How to Make “Zillertaler Krapfen”

Last updated 21.08.2020ChristinaChristina

Some dishes of my childhood were only prepared by my Dad. As he didn’t cook that often, these rare occasions were something special—and the food was simply delicious. I remember that I always had to loosen the belt after his signature dish, Zillertaler Krapfen. I just couldn’t get enough of this traditional Zillertal Valley dish that comes with a tasty quark and grey cheese filling in a crispy exterior.

I asked my Dad the other day if he would show me how to make the Krapfen. And although they are quite time consuming to make from scratch, and he hasn’t prepared them for a long time, he was more than willing to do so.

We meet in our kitchen at home. Recognizing that after all these years I still know where to find the cooking spoon makes me smile. We prepare the ingredients. The stereo radio player, which is still in its old place, plays the hits of the past. It feels like Radio Tirol channel hasn’t changed its programming since the 1980s. We start preparing the Krapfen while listening to “Self Control” and “I am from Austria”. It conjures memories of how I had felt in our kitchen as a child, bringing the smells of the food back to my consciousness and allowing that to flood my senses for a moment in time. It’s wonderful. It’s just the same. Except two things have changed: Dad has a kitchen help today, that’s me. And I’m not wearing a belt. Nowadays, I’m wearing stretch trousers.

Difficulty Level: Easy

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 4


For the dough:

  • 500 g rye flour (if you substitute half of the rye flour with wheat flour, the Krapfen will be softer)
  • 1 egg
  • 250 ml water
  • salt

For the filling:

  • 250 g curd
  • 300 g Tiroler Graukäse
  • 4 larger sized cooked potatoes
  • fresh chives
  • salt
  • sunflower oil (or any other frying oil of your choice), butter oil works well too

Zum Ausbacken: ausreichend Sonnenblumenöl (alternativ Butterschmalz)


Put the flour on a work surface, beat the egg with some water and mix with the flour.

Knead the mixture to form a dough; add water if the dough is too sticky.

Knead the dough until smooth.

Cut the chives finely.

After boiling the potatoes in their skins, peel and mash them.

Mash the grey cheese as well.

Combine the finely cut chives, quark and grey cheese with the mashed potato and mix well. Add water if the mixture is too set. Season with salt.

Form the dough into a roll and cut into small pieces. Roll out these small pieces of the dough as thin as possible.

Place the potato and cheese filling on top of the thinly rolled out dough. Do not drop too much filling mixture.

Using your fingers, fold the dough parcels together and press firmly around the filling to seal. Cut edges with a zig-zag edged pastry wheel. Continue folding, Krapfen after Krapfen. Hang in there :-)

Fry in hot sunflower oil on both sides until golden brown. Alternatively, fry in clarified butter.


With passion for the detail—and with a twinkle in her eye, Christina Schwemberger takes you on a journey to meet amazing people, visit interesting places, and experience all that Tirol has to offer.

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Jim Mitchell

Dear Christina,
Would the Krapfen be served stand alone, or is there a common sauce/condiment that would accompany??
Additionally, can you suggest some detail about grey cheese, what to substitute; where to buy?
Thanks so much.

Kind regards,


Dear Jim,
Traditionally the Krapfen are served stand alone.
A good substitute for grey cheese is for example sheep cheese.

Theresa from the Tirol Team

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