Fritz’s Bakery: Philadelphia’s Best German Buns

Fritz’s Bakery: Philadelphia’s Best German Buns

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German sticky buns that will lure you north of the city

Fritz’s Bakery has been a Philadelphia-area staple for more than 35 years. The family-owned operation produces quality cinnamon rolls and cakes, and it's a worthy destination for a sumptuous breakfast.

"Our philosophy has always been to serve our customers baked goods that proudly represent the family name," owner Paul Bartholomae has said,

That is undoubtedly true, particularly when talking about their authentic German sticky buns.

A visit to Fritz’s is well worth the quick 20-minute trip north of Center City to locations in both Langhorne and Bensalem, Penn. Why? Their sticky buns are based off recipes that date back to the 1930s, and all are baked fresh daily.

While their topping selection is limited, what Fritz’s does offer simply works. A sprinkling of walnuts, raisins, a combination of both, or freshly made cream cheese is available to top sticky buns, but the best way to truly experience the Fritz’s taste is by ordering a plain version. It’s the ideal combination of fresh dough dripping with sugar and cinnamon that makes for a decadent and unique Philadelphia experience.

Although nothing beats eating a sticky bun straight from Fritz’s kitchen, takeout is always an option. If you plan to do so, simply reheat them in the oven to enjoy the German sweet.

Fritz’s Bakery: Philadelphia’s Best German Buns - Recipes

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Since 1889, we&rsquove been welcoming customers to our historic shop in the heart of Chestnut Hill. We keep those customers coming back with our friendly service and our exquisite cookies, special occasion cakes, pies, pastries and ice cream.

No matter what you're craving, Bredenbeck&rsquos Bakery can be counted on to deliver a delicious treat &mdash and a delicious experience &mdash every single time.

Lydia Remembers.

I have so many wunderbar memories in the kitchen with my Oma, and have had MANY of her most popular and traditional recipes, like these German bread recipes! 

I've had the pleasure of tasting a variety of Oma's bread recipes and her sourdough recipe is by far one of my favorites. I love having this bread with butter and a slice of Swiss cheese on top. It's become my desired yummy lunchtime treat, and I have Oma to thank for that!

There's always something to look forward to in Oma's kitchen, and when I walk in to see her bowl of yeast on the corner counter, I know I'll be in for a special treat! My favorite bread will be ready soon! (We named him Freddie the yeast.)

Her breads are always a treat to snack on, especially her bread rolls alongside a hot bowl of her green bean soup. what a splendid combination. I could eat it all day long. Her artisan bread recipe is oh-so good with soups as well.

I have yet to make my own versions of these bread recipes and can't wait to try them! I'm very excited to try making the German pretzels, as I am quite a sucker for those big pretzels at carnivals.

Learn a little bit about me,  Lydia , and my kitchen adventures with Oma!

Use a Bread Machine to make it quickly .

Another quick way of making bread is to use a bread machine. Here, too, I've been experimenting with breads that mimic those delicious German loaves.

I've finally perfected the recipe for rye bread in the machine. Delicious!

Other times, I just use the bread machine to make the dough and have the first rise in it, since it's a nice warm environment. Then I take the dough out and finish it by hand. Easy peasy. 

Recipe Finder: Philadelphia-style sticky buns

Jeannette Kendrick of Hinsdale, N.H., was in search of a recipe for making Philadelphia-style sticky buns. She said she once had a recipe that came from a holiday issue of a women's magazine in the 1980s but "a while back, the hubbie accidentally threw away my magazine, and I've been searching for the recipe ever since."

Lucy Kingston of Radnor, Pa., sent in a copy of a recipe for Philadelphia sticky buns that she said came from an issue of McCall's magazine in the 1980s. She said that like cheesesteak, this particular type of cinnamon bun is considered a Philadelphia specialty and has been enjoyed there for generations. These buns are similar to the snail-shaped bun called Schnecken that were brought to this country by German and English settlers to the Philadelphia area in the 19th century. The nuts and raisins in the filling and the extra stickiness are not found in most other cinnamon buns.

