Potthucke: A Savory German Potato Cake Recipe | Foodal (2024)

Potthucke is a traditional recipe from the Sauerland region of Westphalia, a part of northwestern Germany where I live.

Potthucke: A Savory German Potato Cake Recipe | Foodal (1)

This savory cake was originally considered poor man’s fare – it’s a simple potato-based dish made with just a few basic, inexpensive ingredients.

Potthucke has become a popular dish in local specialty restaurants and at festivals, as well as one that appears often on dinner tables at home, with different variations, presentations, and family traditions contributing unique twists.

Potthucke: A Savory German Potato Cake Recipe | Foodal (2)

I remember when my town held a Potthucke festival back in 1997! Everyone was invited to stop by and have a slice of this local specialty.

The name of this celebrated recipe is inspired by its baking method. The German “Potthucke” translates to “sitting in a pot” in English, and earlier methods commonly used for preparing Potthucke involved slowly baking the batter in a pot for several hours over low heat in a wood-burning oven.

Potthucke: A Savory German Potato Cake Recipe | Foodal (3)

You won’t need to wait as long to enjoy a slice now with an electric or gas stove, though you’ll still need to dedicate about an hour to baking.

The filling is a savory combination of mashed and shredded russet potatoes combined with chopped crispy bacon, lightly sauteed onions, eggs, and cream.

Potthucke: A Savory German Potato Cake Recipe | Foodal (4)

After it’s baked to form a solid loaf, Potthucke can be cut into slices and served as is. You can also lightly pan sear the slices in butter for a crispier crust.

Potthucke: A Savory German Potato Cake Recipe | Foodal (5)

You don’t have to wait for a special occasion or for the festival to come to town to give his easy German recipe a try – make it now to serve as part of a hearty dinner.


Potthucke: A Savory German Potato Cake Recipe | Foodal (6)

German Potthucke

★★★★★5 from 4 reviews
  • Author: Nina-Kristin Isensee
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf (8-10 slices) 1x
Print Recipe


Made with mashed and shredded potatoes, bacon, onions, cream, and eggs, German Potthucke is a savory baked loaf you can serve as a starchy side.



  • 34 medium russet potatoes, peeled and placed in cold water (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 medium white onions, diced small (about 1 pound)
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped (about 4 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme (about 1/2 tablespoon)
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Lightly grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan and line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides of the pan, and grease the paper.
  2. Add half of the potatoes to the pot and boil until tender, about 20-25 minutes. Drain in a colander and let cool slightly before mashing them with a potato masher or a potato ricer in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
  4. Cook the onions in the same skillet with the rendered bacon fat until soft and translucent, for 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside in the pan to cool slightly.
  5. Coarsely grate the remaining potatoes. Place the grated potatoes in a towel and squeeze tightly to remove any excess water.
  6. Immediately add the grated potatoes, onions, bacon, cream, eggs, salt, pepper, thyme, and nutmeg to the large bowl with the mashed potatoes. Using a sturdy spoon, stir until the ingredients are mixed well and a thick batter forms.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until fluffy and golden brown on top. The center should be solid and the cake will not jiggle when you gently shake the pan.
  8. Remove from the oven and place the pan on a cooling rack. Let cool for about 30 minutes to finish setting before removing from the pan and cutting into thick slices for frying or serve immediately.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • Category: Potatoes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: German

Keywords: potato, bacon, potthucke, german, onion

Cooking by the Numbers…

Step 1 – Prep

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Potthucke: A Savory German Potato Cake Recipe | Foodal (7)

Fill a medium pot with water and liberally season it with salt for boiling the potatoes. It just needs to be big enough to cover the potatoes with about 2 inches of water. Bring the water to a boil on the stovetop as you continue your prep.

Lightly grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan and line it with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides of the pan. The excess paper hanging over the edge will help you lift the baked loaf from the pan, and this will also help with easy cleanup.

Peel the potatoes with a vegetable peeler and place them in a bowl full of very cold water – this will keep them from browning.

Peel and dice the white onions using a sharp chef’s knife and sturdy cutting board. There are no tears here! Read up on how you can minimize onion-cutting misery in our guide.

Chop 4 slices of bacon into small pieces.

Crack 4 eggs into a small bowl. Lightly beat them with a whisk.

Measure out the cream, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Separate the leaves from the thyme sprigs, and grate the nutmeg using a microplane. In a pinch, you can use pre-ground nutmeg.

Step 2 – Boil and Mash Half of the Potatoes

Carefully place half of the potatoes in the boiling water. If you have 3 potatoes, this would be 1 1/2 potatoes. You can also slice the potatoes into large pieces to speed the cooking process.

Potthucke: A Savory German Potato Cake Recipe | Foodal (8)

Boil them until they are very soft and tender when pierced with a fork or knife. This will take about 20 to 25 minutes.

