Kartoffelpuffer German Potato Pancakes Recipe | Foodal (2024)

Welcome to the world of delicious pan-fried grated potatoes, my friends.

These guys are golden and crispy on the outside, with a fluffy interior that melts in your mouth.

Kartoffelpuffer German Potato Pancakes Recipe | Foodal (1)

If you haven’t heard of kartoffelpuffer, let me break it down for you. These German potato pancakes are a popular appetizer and street food that you commonly find on beer garden menus.

They are actually similar to latkes, but there’s no added baking soda or vegetable boiling involved.

Kartoffelpuffer German Potato Pancakes Recipe | Foodal (2)

Finely grated spuds create the classic texture of the kartoffelpuffer, and grated onion and egg are typically added to the mixture, along with some garlic.

Bacon and cheese are sometimes added as well, but I prefer the classic version that you’ll find here, which can be served up as a sweet or savory appetizer or a side dish paired with your choice of protein.

Kartoffelpuffer German Potato Pancakes Recipe | Foodal (3)

This is one of those magical German dishes that pairs perfectly with beer. No offense to pretzels and sausages, but I think this is the perfect recipe to pull out when you’re looking for something a little different.

Kartoffelpuffer German Potato Pancakes Recipe | Foodal (4)

Beloved all across Germany and beyond, not only is this a classic recipe that families cook at home, it’s one that is commonly found at German festivals and holiday markets as well.

Instead of making the trip across the ocean to celebrate Oktoberfest, you can enjoy it right at home with these pancakes alongside your favorite beer.

Kartoffelpuffer German Potato Pancakes Recipe | Foodal (5)

I have a few tips to share for making this recipe. First, make sure that you finely grate the starchy vegetables and onion. It’s the fine grate rather than a more coarse shred that helps to make the interior super fluffy.

Second, make sure that you squeeze all the liquid from the potatoes. This does require a little effort, but by pressing all that liquid out before adding your fritters to the pan, you can ensure that you’ll get the best possible texture. You don’t want a soggy mess on your hands, after all.

Kartoffelpuffer German Potato Pancakes Recipe | Foodal (6)

Finally, when you are stirring together the mixture, you want to make sure it isn’t too wet. To get that tacky texture just right, you can simply add more flour in small doses before shaping and frying. This helps to keep the fritters from falling apart, resulting in a nice and crispy golden crust.

Kartoffelpuffer German Potato Pancakes Recipe | Foodal (7)

Make a batch of these, pour a few glasses of your favorite brew, and get the party started. Prost!


Kartoffelpuffer German Potato Pancakes Recipe | Foodal (8)

Kartoffelpuffer German Potato Pancakes

★★★★3.7 from 3 reviews
  • Author: Meghan Yager
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
Print Recipe


Oktoberfest is the time of year to raise a glass of beer and chow down on kartoffelpuffer, also known as German potato pancakes.



  • 2 1/2 lbs starchy potatoes (Russet or Yukon Gold), peeled and very finely grated
  • 1 small yellow onion, very finely grated (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • Sour cream and applesauce, for serving (optional)
  • Chives or cinnamon, for garnish (optional)


  1. Place grated potatoes in a colander or clean dish towel and press or wring out the liquid with your hands.
  2. Add to a medium bowl with the onion, eggs, garlic, flour, and salt. Stir until well-combined. If the mixture is too wet, add flour by the teaspoonful and stir until the mixture is tacky.
  3. Add about 3-4 tablespoons canola oil to a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add ⅓- ½ cup scoops of the potato mixture to the pan. Flatten them into pancakes with the back of a spoon. You will need to work in batches, making sure not to crowd the pan.
  4. Fry about 3-5 minutes on each side, until golden brown and crispy on the outside. Transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet.
  5. Serve immediately with your choice of toppings.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Oktoberfest
  • Method: Frying, Stovetop
  • Cuisine: German

Keywords: kartoffelpuffer, German potato pancakes, fritters, potato

Cooking By the Numbers…

Step 1 – Grate Potatoes and Onion, Mince Garlic, and Measure Remaining Ingredients

Get out your vegetable peeler and your box grater, or attach the shredding disc to your food processor if it has a very fine grating option with small holes.

