Bubble and Squeak Cakes

Bubble and Squeak Cakes

I’m going to England in three weeks, and I’m terribly excited. I’ve definitely got Britain on the brain. Since I’m also prone to thinking about food, I started to think about British food. And let me tell you, they sure have us beat when it comes to naming their dishes.

Bubble and Squeak? Come on, that’s brilliant.

This recipe comes straight from the BBC, except I veganized it and added a little something. Bubble and squeak doesn’t need to come in cake form, but when given the choice, I can’t see myself ever not wanting to make it this way. I mean, look at the adorable little cakes, full of squeaky goodness!

So, bubble and squeak, for those who aren’t familiar, is an English dish developed to use up your leftover veggies. The veggies are usually mashed potatoes and cabbage, fried up. Since the dish is designed for leftovers, pretty much anything goes. Carrots, brussels sprouts, seitan, tofu, squash, kale, collards; I imagine you could put anything you want in these, especially if you chop it up pretty small beforehand.

Peeling potatoesThis version is simple: potatoes and brussels sprouts. If you’re unfamiliar with brussels sprouts (one of my all time favorite vegetables, believe it or not), go ahead and read this little sprout primer I wrote before shopping for them.

I think the potato is one of the best Leafy Green Delivery Systems around. If you’ve been meaning to eat more greens but haven’t figure out a way to do it, cook ‘em up, chop ‘em up, and add them to mashed potatoes. You will not be sorry. Give colcannon a shot, or try out this recipe for bubble and squeak.

I added Old Bay seasoning to these instead of plain salt, but you can use either one, or your favorite spice.

Bubble and Squeak Cakes
Makes 8 Cakes

1 kg (2+ pounds) Potatoes (I used around 10 red potatoes, any kind will work)
4 Tbs Earth Balance Margarine
400-500g (14-17 oz) Brussels Sprouts
1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
Old Bay Seasoning (1/2 tsp and 1/4 tsp)
Oil for frying

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Peel and chop potatoes into bite sized pieces. Smaller red potatoes need only be quartered. Add potatoes and boil for 12-15 minutes or until tender.

Meanwhile, chop the ends off the brussels sprouts and remove any bad looking leaves. When there is five minutes left of the potatoes, add the sprouts and cook for four minutes. After four minutes, remove them with a slotted spoon to a bowl filled with ice water to stop the cooking.

Drain the potatoes and return back to the hot (empty) pot you boiled them in. Turn the heat down to low and let the potatoes dry for 1-2 minutes.

While the potatoes are drying out, drain the sprouts and pat them dry. Shred them finely with a chef’s knife.

Add the Earth Balance to the potatoes and mash well. Mix in the sprouts and 1/4 tsp Old Bay seasoning (or salt) and taste for flavor, adding more seasoning if desired. Set aside until cool enough to handle.

Bubble and Squeak, prep
Mix the 1/2 cup flour with 1/2 tsp Old Bay (or salt). Heat a large, cast-iron skillet over medium heat with 1/4″ oil in the bottom.

Break up the potato mixture into 8 rough patties.

Bubble and Squeak Cakes

Gently form each one into a smooth, hockey puck like shape. Dip the cake in the seasoned flour mixture. Be gentle, and do this for each patty.

Bubble and Squeak Cakes

Fry 3-4 patties at a time for 2-3 minutes a side, until golden brown. You may need to re-dip them in flour right before putting them in the oil, so keep it handy. Use two spatulas (or a spatula and a flat wooden spoon) to turn the cakes; you don’t want to splash hot oil all over yourself.

Place fried cakes on a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Bubble and Squeak Cakes

Preheat oven to 375ยบ F.

Once all the cakes are fried, you can place the whole sheet of them in the oven for 15 minutes to re-heat and re-crisp them in time for your meal. You can also refrigerate them for up to three days (reheating in the same manner), or freeze them for a month.

I served mine with some lingonberry preserves (that I bought at Ikea. Shhh!), but cranberry sauce or your favorite gravy will go very nicely.


  1. ellen

    Mmm! I love bubble & squeak. My nannie used to make it with holiday leftovers. That was the only way I would eat brussels as a kid. Now they’re one of my favorites :) Have fun in England!

  2. A-K

    Bubble and Squeak is awesome! Funny, I just re-opened my very own jar of lingonberry preserves this afternoon and was thinking about using it very soon.

  3. alice

    You think bubble & squeak is funny… try >a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spotted_Dick”>spotted dick.

    Would have to veganise suet though. I’m sure a steamed other fat-based pudding would do (and that’s pudding in the UK sense, as it a sort of cake/ dumping, not pudding in North American sense as in gloopy dessert).

    Yorkshire Puddings are ace too, and great with onion gravy. Totally vegan-able. Its basically pancake mix baked in the oven.

  4. Sam

    Well, I just finished eating my two free samples. They were delicious (with both lingonberries and ketchup as dips). The only think I would change would be to add MORE Brussels sprouts. You can never have enough Brussels sprouts.

  5. mi

    they look gorgeous! i live in london, if you need any tips on where to go for veg/vegan food, i do have a 2008 edition of the vegetarian giude to london that is very good!

