Oma's Kartoffelklöße ~ German Potato Dumplings

➤ by Oma Gerhild Fulson

German Potato Dumplings, aka Kartoffelklöße or Kartoffelknödel,  bring back great memories of my Mutti's Sunday dinners. Her recipe used cooked potatoes to create a traditional dumpling that goes well with almost any meat and gravy.

I found this recipe, the one I've added below, in my Mutti's handwritten cookbook.

It is one that I have made often, always with success ... and always brings me back to sitting at a wonderfully laden table, usually with rouladen and red cabbage.

For the full list of ingredients & detailed instructions, see the recipe card at the end of this post. But before you scroll, there’s important & interesting stuff to know right below.

YUMMY! German potato dumplings aka Kartoffelklöße or Kartoffelknödel

This page in her cookbook for potato dumplings is so worn!

Why? It's THE traditional side dish that she served with almost any meal. It's German food served at its best!

Although it was always served with rouladen, it was just as delicious with her sauerbraten or pork roast.

Best of all was that if there were leftovers. They tasted so fabulous sliced and fried in butter the following day. Served plain or with leftover gravy ... memories!

Below, I've served them with some leftover Dicke Bohnen and Speck. (That recipe is in my book, German Meals at Oma's.)

Perhaps make a double batch of Kartoffelklöße, just to have leftovers!

YUMMY! Fried leftover German Potato Dumplings, aka Kartoffelklöße or Kartoffelknödel!

These dumplings really taste best when they've got the butter-fried bread croutons in the middle, so try not to miss that step, even if you're in a hurry.

There's also a super good reason to put the crouton in there. They ensure that the center of the dumpling is cooked!

How do the croutons do that?

Well, since there's no 'raw' dough in the middle, the dumplings cook quicker and through and through. I don't think I explained that well, but, I think you'll understand once you make them. :)

Grab your copy of My Oma's Dumplings & Noodles e-Cookbook and make those traditional German treats for your family today!

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What are the best potatoes to use for Dumplings?

The best potatoes to use for potato dumplings are:

  • Russets, a starchy baking potato
  • Yukon Gold (my favorite), an all-purpose potato 

How to make potato dumplings from scratch:

Either cook your potatoes the day before or early on the day that you need them. Don't peel beforehand. Cook them in their skins.

Once they are done (a knife poked in them slides easily to the center), let them cool slightly before peeling. Rice or mash the potatoes and place in fridge until cold or overnight.

Making German Potato Dumplings, aka Kartoffelklöße or Kartoffelknödel!

The best tools to make riced or mashed potatoes

The best tools to use are:

  • a food mill
  • an old fashioned potato masher
  • a potato ricer (my favorite)
  • DO NOT USE A MIXER unless you want gummy mashed potatoes resulting in gummy dumplings. Not a good result.
Ricing potatoes for German Potato Dumplings

Now then, it's on to make the potato dumplings! 

But first you'll want to make the bread croutons, if you are using them. I explained the purpose for the croutons above, but for me, the real reason for including them in the middle of the dumpling is the flavor. They just taste so great!

Once the croutons are ready, it's time to make the dumplings. Add the ingredients to the cold riced potatoes, either on the counter or in a bowl.

You can use either potato starch, potato flour or cornstarch. The potato starch is more traditional, but since it wasn't available for my Mutti, she subbed in the cornstarch and it worked just fine. 

These German potato dumplings are truly a yummy treat!

Mix together with your hands until the dough holds together. Then divide the dough into portions and form the dumplings.

To keep the dumplings from sticking to your hands when you are forming them, you can either wet your hands with water, or dust your hands with flour. Either way works. 

Make sure you hide a couple of croutons in the middle. 

Then, when you are ready to cook them, do make a test dumpling first.

How to keep your potato dumplings from falling apart:

Test cook one dumpling to make sure it stays together, before you cook the rest. If it doesn't, you'll need to add a bit extra starch or liquid, depending on how sticky or dry your 'dough' is.

By the way, that 'test' dumpling is a great treat to nibble on while you cook the rest of the dumplings. One of the advantages of being the cook!

The process of making Potato Dumplings aka Kartoffelklöße or Kartoffelknödel

Very gently simmer the dumplings. It's said that they are ready once they rise to the top.

For me, they often rise to the top shortly after they start to simmer. I let them continue to simmer for the 15 to 20 minutes, in order to assure that they are cooked through.

Create your own spectacular potato dumplings following Oma's recipe.

Then, it's time to serve them.

For me, it's most important that there is LOTS OF GRAVY! Rouladen gravy or Flatladen gravy is best!

My Mutti ...

She had another recipe she often used, but I can’t find a copy of it anywhere. She called it “Halbseidene Klösse” meaning “half-silk dumplings”.

I remember her using a mixture of cooked potatoes and raw ones. Not sure if this was her attempt to mimic the Thüringer Klösse and minimize the work.

However, these potato balls that I've posted here, were the ones she made especially as she was older, because she loved to do as much work ahead as she could.

That meant she’d cook the potatoes and rice them the day before, so she could quickly mix up the dumplings just before we came to visit. And, she’d always insist we come for dinner, (How could we refuse?), since she enjoyed seeing us enjoy her food.

Did you know ...

 ... that this is one of the TOP 10 traditional side dishes to serve with rouladen? Really.

Ready to make potato dumplings?

Mutti's German Potato Dumplings

German Potato Dumplings, aka Kartoffelklöße or Kartoffelknödel, invoke great memories of my Mutti's Sunday dinners. Her recipe uses cooked potatoes to create a traditional dumpling that goes well with almost any meat, especially sauerbraten and gravy.

I found this recipe, the one I've added below, in my Mutti's own handwritten cookbook.

Prep Time

30 minutes

Cook Time

25 minutes

Total Time

55 minutes


This will serve 4 servings.


  • about 2¼ pounds (1.14 kilograms) starchy potatoes, cooked in their skins
  • 4 slices day-old bread
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) butter
  • about 1⅓ cups (203 grams) potato starch or cornstarch
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon (6 grams) salt


  1. Cook the potatoes in their skins the day before or early in the day. Cool slightly and peel. Rice the potatoes (or mash if you don't have a ricer). Let them become totally cold, cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight.
  2. Make croutons by cutting bread into cubes.
  3. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the bread cubes and fry, stirring frequently, until nicely browned on all sides. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  4. Mix into potatoes, 1 cup potato starch, eggs and salt to make a dough that holds together when formed into dumplings. If the mixture is too moist, add a bit more starch.
  5. Form 12 to 14  dumplings, approximately 2-inches in diameter, adding a few croutons to the middle of each dumpling. 
  6. Drop gently into pot of boiling, salted water. Simmer gently, uncovered, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  7. Remove with slotted spoon and serve immediately.


  • Test cook one dumpling to make sure it stays together, before you cook the rest. If it doesn't, you'll need to add a bit extra flour or liquid, depending on how sticky or dry your 'dough' is.
  • Try Mutti's Thüringer Klösse ... they're made with raw potatoes and SO good!

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Unless otherwise noted recipe, images and content © Just like Oma |

03.07.2021 revision update

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Super yummy and fun to make! German Potato Dumplings!

Oma's Kartoffelklöße ~ German Potato Dumplings


German Potato Dumplings made Just like Oma

German potato dumplings invoke great memories of my Mutti's Sunday dinners. Using cooked potatoes, she created these scrumptious traditional dumplings!

Ingredients: potatoes, bread, butter, potato starch, eggs, salt,

For the full recipe, scroll up ...

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