Drain in a colander and allow them to cool slightly in a large mixing bowl. You’ll use this bowl to mix all of the ingredients together to make the batter.

Potthucke: A Savory German Potato Cake Recipe | Foodal (9)

Mash with a potato masher or use a potato ricer to create a smooth mixture without any large lumps.

Step 3 – Cook the Bacon

While the potatoes are boiling, continue preparing the other ingredients that require cooking.

Potthucke: A Savory German Potato Cake Recipe | Foodal (10)

Place the chopped bacon in a large saute pan or skillet over medium heat. Cook the bacon, moving the pieces around as needed to prevent burning, until they are evenly cooked and crispy. This will take about 5 minutes.

Keep your eye on the pan – small pieces of bacon cook faster than whole slices.

Potthucke: A Savory German Potato Cake Recipe | Foodal (11)

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb some of the fat.

Leave the heat on medium and keep the pan on the stove – you’ll be using the rendered bacon fat to cook the onions in the next step.

Step 4 – Cook the Onions

Immediately add the chopped onions to the pan and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring constantly. They should be slightly softened and translucent with some pieces just beginning to take on a little brown color.

Potthucke: A Savory German Potato Cake Recipe | Foodal (12)

Set aside in the pan to cool slightly.

Step 5 – Grate the Remaining Potatoes

Grate the remaining potatoes, using the largest holes on your box grater or the coarse shredding attachment on your food processor.

Potthucke: A Savory German Potato Cake Recipe | Foodal (13)

Grated potatoes will release quite a bit of water. To remove the excess, place them in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out the liquid into the sink or bowl they were soaking in.

Step 6 – Combine Ingredients

Potthucke: A Savory German Potato Cake Recipe | Foodal (14)

Working quickly so the shredded potatoes won’t oxidize and turn brown, place the shredded potatoes, bacon, onions, cream, eggs, and all of the seasonings that you measured out in the bowl with the mashed potatoes.

Potthucke: A Savory German Potato Cake Recipe | Foodal (15)

Use a sturdy spoon to mix everything together until a thick, uniform batter forms.

Step 7 – Bake

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and transfer the pan to the oven.

Potthucke: A Savory German Potato Cake Recipe | Foodal (16)

Bake until the cake is fluffy and golden brown on top – it should be dry and solid, and it shouldn’t jiggle when you gently shake the pain. This will take about 50 to 60 minutes.

Potthucke: A Savory German Potato Cake Recipe | Foodal (17)

If the center isn’t cooked, continue baking in 5-minute increments and check again.

Step 8 – Cool and Serve

Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a cooling rack. Because the structure of the loaf is still going to be delicate directly out of the oven, it needs to set for about 30 minutes before you remove it from the pan.

Potthucke: A Savory German Potato Cake Recipe | Foodal (18)

Use the paper liner hanging over opposite sides of the pan to lift the loaf and place it on a clean cutting board.

Cut into thick slices with a chef’s knife, serve, and enjoy!

If you want to pan sear the slices, heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large clean skillet until melted and slightly aromatic. Place two slices in the skillet and sear undisturbed for 2 minutes until crispy and golden brown. Carefully flip and sear the other side for another 2 minutes.

Potthucke: A Savory German Potato Cake Recipe | Foodal (19)

Remove from the pan and serve immediately to enjoy the crispy crust!

Suggestions for Serving Potthucke

If you’re wondering how to incorporate Potthucke into your next dining plan, here are some quick ideas!

Potthucke: A Savory German Potato Cake Recipe | Foodal (20)

Similar to the way you might serve mashed potatoes, potato pancakes, or bread dumplings, you can choose to treat this recipe as a starchy side.

With its mild, savory flavor, it can be paired with so many homemade German foods.

A typical pairing is slices of pumpernickel bread, served with sugar beet syrup or applesauce for a sweet and savory treat.

You can serve it alongside vegetables or a side salad, as accompaniments to a simple roast chicken.

Grill or griddle your favorite variety of German sausage, and serve slices of Potthucke with assorted condiments like stone ground mustard, sour cream, and sauerkraut.

For a hearty breakfast, serve over-easy eggs atop pan-seared slices – you’ll love dipping forkfuls of Potthucke into the runny yolks.

You can also serve this as an appetizer, cut into bite-size cubes and topped with applesauce or sour cream, with a little piece of crispy bacon and a few thyme leaves for garnish.

And for the perfect drink pairing, have a cold Kölsch with it, too!

How will you enjoy this rustic homemade potato dish? Don’t forget to leave us a message in the comment section below.

