Kartoffelpuffer: German Potato Pancakes

Delicious or No ?

The holidays are in full swing and I may have already gained a few pounds from all of the eggnog and cookies. The cookies I was not supposed to eat, but rather gift. Oops. 

To take a break from all of the sweets, I decided that for this weeks FN Dish post, that I would go back to my German roots (okay, I’m not German) and make Kartoffelpuffer! Say it with me now… Kartoffelpuffer! Such a fun word, huh? Kartoffelpuffer (also known as Reibekuchen and Kartoffelpfannkuchen – more fun words) are potato pancakes.  

Although I may not be German and I will not pretend to be a German food connoisseur, I did have a student from Germany live with me for a year. He would always try his hand in our kitchen, and although he was not a very good cook, his potato pancakes were great! I don’t know why, but I just love potato pancakes! Maybe it’s all the carbs and oil!? Oh well! 

This recipe is from my former exchange students family, so it is a more traditional and basic recipe. Although there are variations to this recipe, I like to keep it simple and stick to my so-called German roots! The pancakes can be served as a snack or appetizer, but they are more traditionally served as a side during the holiday season. 
Kartoffelpuffer – Potato Pancakes


-3 russet potatoes (roughly 2 – 2.5lbs)

-1 large onion

-3 eggs, beaten

-1 teaspoon salt

-Optional: 1/3 cup flour or potato starch 

-Canola oil 


Peel and grate the potatoes and onion and place in a strainer since they will be very watery. Let them sit for about 10 minutes. You could also ring them out in a paper towel if you are in a rush. It is okay if they are still watery. I have skipped this step all together a couple of times when I was in a real rush. 

Transfer the potato and onion mixture to a bowl and mix in the salt and eggs. If using the flour, mix that in too. Set aside. 

Heat a skillet with oil (roughly 1/4 cup). Take a scoop of the mixture (I just use my hands) and form a little disk, roughly 2 – 3 inches in diameter, and flatten. Plop 3 – 4 of the pancakes at a time into the oil. Cook for a few minutes until golden brown and then flip to cook the other side. Each side will take roughly 3 minutes. Continue until all of the mixture is gone. You may need to add a little more oil in between batches. 

Remove the pancakes from the skillet and let dry on a paper towel lined baking sheet to help drain some of the oil. Serve warm with applesauce, or enjoy plain! Happy holidays!

Adapted from pintrest.com