Krapfen Recipe – Jam or Cream Filled Donuts Recipe

Krapfen crema

The cream or jam krapfens are one of the many recipes that we make during the Carnival period in Italy. According to history, the krapfens would originate in Graz, an Austrian town where it has always been customary to prepare and sell them hot on the street during the Carnival period. In Italy, they arrived centuries ago, thanks to the proximity to Austria, and if initially, they spread mainly in the northern regions, Trentino Alto Adige in primis, today the krapfens are found throughout Italy.

Once landed in Italy, it has taken many different names and today it’s also called “bombolone”, which means big bomb filled, ready to explode in your mouth! For an American, the word “krapfen” doesn’t mean anything so just think about your donuts but without a hole and you’ll have an idea of what a krapfen is (and why it is so delicious!).

There are two theories about krapfen: you can fill them with jam or cream, or even both (spoiler alert), before frying or after having fried them. I usually prefer to add the cream or the jam before frying my krapfen so that I won’t touch the dough risking to ruin it before frying.

In any case, the most important thing when it comes to these krapfens is the temperature of the oil: it has to be hot but not too much, otherwise your pastries will burn on the outside and they will be still raw on the inside. The ideal temperature is 170°C/338°F and you should always use vegetable oil to cook them.

The recipe that you find below is to make krapfen with apricot jam; if you want to stuff them with some custard, just follow the same identical method but instead of filling the disks with the jam, just fill them with the custard. In the Polish version, these krapfen are stuffed with jam and custard, for an even more delicious dessert (see the image below the recipe).

Ingredients for 8 krapfen

  • 170 grams of all purpose flour
  • 30 grams of soft butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 yolk
  • 80 grams of sugar
  • 15 grams of fresh yeast
  • 1/2 sachet of vanilla powder
  • 200 grams of apricot jam
  • 3 tablespoons of milk
  • Peanut oil
  • Salt

Method

  1. Dissolve the yeast in two tablespoons of warm water, work the mixture with 35 grams of flour and 1 tablespoon of warm water until you get an elastic dough without lumps.
  2. Cover with a cotton cloth and leave to rise for 1 hour;
  3. Knead the remaining flour with the egg, the yolk, the softened butter cut into cubes, 30 grams of sugar, the vanilla powder and a pinch of salt. Add the leavened dough, form a ball of dough and leave to rise for another 2 hours;
  4. After two hours, spread the dough on a lightly floured surface at a height of maximum 4 mm thick, obtain 16 disks of about 8cm in diameter each and place them on a cutting board;
  5. Place 2 teaspoons of apricot jam on 8 discs and brush the edges with milk. Cover with the remaining 8 disks and press to seal. Leave to rise, covered with a cotton cloth, for 1 hour;
  6. After the hour, heat the oil in a fairly deep and wide saucepan and fry the krapfen in groups of two at a time, draining them only when they are well browned and gilded on both sides;
  7. Drain the krapfen on absorbent paper or frying paper, sprinkle with the remaining sugar and serve hot.

Preparation time: 5 hours

Krapfen marmellata e crema
Krapfen with jam and custard