German Dumplings With Vanilla Sauce (Dampfnudeln)

Prep: 105 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 2 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
303 Calories
17g Fat
33g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 303
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 9g 47%
Cholesterol 38mg 13%
Sodium 388mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 33g 12%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Protein 5g
Calcium 139mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Germans often bypass traditional savory foods for dinner and fill up with noodles or dumplings that are sweetened with fruit compote and vanilla sauce. Americans might call this skipping the meal and just cutting to the dessert. 

These dumplings are poached in sweetened milk that caramelizes on the bottom, which gives them a nice, chewy bite with soft insides. The rich, creamy vanilla sauce they swim in really puts them over the top.


  • 1 1/8 teaspoons active dry yeast (1/2 envelope which contains 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 4 tablespoons sugar (divided)
  • 1/4 cup water (lukewarm,110 F)
  • 3/4 cup milk (lukewarm, 110 F)
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter (divided)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour (or more if necessary)
  • 1/2 cup milk (cold)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

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

  3. In a bowl, stir 1 tablespoon sugar, the lukewarm milk, 2 tablespoons melted butter and the salt until the sugar and salt are dissolved.

  4. Add the bubbling yeast mixture to the milk mixture and then add 2 1/4 cups flour, beating until a smooth dough forms. Add additional flour as necessary, until the dough can be formed into a soft ball.

  5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead for 5 minutes.

  6. Lightly grease or spray a bowl and place the dough in it. Cover loosely and let the dough rise in a warm place until it has doubled, about 45 minutes.

  7. Punch the dough down, divide it into 12 pieces, and shape the pieces into balls.

  8. 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.

  9. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a 10-inch skillet or saucepan with a tight lid.

  10. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and the cold milk and bring to a boil.

  11. Reduce the heat to low, arrange the dumplings in the saucepan and cover.

  12. Simmer for 25 minutes without peeking and then check.

  13. Keep simmering until the dumplings have absorbed all the liquid.

  14. Remove from heat but keep warm until serving.

  15. Serve warm, bottom side up, with vanilla sauce and tart fruit compote.

  16. Enjoy!


  • 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 the oven and eat within 24 hours for best quality.

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