German Potato Pancakes: A Crispy, Savory Delight

German Potato Pancakes, known as “Kartoffelpuffer” or “Reibekuchen” in Germany, is a beloved traditional dish that has transcended borders and won hearts worldwide. These crispy, savory pancakes are a staple in German cuisine and are often enjoyed as a snack at street fairs and Christmas markets, or as a comforting home-cooked meal. Made from grated potatoes, onions, and a blend of simple seasonings, they are fried to golden perfection, resulting in a dish that is crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside.

The Roots of the Recipe

German Potato Pancakes have a rich history and are a classic example of simple, hearty fare. Originating from the need to make the most of available ingredients, they are a testament to the ingenuity of traditional cooks who created something delicious and satisfying from the most basic elements.


  • 4 large potatoes, peeled
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Optional: a pinch of nutmeg


Preparing the Potatoes:

  1. Grate Potatoes and Onion: Using a box grater or food processor, coarsely grate the potatoes and onion. Place the mixture in a clean dish towel and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. This step is crucial for achieving crispy pancakes.

Making the Batter:

  1. Combine Ingredients: In a large bowl, mix the grated potatoes and onions with the eggs, flour, salt, pepper, and nutmeg (if using). Stir until the mixture is well combined.

Cooking the Pancakes:

  1. Heat the Oil: In a large skillet, heat a generous amount of oil over medium-high heat. The oil should be about 1/4-inch deep.
  2. Form and Fry Pancakes: For each pancake, spoon about 2 tablespoons of the potato mixture into the skillet, flattening it into a pancake shape. Fry until the edges are golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side.
  3. Drain: Remove the pancakes from the skillet and drain them on paper towels to remove excess oil.


  1. Serve Warm: German Potato Pancakes are best served warm. They can be enjoyed on their own, topped with applesauce, or with a dollop of sour cream.


German Potato Pancakes are a delightful blend of simplicity and flavor. Whether you’re looking for a new breakfast idea, a tasty side dish, or a comforting snack, these pancakes are sure to satisfy you. Their crispy texture and savory taste make them a versatile dish that can be adapted to suit various palates and occasions. So the next time you find yourself with a few potatoes and an appetite for something delicious, give these German Potato Pancakes a try – they might just become a new favorite in your culinary repertoire.

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