Dampfnudeln are a type of yeast dumplings which are cooked and steamed simultaneously. This method creates a soft surface and a crunchy base is. That typical salty crust is the main difference to Germknödel – a similar German dish that is only steamed or boiled and is therefore soft all around.

Dampfnudeln can be served in a savory way with soups, salad, cabbage or other vegetables or as a sweet dessert with vanilla or wine sauce. In the south-western German region of Palatinate, it is common to serve potato soup with Dampfnudeln as a main dish first which is then followed by another course of Dampfnudeln with a sweet sauce for dessert.


The Origin Of Dampfnudeln

There have been ongoing disputes about where the yeast dumplings originally come from. Both Palatinate and Bavaria claim to be the place of origin.

The name “Dampfnudeln” is composed by the German words for steam (Dampf) and noodles (Nudeln). This refers to the way they are cooked as well as their form. Most people would not refer to the dough balls as noodles. However, the word “Nudel” is a modification of the word “Knödel” from the same stem. Like this one, many other germanic words that start with the syllable kn- all express a type of swelling. Although most people today mostly think of pasta, the expression “noodles” or “Nudeln” actually covers a much broader field.

Try this diverse German food yourself with our delicious and simple recipe:



Food & Drinks // Germany

Dampfnudeln from Germany, large yeast dumplings with salty crust


650 g flour

1 cube fresh yeast

75 g sugar

300 ml lukewarm milk

1 egg

40 g butter

10 g oil

1 pinch salt

2 table spoons oil for baking

4 pinches salt for baking

2 cups water


Mix some milk, sugar and the yeast to prepare the base for the dough and let it rest for 10 mins in a warm place.

Now put the rest of the flour into a bowl and press the dough base into its middle. Sprinkle the sugar around the edge of the flour.

Mix everything with a wooden spoon and slowly add the remaining ingredients

Whip the dough until it creates bubbles and then kneed it well with your hands.

Put the dough back into the bowl, cover it with a wet piece of cloth and let it prove for at least 30 mins.

Kneed the dough again before flattening it on a board.

Use a glass to cut out circles, place them on a baking tray covered with baking paper and let them prove again.

Now heat up 1 table spoon of oil in a deep pan and add 1-2 pinches of salt to taste.

Put half of the Dampfnudeln into the pan, add a cup of water and cover them with a lid.

Let them boil at medium temperature for approx. 20 mins until all the water is evaporated.

Do not lift the lid inbetween, since the Dampfnudeln might collapse.

Repeat the procedure with the remaining half of dough circles.

Serve them with vanilla sauce, or potato soup as a savory version.

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Photos by beni