German Potato Pancakes

German Potato Pancakes, known as “Kartoffelpuffer” in German, are a traditional and much-loved dish in Germany, often enjoyed as a comfort food. These pancakes are a savory treat, different from the sweet, American-style breakfast pancakes.

The base of the recipe is grated potatoes, which are the star ingredient. These potatoes are usually peeled and then grated into fine shreds. To prevent browning, the shredded potatoes are often placed in cold water or immediately mixed with other ingredients. The type of potato used can vary, but typically, starchy potatoes are preferred as they help in binding the pancakes better.

Once grated, the potatoes are mixed with finely chopped onions, adding a subtle sharpness and depth to the flavor. The onions are essential, as they balance the starchiness of the potatoes and add a layer of complexity to the dish.

Eggs are then added to the mixture, serving as a binding agent that holds the shredded potatoes and onions together. The eggs also contribute to the richness of the pancakes. Some recipes call for just the egg yolks, while others use whole eggs.

Flour is also included in the mixture, though the amount can vary depending on the desired texture. The flour helps to absorb any excess moisture and contributes to the pancakes’ structure, ensuring they don’t fall apart during cooking.

Seasonings such as salt and pepper are added for taste. Some variations might include a pinch of nutmeg or other herbs and spices, but traditionally, the seasoning is kept simple to allow the natural flavors of the potatoes and onions to shine through.

Once the batter is mixed, it’s time to cook the pancakes. A skillet or frying pan is typically used, with enough oil to shallow fry the pancakes. The batter is spooned onto the hot oil, and then flattened to form thin, round pancakes. They are fried until golden brown and crispy on both sides, which usually takes a few minutes per side.

German Potato Pancakes are often served hot and crispy, straight from the pan. Traditional accompaniments include applesauce or sour cream, which contrast beautifully with the savory, crispy texture of the pancakes. In some regions of Germany, they might also be served with smoked salmon or caviar for a more luxurious twist.

The pancakes are versatile and can be served as a side dish, a main course, or even as a snack. They are particularly popular at outdoor markets and festivals in Germany, where they’re often eaten as street food.

In conclusion, German Potato Pancakes are a delightful, crispy, and savory dish with a simple yet delicious combination of potatoes, onions, eggs, and flour, perfectly seasoned and fried to golden perfection. They embody the comfort and simplicity of traditional German cuisine.


  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled and shredded
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil

How To Make German Potato Pancakes

  1. Beat eggs, flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl; stir in potatoes and onion.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of potato mixture into hot oil in batches. Press to flatten. Cook until browned and crisp, about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with remaining potato mixture.
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