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Berliner Pfannkuchen

I’ve just moved to Berlin for who-knows-how-long, and I thought I’d celebrate the occasion by trying my hand at veganising the city’s traditional pastry. It’s very similar to a doughnut: a light, sweet dough that’s fried until it puffs up, then filled with jam and covered with sugar.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: German
Servings: 8 pastries



  • 1/2 cup warm plant milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp instant dry yeast
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp aquafaba (replacing 2 egg yolks)
  • 4 tbsp vegan butter room temperature

Sugar Coating & Filling

  • 1 cup sugar you won't use it all
  • 1/3 cup jam any kind


  • In a small saucepan, melt the vegan butter over medium heat, then add the plant milk.
  • Mix in the sugar, then check the temperature (it should be warm, but not hot: i.e. dip your pinky finger in it, it should not be uncomfortable).
  • Sprinkle in the yeast, and let it sit for 5 minutes until frothy.
  • Add the flour to a medium-sized bowl, then add the yeast mixture, aquafaba, vanilla, and salt.
  • Mix until combined, then knead for 5 minutes by hand, or 2-3 minutes with a dough mixer (I used a food processor with a dough blade).
  • Place in a bowl and cover with a kitchen towel, and leave to rise for one hour (it should double in size).
  • Tip out onto a flat surface that's lightly dusted with flour, and cut into 8 equal parts (like puffy pizza slices).
  • In the palm of your hands, roll each piece into a ball.
  • Space the dough balls apart, cover with the kitchen towel, and leave to rise for 2-3 hours at room temperature.
  • Pour enough oil into the pan so it's about 5 cm deep, and heat on medium heat.
  • The oil should be ready at 190ºC, but if you don't have a thermometer (like me), test it with a small piece of dough: if it sizzles and goes golden brown after 2 minutes, it's a good temperature. If the oil is not hot enough, the dough will soak it up and get all greasy; if it's too hot, the dough will burn.
  • Carefully drop each dough ball into the oil with a slotted spoon or a fork, giving them enough space to float around.
  • Fry for 2-3 minutes, until the underside is golden, then flip and fry for another 2-3 minutes. Don't move them around while frying.
  • Transfer the fried bollen (yes, I can't bring myself to say 'balls' again) to plate lined with paper towels.
  • Let them cool for a few minutes.
  • Meanwhile, pour the sugar into a bowl, and fill your piping back (or big syringe, like me) with jam.
  • When the Berliner are cool enough to touch, poke the end of a wooden spoon or chopstick into the ball and move it around a bit to make a cavity.
  • Stick your piping tip into the hole, and fill the Berliner with some jam (you be the judge).
  • Once they're all filled, take them one-by-one and roll them around in the sugar.
  • Place them on a plate, and dust with powdered sugar to serve!