Dutch Dessert Recipes

Recipe for OliebollenTry the Dutch Dessert Recipe for Oliebollen
(Source: ©Don Bell)

You'll love trying these old fashioned Dutch dessert recipes. The Dutch people are world-famous for their rich, good-tasting desserts, and these wholesome treats from Grandma's international collection are no exception. You'll especially love the poffertjes,  and the festive oliebollen. They are fun to make and absolutely delicious.

Traditional Dutch Dessert Recipes
from the Netherlands

Plateful of Homemade Dutch PoffertjesDutch Poffertjes

Whether it's the Dutch apple pudding, the Dutch flummery, cracknels, quark strudel, the authentic koekje, the rich-tasting poffertjes, or the oliebollen pictured above, these traditional treats make for mighty fine eating. Like my Dutch friend Peter always says, "If it ain't Dutch, it ain't much!"

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Old Holland Town in Anaglyph 3D3D Anaglyph Image of Old Holland Town
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Homemade Dutch Dessert Recipes

Mom's Recipe Scrapbooks (c. 1920s)

Dutch Dessert Recipe for Oliebollen (Oil Balls)

Making Dutch OliebollenMaking Dutch Oliebollen - Fried Dessert Cakes
(Source: ©Don Bell)

Oliebollen are a New Years Eve tradition in the Netherlands. The small fried cake called an oliebol is typically about the size of a small apple. Some call it the traditional Dutch doughnut, and it does taste very much like the North American raised doughnut and was likely its inspiration.

Oliebollen are most often made without fruit added, with their traditional coating of white powdered sugar and ground cinnamon. However, they can also be made with added raisins, currants, cranberries, chopped cherries, banana, and chopped apple. Citrus zest can also be added for flavor.

Once the oliebollen dough is prepared, it can be divided into two smaller bowls and 1/2 cup of fruit can be added to one of the bowls, if a choice is wanted. The following Dutch dessert recipe makes about 4 dozen.


2 tablespoons sugar
2 packages dry yeast (1 package = 2-1/4 teaspoons)
5 eggs
2 cups milk, scalded
1/2 cup butter, softened
10 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups powdered icing sugar
1 cup seedless raisins (optional) or
3 cooking apples, diced (optional) or
1 cup currants (optional)
Ground cinnamon, to taste
Oil or shortening, enough for frying


Dissolve 2 tablespoons sugar in 1 cup warm water, sprinkle yeast on top, and allow mixture to stand for about 10 minutes, while making the dough.

Beat eggs in a large mixing bowl. Add scalded milk, 1-1/2 cups warm water, yeast mixture, and butter, then beat well. Add flour, 1 cup sugar, and salt, and mix until smooth. Add diced apple or raisins or currants, if desired.

Mix 3 cups powdered sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl and set aside for later.

Dutch Oliebollen FryingDutch Oliebol Frying to a Golden Brown in Hot Oil
(Source: ©Don Bell)

How to Fry:

Add 3 to 4 inches of melted oil to a deep pan or to a deep fryer, heat to 350°F (180°C). If tiny bubbles form around a wooden spoon stood in the oil, the oil is ready for frying.

Using a large soup spoon, scoop small balls of the dough, gently dropping them into the hot oil. Dipping the spoon into the hot oil first will help to prevent the dough from sticking to it.

The balls of dough will instantly sink to the bottom then rise up to float on the surface of the oil. Watch and turn them so they brown evenly on all sides. Don't attempt to fry too many at a time, no more than 4 or 5, depending on the size of your pan, as the oil will cool and the balls will remain uncooked on the inside.

Once the dough has fried to a golden brown (about 6 to 10 minutes), remove from pot using a slotted spoon and allow the oiliebollen to drain on a tray lined with a clean tea towel or paper. Continue frying as above until all the batter is used.

Roll oiliebollen in the traditional cinnamon sugar mixture and serve warm when they're the freshest tasting. Makes about 4 dozen.

Storing Oiliebollen:

  • Allow to cool completely and store in airtight container for up to two days.

  • Allow to cool completely and freeze in airtight container for up to ten weeks.

  • Reheat stored oiliebollen in oven at 390°F (200°C) for about 15 minutes.


