Fried Pulled Pork Cakes

pulled pork cake

These Fried Pulled Pork Cakes are a pork lover’s dream: smokey pulled pork leftovers mixed with cream cheese, scallions, and spices, coated in a crispy crust of pork rinds and then fried to provide multiple layers of textures. Yup.

bbq pulled pork

Need a recipe for pulled pork leftovers?

Pulled pork cakes – it’s not really a CAKE, it’s a spin on crab cakes.

Leftover pulled pork is not difficult to use up. Let’s face it: nachos, burritos, tater tots, cold from the fridge right into my mouth… all acceptable ways. This recipe is simply a new, fun idea.

It’s also relatively easy to make. There’s nothing difficult about the process, it just takes a bit of time to set up since you’re doing a flour/egg/panko coating on the outside.

pork panko crusted pulled pork, fried

Smokey pulled pork leftovers mixed with cream cheese, scallions and spices, coated in a crispy crust of pork rinds and then fried to provide multiple layers of textures.

What’s this pork rind crust?

Great question! So I like to crush up pork rinds in a food processor to the size of typical panko bread crumbs. They are keto & paleo-friendly, and will absolutely crisp up if you fry, bake, or grill them. It’s not an overwhelming pork flavor.

Don’t want to go through all of that work? Honestly, I don’t either. I’m so thankful that a company stepped up and did it for me, Pork Panko. (I am NOT affiliated with this company in any way – just a fan of a problem that’s been solved). They sell perfectly crushed-up panko pork rinds. You can get them here:

I also recommend using ring molds. These are what I have:

pulled pork cake, coated in panko

So, how do I eat this?

Another great question.  You can top it with any combination you’d like honestly. These are obviously heavy, with a higher fat content.  I’d recommend lighter sides or toppings. Some examples could be:

  • Pickled vegetables
  • Salsas, pico de gallo, etc.
  • Herbal sauces such as pesto, chimichurri, etc.
  • Coleslaw
  • Carolina BBQ Sauce, mustard based

Other great ideas, that are not as light, would be:

  • Beer cheese sauce
  • Chipotle mayo, or aoili
  • BBQ mayo
  • Between toasted hamburger buns, with all of the above.

Let’s get to the recipe!

NOTE: This recipe assumes that you have leftover pulled pork, so you will want to start there. You could definitely do this will leftover smoked chicken, or shredded brisket, but your results will definitely vary.

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pulled pork cake

Pulled Pork Cakes

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Smokey pulled pork leftovers, cream cheese, scallions and spices, coated in a crispy crust of pork rinds and then fried to perfection. This recipe uses leftover pulled pork, not fresh. You will need the pork to be cool so it can properly mix and bind with the ingredients, or it will melt the cream cheese and not form a patty. This recipe makes 8 pork cakes, which is just over 1/2 Cup of pork per serving.

  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x


  • 4 cups leftover pulled pork
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temp
  • ½ cup green onions, sliced thin
  • 1 tbsp jalapeño, minced
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ tbsp chile powder (or bbq rub)
  • salt to taste
  • flour
  • 3 eggs
  • Pork panko, or traditional panko bread crumbs
  • oil for fying


  1. Using a stand mixer with a paddle, mix the cream cheese, scallions, and seasonings together to incorporate. This prevents the cream cheese from clumping when you add in the pork.
  2. Add in the cold pulled pork, mix just enough to incorporate. Taste (everything is cooked) and adjust.
  3. Heat up a cast iron skillet to medium, at least a 10″ which will allow you to fry 2 or more at a time.
  4. Portion out the pulled pork cake mixture to balls just bigger than a golf ball. You can use a ring cutter to form a patty if you’d like. Flatten them slightly into the shape of a puck.
  5. Whisk the eggs in a shallow bowl thoroughly.
  6. In a bowl, mix the flour with some salt and pepper.
  7. In another bowl add the panko crumbs.
  8. One by one, you will start a 3-step process of covering each patty in flour (shaking of excess), then eggs, then the panko.
  9. The cast iron skillet should be hot and ready. Add in enough oil for at least 1/4″ on the bottom. Give it a couple minutes to come up to temperature, then add your pork cakes giving at least 1″ in between so they are not crowded.
  10. Sear each side for 60 seconds, then carefully flip. We’re just trying to crisp up the outsides and warm the insides as everything is already cooked. You’re looking for a golden crust on the outside.
  11. Place each cake on a wire rack and sprinkle with a bit of salt. They are ready!
  12. Serve with some tangy BBQ sauce, relish, coleslaw, salsa, or any of your favorite toppings.


Don’t have pulled pork? Well try some pulled chicken, or brisket. You’ll want something that’s leftover, so it has more fibers. Don’t use freshly made BBQ, it’s too hot and won’t hold the patty together.

  • Author: Brad Prose
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 10
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