FASNAUCHTS- Scrumptious, easy to make fried dough sweetened with cinnamon sugar.

Tuesday is FASNACHT DAY!!!!! Do you know what a Fasnacht is? The word is pronounced (faus’-nots). If you live in Lancaster County Pennsylvania you not only know what a fasnacht is but you look forward to this day! A fasnact is a fried donut. And eating one is a once a year tradition here is bucolic Lancaster County! Most people in my area buy fasnacts from local grocer’s or churches who still make them in my area. This year in celebration of Fasnacht Day I’m sharing a super easy, cheater’s fasnacts made with pizza dough. I hope you will make them on Tuesday (0r any day) and celebrate their yumminess! It will make you an honorary Lancasterian for the day!

FASNAUCHTS- Scrumptious, easy to make fried dough sweetened with cinnamon sugar.

Fasnachts come from the German word “fast” which means to fast or abstain from food and “nacht” which means night. These delightful donuts come out of the German, Swiss and Austrian tradition of using up all the lard, butter, fat and sugar in one’s pantry on the eve of Lent.

Fasnacts are a tasty sweet way to use up the ingredients that were often not eaten during the Lenten season.

Let’s celebrate Fasnact Day by making a delicious and easy version of the original Fasnact!

Here are a couple tips for making your Fasnacts…

Open the refrigerated roll of pizza dough. Cut the roll into 8-10 even slices. Cut each slice in two. Roll each piece into a ball. Don’t over roll. Just get them into a ball shape and pinch any loose ends together.

When the balls cook they might unravel a bit. That’s great! More nooks and crannies for the butter and cinnamon sugar!

FASNAUCHTS- Scrumptious, easy to make fried dough-2

After cooking, place the fasnacts on paper towels to drain.

FASNAUCHTS- Scrumptious, easy to make fried

Celebrate with Lancaster County and make Fasnachts on Tuesday! 

PS: You can make them on any other day too, they will be just as good!


A scrumptious, light fried donut ball with a cinnamon sugar coating
Print Recipe


  • Vegetable oil
  • Refrigerated Pizza in the roll
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 TBS cinnamon
  • 4 TBS butter


  • Put the vegetable oil in a dutch oven or deep pan. Add 1/2 inch of oil. Heat oil to 300 °. The oil should stay between 300-325° during frying.
  • Remove pizza dough from the wrapper and slice into 8-10 even slices. Slice each piece again in two.
  • Roll each piece of dough into a ball making sure any loose ends are pinched together.
  • Fry the dough for 2-4 minutes, until it is puffy and lightly golden brown. If the dough unravels don't worry. They are still going to be delicious. Make sure to turn the dough over in the oil to brown all sides.
  • Remove the fasnachts and drain on paper towels.
  • Meanwhile, melt the butter. Set aside.
  • Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  • When the fasnachts are drained, dunk them in butter to cover and roll them in the cinnamon/sugar mixture.
  • They are ready to eat. They can be make ahead and eaten later in the day. They won't last long!


Instead of cinnamon sugar, powdered sugar can be used. You can also serve them with a sauce like chocolate, caramel or fruit.
Enjoy being an honorary Lancasterian for the day!
Author: Yvonne @ StoneGable
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FASNAUCHTS- Scrumptious, easy to make fried dough sweetened with cinnamon sugar.

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  1. Your post brought back a lot of wonderful memories. My grandmother (her parents came to this country from Bavaria) made them every year. She also made Bavarian dampfnudeln from the same dough. Half the dough became fasnacht kuecheles and the other half was made into dampfnudeln. I might be a little wrong about this, it was over 50 years ago, but…. I think for the dampfnudeln she melted butter with salt and milk about an inch deep to cover the bottom of a heavy frying pan. Then she formed balls out of the dough and placed them in the pan. After they rose one more time in the pan, she put a lid on the pan and cooked them till done. The tops were yeasty, light and fluffy, and the bottoms were a buttery and salty crispy crust. Heavenly! We ate them with her home made meatless navy bean soup for dinner on Ash Wednesday. It was supposed to be a small simple meal to begin Lent with to remind us that Jesus sacrificed Himself for us so we were making a sacrifice by eating this “boring” meal. It seemed more like a delicious treat to the young child I was at the time.

  2. I love Fasnacht Day & potato flour donuts, however, I’m pretty sure that it is pronounced fost-nokts in German if my German isn’t completely failing me. We were taught that in my family & high school German classes. In any case one of the things I most love about having moved to PA is that the German heritage here is do pronounced!

    1. Yes, Chelle, that’s the way my grandmother pronounced them.

  3. The Amish and Mennonite community here I VA where I live holds an event each year to raise $ for their mission projects. Fried donuts are among the delicious foods they offer My family stands in line with hundreds of other folks to savor these treats. Thanks for the recipe can’t wait to surprise my family.

  4. Having lived in New Orleans I am quite familiar with Fat Tuesday and all of the celebrations throughout Mardi Gras, however until my daughter and son in law moved to Germany, I was unfamiliar with Fasching. Unfortunately this year they were advised to stay away from the festivals as safety concerns in Europe. These yummy fasnachts balls sound just like what they have gotten in Germany and I am so glad you shared the recipe. I am pinning this so I have it handy!

  5. Avril Crundwell says:

    So not on my diet plan but oh do I want to try this. Look so yummy.

  6. Oh.My.Goodness. ~ Memories of my Polish grandmother!!

  7. Sabine Gray says:

    Memories of my motherland! Originally from Bavaria, where they are called Krapfen, I miss these every year especially around Fasching (mardi gras in Germany)

    They would stuff them with jam or honey and in some cases….with mustard!!!! as a joke! Thanks for posting!

  8. I’m from outside of Valley Forge, PA, but I now live in Alabama. A great recipe to remind me “of home”!!

  9. Thank you for the memories. I grew up in Pennsylvania near Lancaster. I looked forward to Shrove Tuesday each year because of the wonderful Fasnachts. Some of the local churches would give them to us for free. What a treat!! I now live in Southern California, but still remember those delicious treats.

    I was so happy to see your recipe and I’m definitely going to try it. I’ve never seen fasnachts here. No one’s ever heard of them.
    It’s almost like when I first moved here many years ago I tried to buy scrapple in the local grocery store. The butcher told me to look in the “game department”. (Scrabble) 🙂

    Thank you again. I love receiving your daily emails.

  10. Marilyn Gillis says:

    Yumm!! This will be on the menu Christmas!!