Thin German Potato Pancakes Recipe (Kartoffelpuffer)

Traditional German Potato Pancakes Recipe (also in German – Kartoffelpuffer) that is easy and delicious. Crispy and packed with flavor, these classic German pancakes are a dream.

Traditional Thin German Potato Pancakes Recipe Kartoffelpuffer

Crispy, delicious and health-ish potato pancakes are a wide spread street food option across Europe, especially Germany. They can be seen at local markets, Christmas markets and restaurants. Many families, however enjoy these thin potato crisps at the dinner table alongside applesauce, sausages and mustard.

If you wonder how to eat Thin German potato pancakes, here are some suggestions:

  • Enjoy as a side meal to sausages and frankfurters.
  • Eat as addition to German sauerkraut and/or Pretzels (known as Bretzels).
  • Top with some applesauce (preferably unsweetened) – applesauce takes away some of the oiliness.
  • Add some mustard, mayonnaise or ketchup


  1. Potatoes – I like to use starchy potatoes for these thin German pancakes. Potatoes should be shredded raw, no previous cooking required.
  2. Onion – onions add some extra joy to the potato pancakes. All types of onion can be used, as long as they are finely minced.
  3. Eggs – eggs are the binding agent, alongside with flour.
  4. Flour – flour, together with eggs, helps potatoes stick together. For a gluten-free version of these German potato pancakes, one can use store bought gluten-free flour.
  5. Salt – to make them even more flavorful, salt is added to taste.
  6. Oil – for greasing the pan, before cooking. As we do not deep fry, I like to use thin-bottomed non-stick (pancake) pan, that is slightly greased with oil to cook potato pancakes in.

As you can see, these thin German Potato pancakes are perfect for vegans and/or vegetarians on their own.


  1. Clean potatoes and peel skin off. Then grate potatoes and set aside in a bowl for 10 minutes. Remove excess water if any.
  2. Then mince all other ingredients finely. Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix well until combined.
  3. Using a spoon, ice cream scooper, take some of the batter and place onto preheated and greased pan. Distribute batter to make as thin of a pancake as possible.
  4. Flip over when pancakes gets golden crisp and cook until ready on the other side as well (on medium to high heat). The longer they cook, the crispier they get.
  5. Repeat until all batter is cooked.
  6. Place pancake one over the other if you wish to keep them somewhat soft.
Traditional Thin German Potato pancakes Recipe that is vegan and gluten-free


Traditional Thin German Potato pancakes, made on the stove. These pan-fried thin potato pancakes are vegan and can be made gluten-free.

Thin German Potato Pancakes (Kartoffelpuffer)

The European Dish
Classic German Potato Pancakes that one can usually find at a Christmas Market Menu. Simple 5 Ingredient pancakes that are perfect as dinner side or appetizer. Child-friendly (perfect for fussy eaters) and so delicious.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine European, German
Servings 14 pancakes


  • 2 lbs / 1kg starchy potatoes, shredded raw, not cooked
  • 1 small onion, finely minced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt (more or less to tate)
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil for greasing the pan


  • Wash potatoes under cold water, then peel and grate finely using a grater. Set aside for 10 minutes, then remove extra potato water if any. Then mince onion head finely as well (can be also grated if easier).
  • In a large mixing bowl add shredded potato, minced onion, eggs, flour and salt. Mix until well combined.
  • Preheat non-stick pan and grease slightly with olive oil (adds extra crispiness and prevents burns). Then with a tablespoon (heaping) add potato pancake batter and spread to form a circle. Pancake should be as thin as possible.
  • Once pancake is fully cooked on one side (check with wooden spatula by slightly lifting around the edges), turn around and let cook completely. Repeat until potato batter is cooked. Stir batter before each pancake is placed in the pan, as potatoes will let their juice out while waiting to be cooked.
  • Serve warm with desired main meal and/or toppings.


TIP: I love using my Tefal Pancake Pan for making these pancakes. If you use a pan that has heavy thick base, pancakes will become less crisp and will cook much longer. 
Keyword German, pancakes, potatoes
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