Ingredients: 4 cups yoghurt, 1 cup whipping cream, 6 tablespoons sugar (or more to taste), 1 vanilla bean. Fruit, fruit preserves, or nuts for topping

Position a strainer lined with a clean tea towel over a large mixing bowl. Pour the yoghurt into the tea towel, cover and place in the refrigerator. Allow the yoghurt drain for 6 hours, preferably overnight.

After the yoghurt has drained, transfer it to a bowl. Cut the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds. Mix the seeds in with the yoghurt to flavor it. Add sugar to the whipping cream and beat it until stiff peaks form, then carefully fold the yoghurt into the whipped cream.

Top with nuts, fruit, or your favorite preserve and enjoy.

Dutch Koekje


The English word "cookie" is said to come from the Dutch word "koekje," which means little cake.

Ingredients: 2 pounds of fine flour, 1-1/2 pounds of good brown sugar, 1/2 pound of butter, 1/4 pound of fat, 1/2 pound of almonds pounded, 2 eggs, 2 teaspoonfuls of baking soda, 2 teaspoonfuls of ground cloves, 2 teaspoonfuls of ground cinnamon, 1/4 pint of claret.

Method: Rub the butter and fat into the flour, add the sugar, almonds, and spices. Dissolve the soda in a little warm water; beat the eggs, add the dissolved soda and wine to them, mix with the flour and knead well. Roll out thinly, stamp into small rounds, and bake gently until crisp.

The Old Dutch people put a small piece of citron preserve in the center of each cake. Sufficient for 3 cakes. This Dutch dessert recipe is seasonable at any time. A classic South African recipe for teacakes. Enoy een koekje bij de koffie!

Dutch Loaf Recipe

1 cup sugar, 1 egg, 1-1/2 cups sour milk, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1 tablespoon butter, 1-1/2 cups graham flour, 1-1/2 cups white flour, 1 cup chopped dates, 1 cup chopped nuts. Bake for one hour in moderate oven in long narrow pan —Mrs. Wiley

Schnitz Pie (Dried apple slices)

1 pound of Schnitz
1 orange, grated rind and juice
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
Prepared pie shell with top crust

Cover Schnitz with water and soak overnight. Add orange rind and juice and more water if necessary. Boil until soft, then put through colander and add sugar and cinnamon. Pour pie mixture into pastry lined shell, dot with butter, cover with top crust or lattice strips. Bake in hot oven (450°F) for 10 minutes. Reduce to 350°F and bake 30 minutes.

Schnitz Pie (Fresh Apple Slices)

Uncooked pastry shell
1-inch thick apple pieces
1 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons soft butter
3 tablespoons flour
Sprinkle cinnamon
8-ounce carton sour cream
Cheddar cheese slices

Line pastry with 1-inch thick pieces of apples — about 2 layers thick. Over apple pieces spread crumbs of sugar, butter, and flour which have been combined. Sprinkle with cinnamon and dabs of sour cream. Bake in oven until apples are soft and golden. Serve slightly warm with cheddar cheese slices.

Not a true Schnitz, nevertheless, very tasty and worth making when you haven't any dried apples handy.

Mrs. Beeton's Dutch Dessert Recipes

The Book of Household Management (1861)

Dutch Flummery

Ingredients: 1-1/2 oz of isinglass [gelatin], the rind and juice of 1 lemon, 1 pint of water, 4 eggs, 1 pint of sherry, Madeira, or raisin wine; sifted sugar to taste.

Mode: Put the water, isinglass, and lemon rind into a lined saucepan, and simmer gently until the isinglass is dissolved; strain this into a basin, stir in the eggs, which should be well beaten, the lemon juice, which should be strained, and the wine; sweeten to taste with pounded sugar, mix all well together, pour it into a jug, set this jug in a saucepan of boiling water over the fire, and keep stirring it one way until it thickens; but take care that it does not boil.

Strain it into a mold that has been oiled or laid in water for a short time, and put it in a cool place to set. A tablespoonful of brandy stirred in just before it is poured into the mold, improves the flavor of this dish: it is better if made the day before it is required for table. Sufficient to fill a quart mold. Seasonable at any time.