The McCall's recipe, which bills itself as the true Philadelphia-style sticky bun, is fairly straightforward as long as you are prepared to wait for the dough to rise twice. The whole process can take close to four hours start to finish. The result is a sticky cinnamon bun with a lovely light and airy inside and a slightly crispy outside that has a tremendous amount of flavor.

Feb. 21 is the unofficial National Sticky Bun Day, but no need to wait until then to give this recipe a try. These deliciously decadent, gooey morsels are sure to please any day of the year. If, by some miracle, you have any left over, the buns reheat very well in the microwave.

Ingredients German Rolls

500 g wheat flour, type 550 – all purpose flour
1 package dry yeast – or 30 g fresh yeast (cube)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
250 ml lukewarm water
some milk or water for spreading

This Box has become The German Survival Box

How To Make German Pretzel Buns

You only need one recipe for German pretzel buns, and this is it. Blogger Meike Peters, of the acclaimed Eat in My Kitchen, has a new cookbook out filled with her favorite recipes. Inspired by European comfort food and Mediterranean classics, this collection of 100 dishes is a must-read for anyone looking for a cooking lesson with inimitable charm.

Related Articles

How To Make German Pretzel Buns

  • Prep Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy
  • Serving Size: 10 pretzel buns


  • 3 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon flour (preferably white spelt or unbleached wheat)
  • 1 1/4-ounce envelope fact-acting yeast
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cups water, lukewarm
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 tablespoons baking soda, for the alkaline solution
  • coarse sea salt


For the buns

Combine the flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the water and butter — the mixture should be luke­warm. Add to the flour mixture and mix with the dough hooks of an electric mixer for a few minutes or until well combined. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour. Transfer the dough to a work surface and continue kneading and punching it down with your hands for a few minutes until you have a smooth and elastic ball of dough. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover with a tea towel, and let rise in a warm place, or preferably in a 100°F (35°C) warm oven, for 60 minutes or until doubled in size.

When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down, take it out of the bowl, and knead for about 30 seconds. Divide the dough into 10 equal (roughly 3-ounce) portions. Dust your hands with flour, lay a portion of dough on the palm of one hand, and with the other hand forming a dome over the dough, roll it for about 10 seconds until its top is round and firm. This process creates surface tension and prevents the buns from becoming flat. Continue with the remaining dough, then cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place for about 20 minutes or until puffy.

Preheat the oven to 425°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large pot, wide enough to fit 2 buns at once, bring 4¼ cups of water and the baking soda to a boil. Watch the pot the baking soda-water mixture will foam up. With a slotted ladle or spoon, slip two buns gently into the boiling water and cook for 30 seconds, turn them over, and cook for another 30 seconds. The buns don’t need to be completely covered with the solution, but mind that they don’t stick to the bottom. Transfer the buns to the lined baking sheets, score a cross on the buns, and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.

Cook the remaining buns in the same manner, then bake, one sheet at a time, for about 16 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy warm with unsalted butter.

Ingredients German Butter Cake

some butter for greasing the baking tray
250 g heavy cream – 1 cup
4 eggs
200 g butter – 2 sticks
1 Package baking powder (0.5oz)
1 package Dr Oetker Vanilla sugar (0.32oz) – How to Make Vanilla Sugar –
4 tbsp milk
250 g sliced almonds – 8.8oz
1 dash salt
400 g flour – 3 1/3 cups
300 g sugar – 1 1/2 cups (if you like the cake sweeter use 500g or 2 1/2 cups the original recipe is using this amount, we find it a bit too sweet)

Homemade Amish Sticky Buns Recipe

Cinnamon rolls are ubiquitous in Amish kitchens and bakeries, but "sticky buns" are not far behind. And we have a great sticky buns recipe today! Over the years since this post was first written, I've seen sticky buns showing up more and more places. I almost bought some the other day when I was visiting an Amish bakery. "Sticky buns" are a common confection in Amish kitchens, although they seem more prevalent in Pennsylvania. They remind me of a cross between a cinnamon roll and a coffeecake.

Either way, they are quite decadent. These are some homemade sticky buns I picked up at a Mennonite bakery in Brown County, Ohio. Didn't take long for half a pan to disappear in this household:) All I can say: YUH-UM! This is a recipe from the archives similar to the one used to make these sticky buns.

