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About this recipe: Dampfnudeln are sweet or savoury poached rolls from Germany. This recipe is for the sweet variety, eaten for a decadent dessert with vanilla and caramel sauce. I fell in love with these during my time in Germany.


Serves: 8 

  • Dough
  • 375g plain flour, or more as needed
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 (7g) packets dried active baking yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 240ml warm milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 55g butter, softened
  • Poaching liquid
  • 45g butter, or as needed
  • 50g caster sugar, or as needed
  • 240ml milk, or as needed
  • Vanilla sauce
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 240ml milk
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon brandy, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Caramel sauce
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 120ml warm water, divided
  • 120ml maple syrup
  • 120ml whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 dash vanilla extract, or to taste

Prep:30min  ›  Cook:35min  ›  Extra time:1hr30min rising  ›  Ready in:2hr35min 

  1. Blend 375g flour, 50g sugar, yeast and salt in a food processor. Add warm milk, eggs, and 55g softened butter and pulse until dough forms into a ball. Transfer dough to a bowl and allow to sit at room temperature to rise, about 1 hour. Knead dough and roll onto a work surface. Cut dough into 8 circles using a biscuit cutter or the rim of a drinking glass; allow to rise, about 30 minutes.
  2. For the poaching liquid, melt 30g butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir 50g sugar into butter until browned, about 5 minutes. Add 240ml milk to butter-sugar mixture. Arrange dough circles in the pan; cover and cook over low heat until dough is cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. For the vanilla sauce, melt 30g unsalted butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; stir 2 tablespoons flour into butter until mixture bubbles, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually pour 240ml milk into butter-flour mixture, cooking and stirring until thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir 100g sugar, brandy, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract into thickened milk mixture until a smooth vanilla sauce forms, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. For the caramel sauce, mix 400g sugar and 60ml warm water together in a saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Very gradually add remaining 60ml of water, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth, 2 to 4 minutes. Mix maple syrup, cream, 1 tablespoon unsalted butter and 1 dash vanilla extract into sugar mixture until a thick caramel sauce forms, about 5 minutes.
  5. Transfer dampfnudel to a serving dish and pour vanilla sauce over each; top with caramel sauce.

Cook's note:

Whipping or double cream can be used in place of milk in the vanilla sauce. Rum can be used in place of brandy.

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