Food and Drink Content Collection: Fánk, the Hungarian Doughnut

In our series “Collecting Content for Europeana Food and Drink” we let you have a look into the selection process of culinary objects for Europeana.

It is carnival season and we are in Hungary, where the Europeana Food and Drink project partner MKVM – Hungarian Museum of Trade and Tourism in Budapest has already introduced us to the traditions around „Farsang” and Krampampuli, the “drink of the devil”. For part 2, it’s getting even more delicious: With a local recipe for Fánk, the Hungarian Doughnut.

Fánk engraving, 1890s via MKVM
Fánk engraving, 1890s via MKVM

Fánk, the Hungarian Doughnut

The most popular pastry of the carneval season is the so called farsangi fánk. Fánk (Doughnut) is a pastry made of raised dough, which is then fried and frosted with powdered vanilla sugar before serving, but it can also be filled with jam or different kind of fruits.

The recipe has changed a lot through centuries, according to a cookbook written in 1896, fánk contained cream and butter as well, and the flour had to be held next to a heated oven for a night to be totally dry and warm.

Also in Austria and Germany, mainly Bavaria, this kind of pastry is enjoyed during carneval. Known as “Krapfen”, it is typically filled with apricot jam. It is said that the tradition of the rich delicacy goes back to medieval times, where it was eaten to save up for the following Lenting season. A legend says, that the name comes from the Viennese chef Cäcilie Krapf, who resurrected the recipe in 1690.

Hereby is a recent Hungarian recipe:

Special tool for frying fánk, 1930s
Special tool for frying fánk, 1930s via MKVM
Ingredients / 8 servings:

– 1kg flour
– 50g yeast
– 2 eggs
– 1 tablespoon of sugar to feed the yeast
– 0,5 l milk
– 100 ml sunflower oil
– 100g powdered sugar
– 250g jam

Preparation method:

  1. Measure the flour into a deep bowl.
  2. Sprinkle yeast into 100 ml milk, add sugar and let it grow until foamy.
  3. When the yeast is ready, mix it with the flour, and add 400 ml milk and 2 eggs to it.
  4. Knead it until the dough blisters and it is glossy and separates from the bowl.
  5. Sprinkle it with a bit of flour and let it rise until it doubles in size.
  6. When it is ready, turn out onto a well-floured bakeboard and roll it to a 2-centimeter thickness.
  7. Than cut pieces out with a floured doughnut cutter or a drinking glass. Let them rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes.
  8. Put oil in a heavy-bottomed pot. Make a try with a piece of dough, if it is fried, you can add the rest of the doughnuts into the oil. Slide them into the oil carefully upside down. (It’s important that the side that was touching the board should be up now.)
  9. Fry them for 2 minutes, if you were neat enough, doughnuts turn around by themselves. If not, turn them round with a spatula.
  10. Fry them for 2 minutes again. When they are ready, transfer them to a plate covered with paper towels.
  11. Serve them with powdered sugar or jam.


Enjoy and have a happy carnival!


By Julianna Kulich, MKVM and Angelika Leitner, ONB