Carnival pastries in East Belgium - there's something for every carnival person - East Belgium Go to content

Carnival pastries in East Belgium - there's something for every carnival person

Berliner, Krapfen, Quarkballen and Mutzen are an integral part of carnival and sweeten the carnival season. The counters of East Belgian bakeries are also well stocked with typical carnival pastries.

Christoph Kelleter, a baker from Eupen who has been spoiling his customers with sweet and savoury creations for more than 20 years, explains what this is all about.

Text: Photo‘s: Dehaspe


What is the historical background of the carnival pastry?

It is a Rhenish tradition to bake "Berliner" at carnival. Originally, carnival was a pagan festival during which the winter spirits were driven away before spring.

Later, when the Church introduced Lent before Easter, carnival was a time for eating too much and greasy food.

This is the "Puffel" season with delicious, sweet and nutritious pastries.


What are "Puffel"

The term "Puffel" stands for boiled pastry made from yeast dough that is formed into hand-sized balls.

Elsewhere, the pastry is called Berliner Ballen, Krapfen or Pfannekuchen. The pastry is always made from yeast dough.

The difference lies more in the filling. For example, Berliner can be filled with plum, apricot, strawberry or four-fruit jam. Since the demand for boiled pastries is very high, the bakers in East Belgium try to offer something for every taste.


How many types of carnival pastries does Kelleter Bakery sell in 2023?

We sell 10 types of carnival pastries: Berliner plum, Berliner cream, Berliner apple, Berliner apricot, Berliner advocaat, Berliner chocolate filling, Krapfen nut-raisin, Krapfen rhum cream, Quarkballen, Mutzen.


Puffel pastries: delicacies in the Rhenish carnival tradition

In the Rhenish tradition, it is common practice to serve sweet, nutritious and tasty carnival pastries. Deep-fried pastries are perfect for the season, celebrating the end of winter, but storing up energy for the Lenten fast ahead. It is the same in East Belgium, where local bakeries produce special pastries that are not for sale during the other months of the year. Puffel pastries are like doughnuts, made from yeast dough formed into large balls.


These are essentially a kind of doughnut, but without the hole! The delicate yeast dough is expertly rolled into balls by hand and deep-fried – and then it’s a question of the filling. During carnival suddenly a dozen different flavours appear on the bakery counter: plum, apricot, strawberries, four-fruit jam and more. Demand is high, and bakers like to be able to cater for the wide range of tastes and appetites of the hungry revellers.


Krapfen are another, similar kind of doughnut – rich dough balls with a long association with Lent. The difference is in the filling: these are filled with vanilla cream or crème pâtissière. In Eupen they may come with nuts, raisins or rum. After filling, they are coated with icing or dusted icing sugar. New flavours are regularly introduced


Quarkbällchen are like mini Krapfen. They are made from Quark (comparable to cottage cheese) mixed with flour, sugar and baking powder, deep-fried and then dredged in sugar.


Traditional Mutzen are made of flour, baking powder, eggs, sugar, butter, almonds and rum. The heavy dough is kneaded and shaped by hand and deep-fried until golden brown. The crispy pastries are then sprinkled with icing sugar. These Mutzen are produced uniquely during the carnival period, not at any other time the year.

Three times Öpe Alaaf!!!

More information on the carnival calendar

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