Bavarian Sweet Dumplings (Dampfnudel)

Dampfnudel, as they are called in Germany, are made from a yeast dough, formed into balls and then steamed. They are often served with warm vanilla sauce and sprinkled with cinnamon powder. Sometimes they are also filled with a dollop of fruit jam, mostly berry jam. These are mainly a winter treat and can often be found in food stalls at Christmas markets. I always look forward to have one because they are sooo delicious and after strolling around in the cold weather, a warm Dampfnudel and a mug of hot chocolate are always welcome! 🙂

Here’s a photo of the delicious Dampfnudel (and the amazing hot chocolate!) we had at a Christmas market last December. It was definitely one of the best things I have ever eaten!

A couple of weeks ago, I came across a recipe for these sweet dumplings. I had always thought that they were a bit tricky to make and was somewhat hesitant to give them a try. After some more research about this Bavarian dessert and consulting various recipes, I tested out some ideas. Now I wish I had tried them way earlier because they turned out to be awesome! One of the main tips is that you have to be really careful when steaming them because if you remove the lid too early, they will collapse.

I served my Dampfnudel in a pool of warm vanilla sauce with a strawberry jam filling. Here in Budapest, poppy seeds are very often used in dessert recipes and I decided to include them in this recipe by sprinkling some on top. They add a nutty flavour to the dish which also complements the sweetness of the jam.

So if you want to make your own Dampfnudel, here’s what you need! 🙂

Dampfnudel - Bavarian Sweet Dumplings

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A typical Bavarian steamed sweet roll filled with a dollop of jam and served in warm vanilla sauce.


    For the dumplings dough
  • 250 g all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 30 g sugar
  • 12 g fresh yeast*
  • 30 g unsalted butter, melted
  • 120 g warm milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Zest from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • For the filling
  • 4 tbsp thick fruit jam (I used strawberry jam)
  • To serve
  • Vanilla sauce (I used store bought vanilla sauce here)
  • Poppy seeds/Cinnamon powder (optional)


  1. In a small bowl, mix the fresh yeast with 5g of sugar. Stir together until it is in liquid form. Add the warm milk to the yeast.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt, remaining 25g sugar and lemon zest together. Pour the milk and yeast mixture over the dry ingredients. Add the egg, melted butter and vanilla extract.
  3. Knead the dough until smooth. Place it in a bowl, cover it and let it proof for about an hour or until it is double in size.
  4. Generously flour your surface. Place the dough and divide it into 4 pieces. Using your hands, flatten the dough and place 1 tbsp of jam on each piece. Form a ball with the jam at the centre and make sure to seal each ball well. Place them onto a floured surface, covered with a clean kitchen cloth and let them rest for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Grease your steamer basket generously. In a big pot, bring some water to boil. Make sure that the level of water does not reach the steamer basket. You need to steam the dumplings and therefore they should not touch the water directly.
  6. Place the steamer basket into the pot and add the dumplings. Make sure there is enough space between the dumplings as they will rise and spread at bit. Cover the pot and let them steam for 15-17 minutes.
  7. Serve the dumplings immediately, pouring vanilla sauce over them and sprinkling some poppy seed/cinnamon powder on top.


*If you want to use dry yeast, substitute the amount of fresh yeast with 2.5tsp of active dry yeast.

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