This Eggnog Krapfen recipe is a fun take on the classic German donuts that are traditionally made on New Years Eve!
What are krapfen?
Krapfen are a type of German donut that is traditionally fried but these are baked and rolled in an eggnog glaze before being filled with an eggnog Bavarian cream.
Do I need a donut pan for these baked donuts?
Nope! Because these are made the same way that a yeasted and fried donut is, there is no need for a special pan. Any type of baking sheet with short sides will work for these!
Vanilla Pudding from scratch vs. from a box?
Usually, I will always recommend making food from scratch. However, in this recipe I do use a box mix of vanilla pudding because it makes the recipe much simpler and I have been able to find box mixes without a lot of chemicals or add-ins.
Can these be made in advance?
Yes, the rolls can be baked the day before and kept in an airtight container but I recommend filling them on the same day you plan to eat them. Additionally they can be shaped and placed in an airtight container in the fridge overnight and then baked in the morning. If you plan to put them in the fridge overnight and bake them in the morning, be sure to leave them out in the morning for at least 1.5 -2 hours so that they have a chance to come to room temperature and puff up. Ideally I would only make the Bavarian cream the day before to let it set in the fridge overnight and then bake and fill them in the morning/next day.
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Tips for making Eggnog Krapfen
- As with most yeast doughs, do not stop kneading until the dough is super smooth and the edges of the bowl are clean. This can take up to 15-20 minutes on medium-low speed.
- When dividing and shaping the rolls, always start with the same portion of dough. This means that the first piece that is divided, is also the first to be shaped in a ball.
- Wait for the rolls to cool completely before trying to fill them but be sure to roll them in the glaze prior to letting them cool.
- The eggnog custard needs to be fully cooled before mixing it with the whipped cream. I recommend putting a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface of the custard as it cools to prevent it from forming a skin.
- All Purpose Flour: Any all purpose flour will work for these! I have not yet tried any other flours with this recipe.
- Eggs: I use standard large eggs from the store. This recipe uses one full egg in the dough and two egg yolks in the Bavarian cream.
- Sugar: This recipe uses sugar in the dough as well as powdered sugar in the eggnog glaze.
- Eggnog: The krapfen use eggnog as the liquid in the dough and the Bavarian cream; however, they will also work with non-dairy eggnog.
- Butter: The butter adds moisture to the donuts as well as makes them softer! It’s important that the butter is at soft, otherwise it will cool down the dough and be difficult to incorporate.
- Yeast: In this recipe, active dry yeast is used. However, if you are using instant yeast, add the flour, sugar and yeast into the bowl, whisk together, and then add the remaining ingredients.
- Nutmeg: Nutmeg is added to the Bavarian cream to add a little extra flavor to the filling.
- Gelatin: Gelatin is what helps the Bavarian cream set up and not run back out of the krapfen.
- Heavy Cream: Heavy cream is used to make the whipped cream which is then folded into the chilled eggnog custard to give it a light and airy texture.
How to make Krapfen
Make the Custard
- In a small bowl, stir together the powdered gelatin and 2 tablespoons of eggnog. Set aside to bloom for five minutes.
- After it has bloomed, put the gelatin mixture into a large bowl and place a fine mesh sieve over the top of the bowl.
- Place the 2 egg yolks in a medium bowl and set aside.
- In a medium sauce pot (preferably with a heavy thick bottom) pour in the eggnog and nutmeg. Bring it just to a simmer – stirring frequently to prevent it from burning.
- While the cream is heating up, whisk the egg yolks and until they become frothy.
- Once the eggnog is hot, remove it from the heat.
- Whisk the egg yolks constantly and slowly stream in all of the hot eggnog. This will temper the eggs.
- Then pour the egg and eggnog mixture back into the pot off of the heat.
- Return the pot to medium heat and use a rubber spatula to stir the pot constantly making sure to scrape the edges of the pot.
- Cook the custard for about 3-5 minutes until it begins to thicken and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Another thing to look for is that most of the bubbles on the surface dissipate.
- Once cooked, pour the hot custard through the sieve into the bowl with the bloomed gelatin. Then, add in the vanilla extract and whisk the gelatin into the custard until it has fully dissolved.
- Set the bowl aside and stir regularly to help it cool evenly.
Make the dough
- Start by warming the eggnog until it is just warm to the touch – it should not exceed 100 degrees F.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add in the flour and sugar. Then whisk it together by hand and make a well in the center of the flour. Pour the yeast into the well and then add the warmed eggnog.
- Using a spoon stir in some of the flour/sugar mixture into the eggnog and yeast mixture. It should only be about 1/4 cup of the flour from the edges of the well.
- Then cover the bowl with a towel for 10 minutes.
- After the ten minutes you will notice that the mixture in the well is bubbling. Then using a rubber spatula give the whole bowl a brief mix.
- Now add in the egg, butter, and vanilla extract. Knead the mixture with the dough hook on the stand mixer for 15-20 minutes on low speed until it is smooth and the bowl is clean.
- Remove the dough and shape it into a ball. Lightly grease the mixing bowl that you were just using and place the ball of dough back in. Then cover the bowl with a towel or plastic and place somewhere warm for 30-45 min. The dough should double in size. If it is slow to grow, let it sit for another 20-30 minutes.
Shape & Bake the Krapfen
- Preheat the oven to 350 F or 325 F if baking on convection. Arrange one rack in the center of the oven.
