Berliner, also known as Krapfen and Pfannkuchen, is a rather doughnut-like German treat usually eaten during Silvester (New Year’s Eve) as well as through the Karneval holidays. It is made by deep-frying a sweet enriched dough, filling it with jam or marmalade through a single hole and topping it with powdered sugar, rum-flavoured sugar or granulated sugar. For a party joke or roulette-like game, you can full some of the Berliners with mustard. Just a few though – you won’t want to waste a lot of these delicious Beliners!
We know that this is our second relatively unhealthy dish we have shared this week, but we believe that it’s okay to treat yourself once in a while and this is an easy and delicious way to do so. Don’t worry, we’ll get back to our healthier (yet, so delicious) recipes after this one.
If you don’t have a piping bag or piping tip, you can still follow this recipe. We have a few tricks we’ll share with you so you can fill your Berliners without having to purchase piping equipment.
Ingredients (makes 12)
350g All-Purpose Flour
2.25tsp Active Dry Yeast
125ml Lukewarm Plant Milk (such as oat milk or almond milk)
2.5tbsp Neutral Tasting Oil (substitute with 50g vegan butter, melted)
1 Lemon, zested (optional | alternatively, use ~1tsp lemon zest)
Pinch of Salt
Neutral Tasting Oil (such as vegetable oil | for frying)
Powdered Sugar (for dusting)
Cinnamon (optional | for dusting)
Jam (for filling)
- In a small bowl, combine the yeast and milk with a tablespoon of the measured sugar and let the mixture sit for 5-10mins or until risen a bit and frothy or with bubbles present on its surface.
- In a larger mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients (excluding those for dusting) and create a well in the middle of the mixture.
- Pour the yeast mixture into the well and add in the other wet ingredients (excluding the oil for frying and the jam).
- Combine the ingredients together until a dough forms.
- If you have a standing mixer, using the dough hook, knead the dough for 8-10mins or until it springs back quickly once pad of a finger is gently pressed into it. If you do not have a standing mixer, knead the dough on a clean and dry flat surface for 15-20mins or until the dough springs back as aforementioned.
- Transfer the dough into an oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel, cling film or a plate that can completely cover the opening of the bowl.
- Place the bowl in a warm draft-free for 1-2hrs or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Once the dough is done rising, transfer it to a clean, flat oiled surface and roll out the dough until it’s about 2cm thick. Using a round cookie cutter or cup, cut circles out of the dough and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Form a ball of dough out of the dough leftover from cutting out the circles and repeat the previous step with it until all the dough has been used up. You should have about 12 medium-sized Berliners.
- Using a damp towel, cover the tray the dough circles are in and let them rise for an additional 30mins.
- 10mins before the dough is done rising, heat up enough oil to deep dry with. The temperature of the oil should be maintained at around 170°C.
- Gently and carefully place 3 of the dough circles into the oil to fry. Do not attempt to turn them over until you see the lower bit of the sides of the Berliner become golden brown. (N.B. Turning them over prematurely will lead to the loss of the light ring around the centre of the Berliner. Do not fry more than 3 Berliners at a time to prevent overcrowding and the temperature of the oil dropping too low)
- Repeat the previous step until all dough circles have been fried.
- Let the Berliners cool for 5mins or until you can easily handle them.
- Using a bamboo skewer or chopstick, make small hole anywhere on the light ring around the Berliner.
- Pipe your favourite jam into the Berliner using a pastry bag with a piping tip inserted into it. (N.B. If you do not have a pastry bag or piping tip, make a piping vessel out of parchment paper a ziplock bag (wash the bag after use and air dry if you plan to reuse it for the same purpose in future). Place a reusable straw (preferable with a tapered, angled or pointed tip) into the parchment piping utensil or ziplock bag until just about 2cm of it remains in the bag. Using strings or bands, tightly secure the straw to the bag by wrapping around where the 2cm of the straw is within the bag (to hold the bag to the straw) and making tight knots. Open up the bag and scoop in your favourite jam ensuring you are depositing it where the straw begins within the bag. Once all the jam is in, make a few twists right above the jam to secure it in place and prevent it from riding up the bag as you squeeze it when piping the jam into the Berliners. Use this to fill your Berliners with jam).
- After filling the Berliners, dust some powdered sugar over it (or combine the cinnamon and powdered sugar (to taste) and dust it over the Berliners by pouring it into a sieve and shaking the sieve over the Berliners. Alternatively, you can place it directly into the sugar mixture, but that will result in a greater sugar coating.