Peel and finely grate the potatoes. I ended up using three large Russet potatoes to make this recipe. Though red-skinned potatoes with a creamy texture are nice for something like potato salad, you want to be sure to use a starchy type for this recipe.

Peel and finely grate one small yellow onion.

Kartoffelpuffer German Potato Pancakes Recipe | Foodal (9)

Lightly beat two eggs in a small bowl.

Peel and mince two cloves of garlic, using a sharp knife or your garlic press.

Measure out all remaining ingredients as listed on the ingredients list.

Step 2 – Remove Liquid

Add the grated potatoes to a colander. Wring out as much liquid as possible with your hands. You can also use a clean dish towel to wring out the liquid.

Kartoffelpuffer German Potato Pancakes Recipe | Foodal (10)

The key is to wring out as much liquid as possible, since this will help to keep your fritters from falling apart in the pan when you fry them.

Step 3 – Make Mixture

Add the potatoes to a medium bowl with the onion, eggs, garlic, flour, and salt.

Kartoffelpuffer German Potato Pancakes Recipe | Foodal (11)

Stir until well-combined.

Kartoffelpuffer German Potato Pancakes Recipe | Foodal (12)

If the mixture is too wet, add flour one teaspoon at a time until the mixture is tacky.

Step 4 – Fry

In a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat, add 3-4 tablespoons of oil. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the potato mixture in 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup scoops.

Flatten them into pancakes with the back of a spoon. Work in batches, making sure the pan doesn’t become overcrowded. I made about 4 at a time in my pan.

Fry on both sides, about 3-5 minutes per side, until golden brown and crispy on both sides.

Transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain. Serve immediately.

Super Satisfying Whether Sweet or Savory

For serving, you can either go sweet or savory, depending on your preference.

If you would prefer to serve them sweet, top them with applesauce and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

If savory is more your thing, top them with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of chopped chives.

Kartoffelpuffer German Potato Pancakes Recipe | Foodal (13)

Need more Oktoberfest recipe inspiration? Here are some other dishes to make for your celebration:

  • Original Swabian Spaetzle
  • Slow Cooker Oktoberfest Stew
  • Classic Southern German Bread Dumplings
  • German Bowle

What’s your favorite dish or beverage to pair with kartoffelpuffer? Tell us in the comments below. And once you try the recipe, be sure to come back and rate it!

Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

Kartoffelpuffer German Potato Pancakes Recipe | Foodal (14)

About Meghan Yager

Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.

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Kartoffelpuffer German Potato Pancakes Recipe | Foodal (2024)


What is kartoffelpuffer made of? ›

Kartoffelpuffer are made from russet potatoes that are peeled and grated raw. The shredded potatoes are mixed with egg, finely grated onion, flour, and salt and pepper to taste and then fried to light golden brown. The end result is a crispy exterior and soft interior.

What is the difference between latkes and German potato pancakes? ›

The potato pancake is much simpler, with nothing but raw grated potatoes, egg, and all-purpose flour. The latke, on the other hand, adds baking powder, matzo meal, and even a splash of milk, according to Cooktoria. Surprisingly, the potato pancake has a longer preparation time due to the simplicity of its batter.

Why are my potato pancakes gummy? ›

Get That Moisture Out.

Using a kitchen towel or paper towel, wring out as much moisture as possible. If you don't drain the moisture, they won't crisp as easily and that may be why your potato pancakes are gummy.

Why aren't my potato pancakes sticking together? ›

There's not enough starch binding the latkes. Luckily, the fix for both of these problems is the same: add some more starch — ideally in the form of matzo meal — which will soak up that extra moisture and bind the ingredients together more tightly. Flour works too, but it sticks together and makes for denser latkes.

