Shockingly Crisp Baked Latkes

October 18, 2021
7 Ratings
Photo by Bette Blau. Prop Stylist: Brooke Deonarine. Food Stylist: Yossy Arefi.
  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • makes About 16 medium (or 32 silver-dollar) latkes
Author Notes

Everybody loves a latke—fried potato pancakes, how could you not?—but everyone does not love the way they make your kitchen, clothing, and pets smell like fry oil for a week after the meal. At least, I certainly don’t. There are ways to mitigate this (open all the windows, set up fans, burn incense), but none are particularly effective or easy to manage while handling a pan of hot oil. The most natural solution is of course to make baked latkes. Perhaps very obviously, the absence of fry oil in baked latkes prevents your house from smelling like a deep-fryer, though it also means the latkes lack what makes them so flavorful and crisp. Case in point: To make potatoes taste really good, and, just as importantly, to make latkes crispy, you have to use oil, and quite a bit of it. Setting out to make an actually good baked latke might as well have been called Mission: Impossible.

But guess what? I did it. The key to deeply flavorful, crispy-exterior, tender-interior baked latkes is essentially to oven-fry the pancakes. Though the ¾ cup of peanut oil (or a very neutral vegetable oil) is in fact much less fat than I’d use to fry latkes on the stove, the decent slick paired with ambient heat of the oven—you’ll heat the oil in the sheet pan just before baking—makes for some of the most satisfyingly crisp latkes I’ve ever had. Even better, when you bake latkes, you can make at least 8 palm-sized latkes or 16 silver-dollar latkes at a time—significantly more than one skillet can handle, so cleanup is as easy as washing a sheet pan (very).
Rebecca Firkser

  • 3/4 cup peanut or vegetable oil, plus more as needed
  • 3 medium russet potatoes (1½ to 2 pounds), scrubbed
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and halved
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons panko, matzo meal (not matzo ball mix), or all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Latke fixin’s such as applesauce, sour cream, lox, smoked trout, lemon wedges, chopped chives, and chopped dill, for serving
In This Recipe
  1. Heat the oven to 425°F and pour a generous ½ cup of the oil on a sheet pan.
  2. Use a box grater or a food processor fitted with the coarse grater attachment to grate the potatoes and onion.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a clean kitchen towel and place over a large bowl. Gather the edges of the towel and squeeze out as much liquid as you possibly can from the onions and potatoes. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes after you think you’ve squeezed it all, then squeeze again—there’s always more water. Keep the potato mixture in the towel for a moment. Let the liquid sit in the bowl for 5 minutes, then gently dump out the water from the bowl, but make sure to leave any milky white potato starch that’s accumulated in the bottom of the bowl.
  4. Place the oiled sheet pan in the oven and set a timer for 10 minutes. Transfer the potato mixture from the towel to the bowl with the potato starch along with the egg, panko, matzo meal, or flour, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and lots of black pepper. Mix with your hands until totally combined.
  5. Carefully remove the sheet pan from the oven. Scoop 8 lightly packed ¼-cup-sized mounds of the latke batter into your hand, then very firmly flatten between your hands. (If you prefer “silver-dollar” latkes, do 2-tablespoon mounds.) Transfer to the sheet pan, then use a fish or offset spatula to flatten each mound as thin as you can. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes (or 15 to 20 minutes, for silver dollars), until deeply golden brown on the bottom and edges of the latkes.
  6. Remove the pan from the oven and flip the latkes, pressing down on the pancakes and letting any excess oil pool around the pan, then bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until deeply golden brown on both sides. Transfer the latkes to a paper-towel-lined plate and sprinkle with flaky salt. Let sit for 5 minutes, then transfer to a serving plate. Add another ¼ cup or so of oil to replace what was soaked up by the first batch, transfer to the oven for 10 minutes to warm the oil, then form and bake the remaining latkes while you eat the first round. Serve with applesauce, sour cream, lox, smoked trout, lemon wedges, and/or chopped chives and dill.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Rebecca Firkser
    Rebecca Firkser
  • EMR
  • Irene Sax
    Irene Sax
  • Tre

10 Reviews

EMR October 6, 2022
The latkes were in fact very tasty and very crispy. I gave it a 3 because of the strong oil odor that lingered in my kitchen until well into the next day. (I used canola oil.) I used the oven fan while baking since I had read reviews that mentioned the oily smell. The cooking odors were so strong (and not in a good way) that I suspect that is what I will remember about latkes from now on.
Irene S. December 1, 2021
I didn't make these, but was a guest last night at a dinner where they were made this way. They were brilliant; among the best latkes I've ever tasted. But I have to admit that the sweater I wore last night still smells of cooking oil this morning.
Tre November 30, 2021
These were amazing! Cooked perfectly! I used 2 trays in the oven (top rack and middle rack) and it didn’t change cook time. Sooo delicious!
JNS December 2, 2021
Did you use convection function ?
valerie J. November 29, 2021
Many thanks for such a prompt answer. I will try this.
valerie J. November 28, 2021
Can you use a convection oven and bake a few sheet pans at a time?
Rebecca F. November 29, 2021
I haven't tried this, but you could certainly give it a go! You may need to bake them for a bit longer/switch the trays positions halfway through baking to ensure even browning and the same amount of crispiness
orit R. November 27, 2021
Question: will this eliminate the frying smell? 🙏
Rebecca F. November 29, 2021
it's not gone completely, but it's significantly less intense than fried, and was mostly gone by the next morning!
Joan S. October 28, 2021
What a great recipe. I can't wait to try it.