Boxty or Traditional Irish Potato (Pan)cakes


Boxty (bacstaí or arán bocht tí in Irish) is a traditional Irish Potato Pancake that’s gaining more and more popularity in Ireland again in recent times. Nowadays you can eat them in all kinds of shapes and sizes, you can have them as thin pancakes or thicker potato cakes, or even as wraps filled with other ingredients. Now what makes Boxty so different than Swiss rösti or most potato cakes? Well for starters Boxty is made with 2 kinds of potatoes: uncooked grated potatoes and warm mashed potatoes. Together they also provide a unique texture. Rösti, for instance, is only made from grated potatoes and has a crunchy texture, but Boxty on the other hand is really smooth on the inside. Absolutely delicious!

The original recipe calls for buttermilk, but if it’s a flavour you don’t like you can easily replace it with normal milk.

There’s even a little rhyme to go along with it:

Boxty on the griddle,
And Boxty on the pan;
The wee one in the middle
Is for Mary Ann

Boxty on the griddle,
boxty on the pan,
If you can’t bake boxty
sure you’ll never get a man

Boxty on the griddle,
Boxty on the pan,
If you don’t eat boxty,
You’ll never get a man

Serves: 5-6 people


  • 1kg rooster potatoes
  • 3 knobs of butter
  • 200g all purpose flour
  • 2,5-2,75dl (butter)milk at the most
  • 1 egg
  • pepper & salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons of nutmeg

optional: 1 bunch spring onions, finely sliced

Traditional Irish Potato (Pan)cakes or Boxty


Peel & boil the half of the potatoes until they are done and simply mash them with just a knob of butter, egg and nutmeg. Peel the other half and finely grate them.

Put both the mashed potatoes and the grated ones in a bowl, add flour, soda and last but not least: milk. Add pepper and salt to your liking. If you are making these for dinner I would recommend using quite a bit to add more flavor or they might taste rather bland, alternatively you could also add some spring onions to spice them up. If you are using them as thing pancakes for breakfast then I would take it easy on the spices to prevent them clashing with other breakfast ingredients.

Stir it all together with a spoon or a fork until you get something that looks like lumpy pancake batter.

Heat up some butter with just a tablespoon or 2 of olive oil in a griddle or frying pan. Add about 2 tablespoons of the mixture onto the griddle (in a circle of about 10cm) and let it fry on the bottom for a minute before flipping it over and frying them on the other side. As you can see, my potato cakes were quite thick, but that’s because I made them for dinner to go along with some meat and veggies. If you want thinner cakes, simply add more tablespoons and spread the batter out more, like you would with pancakes.

Best served with a big smile, some lovely Irish tunes!




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  • Reply
    Cara Owens-Kindly Unspoken
    March 4, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    These look delicious! I hope to one day visit Ireland and I’m looking forward to trying all the food! 🙂

  • Reply
    Natalina Sents
    March 4, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    How fun! I love the idea of a count down! I’ll be following! 🙂

  • Reply
    Kailei Pew
    March 4, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    What a fun idea to share St. Patrick’s Day recipes! Thanks for sharing. I will have to try these soon.

  • Reply
    March 4, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    Oh Boxty, zo lekker. Toen ik in Ierland woonde heeft het even geduurd voor ik doorhad wat er nu eigenlijk inzat. Onlangs heb ik een vegan versie gemaakt en die was al net zo lekker. Ik ben benieuwd naar je andere recepten.

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