Chocolate covered French cruller

A cruller, or twister, is a twisted and usually ring-shaped fried pastry. It is traditionally made of dough somewhat like that of a cake doughnut, often topped with plain powdered sugar; powdered sugar mixed with cinnamon; or icing. A French cruller is a fluted, ring-shaped doughnut made from choux pastry with a light airy texture.

The name comes from early 19th century Dutch kruller, from krullen "to curl". Crullers are traditionally eaten in Germany and some other European countries on Shrove Tuesday, to use up fat before Lent. In Danish they are knowns as "Klejner" and in Swedish as "Klenäter", both names deriving from Low German. In Scandinavia crullers are common at Christmas.

Crullers are most commonly found in Canada, New England and the Mid-Atlantic and North Central states of the USA, but are also common in California. The German origin is probably why traditional crullers can be found more easily in the Midwest, where many German immigrants settled. Some family-owned bakeries still call them "krullers." In other parts of the U.S., crullers may be called "dunking sticks" or simply "sticks."

In 2003, the Dunkin' Donuts chain of doughnut shops stopped carrying traditional crullers, claiming that the hand-shaped treats were too labor-intensive, and couldn't be simulated with new machines for mixing doughnut batter. They still sell "French Crullers."[1]

Tim Hortons,[2] Honey Dew Donuts,[3] and Krispy Kreme[4] still sell the Cruller, while Dunkin' Donuts only carries the French Cruller. In place of the traditional cruller, Dunkin' Donuts now sells several variations of a substitute product it calls a "cake stick" which is a simplified, machine-made version of the more elaborately twisted hand-made variety.[5]

The term "Chinese cruller" is occasionally applied to the youtiao, a similar-looking fried dough food eaten in East and Southeast Asia.[6]



  1. ^ Joseph P. Kahn, "With Progress, a Cruel Twist", Boston Globe, 25 October 2003.
  2. ^ Tim Hortons Snacks & Baked Goods
  3. ^
  4. ^ Krispy Kreme Product List
  5. ^ Dunkin' Donuts Product List
  6. ^ "Chinese Breakfast" at Accessed 1 May 2008.
  7. ^ "Midwestern Crullers".

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cruller — Crul ler (kr[u^]l l[ e]r), n. [Cf. {Curl}.] A kind of sweet cake cut in strips and curled or twisted, and fried crisp in boiling fat. [Also written {kruller}.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cruller — 1805, Amer.Eng., apparently from Du. kruller, from krullen to curl, from M.Du. crullen, related to CURL (Cf. curl) …   Etymology dictionary

  • cruller — ☆ cruller [krul′ər ] n. [Du kruller < krullen, to CURL] 1. a kind of twisted doughnut made with a rich dough 2. Now Dial. any friedcake or doughnut …   English World dictionary

  • cruller — /krul euhr/, n. 1. a rich, light cake cut from a rolled dough and deep fried, usually having a twisted oblong shape and sometimes topped with sugar or icing. 2. Also called French cruller. a rich, light, raised doughnut, often with a ridged… …   Universalium

  • cruller — noun Etymology: Dutch krulle, a twisted cake, from krul curly, from Middle Dutch crul more at curl Date: 1801 1. a small sweet cake in the form of a twisted strip fried in deep fat 2. Northern & Midland an unraised doughnut …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • cruller — noun A donut / doughnut in the form of a twisted ring …   Wiktionary

  • cruller — crul|ler [ krʌlər ] noun count AMERICAN a small sweet cake with a curly or twisted shape, cooked in oil …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • cruller — see CURL …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • cruller — n. ring of fried dough …   English contemporary dictionary

  • cruller — [ krʌlə] noun N. Amer. a small cake made of rich dough twisted or curled and fried in deep fat. Origin C19: from Du. kruller, from krullen to curl …   English new terms dictionary

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