Germknödel, Sweet Dumpling with Vanilla Sauce

Is it lunch or dessert, or is it good any time of the day. Ask my kids and the answer is “wake me up in the middle of the night for it”.

My youngest son loves them so much that he decided to put in the effort to make the Knödels himself, and I must say, he did a good job and made them a few times since.

Traditionally this Austrian dessert is served with melted butter and a mixture of grounded poppy seeds and powdered sugar, but the vanilla sauce version is very popular too. The dumpling is filled with Powidl, a thick plum jam that is made without sugar, only very ripe plums are used, that are cooked for several hours up to a day until it becomes a thick dark plum puree, slightly tart .  This jam is mixed with a bit of rum and then used to fill the yeast dough to create these delicious dumplings.  Powidl might be hard to find but you can replace the Powidl with different jams. In this recipe we used a homemade plum jam.

Who connected us?!  Wen have been skiing in Austria with the kids a few times now, and the Germknödel is definitely a favourite dish when having lunch at the slopes.

Hi my name is Hugo 

The first time I ever had this dessert was on the slopes in Austria and from the moment I had the first bite I fell in love with it. Now that my dad has taught me how to cook I have made it a couple times and I can tell you the first time I made it I struggled but with a little help from my dad it turned out amazing. So I bet that you can make the dumpling and trust me you wont regret it.

Made by Hugo vG

 Serves 4  |  Preparation 30 min   |  Rising 1 hour | 2nd rise and steaming 1 hour


  • All purpose flour, 500g
  • Dried yeast, 7g
  • Sugar, 30g
  • Butter, 30g melted
  • Milk, ½ cup lukewarm
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Lime zest, 1 tsp
  • Vanilla extract, ½ tsp
  • Salt, ½ tsp
  • Powidl, ½ cup  or an alternative jam, we used plum
  • Rum, 2 tsp optional
  • Poppy Seeds, 1 tbsp
  • Powdered Sugar, 1 tbsp
  • Home made Vanilla Sauce warm, 2 cups

Preparing the dough:

  1. In a small bowl, mix the lukewarm milk with the sugar and yeast. Let it stand to activate.
  2. For making the dough we use a stand mixer, but you could also mix and knead by hand. In a large bowl, whisk flour with salt, sugar and lemon zest.
  3. Add the yeast and milk mixture, the melted butter, beaten egg and vanilla extract.
  4. Mix and knead the dough for about 5 minutes until smooth.
  5. Cover and let it rise at room temperature for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Filling your dumplings:

  1. If you are using some rum, mix with the Powidl or jam. The plum jam we used was quite runny. A little trick if you are using jam is to freeze the jam into ice cubes the day before.
  2. On a floured surface divide the dough into 4 pieces. Roll the pieces into a ball and then flatten them with your palm to form 4 inch circles (10 cm). Add 2 teaspoons (or one ice cube) of jam to the centre and then pull up opposite sides and pinch closed. Make sure there are no gaps and form into a ball.
  3. Place the dumplings onto a floured surface or your steam tray, cover with a moist tea towel and let them rest for 30 minutes to rise.
  4. In the mean time pound the poppy seeds and mix with powdered sugar.
  5. If you are using homemade vanilla sauce, this is a good time to make it.
  6. When the dumplings are risen it’s time to steam them. They will rise further during the steaming process. We are the proud owners of a steam oven, but you can easily use a steaming basket instead. Steaming the dumplings takes about 15 minutes.
  7. Serve warm, topped with warm vanilla sauce and the poppy seed mixture.


Adults only; Add a bit of rum to the plum jam.

Ice cubes: It can be a bit hard to fold the dough around a runny jam. Making jam ice blocks, makes filling the dumplings easier.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Anonymous says:

    Delicious! Will make this soon.


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