Faschingskrapfen or German Donuts are baked customarily at Fasching which is end of February. It’s the time of Carnival, and similar like Mardi Gras. The fist-sized pastries are not only found all year round in Franconia, but also in Southwest Germany, where they are called “Fastnachtsküchle”, and in Germany’s capital Berlin, the “Berliner”. The Krapfen are typically filled or injected with Hagebutte or Rose Hip jam. If you buy a box at the bakery for the whole family, one gets usually filled with mustard as a “surprise” or joke.
According to Legend, there was once a man who wanted to serve in the German Army under Frederick the Great. The man was rated unsuitable, but he got the chance to support the troops with the field bakers. As a thank-you for this gesture, he created a donut-pastry in the form of a cannonball. But whether this story is actually true, remains uncertain, because after all it is a legend.
Krapfen are fried in (clarified) butter or vegetable oil, and traditionally filled with jam, often rosehip or other fruit jams. But creative fillings such as eggnog, chocolate and vanilla creme are also in great demand.