German Potato Pancakes

In the heart of German cuisine, where comfort and flavor converge, German Potato Pancakes stand as a crispy delight that pays homage to traditional culinary roots. These golden-brown treasures, known as Kartoffelpuffer or Reibekuchen, showcase the simple yet hearty nature of German comfort food. Join me as we embark on a culinary journey to create German Potato Pancakes—a dish that seamlessly blends the earthy richness of potatoes with the comforting embrace of a crispy exterior.


For the German Potato Pancakes: Gather the ingredients that form the foundation of this crispy comfort:

  • 4 large russet potatoes, peeled and grated for a starchy base
  • 1 small onion, finely grated for added flavor
  • 2 large eggs, beaten for binding and richness
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, for structure
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste, for seasoning
  • Vegetable oil, for frying, providing the golden crunch
  • Optional: Applesauce or sour cream, for serving, enhancing the experience


Step 1: Grate the Potatoes and Onion Begin by peeling and grating the russet potatoes, ensuring a starchy base for the pancakes. Finely grate the small onion, infusing the mixture with its savory essence. Place the grated potatoes and onions in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out excess moisture.

Step 2: Combine with Eggs and Flour In a large mixing bowl, combine the grated potatoes and onions with beaten eggs and all-purpose flour. Season the mixture generously with salt and black pepper, ensuring a well-seasoned and cohesive batter. The flour serves as a binding agent, creating the structure necessary for the pancakes.

Step 3: Heat the Oil for Frying In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. The oil should be hot enough to create a sizzle when a small portion of the batter is dropped in.

Step 4: Form and Fry the Pancakes Scoop a portion of the potato mixture with a spoon and carefully place it in the hot oil, flattening it slightly to form a pancake. Fry the pancakes until they achieve a golden-brown hue on both sides, ensuring a crispy exterior and a tender interior. Work in batches to avoid overcrowding the skillet.

Step 5: Drain on Paper Towels As the German Potato Pancakes attain the desired crispiness, transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels. This step helps drain excess oil and preserves the delightful crunch.

Step 6: Serve with Accompaniments Serve the German Potato Pancakes hot, accompanied by applesauce or sour cream if desired. The tanginess of these accompaniments complements the savory and crispy nature of the pancakes, creating a harmonious balance of flavors.


For a cheesy twist, consider adding grated cheese, such as Gruyère or cheddar, to the potato mixture before frying. This variation introduces a melty, savory element that elevates the traditional German Potato Pancakes to a new level of indulgence.


Drain Excess Moisture: Squeezing out excess moisture from the grated potatoes and onions is crucial for achieving crispy pancakes. A dry mixture ensures proper frying and the desired texture.

Check Oil Temperature: Ensure that the oil is hot enough before adding the potato mixture to create that satisfying sizzle. Adjust the heat as needed to maintain the temperature throughout the frying process.

Serve Immediately: German Potato Pancakes are best enjoyed immediately after frying to preserve their crispiness. If preparing in batches, keep the cooked pancakes warm in the oven until ready to serve.


As you savor each crispy bite of German Potato Pancakes, relish in the comforting embrace of a dish that echoes the traditions of German cuisine. Whether served as a delightful side dish or a savory snack, these pancakes encapsulate the essence of crispy comfort—a nod to the hearty flavors that have graced German tables for generations. So, let each bite be a celebration of the rich and crispy heritage found in German Potato Pancakes, a dish that embodies the timeless allure of comfort food.

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