- Line the baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
- After the dough has grown, divide it into 6 equal portions. As you go, shape each portion into a ball by first flattening it slightly into a disk and then tucking all the edges of the disk under. Shape your hand into a claw over the ball of dough with the smooth side face up. Roll the ball around in your hand on a clean work surface to create tension on the dough and seal the seem on the bottom of the ball.
- Place the 6 rolls onto the baking sheet, leaving at least 2 inches between each roll.
- Leave the rolls somewhere warm to proof for 30 minutes. They should double in size and become very puffy looking.
- After the 30 minutes have passed, bake the rolls for 15 minutes – rotate the baking sheets halfway through if not baking on convection.
- While they bake, make the glaze.
Make the Eggnog Glaze
- In a medium bowl, add in the powdered sugar and whisk in the eggnog a tablespoon at a time until you have a thin glaze that is about the consistency of maple syrup. Set aside.
- When the krapfen are finished baking, work one at a time and dip them in the eggnog glaze.
- Leave to cool before filling.
- If the custard for the Bavarian cream has become too stiff, use an electric whisk to beat it until smooth. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the heavy cream on medium high speed until stiff peaks form.
- Gently fold the stiff whipped cream into the eggnog custard. If the filling seems too soft, cover it and place it in the fridge to set for 30 minutes.
- Fill the cream filling into a piping bag fitted with a metal piping tip.
- Poke a hole in the side of each cooled donut using the end of a spoon and wiggle it around to create a larger hole in the center. Be careful not to poke through the other side.
- Push the piping tip into the opening and fill until the filling starts to come back out.
Eggnog Krapfen Recipe
- Stand Mixer
Eggnog Bavarian Cream
- 2 tablespoons eggnog
- 1/2 packet gelatin
- 150 ml eggnog
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg ground
- 150 ml heavy cream cold
- 250 grams ap flour up to 25 grams more as needed
- 25 grams sugar
- 8 grams instant yeast or dry active yeast
- 100 ml eggnog lukewarm
- 1 egg
- 30 grams butter softened
- 250 grams powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons eggnog more as needed
- In a small bowl, pour in 2 tbsp of eggnog and sprinkle the gelatin over top. Stir to combine and let sit for at least 5 minutes.
- Pour the eggnog/gelatin in a medium bowl and place a fine mesh sieve over the top.
- Place the two egg yolks into a separate bowl and whisk until frothy.
- In a medium sauce pot pour in the 150 ml of eggnog and the nutmeg, and heat over medium high, stirring frequently.
- Continue heating until it just comes to a boil.
- Remove the pot from the heat.
- While constantly whisking the egg yolks, slowly stream in the hot eggnog.
- Continue whisking for 30 seconds after all of the eggnog has been added.
- Pour the eggnog/egg yolk mixture back into the pot and return to medium heat.
- Stir constantly until it has thickened. It should coat the back of a wooden spoon.
- Once thickened, pour it through the sieve into the bowl with the bloomed gelatin.
- Whisk the custard and gelatin until smooth.
- Lay a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface of the custard to keep it from forming a skin as it cools.
- Set aside to cool at room temperature or place in the fridge after 20 minutes
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add in the flour and sugar. Then whisk it together by hand and make a well in the center of the flour.
- Pour the yeast into the well and then add in the warmed eggnog.
- Stir some of the flour/sugar mixture into the milk and yeast mixture from the edges of the well – no more than 1/4 cup of the dry mixture.
- Cover the bowl with a towel for 10 minutes.
- After the ten minutes, use a rubber spatula give the whole bowl a brief mix.
- Add in the egg and butter. Knead the mixture with the dough hook on the stand mixer for 15-20 minutes on medium low speed until it is smooth and the bowl is clean.
- Remove the dough and shape it into a ball. Lightly grease the mixing bowl and place the ball of dough back in.
- Cover the bowl with a towel or plastic and place somewhere warm for 30-45 min. The dough should double in size.
Shape & Bake
- Preheat the oven to 350 F or 325 F if baking on convection.
- Arrange one rack in the center of the oven and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
- Divide the dough into 6 equal portions.
- Shape each portion into a ball by first flattening it slightly into a disk and then tucking all the edges of the disk under.
- Shape your hand into a claw over the ball of dough with the smooth side face up. Roll the ball around in your hand on a clean work surface to create tension on the dough and seal the seem on the bottom of the ball.
- Place 6 rolls onto each baking sheet, leaving at least 2 inches between each roll.
- Leave the rolls to rest for 30 minutes somewhere warm to proof.
- Then bake for 15 minutes – rotate the baking sheets halfway through if not baking on convection.
Make the Eggnog Glaze
- In a medium bowl whisk the powdered sugar and eggnog together until it reaches a thin, maple syrup like consistency.
- Add more eggnog a tablespoon at a time as needed.
- When the krapfen are finished baking, work one at a time and dunk them in the eggnog glaze.
- Leave to cool before filling.
- If the custard is very stiff, use an electric whisk to beat it until smooth.
- Then whisk the heavy cream on medium high speed until stiff peaks form.
- Gently fold the stiff whipped cream into the custard and fill it into a piping bag fitted with a metal piping tip.
- Poke a hole into the side of each donut with the end of a spoon and wiggle it around to create a whole inside.
- Push the piping tip into the hole of each cooled donut and fill until the cream starts to come back out of the opening.