Norwegian Lefse or Potatoe Cakes Recipe

I’m excited to finally share our family’s recipe for Norwegian Lefse with you today! We like to call them potatoe cakes around here and they are a special treat I used to enjoy at my Great Grandpa’s farmhouse as a child. 
My Great Grandpa Aalgaard, who lived in Canada much of his life, was originally from Norway and the taste of these potatoe cakes spread with a little butter and sprinkled with white sugar instantly brings back so many fond memories of my Grandpa’s farm and our visits there each Sunday. 
Read on to find out how you can prepare these simple but delicious potatoe cakes! They’re SO perfect for putting all those leftover thanksgiving mashed potatoes to good use!
Potatoe Cakes:
3 cups of cold mashed potatoes
6 Tbsp margarine
2 tbsp milk
1 Tbsp sugar
1 and ½ cups flour
**This makes a relatively small batch. For our family of six I double it.
Mix the above ingredients together and knead. It’s important that your mashed potatoes are cold. You may need more or less flour than listed, it will depend on the consistency of your potatoes. Add flour until you have a nice, stiff dough. Preheat an electric skillet too 400 F. Skillet must be hot. Do not grease.
On a floured surface begin rolling out dough. Dust with flour as needed to keep from sticking. Roll nice and thin {about 1/8 inch} and then “cut” out circles using bowl. You want them to be large enough so they can be rolled up when eaten. Think crepe size or just a bit smaller.

Take potatoe cakes and place on hot skillet. No need to worry about excess flour, it will keep them from sticking. Cook until light brown spots form, then flip and cook the same on the other side. Remove potatoe cakes and place on a damp towel to cool.
Our favorite way to eat potatoe cakes is with a little bit of butter and white sugar. You can serve with jam, nutella….anything goes! If you try your hand at making some potatoe cakes of your own you’ll have to let me know what you think!


  1. says

    Thank you for posting this, Rebecca. I was going to make some when we studied Minnesota but all the recipes I saw for it has complicated equiptment and it looked difficult to make. You make it look easy using just what everyone has in their kitchen. I might just go back to our Minnesota study and make some!

  2. says

    In Norway we use these instead of bread for hotdogs and also instead of sugar many like me use Norwegian syrup which is a little thicker than the one I usually find in the US on them. Yummy.
    I am currently (slowly) doing a series on Norwegian baked goods on my blog as I prepare to move back home to Norway next summer.

  3. says

    I am so excited to try these. I had the priviledge of going to Norway met a friend on that trip who is Norwegian. Her mom makes these every year at Christmas. In fact they have a Norwegian Festival of sorts in Washington, D. C. each Christmas where these are also made. Thank you for the recipe. I find each country has some very simple unleavened bread that is fun like this. We make crepes every sunday night and my daughter’s in laws make pretzels every sunday night. It’s fun! Thank you again!

  4. says

    potetoe cakes are yummy :) i like mine with butter and sugar too :) here in norway we call them “potet kake”. lefse is a bit different, much sweeter and usually with some sort of butter/cinnamon cream.

  5. says

    This is really similar to a tradition we have of warming fresh tortillas and putting butter, sugar and cinnamon or butter, honey and cinnamon on them. As I love potato based breads and rolls I’m definetly going to try these! Thanks for sharing with us!

  6. says

    Oh my goodness! I’m so excited to try this. Lefse has always been a Christmas tradition in our family. (We like butter and cinnamon sugar.) Our local grocery store only carries it around the holidays. I can’t wait to make some homemade lefse! Thanks for sharing. I love your photos too!


  7. says

    Oh my goodness – this brings me back to my childhood. I remember we used to buy our lefse in the store – I had no idea how easy it was! What a great idea for the leftover mashed potatoes too. We also enjoyed ours with butter and sugar. Can’t wait to make some for my family! Thanks, Rebecca!

  8. says

    I am half Norwegian and my grandma made these for us all the time. My kids have tasted them but not my grandkids…I may have to get out my potato ricer and make some. Thanks for the memories!

  9. Erin says

    Can’t wait to try this. My grandparents used to make them…lutefisk and lefse. And then we’d put butter and sugar on the leftovers. I always wondered if lefse and potato cakes were the same thing? I’ve never had the recipe so thanks for sharing!

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