Potato Pancakes W/Katenspeck and Cheese (German)

"Few things are more-identified w/traditional German cuisine than potato pancakes. This recipe from *Modern German Food* by Roz Denny takes your garden-variety potato pancake & expands it to include the flavors of ham & cheese. Katenspeck is from the word *Katen* & means "barn" in German, i.e. this ham is made farmhouse-style (cured, smoked & cooked). Roz's intro read: "Potato pancakes are a traditional Rheinland confection. Once it was mother who wielded the pan. Nowadays spec dys in bars & cafes are the ideal opportunity to sample this dish & there are street stalls selling them. The most famous is outside the Cologne railway station, so visitors have no excuse not to sample this delicacy! The pancakes are sometimes served w/applesauce, but this version w/chopped crispy Katenspeck, grated onion & cheese is always popular." Made me hungry just to think about it & the pic pushed me well over that hunger edge. (Pls see notes after prep Re cheese & cooking time). *Enjoy* !"
photo by alligirl photo by alligirl
photo by alligirl
photo by Lori Mama photo by Lori Mama
Ready In:




  • Coarsely grate potatoes & squeeze dry w/your hands or a colander, pressing down w/the back of a ladle.
  • Place in a bowl w/the grated onion & mix in the flour. Add salt, some freshly ground black pepper + herbs & set aside.
  • In a lrg non-stick fry pan, fry chopped ham till crisp. Remove ham from pan, but leave rendered fat in pan. Stir crisped ham + cheese into the potato mixture.
  • Heat 1 tbsp canola oil w/the rendered fat. When hot, drop in a rounded tbsp of potato mixture & flatten w/the back of a spoon to a round shape or as neatly as you can.
  • Fry for 2-3 min over med-heat till golden brown & flip to cook the other side. Repeat w/the mixture in batches. Top up the oil as needed & make sure it is hot b4 frying ea batch. Drain on paper towels, keep uncovered in a warm oven till all batches are cooked & then have a feast.
  • NOTE RE CHEESE: Suggested ideal subs for Emmenthal are: American Swiss cheese, Raclette, Gruyère, Jarlsberg & Alpine Lace from Wisconsin.
  • NOTE RE YIELD & TIMES: # of servings was shown, but not the yield. Since the pancakes are cooked in batches & w/o the yield, the cooking time was entirely guesstimated.

Questions & Replies

default avatar
Got a question? Share it with the community!


  1. breezermom
    The taste and texture are wonderful, but I'm afraid I must be a potato pancake failure...my cakes just would not stay together. But I pieced them together and made the best of it. Delicious...plus I had lots of the potato mixture leftover....really makes a lot! So we will have a delicious breakfast tomorrow too! Thanks for sharing! Made for Football tag on Yuku 2014!
  2. alligirl
    Awesome! Loved them! I reduced to make a nice lunch for me; they were wonderful! I used a salt-cured smoked ham (which is as close to Katenspeck as I can get.) The cheese was all melty, and the potatoes were crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. These will be great in the winter, with a nice soup! Thanks for sharing, twissis. Made for ZWT.
  3. CJAY8248
    This is a great recipe! I used swiss cheese too. We enjoyed the cheesy taste and the ham made it all that better. I made this to go with pork schnitzel and homemade rye bread for our german-themed dinner. Thanks for sharing. Made for ZWT 6.
  4. Ma Field
    These are really good and cheesy wonderful! I was unsure at first if they would come together because the mixture looked like it wouldn't make a 'pancake'. No worries, tho. They fried up crispy and delicious. I used a good quality baby swiss cheese and some diced ham left over from another recipe. Thanks for a yummy version of ptotato cakes! Made for ZWT6 by a Looney Spooner.
  5. MarraMamba
    Oh twissis. These are absolutely fantastic. Loved potato pancakes for years and never thought of adding ham and cheese to them. They are the reason my dinner is goiong to be at 10 pm or so..couldnt stop eating them throughout the afternoon and suddenly it was 6 with tags to make still!! Made for "I recommend" tag game


I am an American transplanted from Dallas to Iceland by marriage to a native Icelander & I retired to become his "Kitchen Queen". We love to entertain our family & friends, so I have an eclectic collection of recipes. I especially love simple, easy-fix, flexible & make-ahead recipes - BUT also like challenging myself on occasion. I enjoy baking & food photography. I am devoted to the "More is Always Better Principle" & apply it liberally to bacon, butter & garlic. I can have ingredient issues due to availability here in Iceland & my DH is medically diet-restricted from some ingredients as well. Either situation might require me to modify a recipe, but I will do my best to be true to your recipes & fair/honest in my reviews. Mary Pat (aka twissis)
View Full Profile

Find More Recipes