Portzelky (New Year’s Fritters)

One can’t celebrate New Year’s without portzelky!

Recipe: Portzelky

Summary:  Pronounced “par cel tche” – One can’t celebrate New Year’s without portzelky!



  • 2 tablespoons yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 5 beaten eggs
  • 1/4 cup very soft butter or melted
  • 2 1/2 cups of warm milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 to 6 cups of raisins


  1. In a large bowl put 2 tablespoons yeast, 1/2 cup warm water (like a baby bottle)  and 1 tsp. sugar.  Stir the yeast, warm water and sugar together slightly and let rest 10 minutes.
  2. Add  1/2 cup sugar, 5 beaten eggs, 1/4 cup very soft butter or melted is fine, 2 1/2 cups of warm milk, 1 1/2 tsp. salt.  Stir this together very well. Add 4-6 cups of raisins (these must be fresh …not something you dig out of the bottom of the drawer). Then start to stir in the flour. You’ll need 7 cups. This will make a fairly stiff batter.
  3. Cover this up with plastic wrap or a lid and let rise until its doubled about 1 hour.
  4. Drop by tablespoons into hot, deep fat (Canola oil) and fry until golden brown. Now this can be a bit tricky. If the fat is not hot enough they will soak up too much fat and that is not good. If the fat is too hot they will brown too quickly and still be doughy in the middle.
  5. Take them out of the oil, put them on some paper towel to sop up the oil.
  6. Put out a big bowl of icing sugar and dip them in.

Meal type: snack

2 thoughts on “Portzelky (New Year’s Fritters)”

  1. In my nannie’s house (Anne Penner Ratzlaff) in Oklahoma, we called these “Niejoash koake” (she pronounced it neeyoash cokey-like cookie but with a long “o”) which I understand is the “Low German” name. She always sprinkled them with powdered sugar and we ate them while they were warm. What wonderful memories.

  2. Thanks for this recipe! They are just like the ones I had growing up. You can vary the temperature of the oil based on the size of the fritters; 375° for smaller ones, 350° for larger ones. Made them for New Years and all my friends were impressed.

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