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Classic Potato Pancakes 

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Looking for a savory, satisfying treat that comes together in a snap? These easy homemade potato pancakes are the perfect solution! Also known as latkes or deruny, potato pancakes are a beloved staple in many Central and Eastern European cuisines, and it’s no wonder why. With just a few humble ingredients like grated potatoes, onion, and egg, you can create crispy, golden-brown potato pancakes bursting with warm, cozy flavors. The preparation is so simple, even novice cooks can master this recipe on the first try!
I absolutely love whipping up a batch of potato pancakes when I’m craving something hearty and wholesome. The crispy edges and pillowy centers are irresistible. Served straight from the pan and topped with tangy sour cream or sweet applesauce, they make an easy and delicious brunch, dinner, or snack. There’s really no wrong time to enjoy these savory treats!
Potato pancakes are also wonderful for using up leftovers. No sad potatoes going to waste here! Don’t toss those last few spuds – shred them up and give them new life instead. With this easy method, you’ll learn how to achieve the perfect crispy, lacy texture without sogginess. I’ll share my best tricks for squeezing out excess moisture from the potatoes so your pancakes fry up to golden perfection.
So grab your grater and a mixing bowl and let’s get frying these flavorful potato pancakes! In no time at all, you’ll be enjoying crunchy, mouthwatering potato goodness. It’s a great recipe to have in your repertoire any day of the week.

What dipping sauces go well with them?
Sour cream and applesauce are classic pairings. But you could also try salsa, guacamole, hummus – the possibilities are endless!

What kind of potatoes work best for potato pancakes?
Russet potatoes are ideal because they have the most starch, which helps bind the pancakes and makes them crispy on the outside. Other starchy potatoes like Yukon Gold can also work well. Avoid waxy potatoes.

Do you have to squeeze moisture out of the grated potatoes?
Yes! This step is crucial for creating light and lacy potato pancakes instead of wet, dense ones. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible using a clean towel.

Can you freeze leftover potato pancakes?
Absolutely! Let cool completely, then freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet before transferring to a freezer bag. Reheat frozen pancakes in the oven or toaster oven.

What are some tasty dipping sauces for potato pancakes?
Sour cream and applesauce are classic choices. Greek yogurt, salsa, guacamole, marinara sauce, and ranch dressing also pair nicely.

Do you need to rest the potato pancake batter before cooking?
Resting for 5-10 minutes helps the flour hydrate and makes the pancakes sturdier. But it’s not absolutely required. You can fry them right after mixing if desired.

Is it better to fry or bake potato pancakes?
Frying makes them crispy on the outside while keeping the interior soft and fluffy. Baking gives a uniform, dense texture throughout. Frying is usually preferred.

How do you keep potato pancakes warm while cooking batches?
Place cooked pancakes on a baking sheet in a 200°F oven. This keeps them warm and crisp while you fry up the remaining batter.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 2 lbs russet potatoes, shredded (about 4 cups)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • Vegetable oil, for frying


  • Squeezing out all the moisture from the shredded potatoes is the key to getting potato pancakes with a nice crispy exterior and fluffy interior. Really work that kitchen towel to get those spuds good and dry! The more liquid you remove, the better the texture will be.
  • Once you’ve wrung out those potatoes within an inch of their lives, dump them in a bowl and mix in the onion, egg, flour, salt and pepper. Get in there with your hands and mush it all together thoroughly until it forms a thick, starchy batter that really coats the spoon. If the batter seems wet, sprinkle in a touch more flour.
  • Now, heat up your skillet over medium-high heat and grease it up with a nice slick of oil. You want the oil hot enough to sizzle a test spoonful of batter right away. Scoop that batter into patties, resisting the urge to smoosh them down too hard. Give them room to fry, resist crowding the pan.
  • Fry those puppies for a good 4-5 minutes per side until they get all crispy and golden brown. Flip them gingerly. Keep an eye on the heat, adjust as needed to avoid scorching.
  • When they’re browned and crisp, transfer them to a paper towel lined plate. Enjoy right away if you can, while they’re still warm and delicious. Sour cream or applesauce for dipping is a must!
  • Keep cooking up those batches, adding more oil as needed. You can keep the cooked ones warm in the oven on a baking sheet while you finish frying.
  • Now dig in and enjoy the cozy, carb-y, crispy goodness of homemade potato pancakes! Let me know if you need any tips for getting them just right.

Cooking Tips:

  • Use a box grater or food processor to shred the potatoes. The smaller the shreds, the crispier the pancake.
  • Make sure to squeeze out as much liquid as possible from the potato shreds before mixing the batter.
  • Fry over medium-high heat for the best texture. Lower heat = soggy pancakes.
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan. Cook pancakes in batches for even browning.
  • Keep cooked pancakes warm in a 200°F oven on a baking sheet if needed between batches.

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