Donut Days: Berliner from Germany

BerlinerThe berliner donut is one of the best-known donuts around the world – and it has inspired, or been inspired by – donuts across Europe and North and South America.

It’s hard to know which came first – and even harder to pin down just one name for the delicious treat by which many, MANY other donuts are judged.

In different regions across Germany, these delicious donuts are called:

  • Pfannkuchen
  • Krapfen
  • Kräppel
  • Kreppel or
  • Fastnachtsküchelchen.

No matter what you call it, it remains essentially unchanged: a jam, jelly, or cream-filled pastry.

In Germany, the berliner is traditionally eaten around New Year’s and Mardi Gras so it’s very much a winter celebration food.

Interestingly, though, the berliner is also at the heart of a very old joke. Some people play a practical joke with berliners by filling the insides with mustard instead of cream, jam, or jelly. So it would be the perfect donut to serve for April Fool’s Day!

And who hasn’t heard the famous claim that American President John F. Kennedy once made a famous faux-pas and declared himself a jelly donut? I have it on excellent authority that story is absolutely not true.

But don’t let a true story – or a name – get in the way of enjoying this treat.

Just make sure to sniff for mustard before digging in!

Check out Chef Danielle’s recipe for berliners on And don’t worry – there won’t be any surprises.



Filed under Eat, Europe, Holiday

2 responses to “Donut Days: Berliner from Germany

  1. Jam and custard filled donuts are my favourite donut variant!

    • Kathryn Coulibaly

      Mine, too! And I love the history lesson you get with this donut; I believed the story about the president’s faux pas until I did a little more research.

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