A stack of Irish boxty in a pan

Traditional boxty recipe: Irish potato cakes

Faith Coates

Contributing writer

Boxty (Irish: bacstaí) is a traditional Irish potato pancake found in the border counties of Leitrim, Cavan and Fermanagh. It is also known as poundies, fadge, farls and tattie scones throughout Ireland and is traditionally served with a full Irish breakfast .

Invented in the 1700’s boxty or potato pancakes were an ingenious way to use up leftover potatoes and not waste anything. They are usually made with raw grated potato and some leftover mash although some folks have been known to make them with just left over mashed potato.

It is then fried on a griddle until it is browned a little.  This Irish potato pancake recipe can then be frozen or kept for a few days in the fridge to be pulled out for breakfast.  For breakfast, they are fried in a little butter until the cake gets a slight crisp on the outside. As a child my mum only made Boxty on Christmas Day when we had the treat of a full Irish breakfast to last us until turkey time.


  • 3 cups potatoes, peeled, cooked and still hot
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour


  1. 1
    Rice or mash the potatoes very well until there are no lumps. It's important to make the potato cakes while the potatoes are still hot: this makes sure you'll have a light and tasty result.
  2. 2
    In a bowl, mix the potatoes well with the salt; then add the melted butter and mix well again. Finally add the flour, working in enough to make a light and pliable dough.
  3. 3
    Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a roughly oblong shape, about 9 inches long and four inches wide, and about 1/4 inch thick. Trim the edges until you have a neat rectangle: then cut again so that you have four or six triangles.
  4. 4
    Heat a dry griddle or frying pan until medium-hot. Then fry the triangles until golden brown on each side. Usually, this takes about five minutes on each side.
  5. 5
    Put the finished potato pancakes aside on a plate covered with a dishtowel/tea towel. Then serve topped with fried or poached eggs, Irish bacon, black pudding, mushrooms, sausage and tomatoes. If you have more boxty than you can use, it freezes very well - just put it in a Tupperware or similar plastic container first.

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Faith Coates

Author - Faith Coates

Faith is an Irish travel and food writer from Donegal, travelling the world via housesitting. 

Last Updated 28 November 2022

The peninsula near Howth, Ireland


Also known as the Emerald Isle, Ireland is known for its natural beauty, dramatic landscapes, old cities and long history.