Recipe: Boxty Pancakes

Makes 5.5 cups batter

I like a good excuse to dance in the morning. Preferably while in my fuzzy bathrobe, with spatula in hand (for a microphone, of course), while singing 100% off-key.

Boxty pancakes are just the ticket. They look like a thick crêpe, but taste more like the love-child of tangy mashed potatoes and hash browns. These filling, stick-to-your-ribs pancakes are often used to wrap up food, from meat and gravy, to scrambled eggs. Best of all, cooks everywhere dance a little jig when they make them.

NOTE: This batter does not store well (the potatoes turn black when they oxidize), so scale the recipe down if you don’t have a small army coming over for breakfast.

Adapted from the recipe in The Country Cooking of Ireland by Colman Andrews.


2 lbs russet potatoes, chopped
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup flour
butter, for cooking


green onions, scrambled eggs, meat, etc.


First step, get in the mood with a little  Irish folk rhyme and dancing.

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

Irish step dancing. Photo by Charanpal Dhanjal.

Once you’ve worked up a really, really big appetite, weigh out 2 lbs of potatoes.

Peel, cube, and toss them in a blender. Pour on the buttermilk and salt. Blend until smooth.

Next, add the flour and pulse briefly until combined.

Cook in a little butter in a pan over medium/medium-high; pour into the preheated non-stick pan, rolling the batter around like a crepe (it will be a little thicker – somewhere between a crepe and a pancake).

These take a while to cook – you want the boxty to be golden brown on the bottom and dried out on the top before you flip them. If they tear when you go to flip them, they weren’t ready. Play around with the heat levels until you get it just right. Mine took up to five minutes on the first side! Keep the cooked ones in a warm oven as you go.

Also, I should note that, if you taste raw potatoes, then you cooked them too fast, over too high temperatures. It takes time for the pancake to cook all the way through. Your best bet is to put on you dancing slippers and boogy around the kitchen while you wait.

But the beautiful boxty pancakes are worth it!
Try them with butter and green onions, or wrapped around scrambled egg – but, however you try them, try them with a smile and a little Irish jiggety-jig… maybe on the sunny green patch, between the cliffs of life…

Cliffs of Moher. Photo by Chris Glennon (my brother!!)

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  1. John Goodenow says:

    With Irish bacon and wonderful Irish butter!!! M-m-m good.

  2. elisa waller says:

    too bad their isnt a picture of the batter cooking on the pan…..Im not so good at cooking things like crepe’s and thin pancakes……what the heck is the magic touch that one needs…I always burn burn burn…so I end up making my pancakes thick….anyway…your little irish (boxty) pancakes look very hearty and delicious…. its worth a mention that I found out what Boxty means: “poor house bread” . Your adventures inspire me to sometimes investigate things about the culture…thank you! <3

    • Sasha Martin says:

      That’s so great (about the research – sorry about the burning). Try dropping the temperature down by half. You can always go hotter, but it’s hard to cook too slow when it comes to things like this – at least until you get the hang of it). Good luck!


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