Sweet Prilleken

Prilleken or Prilken are a carnival specialty from the Braunschweig and Harz region. A loose yeast dough is formed into small balls (prilken = to shape with the hands). These balls are now fried swimming in the fat until golden brown, sprinkled with sugar and eaten as fresh as possible.

In the Bremen area, rings are formed instead of balls and otherwise made in the same way. But the Prilleken taste also all year round.

Similar to today’s Halloween, children used to go from house to house on Shrovetide to collect Prilleken.

Recipe German Prilleken

A sweet carnival pastry without egg.
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Course: pastries
Cuisine: Lower Saxony, Saxony Anhalt
Keyword: sweet
Difficulty: Experienced
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 50 pieces

Ingredients & Shopping list

  • 500 g flour
  • 100 g sugar
  • 250 ml lukewarm milk
  • 80 g soft butter
  • 1 grated zest of an organic lemon
  • 30 g fresh yeast
  • clarified butter or a neutral oil for frying (e.g. sunflower oil)  
  • Powdered sugar or sugar for sprinkling


  • Dissolve the yeast in 3 tablespoons of milk and add 1 teaspoon of sugar. Mix everything together.
  • Put the flour in a bowl and make a well in the center. Pour the milk-yeast mixture into the center and mix with a little flour.
  • Cover and let rise for 15 minutes.
  • Gradually add the remaining ingredients and knead them into a smooth dough…. This can be done by hand or with the dough hook of a food processor.
  • Cover and let rise for one hour.
  • Form small balls from the dough and press flat. Let rise again on a floured surface or baking paper for about 30 minutes. Depending on the size of the balls, the indicated number of pieces may vary.
  • Heat the shortening to 180 °C. Fry the now round yeast balls little by little in the fat until golden brown. (For keeping the temperature we recommend a kitchen thermometer).
  • Remove the prilleques and dust with powdered sugar or sugar while still hot.

Tips & Hints

Remove the prilleques and dust with powdered sugar or sugar while still hot.


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