We channeled our inner Mary Berry to bring you the best of Vienna’s Krapfen selection.

Vienna's Best KrapfenIn Vienna, it seems that sugary confections beckon from every bakery’s shop window and grocer’s aisles. The Konditorei (confectioner) near my apartment reminds me, daily, that it is Krapfenzeit – the pre-lenten period when it’s “permitted” to overindulge in these fat-soaked, apricot jelly filled doughnuts dusted with sugar. However, most of us try to be consistently health conscious; not eating too many sweets or fried foods. And both make the delicious Fasching treat taste so good.

We know you might not want to waste calories eating a less than delicious Krapfen. So we took it upon ourselves to taste a wide array of the Vienna’s most popular jelly-filled doughnuts. If you are what you eat, then we are most certainly Krapfen at the Metropole office this week. Before we get to the results of our tasting, some facts about the delicious confection.

History and Bureaucracy

According to Gil Marks, in his post for Liete’s Culinaria, the recipe for Krapfen was published in a 1485 German cookbook that was printed on the Gutenberg press. Though these delicious sugary treats have been around for a while, they only achieved widespread popularity in Vienna during the 19th century, when the cost of sugar became significantly less expensive.

Today’s Krapfen resemble the old recipe but modern Vienna has created a set of standards that must be met to be deemed worthy of the name. They must contain apricot jam – in fact at least 15% of the doughnut must be filling. And bakers must use six fresh egg yolks for every kilogram of flour used.

The penalty for not adhering to the regulations: a visit and a fine from the MA 59 Inspectorate. This group of magistrates is responsible for ensuring the quality of food and food safety standards in the city, and this means the Krapfen as well.

The good stuff

We scientifically rated the Krapfen on a series of scales (dough, filling, crust and sugary topping, and price). We even used a ruler for good measure (pun absolutely intended). We purchased only Marillenkrapfen so that we were comparing apricots to apricots.


 

METROPOLE’s 2017 Marillenkrapfen Test Results

Our star-studded panel of seven editors, employees and interns at Metropole’s offices, erm, Test Labs spent the better part of one morning this week martyring our taste buds and stomachs so that you, dear reader, can finally know which Krapfen to go buy. Note: we were not courageous to try out the supermarket variety, though apparently Hofer’s Krapfen are among the best rated.

10 – Gradwohl

GradwohlIt’s an unfair comparison, but for a whole-wheat dough with no sugar topping, it actually tasted pretty good! Questionable health benefit, though. As the locals say, “wennschon, dennschon”.
Price: €1.60
Size ⌀: 10 cm
www.gradwohl.info

9 – Geier

GeierWhere’s the filling?
Price: €1.15
Size ⌀: 10 cm
www.geier.at

8 – Ströck

StröckDisappointing dough, filling unevenly distributed.
Price: €1.15
Size ⌀: 10 cm
www.stroeck.at

7 – Konditorei Oberlaa

Konditorei OberlaaNot enough sugar topping, pricey. Comes in a slightly smaller “Krapfenpuppe” size.
Price: €1.90 / €1.60
Size ⌀: 9 cm / 8 cm
www.oberlaa-wien.at

6 – Konditorei Aida

Konditorei AidaPretty-in-pink packaging, good filling, but sub-par dough.
Price: €1.30
Size ⌀: 9 cm
aida.at

5 – Anker

AnkerMost sugar topping, smaller size.
Price: €1.15
Size ⌀: 9 cm
www.ankerbrot.at

4 – Der Mann

Der MannGood value, good dough, but some of us disliked the hint of alcohol taste in the filling.
Price: €1.10
Size ⌀: 10 cm
www.dermann.at

3 – Demel

DemelMost attractive, great fruity filling and nice packaging, at a premium price.
Price: €2.20
Size ⌀: 9 cm
www.demel.at

2 – Felzl

FelzlGood dough with particularly nice crust.
Price: €1.45
Size ⌀: 9 cm
felzl.at

1 – Felber

FelberBest dough, tasty filling (though a bit skimpy) and just the right sugar topping. Best value for the price.
Price: €1.10
Size ⌀: 10 cm
www.felberbrot.at


 

The best of the best was Felber. Overall, we felt that theirs had the best dough, the best filling, and was the best value for your euro, especially as it costs only €1.10. However, a close runner up was Felzl – at a higher price point of €1.45.

The most elegant (and expensive) was Demel. The dough was excellent and the filling was delicious and evenly distributed along the bottom. But at €2.20, you can spend a great deal on very little.

Aida, Anker and Oberlaa were middle of the road for us. However, Aida and Oberlaa have very pretty packaging and look great if you need to bring them to the office or a party. Oberlaa is the more expensive of the two at €1.90 (a smaller size Krapfenpuppe costs €1.60 each) and had the best filling in this group. The Aida dough was the best amongst the three and cost €1.30 a pop. Anker had the most sugary topping and at €1.15 was the least expensive of this group.

Deserving of an honorable mention is Gradwohl for making a whole-wheat, lactose-free Krapfen. It tastes pretty good and the filling is not too sweet. If you still want to be a little bit health conscious AND eat doughnuts, this might be the option for you.

Because there has to be least favorites, ours were Geier and Ströck. For us, they fell short of the others in many categories. Geier’s filling was so stingy in our sample, that they should expect a visit from the MA 59 inspectors soon.

As always, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Our best advice: don’t try this test at home. We’ve had enough Krapfen for the season, for sure, and perhaps for a lifetime.