Oliebollen, Dutch Donuts

It’s that time of the year again, New Years Eve. Traditionally that is when Dutch Donuts or Oliebollen are eaten by the dozens. Freshly baked Oliebollen sprinkled with icing sugar are a winter treat, and that has a reason. They are loaded with calories.

Makes: 18-22 Oliebollen | Preparation: 10 min | Proving: 1 hour | Baking: 25 minutes

Who connected us?! Oliebollen are a Dutch tradition on New Years evening. The fried Dutch Donuts are loaded with raisins, currants and sometimes apple or candied citrus peel. Growing up in The Netherlands I have had my fair share of these Dutch Delights. This basic Oliebollen recipe is from the “Margriet Cookbook”.

The dough

  • 500g white plain flour
  • 15g salt
  • 21g dried yeast
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 400 ml lukewarm milk
  • 100g raisins
  • 100g currants
  • Your preferred oil for frying
  • Icing sugar

Making the dough:

  • Wash the raisins and currants in a seed and set them aside.
  • Sift the flour in a large bowl, add the salt and mix.
  • Make a well in the middle of the flour, add the egg, lukewarm milk and yeast.
  • Use a wooden spoon and start from the middle, combine the ingredients until you have a smooth dough. The dough should feel elastic.
  • Add the raisins and currants and mix until well combined.
  • Leave the dough covered with a towel for about an hour or until doubled in size. The rising time depends on the temperature, but also on the strength of your dried yeast. Be patient if it takes a little longer.


Now it’s time to deep fry your Oliebollen, make sure you are prepared before you heat the oil. Have a bowl with paper towel ready to put your Oliebollen after they are fried.

  • Heat your oil to a temperature of 170°C / 425°F
  • Use 2 dinner spoons, put the spoons in the oil first so the dough does not stick. Take a full spoon of the dough and put the dough in the hot oil, using the second spoon to flick of the dough.
  • Frying the Oliebol takes about 5 minutes. You will notice that once the Oliebol is halfway cooked, it will turn itself, simply because the uncooked side is now heavier.
  • To see if the Oliebol is fully cooked, take it out of the oil and pinch it with a skewer. When the skewer comes out dry, the Oliebol is done.
  • I usually use a wok with vegetable oil. The wok will fit about 6 Oliebollen.
  • Take the Oliebollen out of the pan and put them on some paper towel.
  • Put them on a plate and sprinkle with icing sugar, ready to be eaten.


  • Rising time: The time your dough needs to double in size depends on a few factors.
    • The strength of your yeast, my yeast comes from a bakery store and is significant stronger than the yeast from your average supermarket. But also keep in mind that if your yeast is old, it gets weaker.
    • The temperature. In summer when the weather is hot, your dough is likely to rise quicker then when it is cold
  • Dough not rising: When your dough is not rising, there could be a few things wrong
    • Your milk might have been to warm and killed the yeast, rather have the milk to cold than to hot.
    • Your yeast is old and to hard to activate
  • Other fruits: Try adding some shredded apple or other dried fruit like candied citrus peel.

Try some Pepernoten or Banana Pancakes next!

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