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Air Fryer Potato Pancakes

Is there ever a bad time for hot and crispy potato cakes? I certainly don’t think so, especially when you’re making super easy and oh-so-irresistible air fryer potato pancakes!

stack of air fryer potato pancakes

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These fritters are crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle, just like a great hash brown.

And by starting with shredded hash browns, we can skip the tedious steps of peeling and grating potatoes. You’ll be ready to serve in about 20 minutes!

Here’s what I’m going to teach you in this post:

  • How to make crispy potato cakes in the air fryer
  • The difference between potato pancakes and latkes
  • Tips for making the best potato cakes in the air fryer
  • How to use the air fryer to reheat leftover potato pancakes in about 5 minutes

Crispy potato cakes are perfect with bacon and eggs for breakfast, as a savory side with your main course, or as a tasty snack any time.

You could even make them as a simplified version of Hanukkah latkes! They’re so easy and delicious, you might find yourself looking for any excuse to whip up a batch.

I made this recipe using the 5.8 QT Cosori Air Fryer. Its square basket makes it the perfect size for our family of 4.

ingredients to make air fryer latkes

How to Make Air Fryer Potato Pancakes

A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.

STEP ONE: Combine the shredded hash browns, garlic, paprika, salt and pepper, flour, and egg in a large bowl. 

ingredients in clear bowl

STEP TWO: Chop the green part of the green onions and incorporate them into the mixture. 

combining ingredients to make air fryer potato pancakes

STEP THREE: Preheat the air fryer to 370 degrees F. 

STEP FOUR: Meanwhile, make your pancakes. Scoop the mixture into a ¼ cup measuring cup, invert the mixture onto a flat surface, remove the measuring cup, then press down on the mixture to flatten it into the pancake form. 

latkes in air fryer basket

STEP FIVE: Once the air fryer is ready, generously spray the bottom of the basket, then lay the potato cakes in the basket. 

STEP SIX: Cook for 4 minutes, then flip. Spray the tops of your potato pancakes and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes. 

potato cakes in the air fryer basket

STEP SEVEN: Serve with a dollop of sour cream and additional green onions, if desired. 

What’s the Difference Between Potato Pancakes and Latkes?

These two dishes are quite similar, and the names are sometimes used interchangeably. The main difference in the traditional version of each recipe is what goes in it.

Potato pancakes are made with fewer, simpler ingredients. They’re typically just potato, flour, and egg, although it’s not uncommon to add some seasonings.

Latkes, on the other hand, incorporate baking powder and matzo meal to hold the potato cake together.

At the end of the day, the traditional versions of both recipes involve grating raw potatoes by hand.

We’re starting with hash browns to make things easier, so it’s already a play on either version.

I personally think of these as air fryer German potato pancakes. However, they could absolutely be considered air fryer latkes if you prefer.

Or just call them potato cakes!

closeup of air fryer latkes

Tips for Making the Best Potato Pancakes in the Air Fryer

  • Potatoes soak up salt, so don’t be afraid to add a good amount! I usually add salt while I’m mixing everything, then salt the tops again just before placing the pancakes in the air fryer basket.
  • Don’t overcrowd the basket. You want to make sure the air can properly circulate, and you’ll also need room to flip the potato cakes halfway through the cooking time. 
  • After flipping, make sure to spray the tops with oil to help them fully crisp up.

What to Serve with Air Fryer Potato Pancakes

Can You Make Air Fryer Potato Pancakes from Scratch?

Prefer to use real potatoes instead of hashbrowns? It’s a little extra work, but you can bet they’ll be delicious!

Instead of hashbrowns, start by peeling 3 or 4 russet potatoes. Grate them on the large holes of a box grater, then place them in a kitchen towel and squeeze out as much of the moisture as possible.

After that, follow the rest of the recipe like usual!

air fryer german potato cakes with dipping sauce

How to Reheat Potato Pancakes in the Air Fryer

  1. Place the leftover potato pancakes in the air fryer in a single layer
  2. Cook at 350 degrees F for 4-5 minutes until crispy and heated all the way through.
  3. Serve hot and enjoy!

Other Air Fryer Potato Recipes You’ll Love:

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Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Air Fryer Potato Pancakes

potato cakes in the air fryer basket

These irresistibly-crispy air fryer potato pancakes can be ready in about 20 minutes! They’re crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, and a perfect complement for any meal.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 9 minutes
Total Time 9 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of shredded hash browns
  • 2-3 green onions
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  1. Combine your shredded hash browns, garlic, paprika, salt and pepper, flour, and egg in a large bowl. 
  2. Chop your green onions, the green part only, and incorporate them into the mixture. 
  3. Preheat your air fryer to 370 degrees. 
  4. While it is preheating, make your pancakes. I took a ¼ cup measuring cup and scooped the mixture into it. I then shook it out and it was formed like the measuring cup. I simply pressed down on the mixture to make it into the pancake form. Once your air fryer is ready, generously spray the bottom of your basket. Lay your potato cakes in the basket. Do not overcrowd it because you will need room to flip them halfway through the cooking time. 
  5. Cook for 4 minutes and then flip. Spray the tops of your potato pancakes and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes. 
  6. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and additional green onions, if desired.

Notes

How to reheat potato pancakes:

1. Place the potato pancakes in your air fryer.

2. Air fry for 4-5 minutes or until they are crispy and hot. Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 344Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 705mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 4gSugar: 1gProtein: 5g

This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.

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samantha

About Samantha

I’ve always had a love of cooking and creating new recipes, so it only made sense to create a food blog so I could share those recipes with you. This site is designed to provide easy and flavorful recipes with as little ingredients as possible. That means you still get great flavor combinations without all that extra time and effort. Read more...

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