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Croatian Krofne Recipe (Homemade Donuts)

Few things will satisfy a craving for a freshly made dessert quite like traditional Croatian krofne with their warm, moist and fluffy texture. Deep fried to golden perfection with an airy center and lightly dipped in sugar, these homemade donuts are a real treat.

Croatian krofne donuts stacked together on a plate.

How to Make Homemade Donuts

Did you know that a donut is considered perfect when it has a light colored rim visible around it’s center? When making these classic homemade donuts, there are few tips to keep in mind as you begin to prepare and deep fry the dough to help you make that “perfect” donut.

Covering the Dough

After mixing the prepared dough, it is important to cover it with a clean tea towel while leaving it to rise. As with any bread recipe, this will keep the dough moist and soft while the quick-rise yeast does it’s magic.

Cutting the Dough

If you have a circle shaped cookie cutter, you can of course use that to make your donut rounds. But for us, we use the rim of a drinking glass to cut the dough. The size of the cutter will of course impact the size of the donuts and how many are produced. As a guide, the size of our cutter (aka drinking glass) has a 2.5″ diameter.

Deep Frying the Donuts

Achieving the right temperature of oil is key to deep frying these donuts. Before you start, test the oil first with some leftover dough by placing it in the hot oil. If oil bubbles or fizzes, then the oil is ready.

When transfering the uncooked donuts in to the oil, place the side that was up on the counter down in to the oil first. And then leave them to cook in the hot oil with the lid covering them for a few minutes. When it’s time to turn them, use a fork to gently and slowly flip them around. Do NOT pierce them with the fork.

Once that first donut is cooked, give it a taste to see if it is cooked fully. It may take a bit of adjusting the time and temperature depending on your particular stove.

Finishing Touch: Coating with Sugar

This final step of dipping the cooked donuts in sugar really does make a big difference! Since the donuts themselves are not too sweet, adding a coating of sugar gives them that little bit of needed sweetness. Although we most often use a mix of vanilla sugar and granulated sugar, substituting the granulated sugar for fruit sugar, which is a finer texture, works even better.

Be sure to dip the donuts in the sugar mixture while still hot so soon after removing from the frying pan.

Croatian Krofne Recipe (Homemade Donuts)

Jane and Sonja
Deep fried to golden perfection with a fluffy, moist center and lightly dipped in sugar, makes these homemade donuts a real treat to enjoy.
5 from 18 votes
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Croatian
Servings 24 donuts


  • 1 Stand mixer with C Dough Hook
  • 3 Clean Kitchen Cloths (tea towels)
  • glass 3" diameter rim


  • 1.5 tbsp yeast quick rise
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1.75 cups milk divided, warm
  • 3.75 cups flour
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp rum

Sugar Coating

  • 1/4 cup fruit sugar or granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla sugar


Preparing the Donut Dough

  • Combine ¾ cup of milk with 2 tbsp granulated sugar. Mix together with yeast. Put aside for time being.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and salt. Add the yeast mixture and egg yolks and continue mixing.
  • Add rum to the mixture and continue mixing.
  • Slowly add remaining warm milk.
  • Mix until well combined on medium speed, about 10 minutes until dough is airy. If dough is too hard, add a bit more milk.
  • Transfer dough to lightly floured clean cloth on the kitchen counter. Work the dough into a ball. Cover with another clean cloth and leave for 50 minutes.
  • After the dough has risen to twice it’s size, roll it to 1” thick using a rolling pin. Ensure the cloth is floured to avoid dough from sticking.
  • Dip the rim of a drinking glass in flour and cut the rolled out dough. Move the circle shaped cutout to another floured cloth. When the dough is fully cut into circles, cover all and leave for 20-30 minutes. Make sure to leave enough space around the circles so they won't touch as they rise.

Deep Frying the Donuts

  • Use a deep frying pan (such as a wok) filled with cooking oil so donuts can be submerged fully.
  • Heat on low temperature.
  • Test the dough using the remaining dough pieces by placing it in the oil. If oil bubbles or fizzes, then oil is ready.
  • Transfer the donuts into the hot oil. Be sure to place the side of the donut that was up on the counter, down in to the oil.
  • Cover with a lid, check in 3-4 minutes and flip them over. Cook the other side, leave uncovered.
  • Keep cooking on medium heat, no longer than 5-6 minutes.
  • Remove and place on paper towel lined plate to absorb the excess oil.

Adding the Sugar Coating

  • While still hot, dip the donuts into a bowl with sugar and transfer to a bowl or serving platter. Enjoy!
Keyword croatian, dessert, donuts, homemade
Tried this recipe?Tag @sustainmycookinghabit or #sustainmycookinghabit!

Born and raised in Croatia, our mom has perfected this homemade donut recipe over the years. Whenever there is a large family gathering to attend, we’re fortunate to enjoy a batch of these delicious goodies. We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!

More Homemade Donut Recipes to Try

If you’re interested in trying a few other homemade donut recipes, take a look at some of these tasty options.

Thankyou so much for stopping by to visit us! We’d love to hear from you, have you ever tried making homemade donuts before?

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Collage of Croatian krofne donuts with text overlay.
5 from 18 votes (17 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating

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Sunday 4th of February 2024

Why no butter in this recipe?


Sunday 26th of February 2023

Perfect! Just as mom made them!


Sunday 4th of February 2024

@Irena, did you add butter to the recipe? I noticed most use oil or butter but this one does not.

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