German Flour Dumplings with Vanilla Sauce – Dampfnudeln

This steamed dessert is a traditional pastry in southern German cuisine. Dampfnudeln are made either without a filling and served with vanilla sauce or a fruit compote.


1½ teaspoon active dry yeast (1/2 envelope)
4 tablespoons sugar, divided
¼ cup lukewarm water (110°F)
¾ cup lukewarm milk (110°F)
4 tablespoons melted butter, divided
¼ teaspoon salt
2¼ – 2½ cups sifted all purpose flour, or more if necessary
½ cup cold milk


Dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in the warm water. Let stand 5 minutes, or until bubbly.

In a bowl, stir the milk, melted butter, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until dissolved. Add the bubbling yeast mixture and then the flour, beating until a smooth dough forms. Add flour as necessary, until the dough can be formed into a soft ball.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead for 5 minutes. Place it back in the bowl, which has been lightly greased or sprayed. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Punch dough down, divide into 12 pieces, and shape the pieces into balls. Place the balls 2 inches apart on a lightly oiled baking sheet, cover with a clean towel and let rise in a warm spot until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a 10 inch skillet or saucepan with a tight lid. Stir in 2 tablespoons of sugar and the milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, arrange the dumplings in the saucepan and cover. Simmer for 25 minutes without peeking and then check. Keep simmering until the dumplings have absorbed all the liquid. Remove from heat but keep warm until serving.

Serve warm, bottom side up, with Vanilla Sauce and tart fruit compote.

If you have leftovers, place them on a plate, bottom side up and cover with a clean towel, not plastic. Eat cold or reheat in oven. Eat within 1 day for best quality.

Credit: The Spruce Eats