Custard Berliner

If they could talk, they would not always say "Ich bin ein Berliner". They are actually called pfannkuchen in the city of Berlin and krapfen in Bavaria.

Custard Berliner

They're often filled with different kinds of fruit jam and creams. This variant with vanilla custard is mostly known in Belgium and the Netherlands.


  • 250 g pastry flour
  • 22 g fresh baker's yeast
  • 30 g powdered sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 35 g unsalted butter
  • 110 ml skimmed milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Zest of ½ lemon
  • pinch of salt


You could use vanilla custard (powder) from the store or make it yourself.

  • 50 cl whole milk
  • 10 cl cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 25 g cornflour
  • 90 g sugar

  1. Put flour in a bowl and make a hole. Crumble the yeast inside the flour hole and add half the sugar.
  2. Warm the milk and pour half of it over yeast. Stir a little to dissolve. Let it react for 15 minutes. The milk should not be hot. Just a little higher than body temperature.
  3. Add egg, rest of sugar and milk, pinch of salt, lemon zest, vanilla and butter to the yeast-milk mix.
  4. Knead well with a wooden spatula if you don't have a stand mixer, 5 minutes with stand mixer, 10 minutes with spatula.
  5. The dough should stick some to the bowl and your fingers. Let it proof for 45 minutes in a warm place.
  6. Punch the air out of the dough, it should now stick much less to your hands as the starches soaked more of the fluids as it was proofing. Use a little flour if needed.
  7. Cut dough in 6 equal parts. Shape them with your hands in the form of a ball. Make sure there are no deep creases or folds
  8. Put the dough balls on a tray and let it proof again in a warm place for 40 minutes.
  9. 10 - 15 minutes before the end, heat vegetable oil or palm oil to 170°C.
  10. Put the dough balls with the top side down into the frying oil. Fry for about 2 to 3 minutes with a lid on the frying pan (or deep fryer).
  11. Flip the berliners and continue frying for another 2 minutes without the lid.
  12. Let them drain on paper towel and move over to the cooling rack.

Vanilla Custard:

  1. Beat egg yolks with sugar, cornflour and vanilla.
  2. Bring milk with cream to a boil. Pour some of it in the yolk mix and stir well. Pour this mixture back into the sauce pan with the remaining warm milk.
  3. Put sauce pan back on stove on medium heat and whisk until milk mixture thickens. When you see a few bubbles you're done. Let it cool inside the sauce pan.
  4. Cut the berliners in half and take some of the dough out of the bottom part. There should be a blind hole of about 5 cm wide.
  5. With a large serving spoon pour custard into this blind hole until you have a layer of approximately 1 cm on top (or more if you like) the berliner bottom. 
  6. Cover with top part and sift a good layer of powdered sugar over the berliner.

Bon appetit!

Tools used: Wooden spatula, whisk, mixing bowl, sieve.