The best Latke

Latkes with Brown Butter apple Sauce

I’m happy to present my favorite potato pancake recipe just in time for Hannukah – Latkes with Brown Butter Apple Sauce. These beautiful golden potato fritters have many names – latkes, draniki, deruny, and a dozen more. The name might be different in every county but, the heart of the dish is the same – a mixture of grated potato and onion fried on a hot skillet until wonderfully crispy and irresistible. I grew up eating potato pancakes almost every week, and it’s still my go-to comfort food when I need to cheer up. I experimented a lot with the recipe, and the simplest version turned out to be the most delicious one.

The best Latke


There are hundreds of different latke recipes. Some include eggs, flour, cheese, and other additions that help bind the latke batter together. I tried a bunch of different recipes and concluded that to make truly delicious latkes you don’t need to add any of those ingredients! Just finely grated potato and onion, seasoned with salt and pepper, and mixed with a bit of potato or corn starch. Also, if you want to make a bigger batch just double, or triple all the ingredients. It’s that easy!

Latkes with Brown Butter Apple Sauce small secrets

I already mentioned that my latke recipe is very simple. But there are a couple of rules you want to follow to get the best result:

  • First of all, I recommend finely grate potato and onion instead of roughly shredding them. This will help create a wonderful texture. Your latke will be crispy outside and soft inside. 
  • Another thing – make sure to squeeze out extra moisture. It will help to make latkes crispy. You can use fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth for that.
  • I highly recommend using a non-stick skillet for this recipe. Otherwise, the latkes might stick to the bottom, and we definitely don’t want that!

Latke with Brown Butter Sauce
Serving latkes

The cult of potato pancake is larger than life in Eastern Europe. We serve them with sour cream, caviar, fried pork belly, and machanka – Ukrainian dipping sauce often made with fried onion and mushrooms simmered in cream. But before coming to the US, I’ve never tried them with apple sauce. Now the combination of sweet apple sauce, tangy sour cream, and finely chopped chive is among my favorites. But if you want to add extra options – smoked salmon, fried mushrooms, and salmon roe will taste fantastic as well. 

Also, always serve your latkes very hot and preferably straight from the skillet. But if you need to keep them warm for an hour or two, preheat the oven to 200F. Arrange the latkes on a rimmed baking sheet and place them in the oven. It will keep latkes warm and delicious until you’re ready to serve them!

Latke with Brown Butter Sauce

Latke with Brown Butter Apple Sauce


For apple sauce:

  • 1 ½ oz butter
  • 3/4 lb apples peeled, cored, and cubed
  • Salt
  • A pinch of allspice clove or cinnamon (optional)

For latke:

  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potato peeled
  • 1 yellow onion about 6 oz peeled
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup sunflower or vegetable oil for frying
  • sour cream for serving
  • 1 tablespoon chives for garnish


  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Cook for about 5 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until it becomes beautifully golden and starts smelling nutty and sweet. Add the cubed apples and stir well. Cover the saucepan with a lid and cook the apples over medium-low heat until very tender and can be easily smashed with a mack of a spoon.
  • Season with a tiny pinch of salt and spices, if using. Pure the apple sauce with a hand blender, potato masher or leave it chunky.
  • Finely grate the potato and onion using a metal grater with small holes. The consistency should be slightly coarser than pure. Place the grated vegetable mass in a large mesh sieve and lightly press with a large spoon to drain the excess moisture. Transfer the mass to a medium bowl and stir in salt, pepper, and cornstarch.
  • Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, scoop about 2 tablespoons of grated vegetables and place on a skillet, gently flatten it out with a back of a spoon to form a round pancake. Repeat with the remaining mass.
  • Fry a few pancakes at a time, make sure to not crowd the pan. Fry each pancake until golden and crispy on both sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
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