German Potato Pancakes - Kartoffelpuffer

German crisp potato pancakes are an ideal breakfast, main and side dish also traditionally popular among Jewish, Polish, and Irish. Topped with sour cream for savory and applesauce for a sweet version they are both equally delicious.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine German
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 pancakes
Author Jas


  • 4 ca. 1 ½ lbs starchy potatoes, like Idaho or Russet
  • 1 egg
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup oil
  • Sour cream optional
  • Applesauce
  • Cinnamon optional


  • Peel, wash, and grate potatoes using a hand grater or food processor with a shredding blade. Peel the onion, grate and add to the potatoes.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg, flour, salt, and pepper. Fold in the potato mixture. Fry immediately. Preparing this step ahead of time is not recommended. Potatoes oxidize and salt will pull moisture out of your potatoes and onions, leaving you with brown and soggy pancakes.
  • In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. For each pancake, drop two tablespoons of the potato mixture into the skillet, flattening each mound with a spatula. Fry about 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown and crisp.
  • Remove pancakes with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels until oil is absorbed.
  • Best served hot or at room temperature topped with sour cream or applesauce sprinkled with cinnamon.


Potato pancakes are also known as Kartoffelpuffer, Reibenkuchen, Rösti, latkes, placki, and boxty.