How to Make Uštipci – The Delicious Balkan Fried Dough Balls

Hello, Good News! Welcome to our blog, where we share the best recipes from around the world. Today, we are going to show you how to make uštipci, the traditional fried dough balls from the Balkan region. Uštipci are also known as fritule, priganice, or miške, depending on where you are in the Balkans. They are crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, and can be eaten with sweet or savory toppings. They are perfect for breakfast, brunch, or as a snack.

Uštipci are very easy to make and only require a few ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. The dough is made with flour, eggs, milk, and yeast, and then spooned or dropped into hot oil and fried until golden brown. You can enjoy them plain or sprinkle them with powdered sugar, honey, jam, Nutella, cheese, kajmak (clotted cream), ajvar (red pepper spread), or any other topping of your choice. They are best served warm and fresh, but you can also reheat them in the oven or microwave if you have leftovers.

What is the Origin of Uštipci?

Uštipci originated in the coastal region of Dalmatia, which is now part of Croatia. Croatian cuisine has received influences from different places over the years, especially from the Mediterranean traditions. Uštipci are very similar to French beignets, Italian zeppole, or Greek loukoumades, but they have their own unique flavor and texture.

Uštipci are very popular during the Christmas season in Croatia, as well as in other Balkan countries. They are often served as a festive treat or as a gift for guests. They are also common during other celebrations, such as weddings, birthdays, or carnivals. Uštipci are a symbol of joy and happiness in the Balkan culture.

How to Pronounce Uštipci?

Uštipci is a word that might look intimidating to pronounce if you are not familiar with the Balkan languages. However, it is not as hard as it seems. The letter š is pronounced like sh in English, and the letter c is pronounced like ts in English. The stress is on the first syllable. So, uštipci is pronounced like “oosh-teep-tsee”. Try saying it out loud a few times and you will get the hang of it.

What are the Different Names for Uštipci?

As we mentioned before, uštipci have different names depending on where you are in the Balkans. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Fritule: This is the name used in Croatia and Slovenia. Fritule means “little fried things” in Croatian.
  • Priganice: This is the name used in Montenegro and parts of Serbia. Priganice means “fried ones” in Montenegrin.
  • Miške: This is the name used in Slovenia and parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Miške means “mice” in Slovenian.
  • Krofne: This is the name used in Serbia and parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Krofne means “doughnuts” in Serbian.

What are the Ingredients for Uštipci?

To make uštipci, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Flour: You can use all-purpose flour or bread flour for this recipe. Some people also like to use buckwheat flour (also called heljda) for a richer and more complex flavor.
  • Eggs: You will need two large eggs for this recipe. Eggs help bind the dough together and add richness and moisture.
  • Milk: You will need warm milk for this recipe. Milk adds flavor and helps activate the yeast.
  • Yeast: You will need active dry yeast for this recipe. Yeast makes the dough rise and creates air bubbles that make the uštipci light and fluffy.
  • Salt: You will need a teaspoon of salt for this recipe. Salt enhances the flavor of the dough and balances out the sweetness of the toppings.
  • Sugar: You will need a teaspoon of sugar for this recipe. Sugar helps feed the yeast and adds a hint of sweetness to the dough.
  • Oil: You will need enough oil to fill a large pot or deep-fryer about halfway. You can use any neutral vegetable oil for frying, such as sunflower, canola, or corn oil.

How to Make Uštipci – Step by Step Instructions

Here are the step by step instructions on how to make uštipci:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the warm milk, yeast, and a pinch of sugar. Stir well and let it sit for about 10 minutes, or until the yeast becomes foamy.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with a fork until lightly beaten. Add the salt and sugar and whisk again until well combined.
  3. Add the flour to the egg mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until a sticky dough forms. You may need to add more or less flour depending on the humidity and the size of your eggs.
  4. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.
  5. Heat the oil in a large pot or deep-fryer over medium-high heat. The oil should be about 375°F (190°C). You can test the temperature by dropping a small piece of dough into the oil. If it sizzles and floats to the surface, the oil is ready.
  6. Using two spoons or an ice cream scoop, drop tablespoon-sized balls of dough into the hot oil. Do not overcrowd the pot, as this will lower the temperature of the oil and make the uštipci soggy. Fry for about 2 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through. The uštipci should flip themselves over when one side is done.
  7. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the uštipci to a plate lined with paper towels to drain the excess oil.
  8. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or serve with your favorite toppings. Enjoy!

