Berliner Donut: A Traditional German Pastry with a Sweet Surprise

Berliner donuts are a famous pastry in Germany that can be enjoyed by humans of every age for breakfast, dessert, and the famous German coffee hour. These donuts are made from candy yeast dough fried in lard or cooking oil and filled with numerous varieties of jams, spreads, and lotions. They are typically covered with powdered sugar or different glazes.

The Berliner donut is a traditional German pastry that has been around for hundreds of years. Its name comes from the reality that it was first created in Berlin, Germany. The donut is likewise known as a jelly donut, and it’s far the most well-known incarnation of this pastry. Legend has it that during his visit to Berlin in 1963, American President John F. Kennedy proclaimed in a speech “Ich bin ein Berliner”—”I””am a donut,” in preference to “Ich bin Berliner”—”I””am a citizen of Berlin.”

Berliner Donut
Berliner Donut – Image Credit Dirndl Kitchen

Key Takeaways

  • Berliner donuts are a conventional German pastry made from sweet yeast dough and packed with diverse forms of jams, spreads, and creams.
  • The donut is also known as a jelly donut and is the most well-known incarnation of this pastry.
  • Berliner donuts have been around for hundreds of years and are loved by human beings of all ages for breakfast, dessert, and the famous German espresso hour.

History of the Berliner Donut

The Berliner Donut, also known as Berliner Pfannkuchen, is a traditional German pastry that has been enjoyed for centuries. According to a famous legend, the donut was invented in 1756 by a Berlin confectioner who desired to function as a gunner below Frederick the Great but proved not worthy of an army carrier. He was allowed to stay with the regiment as a discipline baker and created the primary Berliner as a “thank you” to the squaddies.

The jelly-filled krapfen were called Berliners in the 1800s, based totally on the legend of a patriotic baker from Berlin who became a regimental baker after he was deemed not worthy of fighting by the Prussian Army. When the military changed within the discipline, he “baked” the doughnuts the old-fashioned way, by frying them over an open fireplace.

The Berliner has become a staple of German cuisine, mainly throughout the carnival season. The time period Bismarcken (for Otto von Bismarck) came into use by way of the late nineteenth century. Colorfully adorned Berliner doughnuts with one-of-a-kind fillings are frequently eaten at some stage in the carnival season.

Known as Pfannkuchen in Berlin, Kreppel in Hessen, Krapfen in Southern Germany, and Berliner just about anywhere else (with the exception of numerous dialectical variations), the jelly-crammed donut is a crucial culinary aspect of Germany’s carnival season. The Berliner has additionally received a reputation in other countries, such as America, where it is frequently known as a jelly donut.

Berliner Donut
Berliner Donuts – Image Credit Chisel & Fork

Production Process


To make Berliner donuts, the main substances required are sweet yeast dough, jam filling, and powdered or granulated sugar for coating. The dough is usually made from flour, yeast, sugar, milk, butter, and eggs. Some recipes may include vanilla extract, lemon zest, or rum for flavoring. The jam filling can be crafted from loads of fruit, along with raspberry, strawberry, or apricot.

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  • The production system for Berliner donuts involves several steps. First, the dough is prepared by mixing the components together and permitting it to rise. Once the dough has risen, it’s rolled out and reduced into circles using a cookie cutter or a pitcher. The circles are then left to thrust upward again.
  • Next, the jam filling is prepared by heating the fruit and sugar together until it thickens. The jam is then cooled and placed into a piping bag.
  • Once the dough circles have risen, a small quantity of jam is piped into the center of each circle. The circles are then folded in half and sealed along the edges.
  • The doughnuts are then fried in warm oil or lard until they are golden brown. After frying, the doughnuts are drained on paper towels to do away with extra oil.
  • Finally, the doughnuts are covered in powdered or granulated sugar while they’re nonetheless hot. This gives them a sweet and crunchy outside.

Overall, the production method for Berliner donuts calls for staying power and attention to detail to make sure that the doughnuts are light and fluffy with a scrumptious jam filling.

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Varieties of Berliner Donuts

Berliner donuts, also known as Pfannkuchen, are a popular pastry in Germany and Austria. Traditionally, they may be made with yeast dough and packed with jam or jelly. However, there are numerous versions of Berliner donuts to be had nowadays. In this segment, we are able to explore the one-of-a-kind kinds of Berliner donuts.


The traditional Berliner donut is made with yeast dough and packed with jam or jelly. The dough is rolled out and cut into circles, which are then filled with jam or jelly and fried till golden brown. Once fried, the donuts are dusted with powdered sugar and served. Some conventional versions of Berliner donuts consist of:

  • Krapfen: This is the Bavarian version of the Berliner donut. It is made with a richer dough that incorporates extra eggs and butter.
  • Fastnachtskrapfen or Faschingskrapfen: These are the names utilized in southern Germany and Austria to distinguish them from Bauernkrapfen.
Berliner Donut
Berliner Donut – Image Credit All Tastes German

Modern Twists

Over the years, bakers have experimented with exceptional flavors and fillings to create new and thrilling variations of Berliner donuts. Some famous cutting-edge twists encompass:

  • Chocolate-stuffed Berliner donuts: These donuts are filled with rich, creamy chocolate in place of jam or jelly.
  • Cream-crammed Berliner donuts: These donuts are packed with a mild and fluffy cream filling.
  • Fruit-stuffed Berliner donuts: These donuts are full of fresh fruit, inclusive of strawberries or blueberries, in preference to jam or jelly.
  • Savory Berliner donuts: These donuts are packed with savory components, along with cheese or bacon, in preference to jam or jelly.

