If you love doughnuts and sweet pumpkin desserts, you must try these delicious pumpkin doughnuts inspired by the traditional German krapfen. They are awesome – and so easy to make!
Internationally, the traditional krapfen is either called ‘German (Jelly) Doughnut’ or ‘Austrian Jam filled Doughnut’. Which quite obviously refers to the same thing: little fried yeast balls with a jam filling dusted off with sugar. Depending on the location, they are also called Berliner (yes, like the city), Kreppel, and sometimes Pfannkuchen (pancake). Although the latter sounds strange even here in Germany, as they are quite different to a pancake.
If the description rings a bell, then you are probably following the right assumption. These little goodies are essentially doughnuts. Just without the hole in the middle.
In the past, another difference between krapfen and doughnuts was that krapfen would be typically made during the carnival season, and promptly disappear on Tuesday prior to Ash Wednesday.
Contrary to doughnuts which always have been a year-round favourite particularly in the U.S.
I am saying in the past, because today krapfen are sold nearly year-round as well, albeit their peak season is still during carnival season.
They are also no longer limited to jam-filled versions. Recent varieties include those filled with vanilla or chocolate custard, eggnog, tiramisu cream, espresso cream, and other unusual variations.
With my well documented love of pumpkin, it won’t come as a big surprise to anyone that I was eager to try a sweet pumpkin dessert. First thinking of a pumpkin custard, I somehow ended up with the idea to make sweet pumpkin doughnuts – or better, since they are without the hole in the middle, pumpkin krapfen.
Easy and quick to make – at lease once you have peeled and shredded your pumpkin – they are absolutely delicious. Especially when dunked into a thick chocolate sauce.
Recipe: Pumpkin Krapfen with Chocolate Sauce
For the krapfen
200 g pumpkin, peeled, cored, and shredded
zest of one lemon
250 g all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
300 g ricotta or sour cream
20 ml milk
75 g butter, at room temperature
50 g sugar
750 g neutral oil
For the chocolate sauce
150 g dark chocolate, chopped
30 g cocoa powder
30 g sugar
200 g heavy cream
250 ml milk
1 teaspoon food starch
In a bowl, beat sugar and butter until well combined and creamy. Add pumpkin, ricotta, flour, baking powder, eggs, milk, and lemon zest and combine carefully.
In a saucepan, heat the oil. With a spoon, from little nuggets and fry in the hot oil.
For the chocolate sauce, bring milk and heavy cream to boil. Add sugar, cocoa powder, and chocolate. Let simmer until the chocolate has melted completely.
Mix the food starch with one tablespoon of the chocolate sauce until smooth. Add to the sauce and let simmer for another 1-2 minutes. Let cool or serve still slightly warm.
Serve the krapfen topped with the chocolate sauce.