The Sunday Recipe: Potato Pancakes

Also known as potato latkes, these are a traditional meatless Lenten meal I grew up with. I’ve used every type of potato but yellow or white probably work best. I’ve tried using several other things than flour to thicken and it just doesn’t work as well. Tapioca flour is okay, but it doesn’t hold together as well as the wheat flour. The baking powder isn’t traditional but I like what it does for them. I typically serve these with cottage cheese and applesauce on the side, but I’ve also used sour cream with them. They would also make nice breakfast hash browns. I cover the bottom of the cast iron frying pan with a puddle of refined olive oil then add a bit more between batches. The hot frying pan heats it to a good temp almost instantly.

Potato Pancakes


  • 2 pounds potatoes.
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • Extra light olive oil for frying


  1. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the three eggs.
  2. Chop or grate the onion into the bowl and stir it into the eggs.
  3. Peel and grate the potatoes over the eggs and onion. (Food processor also works okay for this but I like to hand grate them on a large hole grater.).
  4. Get the pan heating on medium high.
  5. Dump the flour, salt, pepper, and baking powder into the bowl with the potato mixture and stir vigorously.
  6. Check whether the pan is ready by dropping just a little mix into the oil and seeing if it sizzles.
  7. Carefully place potato batter into hot frying pan. You can use a big spoon or a quarter cup measure. Pat down the mound of potato batter in the frying pan to spread it out.
  8. After 4 minutes, turn over using two spatulas, one to flip and one to hold and ease the pancake down so it doesn’t splash the oil.
  9. I can get three pancakes into my ten-inch skillet at a time. This recipe makes 12 large pancakes if you use a quarter cup measure.
  10. You may need to add some more flour to the batter as the potatoes release moisture.
  11. Enjoy!