Jelly Doughnuts or Jam Donuts (German Berliner) are probably the most popular pastry at New Year’s Eve and Carnival! In this recipe I’ll show you how to make the best vegan doughnuts filled with jam! These eggless and dairy-free donuts are airy, fluffy, moist and taste like from the bakery!
New Year’s Eve is just around the corner! So today I share a simple recipe for German Berliner, also known as “Gefüllte Krapfen”. Here in Germany they belong to the holidays like cookies to Christmas – Therefore, we make the popular classic treat without eggs and dairy ingredients. Though, they are just as airy, fluffy, soft and delicious as traditional doughnuts – no one will notice the difference to the original!
Vegan Donuts with Jam Filling
German Berliner, Polish pączki, Israeli sufganiyot, southern European krafne or Italian bombolone – No matter what we call them – the sweet doughnuts with fruit preserve filling should definitely not be missing at the end of the year and in the beginning of the new year. They are round pastries, fried in oil and then traditionally filled with jam and sprinkled with powdered sugar.
Are doughnuts at the bakery vegan?
In addition to almost every bakery, traditional doughnuts are also often sold at fairs. Unfortunately, doughnuts are usually not vegan because they are made with animal ingredients. The basic recipe for Berliner contains dairy milk, eggs and butter, but you can easily make them vegan yourself with this recipe!
Where can you find vegan jam donuts?
There are now bakeries or suppliers that offer vegan doughnuts, but it is definitely cheaper to make them yourself! In this recipe, butter and dairy milk are replaced with plant milk and margarine. The egg is omitted, since you usually don’t need it for yeast dough anyway. You can choose the filling as you like. Not only jam or marmalade, but also other fillings such as chocolate cream (Vegan Nutella), whipped cream, vanilla custard or apple-cinnamon filling are delicious.
Berliner on New Year’s Eve
At some New Year’s Eve celebrations, it is traditional that each guest eats a doughnut at midnight. If you’re unlucky, you might get a doughnut filled with mustard instead of jam. So if you feel like pulling a prank like that, feel free to fill one doughnut with mustard.
Ingredients for this jelly doughnut recipe
- Soy milk: or oat milk.
- Fresh yeast: or dry yeast.
- Sugar: variety of your choice.
- Vanilla sugar: or ground bourbon vanilla or vanilla extract.
- All-purpose flour: or spelt flour or gluten-free flour.
- Vegan butter: or margarine.
- Raspberry jam: or other smooth jam or fruit preserves without chunks.
- Oil: e.g. sunflower oil, canola oil or another vegetable oil for frying.
- Powdered sugar: for dusting.
How to Jelly Doughnuts (German Berliner)
As always, I recommend checking out the recipe video and these step-by-step instructions first. Also, be sure to read all the tips in this post to make sure your doughnuts turn out perfectly. Then you can then find the full recipe with the exact quantities in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Make the yeast dough.
First, dissolve the yeast in the soy milk with a little sugar. Then mix the flour, salt, remaining sugar and vanilla sugar in a bowl. Now add the yeast mixture and melted butter and knead until a smooth dough has formed, about 8 minutes. Then cover airtight with a lid or plastic wrap and let rise for about 40 minutes.
Step 2: Shape the doughnuts.
On a floured surface, divide the risen yeast dough into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball like a bun and then flatten it into circles of about 2 cm / 0.8-Inch thickness. Let the dough rise again, covered with a kitchen towel, for about 25 minutes.
Tip: Alternatively, you can roll out the entire dough and then cut out circles with a glass or cookie cutter (approx. 7 cm / 2.8-Inch in diameter).
Step 3: Fry the doughnuts.
Heat the oil in a wide pot or deep pan (or deep fryer or oven) to about 338 °F (170 °C). Then carefully slide the dough pieces in, place a lid on top and fry for about 2-3 minutes. Once the bottom side is golden brown, carefully turn over and fry the other side as well.
Step 4: Fill the doughnuts and dust with sugar.
Then carefully remove the doughnuts with a slotted spoon and drain briefly on paper towels. Toss in sugar and fill with jam by squirting the jam into the sides of the donuts with a piping bag. Dust the filled jelly doughnuts with powdered sugar and eat them as fresh as possible. Enjoy!
Tips for perfect homemade doughnuts
- Dry yeast can be added directly to the flour mixture. Then just add all the liquid ingredients and knead into a smooth and elastic dough according to the instructions.
- I used my food processor for my recipe as it makes the work easier. But of course you can also make the yeast dough without a food processor by kneading the dough with your hands.
- If you want to make the dough ahead and continue the next day, you can put the bowl in the refrigerator overnight. In this case, only half the amount of yeast is needed.
- Give the dough enough time to rest so that your doughnuts rise wonderfully and become really fluffy and fluffy! Better to wait a little longer for the yeast dough than to have compact doughnuts later.
- As a filling, besides raspberry jam, other berry jams or apricot jam, plum jam, etc. taste very delicious. Of course, you can also fill the doughnuts with pudding or chocolate cream.
Frying doughnuts: When is the oil hot enough?
The amount of oil needed depends on the size of the pot. The pot or pan should be filled about 1.2-Inch (3 cm) high with oil. To check if the oil is hot enough, simply dip a wooden stick into it. If bubbles rise on the wood, the oil is hot enough. Make sure that the oil is not too hot, otherwise the doughnuts will quickly darken on the outside, but are not yet cooked through on the inside.
