Friday, February 8, 2013

Carnival Celebrations Part II "Krapfen-Kuchen" (Doughnut Cake)

Today is the second day of Carnival ("Karnevalsfreitag"). The Carnival involves thousands of spectators dressed up that yearly watch and cheer the famous parades with their colorful floats, dance groups and ... groups.

German "Carnival Parades" ("Karnevalszüge") are held mostly on the weekend before "Rose Monday" ("Rosenmontag"), or on the Monday itself.

Along the Rhine every town has a "Carnival Prince and Princess" ("Karnevalsprinz und Prinzessin") who command a uniformed guard, the "Prince's Garde" ("Prinzengarde").

To celebrate the second day of Carnival today,  I am featuring a "Krapfen-Kuchen" (Baked Doughnut Cake) which consists basically of a straightforward sweet yeast dough. It is easy to prepare and it is certainly nice to decorate it with some colorful Carnival decorations, such as these paper clowns.

Recipe for "Krapfen-Kuchen"
(Baked Doughnut-Cake)

Ingredients for the Cake
  • 750 grams plain/AP flour
  • 1 1/2 fresh yeast cakes (you can substitute active dry yeast: one package or 2 1/4 tsp for each 6 ounce package of fresh yeast)
  • 350 ml warm milk (I use whole milk)
  • 150 grams sugar (I use superfine white sugar)
  • 1 pinch of salt (I use sea salt)
  • zest of one organic orange
  • 150 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 120 grams seedless jam of your choice
  • 100 grams powdered sugar
  • 3 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • some colorful sprinkles and paper decoration (optional)

Preparation of the Cake
  1. Put the flour into a large bowl. Make an indentation in the flour, put the crumbled yeast cakes in that indentation, add 1 tbsp sugar and pour the warm milk over the yeast and the sugar. 
  2. Let the flour with the yeast mixture rest in a warm place for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the remaining sugar, milk, salt, orange zest and 100 grams soft butter and knead until a soft dough forms.
  4. Cover and let the dough rest in a warm place until it has doubled in volume. 
  5. Divide the dough into 24 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
  6. Cover the baking sheet and let rest again in a warm place for about 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius ( 350 degrees Fahrenheit). 
  8. Melt remaining butter and brush the top of the cake. Bake for about 30 minutes.
  9. Let cake cool on rack. Using a tip and a pastry bag fill every second piece with a bit of jam.
  10. Stir together confectioner' s sugar and lemon juice and ice every other piece of cake. Dust other pieces with remaining sugar.
  11. Decorate with confetti sprinkles and little paper clowns (optional).

Part III of my Carnival Celebrations Series will feature three different traditional Carnival pastries that are all dressed up for the Carnival season, the so-called "Quarkbällchen" (Quark Doughnut Holes) and my favorite type of waffles that my beloved grand-mother used to bake, namely "Eiserkuchen" (Waffle Rolls)So, let the celebrations continue!


  1. Baked doughnut cake? That would be a huge hit here! Love those clowns, too...great photos, my friend!

    1. Liz, thank you so much - I must say that this "Baked Doughnut Cake" is always a big hit at our house and I appreciate that it is baked not fried.

  2. Everyone seems to be having a good time! I'd be having a good time eating that fantastic cake! a doughnut cake - YUM!
    Mary x

    1. Mary, thank you so much - Carnival is indeed a lot of fun and we eat a lot of wonderful baked and fried treats!

  3. Oh man, donut cake. Love it.

    I have really been enjoying your posts on the carninval/ celebration.

    1. Cher, thank you so much - I think I will have to take the time to convert this recipe into ounces etc. because it is just delicious and perfect for kids and grown-ups, not only at Carnival but also for birthday parties.

  4. Awesome! I too have been enjoying the carnival posts. They kinda remind me of all the fun festivals and processions we saw in Japan. A lot of fun, but also very interesting too!

    1. Thank you so much, Sara - I was hoping that the Carnival posts would turn out to be enjoyable, fun posts.

  5. Wow, donut cake, the name is great! And they look adorable Andrea. Nice carnival you have over there!

    1. Paula, thank you for the comments - honestly, I could not think of a better translation for the name of this cake "Baked Doughnut Cake" sounds fun, I think and that´s what it is. Sometimes I have a hard time translating the titles in a way that they make sense.

  6. What a fun celebration and the donut cake looks like it would be the way you decorated it.

    1. Karen, yes, Carnival is a fun "fifth season" - the kids enjoy it so much that they look forward to it all year.

  7. You have captured the carnival beautifully! It looks like so much fun and the doughnut cake looks delightful. One that I have not seen or heard of before. I am bookmarking this to try it some time as I know it will be something that my family would enjoy.

    1. Thank you, Elaine, this cake was new to me as well but ever since I baked it for the first time, it has become a favorite with the kids and it is a lot of fun decorating it for Carnival!