Have you tried Quarkbällchen coated in cinnamon sugar? They might let you cheat on doughnut holes! These light and fluffy quark balls are a popular treat at German Fasching, Christmas holiday breakfast, as an afternoon snack, or even as a delicious weeknight dessert.
They look like classic doughnut holes, but the unique texture and taste make these cinnamon sugar balls even better. The soft, airy texture of these treats is truly unique, yet still familiar enough to please any crowd. The best part is that they are made without yeast, so no proofing time is required, and you can enjoy them in no time!
Do you love German cakes and pastries? Then you are in for a real treat! This blog is packed full of delicious authentic German cake recipes, like Käsekuchen, a creamy German version of cheesecake, Bienenstich aka bee sting cake, and the famous Black Forest cake called Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte in Germany, plus so many more.
Unlike traditional doughnuts, quark balls are not made of yeast dough. They are crispy on the outside and airy on the inside. Quarkbällchen are super popular around New Year’s Eve as well as during the Faschingszeit (German carnival) in Germany, and you can find them at the Oktoberfest and year-round in the bakeries.
What is Quark?
Quark is often referred to as "cheese curds." For some people, the translation to "cheese curds" could sound strange and might give the wrong impression. If you've never had quark, think about very thick Greek yogurt, but less tard. This is why you can use Greek yogurt instead of quark.
How are Quarkbällchen called in English?
Quarkbällchen literally translated means quark balls. The name refers to one of the main ingredients they are made from, quark.
How to pronounce "Quarkbällchen" the correct way in German?
Listen to this audio file to hear how to say "Quarkbällchen" the right way.
Ingredients & Substitutes
This delicious treat is super easy to whip up and the dough requires no proofing time. With just a few simple ingredients, you can make these amazing Quarkbällchen in no time!
Eggs - In this recipe, I use large eggs, you can also use medium sized eggs without the need to adjust the recipe. But if you are using small eggs, you probably need one more egg.
Quark - 5% Greek yogurt can be used in place of Quark.
Sugar - the recipe calls for white sugar, but it could be substituted for 50% light brown sugar and 50% white sugar.
Flour - I use unbleached organic all-purpose flour.
Cornstarch - is necessary to give this pastry its light texture.
Baking Powder - There is only baking powder, no baking soda used for this batter.
Butter - I prefer to use real butter for the best taste, but you can substitute margarine if you prefer.
See recipe card for quantities.
You can decorate and fill the quark balls with all kinds of fillings, glazes or even sprinkles. Let your creativity shine! I have a few starting ideas for you:
- Filling: You can fill these little quark balls like Berliner donuts by using a piping bag with a long nozzle. Use your favorite jelly, pudding, Nutella, or Bavarian Cream.
- Glaze: they are really good drizzled with lemon glaze or a chocolate ganache.
You will be surprised how quick and easy this recipe comes together.
Step 1: Melt the butter in a small bowl and set aside.
Step 2: Add the sugar for the topping and cinnamon to a deep plate and blend well.
Step 3: Add eggs, vanilla sugar, and sugar to a large mixing bowl and whisk until light and foamy.
Step 4: Mix flour, cornstarch, and baking powder in a medium-sized bowl.
Step 5: Alternately add the quark, or Greek yogurt, and the dry ingredients, and blend until just combined. Then add the melted butter and blend well.
Step 6: Heat the oil to 320–340°F and carefully add small batter balls by using a small cookie scoop. The scoop should be no larger than 1 tablespoon. (If you don´t have an cookie scoop, you can use two teaspoons.)
Step 7: Fry the dough balls until golden brown. The little balls will turn automatically which is fun to watch.
Hint: Make sure not to add too many quark balls at once. They will expand in the oil and need a bit of room to be able to turn.
- If the batter is sticking to the cookie scoop, try the following: Dip the scoop into the hot fat before each new filling; this will help release the batter easier.
Quark balls are typically consumed as is. But you can also fill them with your favorite jam or hazelnut spread. And if you are not in the mood to fill them but still want to enjoy them with a delicious jelly, just cut these little treats into halves and spread the jelly on top.
To make this recipe, you need these kitchen tools.
- large mixing bowl
- large spatula
- kitchen thermometer for liquids
- medium sized pot
- slotted spoon
- large plate
- kitchen paper
Quark balls taste freshly fried the best but they can be stored for 1-3 days in a plastic bag. 10 seconds in the microwave will make them taste like they've been freshly baked.
Can you freeze quark balls?
Yes, quarkbällchen freeze well. Fry them according to the recipe, allow them to cool completely, and don´t roll them in the sugar coating. Freeze in an airtight container with a lid or a freezer bag. Allow to defrost at room temperature for about 2 hours, then either fry them for a couple of minutes in hot oil or reheat them in the microwave before rolling in cinnamon-sugar.
How to Serve
Serve with a mug of coffee, hot chocolate, or a cup of tea. You can also serve them with a side of jelly, fruit compote, or vanilla ice cream.
Quarkbällchen - German Quark Balls
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ¾ cups sugar
- 2 ½ cups quark or 5% Greek yogurt
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cups cornstarch
- 3 ½ tsp. baking powder
- 3 ½ tbsp. butter melted
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tbsp. cinnamon
- 40 fl. oz. vegetable Oil for Frying
- Melt the butter in a small bowl and set aside.
- Add sugar and cinnamon to a deep plate and blend.
- Add eggs, vanilla sugar, and sugar to a large mixing bowl and whisk until light and foamy.
- Mix flour, cornstarch, and baking powder in a medium-sized bowl.
- Alternately add the quark, or Greek yogurt, and the dry ingredients to the egg mixture, and blend until just combined.
- Mix in the cooled-down, melted butter.
- Heat the oil to 320–340°F and carefully add small batter balls by using a small cookie scoop. The scoop should be no larger than 1 tablespoon. (If you don´t have an cookie scoop, you can use two teaspoons.)
- Fry the dough balls until golden brown.
- Remove the dough balls with a slotted spoon and roll them in the cinnamon-sugar blend.