We’ve recently reintroduced ourselves to a Turkish dish that we used to make a lot when we first moved to Fethiye: Patatesli kek or Turkish potato cake.
For some reason, it fell from our radar and we forgot all about it.
Until we were staying in a hotel in Kaleiçi old town in Antalya.
The Turkish breakfast in our hotel was much more than run-of-the-mill and two thick slices of potato cake were one of the many dishes filling our table.
As soon as we tasted it, we were immediately taken back to those early days of life here in Turkey.
We knew we had to once more dig out that potato cake recipe and enjoy it at home.
It took a while to get round to it, but that has now happened.
It’s a dish that is firmly back in place as part of our regular repertoire!
Simple ingredients brought together in a few simple steps to create a really tempting dish.
A really tempting dish that goes a long way.
What’s not to love?
Turkish Potato Cake – What’s In A Name
Any British readers reading this article will very likely be familiar with the much loved individual circular potato cakes, served hot with oodles of melted butter swimming around on top.
But this is a potato cake recipe Turkish style.
Aside from the savoury nature, it is completely different to the British version but no less tasty.
In fact, as well as ‘patatesli kek,’ you will also see this dish called ‘yalancı böreği’ (fake börek).
From the photo above, you can see why it has earned this nickname.
You might also see it named as ‘tuzlu patatesli kek’ (savoury potato cake) or ‘patatesli kahvaltı keki’ (potato breakfast cake).
It’s All About The Versatility
But don’t be thinking this Turkish potato cake recipe is just a dish to make for the breakfast table.
It’s a versatile dish that you can enjoy at any time of day.
It makes a great alternative side dish, for example.
Most recently, we made an et sote (Turkish beef saute) and had a wedge of potato cake on the side.
Or it’s perfect as a main meal with a side salad; shepherd’s salad or other simple salad concoctions.
Going for a picnic or a hike or stroll? Wrap up some potato cake and take it with you to enjoy outdoors!
And ALWAYS on the table when we’re tucking into this tasty treat is that staple of Turkish cuisine – a generous serving of süzme yoghurt.
A perfect combination!
About Our Turkish Potato Cake Ingredients
There are different ways to make patatesli kek using various fillings and slightly different ingredient measurements for the ‘cake’ mixture.
All you need to remember is this is a really easy recipe and you only need to use the measurements as a guide just to give you the right consistency.
All of your Turkish potato cake ingredients will go together in one large bowl to create a big potato mixture that will subsequently be baked in the oven.
- Our Potatoes: Let’s start with the star of the show. As you can see in the photo above, this bake will use potatoes that are cut into small cubes. We’re not using mashed potatoes or grated potatoes because these won’t give the right consistency or texture that we’re looking for. There’s also no need for pre-cooked potatoes. Save yourself time by allowing them to cook as part of your bake.
- Peppers & Onions: We’re using sweet red capsicum pepper, an onion and also spring onions to give our potato cake some colour, flavour, texture and crunch. This is perhaps the most traditional recipe but we have also made this dish with the jarred pre-cooked ‘garnitür’ in the past (peas, carrots and potatoes). This can be a better option if you’re really looking for a quick, easy meal to make because you only need to drain them and add to your mixture.
- Cheese: It’s really up to you what type of cheese you go for. We use Turkish kaşar in our recipe (Cheddar cheese will be a good substitute). If you want a tangy cheese that doesn’t melt easily, feta cheese will be a great option, too.
- The ‘Cakey’ Bit: These are the ingredients that come together to make the ‘cake.’ Turkish süzme yoghurt (or greek yoghurt), flour, baking powder, eggs and oil. Olive oil has become an expensive commodity of late so it’s completely fine to use vegetable oil or, as in our case, sunflower oil.
- Fresh Herbs & Spices: Again, feel free to experiment, here. Parsley and dill are the most common additions. We also like to add a bit of sweet paprika and chilli flakes. Obviously, a generous pinch of salt and black pepper goes into the mix, too.
And then all of this is simply mixed together and spooned into an oven dish.
A generous sprinkling of nigella seeds and sesame seeds over the top and it can go into your preheated oven.
Everyone’s ovens are different. We bake our Turkish potato cake at 180 degrees Celsius for around 45-50 minutes – until it’s lovely and golden brown on top.
When it’s cooked and cooled down to room temperature, we cut it up into square wedges and serve.
Leftovers will keep in the fridge for 5-6 days in an airtight container.
Our Savoury Turkish Potato Cake Recipe – Patatesli Kek
Okay, let’s make our tasty Turkish potato cake.
Turkish Potato Cake – Patatesli Kek
- 1 Large mixing bowl
- 1 Ovenproof dish approximately 30 centimetres diameter
- 1 Sharp knife
- 1 Medium-sized bowl for mixing your eggs, yoghurt and oil
- 2 medium potatoes approximately 700 grams cut into small cubes
- 1 medium onion peeled & finely chopped
- 1 bunch spring onions trimmed & finely chopped
- 1 red capsicum bell pepper deseeded & finely chopped
- 3 eggs
- 250 grams plain flour
- 1 packet baking powder 10 grams
- 200 millilitres süzme yoghurt or Greek yoghurt
- 200 millilitres sunflower oil
- 1 tablespoon dill washed & roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley washed & roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 2 teaspoons chilli flakes optional
- salt & pepper to season
For The Topping
- 1 dessert spoonful sesame seeds
- 1 dessert spoonful nigella seeds
- 100 grams kaşar cheese grated
- Preheat your oven to 190 degrees Celsius.
- Meanwhile, add your potatoes, onions, peppers and cheese to your mixing bowl and toss around.
- In a separate bowl, whisk your eggs and add the oil and yoghurt and mix until smooth.
- Add to your potatoes and vegetables and stir it all together.
- Now add your herbs, spices and seasoning and mix them in.
- Finally, add your flour and baking powder and mix well until the flour mixture has formed a thick paste, coating your potatoes and vegetables.
- Spoon the potato mixture into your ovenproof dish and spread it around evenly.
- Now sprinkle your sesame seeds and nigella seeds over the top of the mixture.
- Place in the centre of your oven and bake for 45-50 minutes until golden brown on top.
- Once cooked, remove your potato cake and leave to cool until it reaches room temperature.
- Slice it up into approximately 16 square pieces and serve.
- As with all of our recipes, the calorie count for this dish is approximate and meant as a rough guide.
- We scrub our potatoes and leave the skin on as there is lots of nutrition in the skin. Feel free to peel your potatoes.
- There’s no need to precook your potatoes. They’ll cook in the mixture in the oven.
- We use grated Turkish kaşar cheese in our potato cake mixture but Cheddar cheese is a good substitute. If you want to use feta cheese (beyaz peynir), break this into small chunks rather than grating it.
- Everyone’s ovens are different. We bake our potato cake for around 50 minutes. Remove your bake when it is golden brown on top.
- In Turkey, baking powder is sold in small sachet packets weighing 10 grams – it’s called kabartma tozu.
- Red peppers and onions are the traditional vegetables to add to your Turkish potato cake. However, we’ve also seen it made with added peas and carrots, if you prefer.
- Your slices of potato cake will keep in the fridge for 5-6 days in the fridge in an airtight container.