Pączki Day (Detroit Style) aka Fat Tuesday

A repeat post with a few minor updates; I won’t be eating these today, but remember them fondly.

It’s Pączki Day, and in Detroit that means you should be sure to wear your stretchy pants or, as my old friend Denise used to say, your expando clothes!

Pączki, or Polish doughnuts, are eaten on Fat Thursday in Poland and Fat Tuesday in the United States. It’s the last splurge before Lent begins.


When I was still working, my employer provided huge boxes of them with every available filling next to the coffee machines in various areas of the building.  Considering that the company is owned by Italians, I thought that was darned nice of them. My personal favorites are custard-filled and lemon-filled, but they are all delicious (and fattening.) Yum!

Depending on the size and filling, each pączki will be from 400 – 700 calories. Since they are deep fried, they aren’t low-fat either, up to 20 grams per serving.

According to Wikipedia:

Pączki are made from especially rich dough containing eggs, fats, sugar, yeast and sometimes milk. They feature a variety of fruit and creme fillings and can be glazed, or covered with granulated or powdered sugar. Powidl (stewed plum jam) and wild rose hip jam are traditional fillings, but many others are used as well, including strawberry, Bavarian cream, blueberry, custard, raspberry, and apple.

The traditional reason for making pączki was to use up all the lard, sugar, eggs and fruit in the house, because their consumption was forbidden by Christian fasting practices during the season of Lent.

paczki3In North America, particularly the large Polish communities of Chicago, Detroit, and other large cities across the Midwest and Northeast, Pączki Day is celebrated annually by immigrants and locals alike. With its sizable Polish population, Chicago celebrates the festival on both Fat Thursday and Fat Tuesday; pączki are also often eaten on Casimir Pulaski Day. In Buffalo, Toledo, Cleveland, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Milwaukee, South Bend, and Windsor, Pączki Day is celebrated on Fat Tuesday.

The Pączki Day celebrations in some areas are even larger than many celebrations for St. Patrick’s Day. In Hamtramck, Michigan, an enclave of Detroit, there is an annual Pączki Day (Shrove Tuesday) Parade, which has gained a devoted following. Throughout the Metro Detroit area, it is so widespread that many bakeries attract lines of customers for pączki on Pączki Day.

If you wish to indulge in this treat on February 25, Hour Detroit recommends some novel twists on the traditional:

Paczki Day is upon us, and metro Detroit bakeries and eateries sure know how to celebrate. Whether you prefer a classic flavor like Paris Bakery’s Lemon filling or something more creative like Sister Pie’s paczki-pierogi hybrid, here’s where to get your fix this year.

Avalon International Breads

Avalon’s Paczkis are baked instead of fried and contain house-made fillings that are crafted without artificial ingredients and preservatives. Some specialties on Paczki Day include a Vanilla Custard paczki topped with ganache, Lemon Curd with a dash of powdered sugar, and Slow Jams Raspberry Jam coated with glaze. Visit avalonbreads.net for locations.

Rose’s Fine Food

This charming diner is offering paczki by the dozen with flavors including the Plum Butter Paczki — a potato donut filled with roasted plum butter and topped with poppyseeds — or the Rose Custard Paczki, which is filled with creamy rose custard and topped with dried red rose petals. Rose’s Fine Food, 10551 E. Jefferson Ave, Detroit; 313-822-2729; rosesfinefood.com

The Apparatus Room

Claiming the title as the “Paczki Pit Stop” this Fat Tuesday, The Apparatus Room at the Detroit Foundation Hotel is offering paczki in flavors such as Plum, Lemon Meringue, and Dark Chocolate Custard. The tasty treats are made by the hotel restaurant’s pastry chef, Duncan Spangler, and are $3 per paczki or $15 for half a dozen. Orders can be placed now for pickup on Feb. 25. The Apparatus Room, 250 W. Larned St., Detroit; 313-800-5600; detroitfoundationhotel.com

New Palace Bakery

Opening bright and early at 3 a.m. this Paczki Day, New Palace Bakery offers traditional pączki flavors, but also many specialty flavors including Beer & Pretzels. The unique packzi is filled with non-alcoholic beer buttercream and coated with a beer glaze and crushed pretzels. Also new for 2020, is the Banana Cream Cheesecake paczki, which is filled with banana buttercream, cream cheese filling, and graham cracker crumbs before being topped with even more banana cream and graham cracker crumbs and sprinkled powdered sugar. New Palace Bakery, 9833 Joseph Campau St., Hamtramck; 313-875-1334; newpalacebakery.com

Eastern Market Brewing Co.

