Hot Potato Salad? It Is If It’s German

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October 4, 2013

Oktoberfest is all of October, so I decided to share this hot potato salad recipe with you.  It’s a vinegar recipe that originates from north Germany.  Germans were known to eat brats and potato salad on Christmas Eve.  But, it wasn’t the cold salad you might be used to.

Recently I showed up to work the morning of a potluck with a crockpot, and people started shaking their heads.  But when I plugged it to warm the dish, my coworkers started drooling.  This is really so easy to make and keep warm in the crockpot. It was the hit of the potluck!

German Potato Salad


  • 3 pounds red potatoes (about 9 medium ones) – sliced thin (do not need to peel if you like skins)
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 1 onion – chopped
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp celery seed (or salt)
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¾ cup red wine vinegar


  1. Fry the potatoes until crisp on outside. If you’ll be using the crockpot to reheat, make sure to fry the potatoes until they are very crispy – as they will soften.
  2. Fry the bacon until crisp and set aside.  Cook the onion in the bacon drippings.  Stir in flour, sugar, salt, garlic powder, celery seed (or salt) and pepper.  Cook over low heat until bubbling, stirring constantly.
  3. Stir in water and vinegar and boil, stirring for 1 minute.  Add the potatoes and crumble the bacon into mixture.
  4. Serve hot.

Speaking of potlucks, if you are asked to bring a dessert, here is another favorite recipe. While it did not come from Germany, it owes its name to an American chocolate maker named Sam German, who developed a formulation of dark baking chocolate that came to be used in the cake recipe.

German Chocolate Cupcake


Makes 2 dozen cupcakes

Chocolate Cake:

  • 1 box Devil’s Food cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup sour cream

German Chocolate Frosting:

  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cup chopped pecans
  • 1 ½ cup flaked coconut

Chocolate Buttercream:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • ½ cup butter
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp milk or cream (if needed)


Preheat oven to 350

  1. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners.
  2. In a large bowl, combine oil, eggs and vanilla.  Mix in about 1/3 of the cake mix.  Mix in the buttermilk, another 1/3 of the cake mix, the sour cream and the rest of cake mix.
  3. Fill cupcake liners ¾ full.
  4. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until center springs back after gently pushing on it (or use the toothpick trick where if inserted in the center of the cupcake, the toothpick will come out clean).

German Chocolate Frosting:

On medium heat, in a sauce pan, constantly the evaporated milk, sugar, egg yolks and butter until thickened – until it boils which will take about 15 minutes.  Stir in vanilla, extract, pecans and coconut.  Let cool.

Chocolate Buttercream:

  1. Beat the cream cheese and butter for 4 minutes.  Add cocoa, powdered sugar and vanilla extract.  Beat for 3 minutes.  If it is too thick, add milk or cream.  If it is too think, add powdered sugar.  If it is not dark enough, add more cocoa.
  2. Pipe the buttercream around the edge of the cupcakes to create a barrier.  Scoop a small amount of the German chocolate frosting into the center.  Divide evenly onto all cupcakes.

It’s always fun to try new recipes and either of these would be a hit for dinner or at a potluck.  The German potato salad actually tastes better the second time it is heated up!

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