What part of Germany are Kartoffelpuffer from? ›

Alternative namesKartoffelpuffer
Place of originGermany
Region or stateRheinland
Main ingredientsPotatoes
Media: Reibekuchen
2 more rows

What's the best potato to use for potato pancakes? ›

What kind of potatoes are best for potato pancakes?
  • starchy/mealy (like Russets, Idaho) – they are high in starch and low in moisture, they don't hold their shape very well, they are great for mashing, baking and boiling.
  • all-purpose (mixed potato type, like Yukon Gold)
Jul 14, 2020

Why are my German pancakes not fluffy? ›

Why Didn't My Dutch Baby Puff Up? Like popovers and Yorkshire pudding, the thing that gives Dutch babies their signature puff is steam. In order for that steam to work the pancake into its signature peaks and valleys, you need two things: enough air in a well-developed batter and a piping-hot pan and oven.

Why are they called German pancakes? ›

German pancakes and Dutch babies are essentially the same thing, but the dish is said to have originated in Germany, not the Netherlands. The term “Dutch baby” was coined by an American restaurateur whose use of “Dutch” was a corruption of the word “Deutsch” (“German” in German).

What is another name for German pancakes? ›

A Dutch baby pancake, sometimes called a German pancake, a Bismarck, a Dutch puff, Hooligan, or a Hootenanny, is a dish that is similar to a large Yorkshire pudding.

How do you keep potato pancake batter from turning brown? ›

What can I do to keep the potato batter from turning brown? A: When shredding the potatoes be sure to add some acidity (such as a teaspoon of white wine vinegar or concentrated lemon juice to the water. This is one dish where doing the prep work the night before can ruin the meal.

Why are my potato pancakes GREY? ›

After peeled or grated potatoes are exposed to air they will begin to turn gray or brown. This appearance can be off-putting, but the good news is that the quality of the potato isn't compromised. This is a harmless natural reaction and it is perfectly fine to cook and eat potatoes even if they have turned gray.

How do you keep potato pancakes from turning gray? ›

When you grate raw potatoes, you release starch that can cause them to oxidize, or turn dark. The best way to keep that from happening is to cover the potatoes with cold water, then drain them very well and pat them dry before cooking.

How do you reheat potato pancakes so they are crispy? ›

– Always serve latkes hot and fresh if possible.

When ready to reheat, place in a 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes (7 if using a convection oven) until heated through just prior to serving. A convection oven setting will produce a more crispy result.

Why are my pancakes rubbery not fluffy? ›

If you stir your pancake batter too much, the gas bubbles that your acid and base just produced will be released. Over stirring causes tough, rubbery pancakes. You should barely stir your pancake batter.

Why are my pancakes not fluffy enough? ›

Making pancake and waffle batter ahead of time is a huge no-no and will lead to flat, dense results every time. Even letting your batter hang out for just a few minutes after you've mixed it before you start ladling it onto the griddle will lead to less fluffy results.

What were latkes originally made of? ›

Of course we associate potato latkes with Hanukkah, but in reality latkes descends from Italian pancakes that were made with ricotta cheese. The first connection between Hanukkah and pancakes was made by a rabbi in Italy named Rabbi Kalonymus ben Kalonymus (c. 1286-1328).

Are latkes and kartoffelpuffer the same? ›

Eastern Europe - Latkes is a Jewish dish and very similar to the German kartoffelpuffer. Unlike German potato pancakes that use finely shredded potatoes, latkes are made with thickly grated potatoes. It is a common treat on Hanukkah.

What are German potato pancakes made of? ›

Keep potatoes covered with cold water until ready to grate in the food processor. Fit the medium shredding blade into food processor and shred potatoes and onion. Dry potatoes and onion between sheets of paper towel. In a large bowl combine potato mixture with eggs, flour, baking powder, parsley and salt.

What is Kartoffelpuffer & Bratkartoffeln made of? ›

Kartoffelpuffer (pronounced Kah-toff-el-puh-fah) are German potato pancakes that are pan-fried and made from a dough consisting of (finely) grated potatoes, grated or finely chopped onion, flour, eggs, finely chopped chives, salt and pepper.


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