New Orleans has King Cake, but Michigan has paczki (pronounced pounch-key). A softball-sized traditional Polish doughnut that is stuffed to capacity with a filling of jam, custard, or cream. A traditional paczki uses lard, sugar, and eggs and was designed to help those preparing to fast for Lent clean the sugar and sweets out of their cabinets.
Michigan is dotted with bakeries that feature paczki for a limited time every year on and around Fat, or Shrove, Tuesday that leads off the Lenten season.
Where should you pick up your paczki? Here’s our list of great bakeries!
New Palace Bakery in Hamtramck is known as the premier Polish bakery in Southeast Michigan. With traditional Polish flavors like prune and raspberry, New Palace Bakery is the destination for Polish-Americans to find their favorite flavors – both traditional and new options like Orange Creamski and Triple Chocolate!
Quality Dairy has locations across Greater Lansing, and is the go-to for freshly baked paczki for much of the Lansing area. Quality Dairy Company is a family-owned dairy, bakery, and retail/convenience store that has operated since 1936. The Dairy Plant and Bakery Plant operate from central Lansing, delivering fresh baked goods to its stores daily!
Cops & Donuts locations are found across the mid- to northern Lower Peninsula and specialize in baked goods that will keep their law enforcement-founders going on shift. With traditional Polish paczki handmade in the heart of Downtown Clare, Michigan, you can’t go wrong with any of their paczki flavors.
ABC Bakery located in Jackson features paczki only a few days each year and are made in-house from a Polish recipe. Flavors include Apple, Apricot, Bavarian Cream, Black Raspberry, Blueberry, Cherry, Chocolate Bavarian Cream, Lemon, Plain, Red Raspberry, Strawberry and new this year, Strawberry with Peanut Butter Frosting!
Michigan is known for its creative distilleries, and the opportunity to use paczki in alcohol is one that was too good for Detroit City Distillery, based in Eastern Market in the City of Detroit, to pass up. Detroit City Distillery released its Pączki Day Vodka and Orange Cream Vodka on Friday, Jan. 26. The festive spirit is available at Detroit City Distillery’s storefront in Detroit or online at detroitcitydistillery.com/shop – but it will go quick, just like the paczki at your local bakery!