German potato pancakes aka kartoffelpuffer served as an appetizer/snack
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5 from 1 vote

German Potato Pancakes - Kartoffelpuffer

Authentic recipe for German potato pancakes (Kartoffelpuffer) - crispy, golden discs of fried grated potatoes with a soft inside. Popular snack at beer gardens and folk fests they also double as a side for roasts and brats. Yield is about 8-10 pancakes, depending on size.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: Bavarian, German
Servings: 4
Calories: 321kcal
Author: CraftBeering


  • 2 lbs starchy potatoes, such as Russet (see substitute suggestion in notes)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp corn or potato starch (use if you do not intend to use the starch from the potatoes)
  • cooking oil, as needed for pan frying


  • Peel and coarsely grate the potatoes*. Place in a colander or large sieve over appropriately sized bowl and let drain for 10-15 minutes. Press a couple of times to help the process along.
  • Once most of the liquid from the potatoes has collected at the bottom of the bowl, move the drained potatoes to the side and either discard the liquid and reserve the starch settled underneath it or discard everything.** 
  • Transfer the potatoes from the colander to the bowl. Beat the eggs with the salt, pepper, nutmeg and if using the 1 tbsp of corn or potato starch.
  • Heat 1/4 cup of cooking oil in a frying pan over medium to medium-high heat. When hot, add a large spoonful of potato mixture to the oil and flatten it out using the back of the spoon. 
    Do not overcrowd the pan. 
    Fry until each side is golden and crispy, about 4 minutes per side, depending on how large the pancakes are. 
  • Drain cooked potato pancakes over paper towels before serving. Serve while still hot with apple sauce or sour cream as a dip. 


Substitute suggestion: Use 1 1/2 lb of frozen hash-browns instead. Bring to room temperature and start at Step 3 of the recipe. Add the 1 tbsp of starch.
*You can finely grate a couple of the potatoes if you plan on using their own starch instead of adding a tablespoon of starch as per the recipe.
** If you'd like to use the starch derived from the potatoes, carefully pour out the watery liquid from the bowl and save the starch settled at the bottom.