Tucked on a corner street behind the Schönhauser Allee Arcaden, you'll find one of Prenzlauer Berg's oldest bakeries, Bäckerei Siebert. Opened in 1906 and still run by the eponymous family today, this hole-in-the-wall bakery is brimming with baked goods; its windows literally steam up as they produce a vast selection of breads, crumbles, fruit tarts, and other treats. In addition to traditional plum and marmalade pfannkuchen, Seibert also puts out a wide variety of doughnuts, including cream puffs and chocolate-glazed options. Their version, which are fried until nicely crisp, look more like a traditional American filled doughnut, flatter and round. Try the sinful chocolate-frosted version featuring eierlikör, a luxurious cream sauce spiked with brandy.
Bäckerei Siebert: Schönfliesser Strasse 12, 10439 (Prenzlauer Berg) (map); +49 30 4457576
Kaufhaus de Westens
The entire sixth floor of this West Berlin luxury department store is dedicated to a market of world foods, including everything from boutique chocolates and artisanal French cheeses to exotic fruits and Asian pantry ingredients. Tucked in a small bäkerei stall towards the back, you'll find two beautiful examples of the classic pfannkuchen, both extremely light and airy. The glazed doughnut is dripping in thick sugar icing; a decadent ball of fluffy dough filled with tangy and not-too-sweet raspberry jelly.
Kaufhaus de Westens: Tauentzienstrasse 21-24, 10789 (Schöneberg) (http://www.kadewe.de/en
For doughnuts in Berlin's hipster neighborhood of Kreuzberg, jump off the train at Schlesisches Tor and walk just across the street to Bäkerei Ladewig. This family-owned operation was started in the 1970s and the shop smells delightfully of their daily baked treats. Alongside French crullers, the bakery offers the traditional pfannkuchen options—cherry-filled and glazed or sugar-dusted with plum—and their version is a bit more doughy then others we've tried. For a special occasion, get one of their riesenpfannkuchen, a super-sized version filled with tart cherry marmalade.
This fourth-generation West Berlin bakery has been operating in Charlottenburg since the 1920s, and you can still taste the Old World quality in their freshly baked goods. They specialize in Silesian baked goods, including a stunning poppy seed cake, and you can also find some delicious pfannkuchen here. Like other traditional bakeries, they carry the classic sugar-dusted pflaume variety and their glazed version is filled with various fruit marmalades. Go for the traditional option here; while the plum filling sometimes comes off a bit earthy, Hutzelmann's is nice, bright, and fruity, almost like a caramelized raspberry jam.
Bäckerei & Konditori W. Balzer
A few blocks away from tourist heavy Hakeschermarkt is one of Berlin's best bakeries. Opened in the 1920s, the family-run bakery offers some of the kitch of old Germany: the small shop, outfitted with wooden bakery shelves and lace curtains, is seamlessly run by a team of expert German women. On top of their crumble-topped fruit tarts, Quark cheesecake, and other traditional pastry, they have the most delicious doughnuts, fried deep brown and covered in a wonderfully sweet glaze. The pretzel-shaped pfannkuchen is certainly fun—light, fluffy, and reminiscent of the classic American glazed—and the tangy cherry filled one is equally delightful. Grab one for the road or stand at the small counter and enjoy a coffee with your morning treat.
Backerei & Konditori W. Balzer Sophienstrasse 30, 10439 (Mitte) (map); +49 30 2826537; no website