Poffertjes / Dutch Fritters

Homemade Dutch PoffertjesEnjoy a Plateful of Homemade Dutch Poffertjes
(Source: ©charlotte-lake/123RF)

Ingredients: 6 ounces of flour, 4 ounces of butter, 3 eggs, 1/2 pint of milk or water, about 1/2 pound of lard.

Method: Boil the milk or water, then add the butter, stir the flour in gradually, and cook over the fire until it ceases to adhere to the stewpan or spoon.

Turn onto a dish; when cool stir in the yolks of the eggs, beat stiffly, and add lightly the whites of the eggs.

Heat the lard, put in the dough a teaspoonful at a time, fry gently until nicely browned, turning frequently meanwhile. Dredge liberally with fine sugar and serve hot.

Dutch Dessert Recipe for Apple Pudding

Miss Parloa's New Cook Book (1882)

This Dutch dessert recipe makes a delicious apple pudding that's as easy as pie to make.

Ingredients: One pint of flour, one teaspoonful of cream of tartar, half a teaspoonful of soda, half a teaspoonful of salt, an egg, a generous two-thirds of a cupful of milk, two tablespoonfuls of butter, four large apples.

Mix the salt, soda, and cream of tartar with the flour, and rub through the sieve. Beat the egg light, and add the milk. Rub the butter into the flour. Pour the milk and egg on this, and mix quickly and thoroughly.

Spread the dough about half an inch deep on a buttered baking pan. Have the apples pared, cored, and cut into eighths. Stick these pieces in rows into the dough. Sprinkle with two tablespoonfuls of sugar. Bake in a quick oven for about twenty-five minutes. This pudding is to be eaten with sugar and cream or a simple sauce.

Quark Strudel with Dutch Cheese

Aunt Babette's Cook Book (1889)

This Dutch dessert recipe makes a delicious quark strudel, and the addition of Dutch cheese makes it taste extra special.

Take about one pint of flour, sift it into a bowl, make a hole in the center of the flour, pour in it gradually one cup of lukewarm water, a pinch of salt, and a spoonful of butter or goose fat.

Stir this slowly, making a nice smooth dough of it and adding a little more flour if necessary. Cover up the dough and set it in a warm place. Let it rest until you have prepared the cheese.

Take half a pound of cheese, rub it through a coarse sieve or colander, add salt, the yolks of two eggs and one whole egg, and sweeten to taste. Add the grated peel of one lemon, two ounces of sweet almonds, and about four bitter ones, blanched and pounded, four ounces of sultana raisins and a little citron chopped finely.

Now cover your kitchen table with a clean tablecloth, sift flour all over it and roll out your dough as thin as possible.

Now use your hands, placing them under the rolled dough and stretch it gently, very gently, so as not to tear it, walking all around the table as you do this, to get it even and thin as tissue paper.

Pour a few tablespoonfuls of melted butter or goose oil over the dough; spread the cheese.

Now take hold of the tablecloth with both hands about a yard apart, and begin to roll the strudel (it will roll itself almost — just lift the cloth high enough).

Now butter or grease a large cake pan, hold it up to the edge of the table and dump in the strudel. Bake a nice brown, basting with sweet cream.

Dutch Dessert Recipe for Old Time Cracknels

The Complete Confectioner, Pastry Cook, and Baker (1864)

Rub six ounces of butter into three pounds and a half of flour — make a hole, and put in six ounces of powdered loaf sugar — wet up with eight eggs and a quarter of a pint of water — break your dough smooth; make them and dock them like a captain's biscuit — form them on your reel; drop them into a stewpan of water boiling over the fire — when they swim take them out with a skimmer, and put them into a pailful of cold water; let them remain full two hours before you bake them — you may drain them in a cloth or in a sieve — bake them on clean tins in a brisk oven, or on the bottom of the oven.

Cracknel Instructions

The instruction "dock them like a captain's biscuit" means to punch tiny holes into the biscuit dough so they will become light and crisp when baked. A fork can be used for this purpose, but the old bakers used a tool called a "biscuit dock" or "docker" consisting of a wooden handle attached to a stamp containing numerous spikes arranged in a pattern.

The instruction "form them on your reel" simply means to shape the biscuits on your baking pan. A "reel oven" was a nineteenth-century baker's oven containing bread pans suspended from a "revolving reel" that automated the baking process; they were sometimes called carousel ovens and were invented by Hosea Ball.

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