The savory and smoky qualities of the bacon add just the right amount of flavor and texture to this baked potato loaf – and it’s easy to incorporate this meaty ingredient in so many recipes. If you think everything is better with bacon, try these next:

  • Ranch BLT Pasta Salad
  • Flatbread with Salad and Warm Bacon Honey Mustard Dressing
  • Juicy Bacon Cheddar Burgers

Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on October 26, 2015. Last updated on November 20, 2022. With additional writing and editing by Nikki Cervone

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

Potthucke: A Savory German Potato Cake Recipe | Foodal (21)

About Nina-Kristin Isensee

Nina lives in Iserlohn, Germany and holds an MA in Art History (Medieval and Renaissance Studies). She is currently working as a freelance writer in various fields. She enjoys travel, photography, cooking, and baking. Nina tries to cook from scratch every day when she has the time and enjoys trying out new spices and ingredients, as well as surprising her family with new cake creations.

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Potthucke: A Savory German Potato Cake Recipe | Foodal (2024)


What are potato cakes called in America? ›

In some states it's known as a 'potato scallop', in others it's a 'potato cake', and for years the debate has been bantered back and forward between protagonists. “It might be a 'scallop' of potato but let's not confuse it with a serve of scallops!

Are potato cakes Scottish or Irish? ›

It seems the Irish call them Potato bread, the English call them potato cakes (Lancashire), Scottish call them potato scones (tottie scones). Irish potato bread is typically made from mashed potato, and either flour or baking soda, and is usually fried.

What do British people call potato cakes? ›

Bubble and Squeak (or Potato Cakes) is a British classic, and an easy and flexible recipe. You can make it from scratch OR use up leftover veggies. Flavorful, colorful, fluffy, creamy and so so good. Perfect as a breakfast or brunch recipe!

Is it potato scallop or potato cake? ›

On social media, promotional posts lead to a number of impassioned followers disputing the fast-food giant's choice of name after it advertised the deep-fried potato snack as a scallop. In Queensland, NSW and the ACT, this is the preferred name for the takeaway staple, but in Victoria and Tasmania, it's potato cake.

When were potato cakes discontinued? ›

So that's why when Arby's Potato Cakes were quietly discontinued in 2021, we understood the sentiment behind the collective groan across the internet. But thankfully, not everything that heads to the fast food graveyard is destined to stay at rest forever.

What is potato cake batter made of? ›

Mix mashed potatoes, flour, onion, egg, black pepper, and salt in a bowl until well combined, similar to a batter consistency. Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Drop 4-inch circles of batter into the hot oil. Cook until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes per side; drain on paper towels.

What do Scottish people call potatoes? ›

The word "tattie" comes from the Scots word for potato.

Do they have potato cakes in America? ›

In parts of England and North America, a potato cake is a patty of hashed potatoes, a kind of rösti or hash brown. These are available both fresh and frozen in supermarkets, and are served by many restaurants, such as fast food restaurants like McDonald's and Whataburger, often as part of the breakfast menu.

Is a potato cake the same as a potato scone? ›

Aye, while a tattie scone (also known as a potato cake in some parts of the UK) would be a familiar savoury delight in Scotland, you'd be forgiven for being a little confused. Despite their similar name, they don't have much in common with an Aussie potato cake, or potato scallop – they have more of a doughy texture.

What do the British call mashed potatoes? ›

Mashed potato or mashed potatoes (American, Canadian and Australian English), colloquially known as mash (British English), is a dish made by mashing boiled or steamed potatoes, usually with added milk, butter, salt and pepper. It is generally served as a side dish to meat or vegetables.

What do Brits call bubble and squeak? ›

bubble and squeak, a common British dish consisting of vegetables, especially potatoes and cabbage. The ingredients are panfried and served as a side dish.

What is bubble and squeak in England? ›

Bubble and squeak is a British dish made from cooked potatoes and cabbage, mixed together and fried.

What do Australians call potato cakes? ›

Here a 'scallop' refers to what we called a 'Tasmanian scallop' in Sydney. These days I call it a 'potato cake'. This causes much discussion between my Victorian born parents and us NSW kids! When I grew up, they were scallops or potato scallops, in Victoria they're potato cakes.

What is the pink in baked potato? ›

There's a simple explanation for your pink potato. It's a chemical reaction that happens when enzymes in the potato are exposed to air. This kind of reaction should be familiar to most home cooks, because it often happens with fruit, like when apples turn brown after they're cut.

What is the word for a Swiss potato cake? ›

Rösti (Swiss Potato Cake)

What is another name for fried potato cakes? ›

A latke is a small pancake usually made with grated potatoes.

What are other names for potato pancakes? ›

Potato pancakes are associated with almost every European cuisine and are referred to as a variety of names including latkes (Jewish culture), kartoffelpuffer (Germany), bramborak (Slovakia and Czech Republic), draniki (Austria), tattifish (England) and rosti (Switzerland) (“Potato Pancake Background”, n.d).


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