Central Pastry Paczki
Food & Drink

The Prized Paczki | The Donut that Dominates Fat Tuesday

People say money can't buy happiness...but they can buy donuts, and that's pretty close. 

Donuts are a great way to spread joy, and no one is happier than Paczki lovers...because the seasonal Paczki Donut is back at Central Pastry, one of the 13 shops on the Butler County Donut Trail! You might be asking yourself, WHAT is a Paczki? And how do I even pronounce it? 

Well, we have the inside scoop on the prized Paczki. 

The Central Pastry Paczki 

Every year just before Mardi Gras — also known as Fat Tuesday— people in the Midwest begin crying out for jelly doughnuts. The tradition is Polish, but it's honored in many different communities all around the world.

Central Pastry Paczki

In some neighborhoods the Thursday before Mardi Gras is Paczki Day, but these famous Polish donuts can be enjoyed any time. Here's some tips on what they are and how to get them. You can thank us later! 

All You Need to Know

The Paczki : Traditional Polish Pastry

Pronounced : poonch - key

Definitiona round Polish pastry, usually containing a fruit or cream filling and topped with powdered sugar or a glaze; traditionally eaten in the U.S. on Fat Tuesday.

Recipe : They are made similar to German, Jewish, and Italian filled doughnuts, but traditional Paczkis contain a splash of Polish Vodka called Spiritus, in addition to the flour, eggs, milk, sugar, yeast, and sometimes butter that make up the dough.


Fun Facts :

  • Paczkis were created as a way to avoid waste and use up all the available sugar, eggs, butter, and other goodness before Lent (During which people give up an indulgence for 40 days).
  • They used to be savory — The paczki's roots date back to the Middle Ages, when they were filled with pork fat and fried in lard.
  • In some Polish-heavy Midwestern cities Fat Tuesday is known as Paczki Day. During the holiday, local bakeries sell tens of thousands of these fresh pastries in the morning.
  • The Paczki-Eating record stands at 23 pastries in 15 minutes held by a Matt Holowichi of Plymouth, Michigan.
  • Most Paczkis have a little bit of grain alcohol in them to help the pastry avoid absorbing too much fryer grease.

Paczki menu sign

Above are some of the delicious fillings that Central Pastry offers for their delectable, handmade Paczkis. 

Almost all of Central Pastry's treats are made from scratch and from their original recipes that have been used for more than 70 years. Vera Slamka has owned the shop for over 34 years, and the original owner Erik taught her everything he knew. One piece of advice for Vera was to "not to rush the product, and stay with your recipes."

This care and attention can be tasted in every bite...and every Paczki!

Vera has been making the Paczki for about 20 years. Every Spring from January to mid April, Central Pastry makes their Paczkis, and they quickly became a favorite for many Donut Trailers. Although they are a seasonal treat, there are some customers who request them for special orders.

Vera has had customers say the Paczki reminds them of the authentic ones they ate as children in Poland. "Our Paczki is an experience!" says Vera. "People have said that they have tried them in many other cities, and they love our CPS Paczki best. Perhaps it's the filling!" 

Central Pastry Exterior

Central Pastry Shop

Central Pastry Shop is a local favorite and Middletown legend. With delicious donuts and goodies galore, the smell of these sweet treats will hit you from the moment you park the car. If you're looking to try one of the famous Paczkis, we recommend going in the Spring and heading in early...these delicious treats go quick! 

"They're different from our CPS filled donuts, which are quite good as well, but the unique texture and flavors make them a seasonal stars, our customers have really embraced them," Vera says.

If you're a donut lover in general, we also recommend checking out the Donut Trail. Check out all 12 donut shops on the trail— including Central Pastry— get a stamp on your passport from each shop, and once it's completed you have earned a free T-shirt! 

Artwork of Central Pastry

Donut Trail Tools

All Information : Butler County Donut Trail 

Donut Trail Passport

Donut Trail Map