Wednesday, 8 May 2013

The Teacher Set Me Some Homework!

Last weekend I met up with my good friend Eleanor from Beckenham. I hadn’t seen her since the last assembly. She reads the blog, and says it frequently makes her laugh out loud [a number of people said that over the weekend. Is this a good thing?]


It was the recent post about the Dutch Baby, aka The Bismarck which had amused Eleanor recently. She said “You have to go and do some more research, Angela, because we know a Bismarck as something else entirely – it is a large bun, with layer of marzipan”

Eleanor explained that many years ago, she and her husband Andrew used to buy these delights from Ainsleys of Leeds [I think when they were both students] and that genteel ladies sliced them up and ate them in small pieces, but Andrew would happily demolish a whole bun just like that! [E&A are still both remarkably slim and haven’t changed much in the 30 years I have known them. Must be all that bicycling, and tandem-riding]

ainsleys-bakers- leeds

Sadly the old family bakery company, Ainsleys, has gone into administration and been bought out by Country Style Foods. I cannot find any reference to Bismarck on the website.

I did find one or two forums where people had asked “Can you still buy Bismarcks in Leeds?” but no clear answers were given.

I also came across this unexpected definition

bismarck {North America] A dessert pastry

    1. (Manitoba) A doughnut filled with cream, often with chocolate icing
    2. (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Northern US, US Midwest) A jelly doughnut, a doughnut filled with jam and coated with sugar
    3. (Midwest US) A fried cruller, or a sort of pancake [see also Dutch Baby]

So depending on which part of the USA you live in, a Bismarck can be various sorts of doughnut. But these didn’t sound quite like Eleanor’s description. I understand that a Bismarck is also a type of bun/roll in Canada [Jane and Chris, please elucidate!]

Ainsley’s Bakery was also sited very near Bismarck Street in Leeds – is there a connection? I found these pictures


This is a chocolate Bismark [note the lack of ‘c’] from the Chicago Gourmet Wholesale Bakery [here]almond bismarck

This is a Marcona Almond Cherry Bismarck – but I haven’t been able to discover where this is from.


rhode island bismarck

And these are Bismarck doughnuts from West’s Bakery in Rhode Island 





So do you have any experience of Bismarcks in any shape or form?

Are they known in the UK outside of Yorkshire?

Are they named after

  • Otto, the German Chancellor
  • the Battleship [named after Otto]
  • the state capital of North Dakota

does anybody out there know?

One thing I am certain of – whatever sort of Bismarck you eat, it seems likely to be oozing with calories!

[Please Mrs Jones, have I done enough research here?]


  1. Oooooooooooh looking delicious!

  2. I've heard of a Kaiser bun...but never a Bismarck.
    Jane x

  3. Hi Angela,
    Here in Ontario, Canada, we have a "Boston Cream Donut" which is what is described for Manitoba as a Bismarck. I've never seen anything described as a Bismarck in a bakery in Ontario....just to confuse things even more :)

    Always enjoy reading you blog,

  4. I'm in New York and the last three pictures we would call a doughnut. Definitely yummy and something I try to stay away from!

  5. Walkers bakery in Skipton selling Bismark buns - delicious, better than stollen?. Also Gilchrist's family bakers in Leeds have them on their website. Don't know how they got their name though


Always glad to hear from you - thanks for stopping by!
I am blocking anonymous comments now, due to excessive spam!