While traditional Kartoffelpuffer (German Potato Pancakes) are made with grated potatoes, much like a hash brown, this is the kind I grew up with, and is the perfect thing to make with your leftover mashed potatoes.
Every Thanksgiving, my Oma Engels would stand in the kitchen and make these for our evening supper. We always had our Thanksgiving dinner mid-day, and in the evening would have a simpler meal of turkey sandwiches, all of the sides and these wonderful Kartoffelpuffer.
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This recipe is extremely flexible.
I had about 4 1/2 cups of mashed potatoes. I added a couple simple ingredients, and the quantities will be based upon how much mashed potatoes you have leftover.
In a bowl, combine the following – For every 1 1/2 cups of mashed potatoes you have:
1 egg, 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, 1/8 tsp baking powder and salt & pepper to taste.
Whisk those until thoroughly combined, and set them aside for a moment.
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Finely mince a tablespoon or so of onion, again, for every cup and a half of potatoes you have.
Stir these all together with the potatoes until combined.
In a large skillet, melt a couple tablespoons of butter over medium heat.
Scoop the potatoes into the skillet. I find a muffin scoop is perfect for this.
Don’t crowd them.
Let them cook for just a minute, and then flip them over…
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Press them down a little with the back of your spatula, until they are about 3/4 inch thick. Let them cook 3-4 minutes until golden brown, and then flip them over one last time to brown the original side all the way.
Lay them on a plate that is lined with paper towel, to absorb the excess oils. Repeat with the remaining potatoes. Add butter to the skillet as needed.
Here’s another variation…add some grated cheese to the potato mixture. You could also add some crumbled, cooked bacon. Yum!
Because these variations are so flexible – if you make “smashed” potatoes in your house rather than “mashed” potatoes – this recipe is perfect for those as well!
Mmmm… these make me think of my Oma.
I miss her dearly.
Did You Make This Recipe? I would love for you to rate it in the recipe card, and I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Kartoffelpuffer – German Potato Pancakes
- 1 1/2 cup leftover mashed potatoes, multiply the quantities based upon your potato amount
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/8 tsp baking powder
- 1 tablespoon minced onion
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Whisk the eggs, flour, baking powder, salt & pepper until smooth. Stir into the potatoes, along with the minced onion until combined.
- In a large skillet, heat a couple tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Scoop the mixture into the skillet in mounds, about 1/3 cup or so each, do not crowd them.
- Let them cook for just a minute, and gently flip them over. Using the back of your spatula, gently press them to ¾ inch thick. Let them cook about 3 or 4 minutes on that side, until it is golden brown on the bottom, then turn them over and finish browning the original side.
- Place cooked patties on a plate lined with paper towel to blot off the excess oils. Repeat with the remaining potato mixture. Add butter to the skillet as needed.
Nutritional information is auto-generated and the accuracy is not guaranteed.
This recipe was originally posted in 2012, and updated in 2021.