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How to Make Irish Boxty Pancakes

Updated on February 23, 2010

Boxty is a traditional Irish pancake made from (you guessed it) potatoes! This breakfast staple can be found anywhere in the country and, while the recipes vary from region to region like most ethnic cuisines, they all have two things in common – they are made from grated potatoes and they are fried.

The boxty was traditionally eaten on St. Bridget’s Day in Ireland. St. Bridget is the patron saint of cattle and dairy work – she is said to have been a hardworking, warm-hearted woman who loved to care for people and animals. She was also said to be the best ale maker in Ireland! Boxty pancakes can also be found on the traditional Halloween menu in Ireland.

These days, in Ireland, you can find boxty in the grocery store in the frozen food section and many variations exist using different spices and add-ins to the better. Here are a couple of basic recipes to try. Use your own imagination to top them with whatever Irish foods you like – I recommend lots and lots of bacon!

But, if you are going to attempt to make the boxty, remember this Irish rhyme:

Boxty on the griddle, boxty in the pan, If you can't make boxty, you'll never get your man

Boxty Recipe #1

This is a simple and traditional recipe – I personally don’t like onions so I prefer this particular recipe. Serve this with honey or butter, along with a traditional Irish breakfast feast!

8 oz freshly cooked potatoes, mashed

8 oz peeled raw potatoes

2 cups white flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1-1 1/2 cups buttermilk

pinch of salt

1. Sift the flour and baking soda together.

2. Grate the raw potatoes and add to the fresh mashed potatoes with the sieved flour and soda. Add a pinch of salt.

3. Mix well and add enough buttermilk to make a stiff batter.

4. Heat a heavy pan, grease with butter and cook pancakes as you normally would, making sure each side gets a nice golden brown color.

Boxty Recipe #2

I found this recipe that includes some ingredients like spring onions and an egg to bind the mixture. This is also a wonderful tasting pancake and they suggest you serve it with a fried egg and bacon – can’t go wrong with that!

1 lb potatoes, peeled

4 spring onions, finely sliced

4 oz plain flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 large egg, separated

4 oz buttermilk

salt and freshly ground black pepper

a little oil for frying

fried egg, grilled bacon and tomatoes to serve

1. Cut the potatoes into even chunks then cook in a large pan of boiling salted water for 10-15mins or until tender. Drain well, return to the pan then mash until smooth. Stir in the spring onions and leave to cool - spreading them thinly on a plate makes this happen quicker!

2. Place the potatoes in a large bowl, sift over the flour, baking soda, egg yolk and buttermilk, beat well and add plenty of salt and pepper. Whisk the egg white in a separate clean bowl, until it form stiff peaks, then fold into the potato mixture

3. Heat a large non-stick frying pan until hot, drizzle a little oil over the centre and wipe around the pan with a piece of kitchen paper. Drop 3-4 spoonfuls of the mixture into the pan and cook over a medium heat for about 8mins, turning once until golden - don’t cook over too high a heat or the outside will be golden before the centre is ready. Remove from the pan and keep warm. Repeat to make about 16 pancakes in total. Serve hot with grilled bacon and tomato

Get ahead: If you like, make the pancakes ahead and place them on a baking tray. Reheat at for about 10 mins at 200 degrees before serving.

The Real Deal: How to Make Boxty Pancakes

Learn How to Cook the Irish Way!


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    • profile image

      Peter Nolan 

      6 years ago

      I am an Irishman and I never even heard of the word Boxty, much less had any, that was until I came to work in the West of Ireland.

      I had seen them on the shelves in the local shops in Belmullet and did not know what they were exactly, so I tried them and I liked them and now I intend to make some for me.

    • Winsome profile image


      9 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

      Sure its a fine fine way to use the potato

      Which an Irishman knows is better than tomato

      For who wants red in a proper pancake

      Why its enough to make me hand shake

      And since it's holding a pint of ale

      Let's stick to potatoes before I go pale.

      =:) They sound yummy!


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