Berliner Doughnut – Berliner Pfannkuchen/Berliner

The first recipe known for a Jam Doughnut comes from the late 15th-century German language cookbook Kuchenmeisterei, one of the first cookbooks printed using the Gutenberg press, which called it Gefüllte Krapfen. It is unknown whether the Jam Doughnut was invented by the author, or if it was already common and they merely recorded a recipe for it, though the later instance may in fact be more probable.

On Hanukkah, Jews commemorate the Miracle of the Oil by, among other things, eating fried foods. Jam Doughnuts, according to Jewish tradition, developed from earlier forms of fried pastries are eaten during Hanukkah.

The Berliner has become very popular and has acquired many names and variations around the globe.


4 cups flour
1 teaspoon dry quick rise yeast (heaped)
2 yolks
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup butter
½ cup warm milk
Pinch of salt
Pinch of lemon zest


Mix all ingredients to a dough and let rise in a warm spot for 30 minutes.

Roll out, about 2 cm thickness and use a water glass to cut out Berliner. Let rise for another 30 minutes. Heat oil (canola) to about 175°C (350°F) and fry Berliner for 3 minutes on each side. Let them cool and pad off any excess oil with kitchen paper towel. Use a piping bag filled with jam to fill Berliner. Dust icing sugar on top.

Credit: Burda Moden, February 1985