Filled Yeast-Risen Fritters

Rate this recipe

Preparation info

  • Makes

    12 to 16

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Great Italian Desserts

By Nick Malgieri

Published 1990

  • About

Krapfen, which means “fritters” in German, are another example of a foreign pastry very much at home in Italy. Although these probably entered Italy through the Trentino-Alto Adige region, where the Austrian influence is strong, they are seen throughout mainland Italy, even in Naples, where they are known as i graf in dialect.

Krapfen resemble a filled doughnut and are perfect for brunch or snacks but are not necessarily a dessert to be served at the table.



  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast or ounce compressed yeast


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • quarts light or pure olive oil or vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 cup jam or Crema Pasticciera


For the sponge, place the flour in a bowl. Heat the milk to lukewarm, about 105 degrees. Whisk the yeast into the milk and pour the mixture over the flour. Stir in to form a smooth, very soft dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the sponge to ferment until double, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the dough: beat the butter, either by hand, with a hand mixer set at medium speed, or in a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the paddle. Beat in the sugar, salt, and lemon zest. Add the eggs and yolk, one at a time, beating until smooth between each addition. Beat in the flour until smooth.

When the sponge is sufficiently risen, beat it into the dough and continue mixing by hand or by machine on the lowest speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, 5 to 10 minutes. Cover the dough and allow it to ferment until double, about 1 to 1½ hours.

Generously flour a work surface and scrape the risen dough onto it. Deflate the dough by folding it over on itself several times. Be careful that the dough, which will be soft and sticky, does not stick to the surface at this point. Cover the dough with a towel and allow to rest 10 minutes. Then pat out the dough about ¼ inch thick, allow it to spring back slightly, and cut into 3-inch disks. Transfer the disks, as they are cut, to a lightly floured pan, spacing them 2 inches apart. Cover them loosely with a towel and allow to proof until double, about 1 hour.

Heat the oil to 350 degrees in a large saucepan. Fry the Krapfen 2 or 3 at a time, until they are a deep gold, turning them once or twice while they are frying. Remove to a pan lined with paper towels to drain. Cool.

To fill and finish the Krapfen, pierce each one on its side with a chopstick or thin wooden spoon handle, inserting the tool as far as the center of the fritter and revolving it slightly to make a small pocket. Place the jam or crema pasticciera in a pastry bag fitted with a ¼-inch plain tube (Ateco #2) and fill the Krapfen. Transfer them to a platter after they are filled. Dust lightly with the confectioners’ sugar right before serving. Serve the Krapfen on the day they are made.

Confectioners’ sugar for finishing