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Alternative namesPunschkrapferl
Place of originAustria
Main ingredientsCake crumbs, nougat chocolate, apricot jam, rum

Punschkrapfen or Punschkrapferl (punch cake) is a classic Austrian confection of pastry with a fine rum flavor. It is similar to the French pastry, the petit four.

Today, one can find Punschkrapfen in most pastry shops and bakeries in Austria.


It is a cake filled with cake crumbs, nougat chocolate, apricot jam and then soaked with rum. The cake is cut into 1-1/2 inch square cubes,[1][2] covered with so-called Punschglasur (punch icing), a thick pink rum sugar glazing often drizzled with chocolate and a cocktail cherry on top. Nowadays, there are also Punschkrapfen in cylindrical form.


It is disputed who made the first Punschkrapfen and where it came from. It may have been introduced to Vienna in the Middle Ages by the Avars, or the Ottoman armies brought the Punschkrapfen to Vienna (the Second Turkish Siege), or it may have been invented by an imperial court confectioner.[3]


It is said that the Punschkrapferl renders the typical Austrian character: red outside, brown inside, and always a little smashed.[4] "Punschkrapferl" is a term often used by Austrians to describe Nazi politicians who joined the Social Democrats after World War II. These politicians are said to be red (a color associated with socialism) on the outside and brown (a color associated with Nazism) on the inside.[5]

Robert Menasse suggested satirically that the Punschkrapfen should become the Austrian National Symbol.[6]

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