How to bake donuts in the oven
If you want to bake German Berliner in the oven, bake them in a preheated oven at 356 °F (180 °C) for about 15-20 minutes until they are golden brown. If you’re making mini doughnuts, they’ll cook faster, of course. After baking, let them cool on a cooling rack.
Fill the donuts – with or without a piping bag?
To fill the doughnuts, it’s best to use a piping bag with a long, narrow nozzle. If you don’t have one, you can easily make an alternative out of a freezer bag or parchment paper. If you bake the doughnuts in the oven instead of frying them, you can also fill them as in the recipe for my apple stuffed buns.
How to store fresh doughnuts?
German jelly doughnuts taste best the day they are made because that is the only time they are nice and fluffy. If they have become harder over time, you can simply heat them briefly in the microwave. This will make them wonderfully soft again! You can also freeze them and then take them out at any time – just like you do it with store-bought frozen jam donuts.
This Jelly Doughnut recipe is:
- Vegan (eggless, dairy-free).
- Can also be made gluten-free
- Easy to make
- Soft & fluffy
- Moist & fruity
- Filled with a sweet fruit filling
- Freshly baked
- Unbelievably delicious!
- Perfect as a dessert or snack!
- Better than classic Berliner from the bakery!
More Homemade Bakery-style Yeast Pastry Recipes
- Chocolate Brioche Buns
- Cinnamon Buns
- Brioche Croissants
- Blueberry Babka
- Braided Bread
- Raisin Bread
- Nut Cinnamon Knots
- Apple Stuffed Buns
- German Stollen
- Apple Crumble Pizza
- Poppy Seed Cherry Yeast Roll Cake
If you make vegan doughnuts from scratch using this recipe, feel free to leave me a comment and a star rating! And if you take a photo of your yummy treats and share it on Instagram or Facebook, please tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka because I love seeing your creations! Happy baking! 🙂
Jelly Doughnuts - German Doughnuts "Berliner"Author:
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For the dough
- ½ cup (120 ml) soy milk or oat milk
- 0.4 oz (11 g) fresh yeast or 1 tsp (0.1 oz / 3.5 g) dry yeast
- 1 ½ tbsp (25 g) sugar
- ½ tbsp vanilla sugar or 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour or spelt flour or gluten-free flour
- 1 pinch of salt
- 3 tbsp (40 g) vegan butter or margarine melted
- ⅓ cup (100 g) raspberry jam or other jam without pieces
- 1 liter oil e.g. sunflower oil or canola oil for frying
- powdered sugar for dusting
*Note: Check out the recipe video + step-by-step photos above!
- Put soy milk and 1 tablespoon sugar in a small bowl. Crumble in the yeast and stir until dissolved. Then set aside for a few minutes until the mixture begins to foam.
- Combine the flour, salt, remaining sugar and vanilla sugar in a bowl and form a well in the middle. Pour the yeast mixture and melted butter into the well and work it in with a wooden spoon. Then knead with the dough hook of a food processor or with your hands for about 8 minutes until a smooth dough is formed. Shape it into a ball, brush lightly with oil and cover airtight. Let rise at room temperature for about 40 minutes. (You can then optionally place the bowl in the refrigerator overnight and continue the next day.)
- Divide the risen yeast dough into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball like buns, then flatten into circles about 0.8-Inch (2 cm) thick. (Alternatively, you can roll out the entire dough and then cut out circles with a glass or cookie cutter, about 2.8-Inch (7 cm) in diameter.)
- Place the dough pieces on a board or tray lined with parchment paper, a little apart from each other, and let them rise again, covered, for about 25 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a wide pot or deep pan (or deep fryer or oven) to approx. 338 °F (170 °C) (*see note).
- Gently slide in the dough pieces and turn the temperature down to medium heat.
- Place a lid on top and cook for approx. 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Then carefully flip and fry the other side for 2-3 minutes until golden brown too.
- Remove the doughnuts carefully with a slotted spoon and place on a wire rack lined with paper towels. Let them drain and then toss them in sugar.
- Pour the jam into a piping bag with a long, narrow nozzle (if necessary, warm the jam slightly so that it becomes a little more liquid). Then pierce into the sides of the doughnuts and pour in the jam (about 10 g, depending on the size).
- Dust the stuffed doughnuts with powdered sugar and eat them as fresh as possible.
- Dry yeast can be added directly to the flour mixture. Then simply add all liquid ingredients and knead into a dough according to instructions.
- Overnight: if you let the dough rest overnight, you can use half the amount of yeast.
- Jam: other berry jams or apricot jam, plum jam, etc. also taste good. Of course, you can also fill the doughnuts with vanilla custard, chocolate cream or apple cinnamon filling.
- Oil: The amount of oil needed depends on the size of the pot. The pot / pan should be filled about 1.2-Inch (3 cm) high with oil. To check if the oil is hot enough, simply dip a wooden stick into it. If bubbles rise on the wood, the oil is hot enough. Make sure that the oil is not too hot, otherwise the doughnuts will quickly darken on the outside, but are not yet cooked through on the inside.
- Mini doughnuts: The recipe makes 8 large or 12 mini doughnuts. Mini doughnuts are done sooner.
- More helpful tips and information, including storing instruction and oven method, are mentioned in the blog post above!
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