Serbian Doughnuts (Krofne)

Serbian doughnuts Krofne recipe

The Spruce / Cara Cormack 

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Rise: 90 mins
Total: 2 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 36 servings
Yield: 36 doughnuts
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
332 Calories
28g Fat
19g Carbs
3g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 36
Amount per serving
Calories 332
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 28g 36%
Saturated Fat 3g 17%
Cholesterol 12mg 4%
Sodium 143mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 13mg 1%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 38mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Serbian doughnuts, also known as krofne, are delicious treats that can be eaten at any time of year but especially before the Great Lent begins.

For Orthodox Serbians, Shrove Tuesday doesn't exist. Meatfare Sunday begins one week before Ash Wednesday and is the last day meat and meat byproducts can be consumed.

If there is such a thing as a swan song to rich foods, it would be Cheesefare Sunday (the last day dairy products can be eaten), which takes place three days before Ash Wednesday, when palacinke, krofne and other fried and rich foods are eaten.

So Lent begins on Clean Monday, two days before Roman Catholics and other Christians begin Lent. After this, most Orthodox Christians eat no meat, meat by-products, poultry, dairy or eggs for the entire Lenten period.

Some krofne recipes call for unseasoned mashed potatoes in the dough, but not this one. Compare this recipe with Lithuanian spurgos, Polish pączki, and Croatian fritule.


  • 1 cup milk

  • 4 ounces (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast, or 2 1/4 teaspoons

  • 1 cup hot water

  • 3 large eggs, room temperature, slightly beaten

  • 6 cups all-purpose flour

  • 4 cups cooking oil, for frying

  • Granulated or confectioners' sugar, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Serbian doughnuts
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack 
  2. Scald 1 cup milk.

    Scald milk
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  3. Add 4 ounces butter, 1/4 cup sugar, and 2 teaspoons salt, stirring to dissolve the butter. Cool to 110 F.

    Add butter
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack 
  4. Meanwhile, dissolve the active dry yeast in 1 cup of 110 F water.

    Active dry yeast
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  5. In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, place milk mixture, yeast mixture, and 3 large, slightly beaten room-temperature eggs, mixing until smooth.

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack 
  6. Add 6 cups all-purpose flour gradually, mixing until smooth.

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack 
  7. The dough might be sticky. If so, use slightly dampened hands to transfer it to a greased bowl (don't add more flour).

    Dough in bowl
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack 
  8. Cover and let rise until doubled. For extra-light krofne, some cooks punch down the dough and let it rise a second time until doubled.

    Cover bowl
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  9. Punch down dough.

    Punch down dough
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack 
  10. Roll 1/2-inch thick on a lightly floured work surface.

    Roll out dough
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack 
  11. Cut with a 3-inch round cutter or glass.

    Cut dough
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  12. Cover and let rise for about 1/2 hour.

    Flour on dough
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  13. Heat oil to 375 F in a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven. Use a deep-frying thermometer to make sure the temperature is accurate.

    Oil in pot
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack 
  14. Fry krofne in hot oil until lightly brown on both sides, turning only once.

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack 
  15. Drain on absorbent paper.

    Drain on paper
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  16. While still hot roll in granulated sugar or dust with confectioners' sugar.

    Add granulated sugar
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  17. Serve and enjoy!

    Serbian doughnut
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack 

Hot Oil Warning

Always use caution when working with hot oil, especially around children. Have a fire extinguisher designed for grease fires at the ready.