Croatian Cooking: Carnival Krofne Recipe by Vedran Bošković

Croatian Cooking- Carnival Krofne Recipe

You’re probably asking yourself… what are Krofne? They are round Croatian doughnuts of sorts. Krafne are round like doughnuts as you know them, but without a hole in the middle as you might find with American or Australian style doughnuts.

These Croatian doughnuts are light and airy and are traditionally filled with a yummy center of apricot jam, but these days, krofne are also being filled with chocolate, vanilla custard and numerous types of jams.

In my part of Croatia, Slavonia, we don’t fill the krofne, but, instead, we put a dollop of jam on the top of every doughnut. Either way, they are fabulous and believe me, you are going to love and thoroughly enjoy them.

Croatian Cooking- Carnival Krafne Recipe Krofne Recipe 13

Croatia has held a doughnut tradition for a very long time. When the winter comes, usually mothers and grandmas make these delicious desserts to serve after Sunday lunch. You will also find krofne being made on the last week before Lent – when the carnival festivities across Croatia begin. So, now you can start practice making krofne and be a total pro before Lent arrives. 

Depending on which part of Croatia  you are from you can also see them being spelled as ‘Krafne’ – but no matter how you spell them, they are made as follows:

Krofne Recipe Ingredients

  • 500 g all-purpose flour
  • 250 ml milk
  • 1 pack of dried yeast (7 g)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 egg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 l Oil for frying


  • Apricot jam
  • Chocolate spread
  • Powdered sugar

How To Make Krofne

  1. Warm up the milk and mix it with the yeast and sugar. Allow it rest for a few minutes, so the yeast gets activated
  2. Mix the flour, salt, and egg in a bowl along with the add activated yeast mixture. Knead until you get a soft dough
  3. Leave the dough to rise twice it’s size in a warm place for at least 45 minutes to 1 hour
  4. After it rises, place the dough on the floured board and roll it out to 1 cm thick. Then cut the circular shapes with a 5cm cutter (you can also use a glass) and leave them to rest for another 15 minutes
  5. Turn the doughnuts over to the other side and leave them to rest for ten additional minutes
  6. Heat the oil in the deepest saucepan you have (this will make sure that they do not touch the bottom or one another) and add the krofne one-by-one. Important: Be sure to place each krofna into the oil with the side that faced the dusted board upward, also be sure that the oil is not too hot, because if it is, the doughnuts will burn. Cook one first to be sure you have the right oil temperature.
  7. The krofne may flip onto the second side alone, if not use a slotted spoon and flip each one over
  8. Once lightly browned (approx 1.5 minutes per side), use the spoon to move each one to drain absorbent paper, this will help absorb the excess oil
  9. Repeat with the remaining krofne
  10. Serve topped with jam or fill them up with a chocolate spread using a piping bag.
  11. Finally, at the end, simply dust them with powdered sugar and serve with Croatian coffeeReplace the marmalade, with Nutella for some gooey goodness!

Croatian Cooking- Carnival Krafne Recipe Krofne Recipe 3

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