Homemade Carnival Jelly Doughnuts

The Poles call them Pączki, a diminutive plural of the polish word pąk “bud”. In German-speaking countries, they are known either as Berliner or Krapfen. North Americans call them Bismarks or Jelly Doughnuts. No matter what you call them these fluffy, somewhat collapsed pastries are a Carnival staple and taste best homemade and still warm.


Homemade Carnival Jelly Doughnuts

  • Servings: 16
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print


  • 20g of fresh baker’s yeast
  • 200ml of milk, lukewarm
  • 40g of sugar
  • 500g of plain, all-purpose wheat flour
  • 130g of butter, softened
  • salt
  • 1tsp of finely grated organic lemon zest
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1tbsp of lemon juice
  • 4l of neutral oil for frying (e.g. vegetable or sunflower oil)
  • 400g of wild rose hip confiture or other jam of your choice
  • 4tbsps of confectioners’ sugar


  1. In a tall mixing bowl, crumble the yeast and mix it with 100ml of milk and 10g of sugar. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of flour, cover and set aside in a warm place for 15 minutes.

  2. In a second bowl combine butter, remaining sugar, 1/2 tsp of salt and lemon zest and mix with a hand mixer or in a food processor fitted with whisks for 5 minutes until creamy. Carefully whisk in egg and egg yolks, 30 seconds per each. Add remaining flour, remaining milk, yeast mixture and lemon juice and knead with a hand mixer or in a food processor fitted with dough hooks for 3 minutes. Cover and set aside to rise in a warm place for 1.5 hours.

  3. Transfer the dough onto a flour dusted work surface. Knead the dough well and form into a 32 cm long log. Cut into 16 equal slices. Form each slice into a ball by rolling them over the work surface with a slightly curved palm of your hand. Make sure there is as little flour on your work surface as possible, otherwise the ball will keep slipping away, instead of contracting and forming a smooth ball.

  4. Place the dough balls on a large, flour dusted board, leaving plenty of space between them. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes. Remove the plastic and let it rest for another 30 minutes to create a thin, dry “skin” on the dough surface.

  5. Heat oil in a deep fryer or a large pot (use thermometer) to 170°C / 338°F. Carefully let 3-4 doughnuts slide with the top side down into the hot oil. Cover the pot with a lid and fry for about 3 minutes,  turn with a skimmer and fry for another 3 minutes with the lid off. Take out with a skimmer and place on a large plate, lined with kitchen paper.

  1. Fill the confiture into a piping bag, fitted with a round, plain nozzle. Insert the nozzle from the side into the still lukewarm doughnuts and inject the confiture in the center. Dust thickly with icing sugar and serve.


Shall we talk about it?