Kartoffelpuffer German Potato Pancakes

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Kartoffelpuffer are crispy golden brown fried potato pancakes in a pan and traditionally served with applesauce.

Although this is a traditional German recipe, it is still popular in the United States in areas with German heritage, such as Wisconsin. By requiring only simple ingredients, this recipe is cheap to prepare, which may explain some of its longevity in rural areas like where I grew up.


Kartoffelpuffer are potato pancakes popularized in Germany. They are made with grated potatoes sprinkled with flour, eggs and condiments. I use a box grater and coarsely grind them the same way I make homemade potato croquettes. However, you can grind them finer if you prefer.

Potato pancakes are very similar to latkes, separated by just a few nuanced differences, and depending on the recipe variation, there are sometimes no differences at all, other than that Kartoffelpuffer is a German creation and latkes are a dish. Jew.

German potato pancakes ingredients

  • 2 pounds red potatoes – You want to use starchy potatoes for baking, like redheads. Waxy potatoes don't work very well and almost taste like goey.
  • 2 eggs – Eggs are used as binders to create a dough and keep everything together.
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour – The flour combines with the eggs to act as a dough and a binder.
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt – Anyone who has eaten potato chips knows that potato chips taste better generously salty.
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper – You can adjust the black pepper to taste.
  • 1/3 cup finely grated onion – Potato pancakes will have a noticeable onion flavor, however onion can be skipped if desired.
  • 1/4 cup canola oil – Any neutral oil is good for frying, canola is excellent because it also has a high smoke point.

How to make Kartoffelpuffer

Start by peeling and shredding your reddish potatoes. As they are crushed, add them to a large bowl of water. Soaking them in water prevents them from rusting and turning gray, brown, and black. On a separate plate, combine flour, eggs, and seasonings. Mix everything together. Squeeze the potatoes out of the excess liquid, then add the potato and onion to the flour mixture and stir to combine completely.

Fry the potato pancakes in a skillet over medium heat. Add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan in a thin layer, then add 1/2 cup of the pancake mix. Press it on a disk and let it cook for 3 minutes per side, or until golden. You will probably have to work in batches to cook it all. You can keep finished pancakes warm in a 250-degree oven.

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What to serve with potato pancakes

Applesauce is the most common accompaniment to German potato pancakes. However, these are also frequently served with yogurt or sour cream. Alternatively, it can be served as a sweet dish with powdered sugar, however I would personally skip the grated onion if you were serving them with sugar.

More German recipes

Kartoffelpuffer German Potato Pancakes

Kartoffelpuffer are crispy golden brown fried potato pancakes in a pan and traditionally served with applesauce.

Preparation time 5 minutes

Cook time 6 minutes

Total time11 minutes

Course: garrison

Cuisine: German

Keyword: German potato pancakes, Kartoffelpuffer

Servings: 8

Calories: 400


  • 2 pounds russet potatoes (grated)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs (smoothies)
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup finely grated onion
  • ¼ cup canola oil (or as needed)


  • Applesauce (optional)
  • Sour cream (optional)


  • Grate the potatoes with a box grater and add chunks to a large bowl of cold water to prevent rusting.

  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, eggs, salt, and pepper.

  • Remove the potatoes from the water a handful at a time and squeeze out the excess liquid, then add it to the bowl with the flour mixture. Repeat this process until all the potato pieces have been removed from the soaking water and the excess liquid has been squeezed out.

  • Add grated onion to bowl and mix all ingredients to coat evenly.

  • Place a skillet over medium heat on the stove and add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Add about 1/2 cup of the pancake mix to the pan (or whatever size you prefer) and press flat on a disk. Fry for 3 minutes, or until golden brown, flip and fry for an additional 3 minutes.

  • Work in batches until all the pancakes are done, adding additional oil as needed. Keep the potato pancakes warm in a 250-degree oven until ready to serve.


Customize the ingredients to suit your tastes. Any of your favorite fresh herbs is a great addition. IF YOU LIKE THIS RECIPE, you will also love my Fried Sauerkraut Balls. * Calories listed are an imprecise estimate and accuracy should not be assumed.


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