate their product, they get a great deal. Not only did I have the grease splatters from the potato pancakes, I had potato boil over from the night before.

The night before when I basically boiled away the real potatoes I was making so I’d have leftovers for the pancakes.

Hence the potato flakes. (P.S. I’ve had WAY too many kitchen mishaps to share lately . . . )

I had come home from working on a video shoot and heard the dishwasher running. (Thanks, Hubby!) I didn’t even bother to walk into the kitchen once I heard that. So my Formula 409 was tested on day-old boilover AND grease.

This was my extra-messy stove top:

Extra-Messy Stove Top at

I sprayed the 409 and used paper towels to wipe it up. After ONE wipe, the stove looked like this:

Cleaned with Formula 409 at

Cleaning the Greasy Stove Top with Formula 409 at

A little scraping of the burned-on gunk from the night before and another wipe-down, and it looked really great. I walked by several times later and smiled at my shiny stove top.

Shiny Stove Top at

(Oh, and I did go over it with a wet paper towel to “rinse” the surface.)

I officially conquered two fears in this post.

First, the fear that I would never, ever be able to make Potato Pancakes the way Grammy makes them, and second . . . that cooking anything greasy means a huge and daunting clean-up process. 

Some info about Formula 409:

Formula 409® Antibacterial All-Purpose Cleaner easily cleans grease and other kitchen messes, while killing 99.9% of germs on hard non-porous surfaces. Formula 409® is also available in Glass & Surface Cleaner, Natural Stone & Steel Cleaner and Carpet Spot & Stain Cleaner so you can degrease and clean many types of surfaces.

Visit for greasy content and to learn more about tackling every day and greasy messes in the kitchen.

You can also download their guide to hosting a chili cook-off, which includes several chili recipes!

Thank you to Formula 409 for sponsoring this post and for giving me an excuse to get this recipe right!! I was given a bottle of Formula 409 and was paid for my time testing the product and writing this post. All opinions, botched recipes, and excessively-messy stoves are mine. 


--Nony get-how-to-manage-your-home-without-losing-your-mind-wherever-books-are-sold


  1. 1

    So I’m going to be that person who points out that the use of “anti bacterial” cleaners in everyday use contributes to the creation of super-bacteria that is resistant to all cleaners and antibiotics. While I appreciate the fact that 409 was your sponsor, I will never ever ever buy a cleaner or a soap that is “anti bacterial” for my home.

    On the other hand, the potato pancakes look great. 🙂

  2. 2

    Your potato pancakes look yummy and your stove looks great!

  3. 3
    Monica Ross says:

    Yay! A little more practice and you’ll have fried spud cakes in the weekly dinner rotation. Possibly a bit less crazy-splatter if you didn’t have so many cakes in the pan at once? Something something food science about the moisture cooking out causing the oil to splut and pop… I sometimes use a pot instead of a fry pan but I’m just making small batches and not feeding a crowd of hungry kids… And you could always get the kid that requested the cakes to help wipe up the stove afterwards – the price ya pay for the good eats!

  4. 4
    Brittani A says:

    Talk about not giving up. Is it formula 22 or 79? No, they had 408 failures before they found the knack. Now i want mashed tater cakes!

  5. 5

    Never thought of it that way formula 1 ,2 , 3…. 409 we got it! LOL…

    Lovely potato pancakes! I thought you pan fried them not deep fried? Can I get the recipe… I’ve tried once and didn’t get them to work out. If your recipe works I would love to have it!

  6. 6
    Joy Pollard says:

    My family (all of them) aged 39 to 17 will Everest to get to Mums Potato Pancakes. My Gran called them Mock Fish. No, I don’t know why. But we make them with grated raw potato, grated onion, flour and eggs. Drop into hot oil and watch them fly out of the frypan. Lucky sometimes if I can get any for me. My DH likes to add to his cheese, bacon then under the grill, then puts on sour cream. We all just like plain old salt and lots of laughter.

    Great idea to add left over mashed potatoes. I will definitely do this next time.

  7. 7

    My mom didn’t cook these very often, but my babysitter did. They were AWESOME with spaghettios. 😉 I make them from time to time, but mine just aren’t the same. I’m considering driving an hour to her house and begging her to teach me how.

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