The Detroit-based brewery is hosting a Paczki and Beer Pairing event from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Feb. 25. The paczki are being made by Eastern Market Brewing Co., and beer flights will be available for $20. Eastern Market Brewing Co., 2515 Riopelle St., Detroit; 313-502-5165; easternmarket.beer

Nosh Pit

The Hamtramck spot is offering up vegan raspberry paczki. Order a half dozen for $18 on Nosh Pit’s website for pickup between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Feb. 25. The restaurant, which is typically closed on Tuesdays, will also host a special lunch service. Nosh Pit, 2995 Yemans St., Hamtramck, 313-486-0777; noshpitdetroit.com

Sister Pie

For Paczki Day this year, the West Village pie shop will carry Malted Lime and Salted Maple paczki as well as Pieraczki — a pastry that combines a pierogi and paczki. Sister Pie opens at 8 a.m. Sister Pie, 8066 Kercheval Ave., Detroit; 313-447-5550; sisterpie.com

Since I have no pączki at my house, I will just savor the memories! If you would like to try making them yourself, here’s a YouTube video for a less caloric baked version:

Whatever we indulge in today to celebrate the last hurrah before Ash Wednesday, it all represents preparation for the beginning of Lent, the 40-day period of fasting, self-examination and penitence, leading up to the death and rebirth at Easter.

It is a season in which we follow Jesus the Savior from His temptation in the wilderness, to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, and to the cross on Good Friday. Lent is a season of hope. It looks to the sacrifice of Jesus for the sins of the world and anticipates the joy of His resurrection on Easter Sunday.

This entry was posted in Hobbies & General Interest, Holidays. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Pączki Day (Detroit Style) aka Fat Tuesday

  1. czarowniczy says:

    I’ve come to think of paczki as a beignet that collided with a Berliner in Warsaw. Go great with a strong cafe au lait.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gary says:

    “Also new for 2020, is the Banana Cream Cheesecake paczki, which is filled with banana buttercream, cream cheese filling, and graham cracker crumbs before being topped with even more banana cream and graham cracker crumbs and sprinkled powdered sugar”.

    I felt my arteries gleefully hardening whilst reading! Thanks for the memories mom.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Gary says:

      “Mom” being a reference to my mother, she couldn’t cook well, in fact she could burn a bowl of cornflakes but bake!!!!!! Oh my could she bake, and bake she did.

      No offense intended.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Menagerie says:

    Reblogged this on The Last Refuge and commented:
    Every year Stella posts this, and every year I remember the one Fat Tuesday I spent in Detroit, where I was introduced to pączki. They are just as delicious as they look in the pictures!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Pingback: Pączki Day (Detroit Style) aka Fat Tuesday | The Last Refuge

  5. Sounds lovely. I’m in South Louisiana. We have king cakes during Mardi gras. And I do not like them at all.

    Wish I could have some of these Paczki they look great!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Pączki Day (Detroit Style) aka Fat Tuesday -

  7. TonyE says:

    It’s hard to adhere to old world traditions and keep your waste small. Let me add one more day to my raster ( can you guess? 😉 )

    Every such holiday has its own pastry/food… Yum! Many I now celebrate remotely, but we celebrate. A Salud! Do Zdrowia! ( Is that right? )

    Rosca de los Reyes ( 1/6 )
    Paczki ( 2/25 )
    Sant Medir de Gràcia ( first week of March )
    Palm Sunday
    -Let me add that Easter is one long week! Eat lamb one day, fish the other, etc, etc…
    Dia de la Mona ( 4/13 -that Monday, after The Resurrection…)
    Saint Jordi ( 4/23 )
    Memorial Day (5/25/2020)
    San Antonio de Padua (6/13)
    -( My day… I like San Antonio de Padua… best wine cellars in any California Mission)
    Sant Joan (6/23)
    Fourth of July (7/4)
    Festa Major de Gràcia (8/15)
    Labor Day (9/7)
    La Merce (9/24)
    Christmas Eve (12/24)
    Christmas (12/25)
    St. Stephen (12/26)

    What a life! 😉


    • czarina33 says:

      And from that list I presume Spanish heritage, which means extra sweetness in the pastries. Cuban pastries in Miami could induce disbetes in one serving!


      • TonyE says:

        Well, I surmise you have a multi generational North American background, because every European knows those are “Catalan” holidays. Don’t call us “Spanish”.

        I dunno that they are extra sweet. I think everything else is not sweet enough. 😉

        Then you go and try the Filipino Mamon! Ay Dios Mio. Sponge cake meets butter and sugar… rinse and repeat…. but so goood.

        Liked by 1 person

        • czarowniczy says:

          We just spend the time between 12th Night and Ash Wednesday eating King Cake. In the last 30ish years it’s gone from a rather standard party favor you eat once a year to a year-round, multi-dimensional creature that has taken on a life of its own.

          The best thing about Lent in NOLA is that with the huge menu of various cultures’ foods that have melded and reemerged something recognizable but new., giving up something just means moving in a new direction.

          For those looking for a break during Lent there’s a Spanish diaspora festival in early March put on by the descendants of Canary Islanders who emigrated to the area south of New Orleans when the area was still a Spanish colony. As they were mostly fishermen the fest menu is seafood-heavy so it’s guilt-free indulgence.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Gary says:

      You seem to have forgotten my favorite holiday which spontaneously falls whenever I proclaim it (or I bring the grandchildren home ice cream)

      Happy Sugarplumb Bumkin Day!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Pączki Day (Detroit Style) aka Fat Tuesday | Centinel2012

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