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Perkins Family Restaurants Potato Pancakes Copycat Recipe
Perkins Family Restaurants Potato Pancakes
By Todd Wilbur

Recipe Type: Breakfast
Calories: 600
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Recipe Rating: 4.6 (14 reviews)

When Matt and Ivan Perkins tasted the food at Smitty's Pancake House in Seattle, they were smitten. Soon they had purchased the rights to William Smith's recipes, which had been perfected at his renowned restaurant that opened just after the end of World War II. In 1958, the brothers opened their own Smitty's restaurants in Cincinnati, Ohio, and eventually changed the name from Smitty's to Perkins. 

If you've never tried potato pancakes from Perkins, or any restaurant, now's the time. I've given you the option to make the potatoes with frozen hash brown potatoes or with fresh potatoes you shred by hand. It's up to you. Use maple syrup on these hotcakes, or go for a little butter and powdered sugar on top.

Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.


Update 1/9/17: I suggest increasing the baking powder to 3/4 teaspoon, upping the salt to 1 teaspoon, and only using frozen hash brown potatoes. Thaw the potatoes and squeeze out the water before adding them to the batter or your batter may wind up too thin. If it does seem too thin, add a little more flour (1 tablespoon at a time).

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
resting the batter
Submitted on: 02/09/17
It is really important to let the batter rest and thicken for at least 15 minutes, and I recommend longer, if you use an electric mixer or "beat until smooth." That's because an overworked batter develops the gluten in the flour and makes the pancakes tough--and why most pancake recipes recommend stirring only until mixed and ignoring lumps. As the recipe suggests, you can always add additional flour as directed, if it's too thin.
try them savory VS sweet
karen u  
Submitted on: 02/07/17
We LOVE these pancakes, but instead of the syrup and sugar, try putting sour cream, chopped bacon, Shredded cheddar cheese, and sliced green onions. They are the perfect appetizer!
Only option now
Submitted on: 02/07/17
I've been making these from the book for years, but still liked the ease of getting them at Perkins. But the last time I was there, potato pancakes were no longer on the menu! I guess I'll have even more reason to make them myself now.
Submitted on: 11/05/16
This recipe, is exactly like Family Pancake house potato pancakes, I have been searching for a long time for this recipe. So yummy and am so thankful I can make them
Submitted on: 06/14/16
Years ago, I worked as a prep cook for Perkins restaurant, which meant one of my responsibilities was making the batter for these. I loved these so much, I STILL remember the recipe, and this is it! The only thing missing is the sour cream on the side. Enjoy folks, this is PERFECT!!
Submitted on: 03/28/16
I used dried hashbrowns reconstituted and followed the recipe as written after that. Nicely flavored, tender pancakes resulted. Thanks.
Submitted on: 11/08/14
Hands down best recipe for Perkin's Potato Pancakes. I've tried scores of "just like Perkin's" recipes over the years trying to get that taste,as there were no Perkin's near me when I lived in VA after leaving PA. We are now retired and in SC and still no Perkin's. We go to FL every few months and I head right to Perkin's. Ate many Perkin's potato pancakes over the years and this recipe is excellent! Thank you so much for sharing it!
Ray M.  
Submitted on: 04/25/06
Sorry but I tried this recipe 2 times,first with real potatoes, second with the hash brown potatoes , and both times I got a very soupy batter and lousey resulting pancakes.
nora hurley  
Submitted on: 04/12/06
absolutely delicious and so easy to make --- thank you
Submitted on: 04/11/06
Great recipe! a must try!
Submitted on: 04/10/06
Oh, just one other thing: at the restaurant, we serve these with a scoop of butter, two slices of bacon, and applesauce. The applesauce is even better than syrup, in my opinion.
Submitted on: 04/10/06
I am a waitress at Perkins and the potato cakes are my FAVORITE thing on the whole menu. Thank you so much for a recipe that I can make at home!!
CS McCreary  
Submitted on: 04/10/06
A couple of quick comments: 1. The pancakes will be more 'authentically' Perkins' if you use SHREDDED hash browns; 2. In a pinch, 1 cup of complete pancake mix substitutes beautifully for the flour, sugar and baking powder. You still do need the cup of milk (though I used skim with no problems), salt, eggs, etc. I also subbed a tablespoon of dried parsley flakes and it was still delicious!!
ChezGery,Chef in Medford Oegon  
Submitted on: 04/10/06
Fantastic! Very much like 'Latkes', Jewish potato pancakes that use medium-ground matzo meal in place of the flour. I use fresh floury russet potatoes which are peeled and shredded into a large colander, also grate the onion along with the potatoes. Don't rinse! press down on them,squeezing out as much of the thick starchy liquid as possible. Then transfer potato/onion mixture to batter and mix. TIP: if cutting or grating onions bring tears to your eyes simply place the onion(s) in the frezzer for thirty(30) minutes before preparing---no tears from the sulfer fumes. Also, after ladling the dolops into the pan flatten the pancakes slightly with the back of a spoon.These golden pancakes go well with apple sauce and sour cream, too!