Golden German Potato Pancakes (Kartoffelpuffer)

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German pancakes, also known as Kartoffelpuffer or potato pancakes, are a delightful and versatile breakfast option. These crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside treats are surprisingly easy to make and can be enjoyed plain, topped with your favorite sweet or savory ingredients.


Kartoffelpuffer (German Potato Pancakes)
Kartoffelpuffer (German Potato Pancakes)

3 large russet potatoes (about 1 pound)

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (for cooking)

  • Instructions:

    1. Grate the potatoes: Peel the potatoes and grate them using the coarse side of a box grater. Alternatively, you can use a food processor with the grating attachment.

    2. Drain the excess liquid: Place the grated potatoes in a colander set over a bowl. Press down gently with a paper towel or cheesecloth to remove as much excess liquid as possible. This step is crucial for crispy pancakes.

    3. Combine dry ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and black pepper.

    4. Incorporate wet ingredients: Add the grated potatoes, milk, and egg to the dry ingredients and mix well until just combined. Don’t overmix, as this can lead to tough pancakes.

    5. Saute the onion: Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.

    6. Cook the pancakes: Using a measuring cup or spoon, scoop out portions of the potato mixture and gently flatten them into patties. Add the patties to the hot skillet with the onions, leaving some space between them.

    7. Cook until golden brown: Cook the pancakes for 3-4 minutes per side, or until golden brown and crispy. You may need to adjust the heat slightly depending on your stovetop.

    8. Serve and enjoy: Remove the pancakes from the skillet and drain any excess oil on paper towels. Serve them hot with your favorite toppings or simply with a dollop of applesauce and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar.

    Nutrition Facts (per serving, without toppings):

    Calories: 220

  • Fat: 7g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 50mg
  • Sodium: 320mg
  • Carbohydrates: 32g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 2g
  • Protein: 5g

  • Please note: This is an approximate nutritional value based on the listed ingredients. The actual values may vary depending on the specific ingredients used and their preparation methods.


    German pancakes are a budget-friendly and satisfying way to start your day. They are easy to customize with various toppings, allowing you to explore both sweet and savory options.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1. Can I use a different type of potato?

    Yes, you can substitute russet potatoes with other starchy potatoes like Yukon Gold or even sweet potatoes for a slightly different flavor profile.

    2. What if my pancakes are too wet?

    If the mixture seems too wet after draining the potatoes, you can add a tablespoon or two of additional flour. However, be mindful not to overmix the batter, as it can make the pancakes tough.

    3. Can I make these pancakes ahead of time?

    While these pancakes are best enjoyed fresh, you can pre-cook them and reheat them in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for 5-7 minutes before serving.

    4. What are some topping ideas for German pancakes?

    The possibilities are endless! Here are some ideas to get you started:

    Sweet: Applesauce, sour cream, maple syrup, fresh berries, whipped cream, chopped nuts

  • Savory: Smoked salmon, sauteed mushrooms, caramelized onions, shredded cheese, fried egg

  • 5. Can I make these pancakes gluten-free?

    Yes, you can substitute the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend. Just ensure the blend you choose includes a xanthan gum or another binder to achieve the desired consistency.