How to Serve Uštipci?

Uštipci can be served in many different ways, depending on your preference and occasion. Here are some of the most popular ways to serve uštipci:

  • Sweet: You can sprinkle them with powdered sugar, drizzle them with honey, spread them with jam, jelly, Nutella, peanut butter, or any other sweet spread. You can also dip them in chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, or whipped cream.
  • Savory: You can serve them with cheese, kajmak (clotted cream), ajvar (red pepper spread), sour cream, yogurt, or kefir. You can also pair them with various deli meats, such as ham, salami, prosciutto, or bacon.
  • Fruity: You can serve them with fresh or dried fruits, such as apples, pears, bananas, berries, raisins, or dates. You can also add some nuts, such as walnuts, almonds, pistachios, or pecans.

Uštipci Nutrition Facts

Uštipci are delicious and satisfying, but they are also high in calories and fat. Therefore, they should be enjoyed in moderation and as an occasional treat. Here is a table that shows the approximate nutrition facts for one serving of uštipci (about 4 pieces) without any toppings:

Nutrient Amount % Daily Value
Calories 280 14%
Fat 15 g 23%
Saturated Fat 3 g 15%
Cholesterol 55 mg 18%
Sodium 250 mg 10%
Carbohydrates 31 g 10%
Fiber 1 g 4%
Sugar 4 g N/A
Protein 7 g 14%
Vitamin A 4% N/A
Vitamin C 0% N/A
Calcium 6% N/A

Uštipci FAQ

Can I make uštipci without yeast?

Yes, you can make uštipci without yeast, but they will not be as light and fluffy as the traditional ones. You can use baking powder or baking soda instead of yeast, but you will need to adjust the amount of flour and liquid accordingly. You can also use self-rising flour, which already contains leavening agents.

Can I make uštipci ahead of time?

Yes, you can make uštipci ahead of time, but they will lose some of their crispiness and freshness. You can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a day, or in the refrigerator for up to three days. You can also freeze them for up to three months. To reheat them, you can either bake them in the oven at 350°F (180°C) for about 10 minutes, or microwave them for about 30 seconds.

Can I make uštipci gluten-free?

Yes, you can make uštipci gluten-free, but you will need to use a gluten-free flour blend that works well for frying. You can also add some xanthan gum or psyllium husk to help the dough hold together and rise better. You may need to experiment with different ratios of flour and liquid to get the right consistency.

Can I make uštipci vegan?

Yes, you can make uštipci vegan, but you will need to replace the eggs and milk with plant-based alternatives. You can use any non-dairy milk, such as soy, almond, oat, or coconut milk. You can also use a flax egg or an aquafaba egg instead of a regular egg. A flax egg is made by mixing one tablespoon of ground flax seeds with three tablespoons of water and letting it sit for about 15 minutes. An aquafaba egg is made by using three tablespoons of the liquid from a can of chickpeas.

Can I make uštipci healthier?

Uštipci are not the healthiest food, as they are deep-fried and high in calories and fat. However, you can make some changes to make them slightly healthier. For example, you can use whole wheat flour instead of white flour, or add some oats or bran to the dough for more fiber. You can also use low-fat milk instead of full-fat milk, or use a natural sweetener instead of sugar. You can also choose healthier toppings, such as fresh fruits, nuts, or yogurt.

What are some variations of uštipci?

Uštipci are very versatile and can be adapted to different tastes and preferences. Here are some variations of uštipci that you can try:

  • Chocolate Uštipci: You can add some cocoa powder and chocolate chips to the dough for a decadent treat.
  • Cheese Uštipci: You can add some grated cheese to the dough for a savory twist.
  • Apple Uštipci: You can add some grated apple and cinnamon to the dough for a fruity flavor.
  • Pumpkin Uštipci: You can add some pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice to the dough for a seasonal delight.
  • Lemon Uštipci: You can add some lemon zest and juice to the dough for a refreshing taste.


We hope you enjoyed this article on how to make uštipci, the delicious Balkan fried dough balls. Uštipci are easy to make and fun to eat with your favorite toppings. They are perfect for any occasion, whether it is a holiday, a celebration, or just a lazy weekend morning. Try making them at home and share your results with us in the comments below.

If you liked this article, please check out our other articles on our blog. We have more recipes from different cuisines, as well as tips and tricks on how to improve your cooking skills. Thank you for reading and happy cooking!

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