German Deep-Fried Mardi Gras (Fasching) Treats

Mardi Gras Doughnuts

Fasching, or German Mardi Gras (Karneval), is celebrated in the south and along the Rhine where the majority of the people are Roman Catholic. In the deep south, Fasnet is still somewhat religious and very traditional, with family costumes handed down over generations. Along the Rhine, it’s more like a big party, which the natives try to escape. Wherever you are in Germany during Fasching, you will find lots of nice things to eat, like jelly donuts and other deep-fried foods. These foods help...MORE you stay sober despite the beer.

  • 01 of 07
    Fasching Donuts with Filling
    Fasching Donuts with Filling. J.McGavin

    Mmmm, jelly doughnuts straight from the fryer. These typical Fasching treats are eaten all year long with sugar glaze or confectioners' sugar. Some people will make a batch of these and put mustard in the middle of one for a Karneval prank. The filled jelly doughnuts were created much later than the unfilled ones, maybe only 100 years ago.

  • 02 of 07
    Pumpkin Fritter
    Bright yellow Pumpkin Fritters look very appetizing. J.McGavin

    Pumpkin Fritters, or Kuerbiskrapfen, is a doughnut for grown-ups. These treats can be served as a regular dessert in the fall, along with a small glass of sweet wine.

  • 03 of 07
    Tirolean Fritter
    Tirolean Fritter. J.McGavin

    German and Austrian doughnuts have little or no sugar in them. They rely on the confectioners' sugar on top for sweetness. This doughnut starts with white wine and nutmeg.

  • 04 of 07
    Mutzenmandel - Almond Shaped Donut Hole from the Rhine in Germany
    Mutzenmandel - Almond Shaped Donut Hole from the Rhine in Germany. Traitor CC by SA 3.0

    Mutzenmandeln are German almond-shaped and (often) flavored doughnut holes made from a medium stiff dough with baking powder leavening. They are deep fried and rolled in granulated sugar or confectioners' sugar to serve.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07
    Swabian Donuts
    Swabian Donuts. J.McGavin

    If you don't have time for a yeast dough, these doughnuts are a quick alternative. They come from Swabia, where the people are reputed to be very industrious and thrifty.

  • 06 of 07
    Karneval Bow Ties
    A batch of Karneval Bow Ties. J.McGavin

    Another quick bread that is deep fried, is Fasching Bow Ties or Karneval Bow Ties. They boast lemon peel and other spices for variety.

  • 07 of 07
    Whole Wheat Pumpkin Fritters
    Whole Wheat Pumpkin Fritters. J.McGavin

    No white or brown sugar in these babies! These fritters have ground-up dates as a sweetener and whole-wheat flour to make them very hearty. Happy snacking!

Mardi Gras in the Black Forest

Fasching or Fastnet is celebrated with gusto in the heavily Catholic small towns of the Black Forest near the border of France's Alsace region. Fasching begins in November and continues through January with a series of Faschingballs put on by various social clubs (the football club, the ladies' auxiliary, the jester's guild, etc.) These "balls" or parties are often potlucks, with typical foods being Frikadellen (meat patties), bread and cold cuts, jelly doughnuts and even a Mettigel (raw pork shaped like a hedgehog).