fastnacht kuechles

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grandmas’ recipes are always the best, and my grandmother’s fastnachts have always been one of my favorites

grandma's fastnacht kuechle recipe |

                                                                        laissez les bons temps rouler

as far back as i can remember, my grandmother made fastnacht kuechles for ash wednesday. it would take her days, but everyone in the family got a batch to enjoy with potato pancakes and applesauce or potato soup. oh how i looked forward to those fastnachts. there is nothing more delicious than sweet fried dough covered in a hefty dusting of powdered sugar.

fastnacht kuechles

traditionally, fastnachts are served on fat tuesday, as a way to prepare for the upcoming lenten season. i’m not sure how our ash wednesday family tradition got started, but ash wednesday just wouldn’t be the same without a fastnacht or two. i’ve been making my grandmother’s recipe since my kids were babies. i’ve even been known to hunt  down the one market to still sell lard so that i could make them exactly the same way she did. i don’t do that anymore, but man it makes a difference if you can stand it.

grandma's fastnacht kuechles

with ash wednesday, valentines day, and stella’s last basketball game of the season all falling on the same day, i opted for the more traditional  frying of the fastnacht kuechles for fat tueday.

grandma's fastnacht kuechles |

fastnacht kuechles


  • 7 cups of flour
  • 2 packages of instant yeast
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 Tbsp butter (my grandmother's recipe used 1 Tbsp lard + 3 Tbsp butter)
  • 2 cups of milk
  • oil for frying and powdered sugar for dusting


  • in a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt
  • warm the milk with the butter to about 100 degrees (butter does not need to melt completely)
  • make a well in the center of the four, and add the milk and egg
  • slowly stir the dry ingredients into the well with the milk and eggs
  • the dough will be heavy but mix well (this can also be done in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment)
  • when the dough comes together, knead until smooth and then cover and let rise until it has doubled in size - about 2 hours in a warm kitchen
  • once the dough has risen, roll to about 1/2 inch thickness and cut into shape (usually squares)
  • cover and let rise again  for about an hour
  • while the fastnachts are rising heat the oil to 375 degrees
  • fry fastnachts in small batches for 3-4 minutes (turning them halfway through frying time)
  • drain on brown paper bags and then dust with powdered sugar

grandma's fastnach kuechles |

my grandmother always cut her fastnachts into squares, but hearts seemed more fitting this year. not that we’ll have any left to eat tomorrow. stella ate two before i even had a chance to powder sugar them. any shape you choose, i’m sure it will be love at first bite.

grandma's fastnacht kuechles |