Krafne (Croatian Donuts)

KrafneKrafne, or Croatian donuts, are associated with Easter for me because although they are a typical treat for Fašnik (Shrove Tuesday), I always thought they were the most deliciously perfect way to break Lent, as well. Braided breads are great and all, but you can’t compare that with delicious krafne filled with current or raspberry jam. Umm, or apricot. This recipe is adapted from The Best of Croatian Cooking, by Liliana Pavicic and Gordana Pirker-Mosher.

  • 2 Tbsp active-dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tsp of sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups of milk, lukewarm
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups of oil
  • powdered sugar
  • your choice of jam

In a small bow, mix the yeast, 1 tsp sugar, and 1/2 cup of warm milk. Let sit for a few minutes while it bubbles.

In another bowl, mix the melted butter, rum, egg yolks, remaining milk, vanilla sugar, and 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar.

Place the flour and salt in large bowl, creating a well in the middle where you will incorporate the rest of the ingredients. Slowly stir in the butter mixture, keeping the dough at a smooth consistency. I find using a fork the most efficient way of doing this. Next do the same with the yeast mixture. Once everything is well incorporated, cover and set aside in a warm place for about one to two hours. The dough should double in size.

Next, on a well-floured surface, roll the dough out to about 1/2 inch thickness. Use a glass or round cookie cutter to cut out the krafne. Place them on another well-floured surface and cover with a tea towel. Allow to rise again for about 20 minutes.

In a deep skillet, heat the oil. There should be enough that the krafne are covered and sink about halfway. Fry a few at a time, flipping once and until golden.

Once they have cooled slightly, fill them with jam using a pastry bag or a homemade version, if you don’t have. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy!

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