I’ve made these sticky buns before and they’re surprisingly easy, despite the laborious instructions. You just have to have patience and allow time for the dough to do a full rise. Now, of course, those who know me know that I would probably add more cinnamon than what is listed here. I just love the taste of cinnamon. I might also forgo the nuts, but that’s up to you

The sticky buns are really popular as an item to sell in Amish bakeries, they might also be served after church on a Sunday morning. Once you get these sticky buns going, the smell that will fill your house is incredible. It’s almost worth making these buns for the smell as much as for the taste. And the smell is calorie free. Unfortunately, the buns are not, so, how many you eat is up to you!


Jack, thanks for this engaging overview of Philadelphia baking history. My personal favorite Philadelphia baker was Jules Junker, who lived on Locust St. near 13th St. and who had a bakery behind his rowhome on St. James St. (The bakery is now Voyeur, a gay after hours club). Junker was also an avid car enthusiast and was credited with having the first privately owned automibile in Philadelphia, a Daimler which he had shipped from France in 1899. His wife and daughters loved taking it around a Philadelphia that was not quite ready for the automobile. They racked up piles of tickets for riding through Fairmount Park, where automobiles were banned.

Remember, I think it was the Richman Bakery that sold unsliced, unwrapped, crispy crusted rye-bread at Super Fresh as recently as the 1980’s or 90’s it had a baked-on paper label, and they sliced it behind the deli counter by machine?

Does anyone have any information on the bakery that used to be at 5216 race st, phila. pa
or the bakery that used to be near 54th and Florence sts?

Wondering if you have any information on history of my great grand father’s bakery? I have address but no other info. 19th and parrish, 26th and Girard, and woodland ave. Any info would be appreciated, like name, food, etc.
I am assuming it would have be around 1893 and later.
Thank you,

I have been searching for the name of my great grandparents bakery that was located in Oxford circle. The bakery was on Summerdale Ave. Cross st was Carver St. it would have been from the mid 1920s to the early 1940s. My great grandparents were Rose and Emmanuel Hlavachek. Thank you!!

Searching for information on baking company in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Late 19th century. German bakers. Four or five brothers by the name of Bauer.

Born Pine Hill, NJ, 1954, 12 miles from Phila ….. what was the round bread I grew up on.

I see Bob Skiba mentioned the Junker family bakery, which I was going to mention. My sister-in-law is descended from the Junkers, which is how I came to read about them. Quite a family!

I am a descendant of the Junkers as well. My grandmother was one of Jules’ daughters who was driving around in the old imported cars. The family has a great history. Perhaps we and/or your sister in law can connect. Jules made a Joco bread. Described as “made with water instead of milk”. Has any one heard of this type of bread?

Grew-up during the 50’s in the Delaware River town of Gloucester City, NJ…Remember buying a packaged slice of cheesecake by Friehoffers Bakery across the river in Philadelphia. It was very light and spongy melted in your mouth. I can still in my mind taste this wonderful delicacy. Does anyone remember this bakery and cheesecake? The only cheesecake today has a very smooth butter consistency. If Friehofers was absorbed or purchased by another company, I would sure like to find it or the recipe for that wonderful cheesecake.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • ½ cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1 ¼ cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, divided
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup raisins
  • ⅔ cup chopped pecans

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

Combine the yeast mixture with the buttermilk, eggs, 2 1/2 cups flour, 1/4 cup softened butter, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt stir well to combine. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Dough should remain soft and slightly sticky. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.

Divide dough in half and roll each half into a 12x7 inch rectangle. Spread each half with 1 tablespoon softened butter and sprinkle with 1/4 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Roll up halves, beginning at wide side. Seal well by pinching the seams. Cut each roll into 12 slices.

Coat two 9 inch round cake pans each with 1/4 cup melted butter, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons raisins and 1/2 cup chopped pecans. Place 12 dough slices in each pan, leaving a small space between slices. Cover and let rise until doubled.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Bake in a preheated oven for about 30 minutes. Invert pans onto plates and serve.

Watch the video: Oteris Italian Bakery. Philadelphia, PA. Bakery (June 2022).