In conclusion, Berliner donuts have been enjoyed for hundreds of years and have adapted to new flavors and fillings. Whether you select the traditional version or a current twist, there’s a Berliner donut to match everyone’s taste.

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Cultural Significance

The Berliner donut is a popular pastry in Germany and around the world. It has a wealth of cultural importance that spans several centuries. This section explores the cultural significance of the Berliner donut in Germany and the world over.


In Germany, the Berliner donut is a traditional pastry that is regularly eaten on unique occasions, including New Year’s Eve and Carnival. It is a sweet, jam-filled doughnut that is deep-fried and covered with powdered sugar. The Berliner is thought to have originated in Berlin within the 19th century, although its precise origins are uncertain. Today, it is a staple of German delicacies and is loved by people of all ages.

The Berliner donut has also played a tremendous role in German history. During the Cold War, U.S. President John F. Kennedy famously declared “Ich bin ein Berliner” (“I am a Berliner”) in a speech in Berlin. While a few have mistakenly interpreted this declaration to mean “I am a jelly donut,” the Berliner donut remains an essential image of the German way of life and identity.


The Berliner donut has additionally received international popularity in recent years. It is now a famous pastry in many countries around the world, such as the USA, where it’s regularly called a “jelly doughnut.” In Israel, a comparable pastry called sufganiyah is eaten during the Jewish festival of Hanukkah.

The reputation of the Berliner donut can be attributed to its scrumptious flavor and its cultural significance. It has ended up being a symbol of German lifestyle and identity and is loved by people of all ages and backgrounds around the world. Whether enjoyed in Germany or abroad, the Berliner donut remains a beloved pastry with a wealthy cultural background.

Berliner Donut
Berliner Donut – Image Credit My Dinner

Nutritional Information

Berliner donuts are a scrumptious deal that may be loved moderately as a part of a balanced weight loss program. While they’re not the healthiest snack alternative, they do incorporate some important nutrients.

One fashionable-sized Berliner donut (approximately 70g) includes around 235–198 calories, depending on the type of Berliner. It also carries carbohydrates, fats, and protein.

The genuine dietary content of a Berliner donut can vary depending on the recipe and components used. However, in preference, they are high in sugar and fat and occasionally high in fiber and other essential vitamins.

Here is an overview of the approximate nutritional content of one trendy-sized Berliner donut:

Nutritional ContentApproximate Amount
Nutritional Content and Approximate Amount Table

It is vital to observe that Berliner donuts ought to be fed moderately as a part of a balanced eating regimen. Eating too many sugary and fatty ingredients can cause weight gain and different health problems.

If you’re watching your calorie intake or trying to keep a wholesome weight, it is advisable to limit your consumption of Berliner donuts and other similar treats. Instead, focus on ingesting a number of nutrient-dense foods, along with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.

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Buying and Storing Tips


When shopping for Berliner donuts, it is important to recall the freshness and high quality of the product. Look for donuts that are freshly made and feature a gentle texture. Avoid donuts that are difficult or stale, as they may no longer be as fun.

If you have a preference for a specific filling, ensure to check if the donut has the filling you desire. Some Berliner donuts include exceptional fillings, including jam, custard, or cream.


To keep Berliner donuts fresh, it is important to save them well. If you intend on consuming the donuts within an afternoon, you can shop them at room temperature in a hermetic field. However, if you want to keep them for an extended period of time, it is best to save them in the refrigerator or freezer.

When storing the donuts in the fridge, make certain to place them in an airtight box or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. This will help prevent them from drying out or soaking up any unwanted odors.

If you plan on freezing the donuts, ensure they’re completely cooled down before setting them in the freezer. You can store them in an airtight container or wrap them in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer-safe bag. When you are equipped to eat them, really thaw them at room temperature and revel in them.

Overall, by choosing sparkling and brilliant Berliner donuts and storing them properly, you could make certain that they will continue to be delicious and fun for a longer period of time.

Berliner Donuts
Berliner Donuts – Image Credit Pinterest


In the end, Berliner donuts are a scrumptious and popular deal in Germany and around the arena. They are made from candy yeast dough and fried in lard or cooking oil, with a jam filling, and generally include powdered or conventional sugar.

While there are versions of the jam filling used, raspberry and apricot are the most common. Other versions consist of marmalade, chocolate, vanilla pudding, and plum butter. Berliners have a sweet, gooey middle and a fluffy, fried exterior.

The beginning of Berliner donuts isn’t clear, but they have been a famous treat in Germany since the nineteenth century. They are often related to the carnival season but can be loved 12 months-spherically.

Overall, Berliner donuts are a delicious and specific treat that are sure to satisfy any sweet tooth. Whether loved on their own or paired with a hot cup of espresso, they are a ought for all people interested in attempting traditional German delicacies.

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