Posted by: Kath Usitalo | March 4, 2011

Let The Pączki Day Partying Begin

Fruit and creme-filled birthday pączki for T.J., whose grandparents came from Poland

Pączki Day is nearly here and I picked up a freshly baked variety from Sweetheart Bakery to celebrate T.J.’s birthday today.

The plump pastries (do not call them donuts) date to the Middle Ages in Poland, so it made sense to sink a candle in one for my Polish husband’s middle-aged birthday.

Pączki (pooch-key) are rich balls of dough deep-fried and filled with fruit, creme or custard and then glazed or dusted with powdered sugar. They’re a traditional means of using up the lard, sugar, eggs and fruit before the Catholic population begins its Lenten fast in Poland.

Countdown to Paczki Day (Hamtown Fest art)

While  the homeland observes Pączki Day on the Thursday before Lent, it’s a Fat Tuesday celebration in Detroit, Buffalo, Cleveland, Toledo, Chicago, Milwaukee, and other heavily Polish communities (made heavier, no doubt, after a few 425-calorie pączki).

Hamtramck makes it a Midwest mini-Mardi Gras. The city, which is contained within the city of Detroit, once was once the address of the largest Polish population in the U.S.

The Polish flag flies at the Polish Village Cafe in Hamtramck

Today Hamtramck is home to immigrants from many countries, but it retains its Polish roots through a handful of restaurants, bakeries, the Polish Art Center, and celebrations like Pączki Day tomorrow, March 5.

From 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday in beautiful downtown Hamtramck there’ll be music, Polish dancers, pączki samplings, and an appearance by Mr. Pączki.

Click here for more info and a video about Pączki Day in Hamtramck, where the lines will form early Tuesday morning for fresh baked, once-a-year pączki.

Related Posts:

My Big Fat Polish Donut

Road Food Report: Polonia

Road Food Report: Zosia’s

Visitor Info Clicks:


Pure Michigan



  1. Happy birthday to TJ. I don’t remember the last time I tasted one of these puppies and did you travel all the way to Hamtramck to purchase?

    • No, Sweetheart Bakery is at Kelly north of Moross (and there’s one in Warren).

      Paige wants to go to Hamtramck Tuesday a.m. before school to stand in line for them though. That’s my girl!

  2. So how many was Birthday Boy able to enjoy at a time? And which kind(s) of the Polish/American treats have been his favorite fillings? Just seeing & reading your blog I would certainly love ’em all (especially the creme filled)! HAPPY BIRTHDAY greetings, Tom.
    Hugs, Ellie

    • He likes the lemon filling, but had to share. Besides, he had to save room for the banana cream pie I made. The BEST recipe, not too sweet.

  3. […] Post: Paczki Day 2011 Like this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

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