The World Cup is just three days away now, and this is the first in a series of culinary nods from myself to the cuisines of the teams. I’m starting in Croatia, who take on the hosts, Brazil, in the first game of the tournament on Thursday.

A very important part of any trip around the world for me is discovering new foods and people, and getting a glimpse of local traditions – and sometimes there is a lot to see.

Croatia, located on the coast of the Adriatic in the Mediterranean, brings together a cuisine influenced by many interesting regional variations. Local diets inland are coloured by the Slavic traditions and the neighbouring central European cuisines, while Croatian coastal food and drink is heavily influenced by the countries Croatia trades with, as well as Mediterranean cuisines such as Italian food.

Croatian doughnuts, called “fritule” or “Uštipci”, originate from the historic Croatian coastal region of Dalmatia.  Fritule are traditionally served at Christmas time, but I find it really hard to stick to such rules, so you’ll have to allow me a little leeway here. My thinking is that if I see mini doughnuts, especially ones as tempting as these, I want to taste them right now!

I used a homemade Polish cherry brandy to flavour the fritule, since as that’s what I had to hand, but fritule are locally flavoured with lemon zest, vanilla and brandy or a similar Croatian liqueur called “loza”.

Croatian Fritule

So why did I choose these Croatian mini doughnuts? I think they’d make the perfect treat for a football-themed party, because bite-sized snacks always go down well. They’re also so simple to make –the batter comes together very quickly and easily before teaspoons of the dough are dropped into hot oil to cook for just a couple of minutes.

A little warning though, these Croatian doughnuts are highly addictive, particularly when sprinkled with powdered sugar! The best part is definitely biting into a soft nugget of raisin within the dough…

So, have I convinced you to add them to your party menu?

Croatian fritule (mini doughnuts)

Makes around 20

500g plain flour
1 tsp dried yeast
60g golden caster sugar
1 egg, beaten
zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla powder (or extract)
45ml brandy
200ml luke warm milk
60g raisins
500ml rapeseed oil for frying
powdered sugar – for coating/dusting

Mix together the plain flour, yeast and sugar. Add the beaten egg, lemon zest, vanilla and brandy. Stir together well with a wooden spoon and then gradually add the milk. A thick batter should start to form, but you can use a whisk to mix the dough to make sure everything is well combined and that there are no lumps. Add in the raisins, stir again and leave to stand for 30 minutes. You should have a batter with has a dropping consistency, if it is a little thick, add a splash more milk.

In a large pan, heat the oil until a cube of bread browns within 20 seconds) then quickly drop teaspoonfuls of the batter to the pan – until you have around 8-10 cooking. Fry the mini doughnuts on all sides, until they are golden brown – 1-2 minutes in total.

Carefully take the doughnuts out using a slotted spoon and drain in a bowl lined with kitchen paper.

Once they’re all cooked, sprinkle them with powdered sugar and serve warm in front of the TV!


For more countries from Jamie’s Foodie World Cup, click here.



croatian fritule recipe, mini doughnuts

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  • петя спасова

    yummy…love dougnuts,hey ren any other doughnut ideas you have in mind…

  • Silvia Kutle

    We traditionally make these with lemon zest and dark rum to flavour :)

  • korcula larus

    In Blato on the island of Korcula it is a tradition to make them as round as possible.

    • Dana ZupanovichLucka

      …and only the really GOOD cooks can make them PERFECTLY round LOL.

  • Dana ZupanovichLucka

    My personal preference is to sprinkle them with granulated sugar. So yummy….I can still remember the smell of those cooking in my grandmothers kitchen.

  • Branko Lozančić

    Technically the Croatian liqueur is called “lozovača.” “Loza” meaning grapevine. “Lozovača” coming from liqueur made from the pressings left over after you make wine.

    • jelena kulušić

      loza also functions as a “nickname” for lozovača, same as Pelinkovac liquor and Pelin which is grass, but when you order Pelin the bartender will bring you Pelinkovac, so don’t complicate 😉

  • Kovaxim

    I prefer them without alcoholic ingredients and of course without raisins, I don’t like those
    if you eat too much, you get sick, your stomach hurts

  • Luisa

    Funny i always thought they were Italian doughnuts? My mother who was born in Motta di Livenza, Italy, is 84 has been making these since she was a girl.

  • Luke

    Tried this and 200ml milk is nowhere near enough with 500g flour – the mixture is still almost completely dry. I’ve bumped it up to 500ml milk to get a thick, sticky batter that slowly falls off the spoon but no idea if that’s what it’s supposed to be like. Will find out in 30mins I guess…