Kinklings return as a pre-Lent indulgence

Some people prepare for the fasting and somber contemplation of Lent with parades, parties and Mardi Gras.

Others have doughnuts.

The family of Roy DeGrange’s childhood friend Gayla Magnus used to make just such a deep-fried goody, known locally as a kinkling, for The Great Frederick Fair decades ago.

DeGrange is a member of the Brunswick Lions Club, which has been serving kinklings this year as a fundraiser to benefit club projects such as scholarship funds and providing eyeglasses to those in need.

Also known as fastnachts, German for “fast night,” the fatty, doughy treat has its roots in the diet of 19th-century German immigrants who arrived in the Mid-Atlantic.

Kinklings were made with the sinful leftovers lingering in the cupboard, such as lard, potatoes and sugar — a final indulgence to be savored just before Lent.

They can be served as a fried doughnut or as a square dusted with powdered sugar.

Recipes are passed down from generation to generation, DeGrange said, as was the one Magnus inherited. Though Magnus eventually stopped making the rich confections for the fair, she still made them each year for friends.

This year, DeGrange got the idea to make them for a Lions Club fundraiser. Magnus agreed to lend her recipe — a matter of sworn secrecy — and her help for the endeavor, he said.

Though some are made as squares, DeGrange said those being served this weekend and on Shrove Tuesday, sometimes known locally as “doughnut day,” for the Lions Club are fashioned with holes.

Business for the Brunswick Lions Club kinklings sale has been brisk so far, with about 170 dozen sold Feb. 4 and 5 and more than 200 dozen sold last weekend, DeGrange said.

The kinklings are made fresh and served hot, he said, so if people interested in enjoying them should expect to wait a couple of minutes until they’re ready.

“They’re like a bag of chips, you can’t eat just one,” he said.


The following are among the places that sell kinklings. This list is not meant to be comprehensive.

  • Lowry Farm Market, 800 Petersville Road, Brunswick. Available from 4 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday
  • Ed’s Country Bakery, 4309 Cap Stine Road, Frederick. Available from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday. Cash or checks only.
  • Jefferson Pastry Shoppe, 3738 Jefferson Pike, Jefferson. Available all year.
  • Carriage House Candy and Bake Shop, 9807 Kelly Road, Mount Pleasant

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