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Jelly Donut Recipe:
Berliner Pfannkuchen or Krapfen ❤️

➤ by Oma Gerhild Fulson

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Berliner Pfannkuchen or Krapfen ~ German jelly donut

Here's my German jelly donut recipe* to make Berliner Pfannkuchen ~ that traditional treat for New Year's and throughout the year! This one's a rather easy version to make, especially if you have a deep fryer, although just having a deep pot and thermometer will work well. 


Kaffeeklatsch Trivia with a cup of coffee and steam rising

  • These jelly doughnuts go by various names throughout Germany.
  • In Berlin, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, and Brandenburg, they are just called Pfannkuchen, which translates as pancakes. (Pancakes in these areas are called Eierkuchen, literally egg cakes.)
  • In northern and western Germany, they are called Berliner Ballen or just Berliner.
  • In southern and western Germany, including Bavaria, these are called Krapfen, Fastnachtskrapfen or Faschingskrapfen.
  • In Hesse, they are Kräppel or Kreppel
  • In Palatinate, they are Kreppel or Fastnachtsküchelchen

Plan to make these the same day you want to eat them.

They taste best fresh, actually still warm. Wunderbar!

*The recipe below is an adaptation from an old Dr. Oetker cookbook, Baking is Fun, Volume 1. I also used my stand mixer with a dough hook to make light work of kneading the dough.

Following the original recipe cooked the donuts too quickly for me, so that they didn't cook all the way through. I lowered the temperature to allow for longer cooking. When you make these for the first time, cook only one donut first and check that it is properly cooked.

That way, you can make adjustments for the rest of the dough.

Have you ever had these filled with mustard instead of jam?

A strange German practical joke is to secretly fill some Berliner Pfannkuchen with mustard instead of jam and serve them together with regular doughnuts without telling anyone.

This is usually done during the Karneval season.

This was also shown as one of the traditional 'Equator treats' on the popular TV show, Verrückt nach Meer, as the ocean cruise liner crossed the Equator. 

Make these with your favorite jam!

Cover the donuts with powdered sugar, by putting the sugar into a sieve and hold over the donuts. Tap the sieve with a spoon. The powdered sugar will fall like snow!

Berliner Pfannkuchen or Krapfen ~ German jelly donut

Jelly Donut Recipe: Berliner Pfannkuchen or Krapfen ❤️

Ingredients:

Doughnuts:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 package or 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 3 tbsp rum or milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 6 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup milk, lukewarm
  • about 1 cup jam or marmalade
  • oil for frying

Topping:

Instructions:

  • Mix flour and yeast in a large mixing bowl (of stand mixer, if using).
  • Add sugars, salt, rum, lemon zest, egg yolks, and melted butter. Slowly start mixing into the flour (use dough hook) and gradually add milk. Continue to mix (knead if by hand) until the dough is soft and elastic. I use the dough hook at a medium speed for about 5 minutes. 
  • Cover and let rise until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
  • Deflate by punching the dough. Roll out to ¼" thickness. Using a floured circular cutter or glass (about 3" diameter), cut out 28 circles. Put a bit of jam or marmalade into the center of half the circles.
  • Brush the edges of the circles with water and place a plain donut over the jam ones. Press the edges together to seal well. Put the donuts onto a well-floured surface and cover. Let rise until double in size, about 30 minutes.
  • Gently knead any remaining dough and cut out 'donut holes' (I can usually get about 12). Let rise as well.
  • Heat fat in fryer (or deep pot) to 350°F.
  • Fry donuts, a few at a time, about 2 - 3 minutes per side, until golden brown. Drain on paper toweling.
  • Mix the powdered sugar and vanilla sugar and, with a sieve, sprinkle over the donuts.
  • The donut holes will usually fry in about 1 - 2 minutes per side.
  • Makes about 14 Berliner Pfannkuchen and about 12 Donut Holes.

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Berliner Pfannkuchen or Krapfen ~ German jelly donut

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