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Potato Pancakes from Germany

German Potato Pancakes: A Delicious and Savory Treat

German Potato Pancakes, or “Kartoffelpuffer,” are a delightful twist on traditional pancakes. Made with grated potatoes and a few simple ingredients, they offer a crispy exterior and a soft, flavorful interior. These pancakes are not only versatile but also pair wonderfully with Bratwurst sausage for a hearty dinner. Adding cranberry sauce and maple syrup gives a sweet and savory balance that’s simply irresistible. Let’s dive into the recipe and make these delicious German Potato Pancakes from scratch.


  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (for frying)
  • Cranberry sauce (for serving)
  • Maple syrup (for serving)


Step 1: Prepare the Ingredients

  1. Grate the Potatoes: Peel and grate the potatoes using a box grater or a food processor with a grating attachment. Place the grated potatoes in a large bowl of cold water to prevent them from turning brown and to remove excess starch.
  2. Chop the Onion: Finely chop the onion and set it aside.

Step 2: Mix the Batter

  1. Drain the Potatoes: Drain the grated potatoes in a colander and squeeze out as much moisture as possible using a clean kitchen towel or cheesecloth.
  2. Combine Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs until beaten. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper. Mix until well combined.
  3. Add Potatoes and Onion: Stir the grated potatoes and chopped onion into the egg mixture until everything is evenly coated.

Step 3: Fry the Pancakes

  1. Heat the Oil: Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. The oil should be hot but not smoking.
  2. Form the Pancakes: Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop the potato mixture and form it into a patty. Place the patty in the hot oil and flatten it slightly with a spatula. Repeat with the remaining mixture, being careful not to overcrowd the skillet.
  3. Fry Until Golden: Fry the pancakes for about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown and crispy. Adjust the heat as necessary to avoid burning.
  4. Drain Excess Oil: Once the pancakes are cooked, transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess oil.

Step 4: Serve

  1. Plate the Pancakes: Serve the German Potato Pancakes hot, alongside Bratwurst sausage if desired.
  2. Add Toppings: Top the pancakes with a dollop of cranberry sauce and a drizzle of maple syrup for a delicious sweet and savory combination.
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Tips for Perfect German Potato Pancakes

  1. Remove Excess Moisture: Ensuring the grated potatoes are well-drained and squeezed of excess moisture is crucial for crispy pancakes.
  2. Use the Right Potatoes: Starchy potatoes like Russets work best for this recipe as they help bind the pancakes together.
  3. Monitor the Oil Temperature: Keep an eye on the oil temperature while frying. If the oil is too hot, the pancakes will burn on the outside and remain undercooked inside. If it’s too cool, they will absorb too much oil and become greasy.
  4. Serve Immediately: German Potato Pancakes are best enjoyed hot and crispy, so serve them immediately after frying.


Can I Make These Pancakes Ahead of Time?

While these pancakes are best enjoyed fresh, you can make them ahead of time and reheat them in the oven. Place the pancakes on a baking sheet and reheat in a preheated 350°F (175°C) oven for about 10 minutes or until warmed through and crispy.

Can I Freeze German Potato Pancakes?

Yes, you can freeze the cooked pancakes. Allow them to cool completely, then place them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container. To reheat, bake in a 375°F (190°C) oven until hot and crispy.

What Other Toppings Can I Use?

While cranberry sauce and maple syrup are a delightful combination, you can also try these toppings:

  • Sour Cream and Chives: A classic pairing that adds a creamy and tangy flavor.
  • Apple Sauce: Another traditional accompaniment that offers a sweet contrast.
  • Smoked Salmon and Dill: For a more sophisticated twist, top with smoked salmon, a dollop of sour cream, and fresh dill.

Are There Any Variations of This Recipe?

Yes, you can add other ingredients to the potato mixture for different flavors:

  • Cheese: Mix in some grated cheese like cheddar or Gruyère.
  • Herbs: Add fresh herbs such as parsley, dill, or chives.
  • Garlic: Include minced garlic for an extra layer of flavor.


German Potato Pancakes are a wonderful, savory alternative to traditional pancakes. Their crispy exterior and tender interior, combined with the rich flavors of potato and onion, make them a versatile dish that can be enjoyed in many ways. Whether served with Bratwurst sausage for dinner or topped with sweet cranberry sauce and maple syrup, these pancakes are sure to delight. Enjoy making and sharing this delightful dish with your loved ones!