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.
Other names for Krapfen-German Donut by area:
Baden-Württemberg und Saarland: Fastnachtküchle
Ostdeutschland/ Berlin: Berliner Pfannkuchen
Ruhrgebiet und Sauerland: Berliner Balle
Berlin: Berliner, Pfannkuchen
Austria: Faschingskrapfen, Glaskrapfen
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.
Krapfen – German Donut
- 3/4 cup milk (room temperature)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp dry yeast
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 4 egg yolks
- ½ cup rose-hip jam or strawberry, raspberry, apricot
- 3 tbsp Rum (optional) or 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1 liter vegetable oil (or clarified butter) for frying
- Powdered sugar to sprinkle on or make a glaze
- In a bowl combine dry yeast with the milk and salt. Let soak for 30 minutes.
- Mix the soft butter and sugar with a blender, then slowly add each egg yolk and rum or vanilla.
- Keep mixing while adding the flour and yeast mixture with the electric mixer on slow, until the dough separates from the bowl. Adjust flour if needed!
- Let the dough rise for 2 hours or more covered with plastic foil in a warm place until double.
- Divide the dough into two, and roll with rolling bin 1 cm or 1/3rd inch thick
- Use half of the rolled-out dough and make round marks with a glass, but don’t break through.
- In the middle of the circle place 1 tsp. of jam of your preference.
- Roll out the second dough sheet and place on top.
- Press the glass down to form the donuts.
- Repeat the same with the rest of the dough
- Let rest for 1 hour or until the donut doubles in size.
- Heat the butter/oil in a deep pan.
- Carefully drop the donuts in vegetable oil or clarified butter and fry until golden-brown, about 30 seconds to 1 minute, turn and fry an additional 1 minute or until golden brown.
- Turn one more time and fry an additional 30 seconds the upper half. (Important!)
- Remove from pan and place on kitchen towels. Let cool
- Cover with powdered sugar or glaze
Let cool and cover with powdered sugar, or if preferred a sugar glaze