German Potato Pancakes

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Are you craving some authentic German comfort food? Look no further than these delicious reibekuchen – classic German potato pancakes! Crispy on the outside, pillowy soft on the inside, and so incredibly easy to make at home. One bite of these hearty fried potato pancakes and you’ll be transported to a charming Christmas market stall.

Growing up, potato pancakes were a staple in our home. My mutti (mom) would make big batches of these golden, carby treats that we’d devour piping hot with applesauce or tangy quark (German fresh cheese). Watching her expertly grate the potatoes and fry them up to crispy perfection was pure magic.

While there’s some debate around the difference between reibekuchen (made with raw potatoes) and kartoffelpuffer (made with cooked potatoes or leftover potato dumplings), this classic version uses freshly grated raw potatoes. It’s the simplest, most traditional way to enjoy the comforting flavors of Germany’s “peasant food” turned iconic dish.

Why These Are the BEST Potato Pancakes

  • Uses straightforward pantry ingredients for big, nostalgic flavor
  • Double-frying method ensures a crispy, lacy exterior and fluffy interior
  • Customizable to be served sweet with applesauce or savory with toppings
  • An easy comfort food recipe that brings Germanic flavors home
  • Feeds a crowd or makes fantastic leftovers to reheat

The simplest of ingredients like potatoes, onions, egg and flour transform into these addictively crispy, starchy pancake pillows. The shredded potatoes get delightfully crispy around the edges while the insides maintain a melt-in-your-mouth fluffiness.

Top them off sweet-style with applesauce or brown sugar, or go savory with sour cream, yogurt sauce or bacon bits. You can even mix up the flavors in the batter itself by adding scallions, garlic or spices. The same irresistible crunch with exciting new flavors!

Serve up a batch of these fresh, hot German potato pancakes and you’ll instantly understand why they’re a year-round street food staple. They’re perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a cozy snack. And if by some miracle you have leftovers, they make an even better next-day treat when reheated in a skillet.

How to Make Authentic German Potato Pancakes

  • Grate the raw potatoes and onion into a bowl.
  • Mix with flour, egg, salt and pepper.
  • For extra crispy pancakes, double-fry: Cook patties for 3-4 minutes per side. Let rest while you fry the rest. Then re-fry for 1 minute per side for amazing crunch!
  • Serve piping hot with desired sweet or savory toppings.

Looking for a taste of Germany at home? Make a batch of these perfectly crispy and nostalgic German potato pancakes! A simple shredded potato batter transforms into crispy-edged, fluffy, lacy and undeniably addictive fritters.

They’re irresistible fresh out of the pan, but I also love enjoying leftovers for breakfast reheated to a second crunchiness! Whether you go sweet or savory on the toppings, these reibekuchen capture the comfort of an authentic German classic.

German Potato Pancakes

Experience the hearty flavors of Germany with these mouthwatering German Potato Pancakes! Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, they're the perfect comfort food.
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Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: German
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb russet potatoes
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • Pinch of salt plus more for seasoning
  • Pinch of black pepper for savory pancakes
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Instructions

  • Wash and peel the potatoes. Grate them into a bowl using the large grating side of a box grater. Grate the onion into the same bowl.
  • If there is excess liquid pooling in the potato mixture, drain off as much as possible.
  • Add the salt, pepper (if making savory pancakes), flour and egg to the potato-onion mixture. Use your hands to thoroughly mix everything together into a thick batter.
  • Heat 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil over medium heat in a large skillet. For each pancake, scoop about 2 tbsp of the potato batter into the hot oil, flattening slightly with the back of a spoon or spatula.
  • Fry the pancakes for 3-4 minutes per side until deeply golden brown and crispy on both sides. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Once all the pancakes are fried once, re-fry them one more time for 30-60 seconds per side for extra crunch.
  • Serve the potato pancakes immediately while hot and crispy. Top with applesauce, brown sugar, sour cream, yogurt sauce or any other desired toppings.

Enjoy these crispy, nostalgic German potato pancakes piping hot for the ultimate treat! Let me know if you need any other tips to make them as authentic and delicious as possible.

WANT TO SAVE THIS RECIPE?

WANT TO SAVE THIS RECIPE?

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