  6. Jay

    If you wrote a cook book, I would buy it.
    Your creativity and talent appears to know no bounds.
    Can’t wait to see your next d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s. creation.

  7. Meg

    Oh my god. Marry me! I can’t wait to try these! :D We have TONS of leafy greens from my parents’ garden that we need to use up, this looks perfect!

  8. Megan D

    I toured London as a veg and would love to pass on a recommendation: Sausage and Mash (S & M) there are several but one in Notting Hill, go there during the NH outdoor market. You’d never guess but they have several types of vegan sausage and gravy to choose from, but it’s mainly a meaty place.

  9. monica

    You know, I live in London and I’ve never once seen Bubble & Squeak on the menu ANYWHERE. Which is too bad; it’s one of the few “traditional” foods that are veggie. Where are you going on your trip?

  10. Nicole L.

    So cute! Say, would these turn out if you just baked them in a greased tray? Usually, the combination of frying (other than, say, stir-frying) and myself results in lots of messes and burns. It’s the one kitchen technique I just don’t seem to get.

  11. Rachael

    First of all they are gorgeous. 2nd I love sprouts of the Brussels. And lastly I can finally have a cake that is not a faux crab thang, but something unique unto itself!

  12. emma

    woohoo! proper english food… yet i’m a disgrace to say that i’ve never actually had bubble and squeak! my boyfriend will thank you for his recipe though because he LOVES it, and has only recently gone vegan. where abouts in england are you visiting? if by any slim chance you’re coming up north to manchester i can give you lots of tips on ace places to eat :) emma xx

  13. Amalia

    Dear Lola, I read a few recipies from your blog and I like them very much. Congratulations for your blog is very nice and interesting. I invite you to see my blog ( sorry is only in romanian, but you can translate in english with google). I will add you on my list with favourite blogs. Many kisses and a happy weekend ! :)

  14. Vanessa

    I too live in London and if you are headed out that way I highly recommend 222 Veggie Vegan http://www.222veggievegan.com/. It’s located in West London– closest tube stop is west kensington– walk down North End road a little ways until you find the restaurant. It’s the only all vegan restaurant I know of in London and the food is amazing. It’s where I learned to make a fantastic vegan quiche from. Also if you want to try a fantastic Indian meal I can recommend one that has amazing vegetarian food (though not too many vegan options) http://www.k-a-r-m-a.co.uk/ Slightly fancier but reasonably priced for London and amazing food. Have a great trip!

  15. Bianca- Vegan Crunk

    They do have us beat with the names! I wonder why it’s called bubble and squeak though….could it be because cabbage gives you gas. And makes you, um, bubble and squeak? I dunno, just a theory.

    Your cakes look soooooo good!

  16. Meredith

    We have Bubble’nSqueak after every major holiday. No cakes are made out of it . . just one huge pan.

    For those of you wondering why it’s called Bubble’nSqueak . . it’s because it does just that while you’re cooking it. The trad. way of making this dish is to make one large ‘cake’ in the pan, and then cut it in pie-like slices. And while it cooks, the air tries to escape . . but because the spuds are so dense, the air has a bit of a time escaping! So it bubbles . . and squeaks! :)

    Have a fantastic time in London. :)

  17. munin_and_hugin

    Considering your penchant for miniature desserts, I thought you would like what I found on Amazon. A miniature cheese cake pan. It looks like a muffin tin, but has the removable bottoms that are so handy with tart tins. It’s made by Norpro. And I want one :)

  18. Valerie

    Memories of my nana have come looming; she made bubble and squeak a lot when I was a child. I like the idea of the little cakes, and I’m going to try making these. I’ve never heard of Old Bay Seasoning; not sure if you can get it up here in Canada. Will look for it.

  19. maria

    Oh dear!
    London calling, then?
    You might want to try the new SAF that opened in the east or one of my easy favourites Mildreds, in Soho. For a quick bite, Alara in bloomsbury. And for a dirty, alternative but purely vegan spot, Pogo Cafe, in Hackney.
    Best luck there (and take an umbrella)

  20. Sheena

    Hi! I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog! I don’t know if you do them or not, but I gave you one of those blog awards that get passed around. :) Thanks for all the great recipes! ciao!

  21. Jeni Treehugger

    I’m sad enough to know where the name originated from. It’s from the noise they make when they are being cooked – though it’s more of a sizzle and pip if you ask me.
    FAB looking food – I’m relatively new to your blog but I will be popping in on a regular basis for sure.

  22. Laura

    I made some of these last night. I found some packaged “broccoli slaw” on sale at the market (shredded broccoli stems, cabbages, and carrots) so I used that instead of shredded brussels sprouts. Turned out great with a little ketchup and a side salad! I also made my own Old Bay substitute (found a recipe online… it includes basically every spice in my cabinet!) which smells delightful.

  23. katin from Spring Partners

    Hi Lauren – I made these last night! They were so yummy, although I have to admit that mine did not look as pretty as yours. I paired the cakes with some lemony broccoli, which complemented the flavors really well! My husband even said he wants to make them again with some black beans & corn, then serve with salsa & avocado…

    We’ll all be enjoying the leftovers at work this morning – they’re kind of like extra yummy hashbrowns!

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