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Krapfen – Getting Fat in Honor of Fat Tuesday


“The Viennese can depend on us (for high quality Krapfen]” – MA 59 – the Vienna magistrate guys patrolling for Krapfen capers

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Aida Krapfen

Aida Krapfen

Austrians take their Fasching Krapfen quite seriously. Currently the Viennese MA 59 is patrolling the Krapfen at the local markets as you read to make absolutely certain that Krapfen vendors adhere to strict Viennese standards and sell only Krapfen filled with apricot jam, which must make up at least 15% of the total Krapfen (no skimping Omi!)  and per kg of flour,  at least 6 egg yolks (get laying chickens) – you go get those Krapfen criminals, Vienna!

The consumer protection city council woman has been quoted in a press release saying, “The Viennese can depend on us [to ensure quality Krapfen].”

Don’t know about all of you, but I’ll sleep much better tonight, thanks to the grossly underappreciated MA 59.

Krapfen with apricot filling (at least 15%!)

Krapfen with apricot filling (at least 15%!)

I am sure somewhere along the line you’ve heard a tale about these baked goods.  Most likely the one concerning John F. Kennedy’s June 26, 1963 speech in front of the Berlin Schöneberg city hall when he declared ‘Today, in the free world, the proudest sentence is, “Ich bin ein Berliner”’ and how due to an errant indefinite article — an “ein/a” — he declared to the Germans and the rest of the free world that the President of the United States would not just stand by their side in times of hardship but that he was, in fact, a jelly doughnut.

Yeap. Jelly doughnuts. Gotta watch them. Especially this time of year shortly before Lent and around Fasching/Karneval/Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras.

Like right now in Austria. When to celebrate Fasching, Austrians will be consuming ungodly amounts of the yeast dough jam filled calorie bombs.

Faschingskrapfen from (gasp!) Billa

Faschingskrapfen from (gasp!) Billa

I don’t believe the word “Fasching” translates into “The-weeks-before-Lent-when-you-put-on-the-pounds,” but maybe it should. Whoever called the day “Fat Tuesday” wasn’t far off the mark.

Aida Krapfen Poster

Aida Krapfen Poster

History of the Krapfen
Legend has it that the imperial cook, Cäcilie Krapfen, who people — no doubt lovingly — referred to as Frau Cilly (written with an “C” not an “S”, mind you) started the Viennese Krapfen tradition as we know it today.  That being said, Krapfen are no new kids on the block. References to them have been supposedly found in documents as old as 1486. Apparently as far back as ancient Rome, no toga party was complete without the jelly-filled dough bombs.

So where does the “Cilli-ness” come in?

Apparently Frau Cilly served up her Cilly Balls on the Viennese balls and in 1815, the year of the Vienna Congress, 10 million Cilly balls “Cillykugeln” were served at the various diplomatic events and festivities. In a famous literary work of the early 1800s, the satirical “Eipeldauer Letters“, which are fictive letters about a journey to Vienna during Fasching, the writer of the letters observes,  “And just in case I wanted to forget that we are still in the jolly Fasching season, the Krapfen would remind me once again. “Wenn ich’s aber auch vergessen wollt’, daß wir noch im lustigen Fasching sind, so würden mich schon d’Krapfen dran erinnern.”

Actually, now that I think about it, things could have been worse for Pres. Kennedy. He could have made his speech in Vienna and declared, “Ich bin ein Wiener” which would be either a Viennese veal cutlet or a Viennese hotdog. Jelly donuts seem far more preferable.

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Fancy Schmancy Aida Krapfen

Fancy Schmancy Aida Krapfen


Wager, Christoph, Ich Koche Website,,  accessed February 2014 (language, German).

Site (in German) with Photo instructions and recipe (scroll down to 23.01.2006, 21:03 entry) for making your very own Krapfen (gotta love it and your loved ones will definitely love you) accessed February 2014, (language, German).

Read the MA 59 press release here:

Here the Vienna city government website with contact info for the media and for all of you if you come across any Krapfen offenders:

Krone Tips for delicious Krapfen (in German) Krone article on How Much You Have to Run to Work off a Krapfen

Presse tells you where to find your Krapfen: – they recommend the following three places:
1 Konditorei Jindrak, Herrenstraße 22–24, 4020 Linz (in Linz?!) The Upper Austrians do like to say, “In Linz, beginnt’s” (Maybe the Presse author is Upper Austrian and therefore bias)
2. Café & Konditorei Groissböck, Zentrale Neilreichgasse 96-98, 1100 Vienna, Mon to Sat, 7.30 am –7 pm, Sun and holidays, 8 am – 7 pm
3 Kurkonditorei Oberlaa, u. a. Neuer Markt 16, 1010 Vienna, daily 8 am till 8 pm
I am certainly no MA 59 by any means but Billa, Anker and Aida seem to have pretty good Krapfen too.  May the Krapfen gods foregive my unknowing American taste buds if this statement be considered sacrilege for Krapfen connoisseurs.