Dampfnudel Recipe w/ Homemade Vanilla Sauce

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We say goodbye to Thanksgiving and hello to Christmas (by the way, only in America do I have to deal with the “hurdle” of Thanksgiving – in Germany it’s perfectly acceptable to skip to Christmas whenever you feel like it)! I love Christmas time, the music, the atmosphere, the smells, everything – it is definitely my favorite time of the year! I am ecstatic too that this year I get to spend it with my family in Germany including the whole shabang of Christmas markets, which is just a fun conglomeration of great food, hot drinks, and homemade items ready to be purchased to give to loved ones.

One of my very favorite Christmas market foods is what I made for you today – Dampfnudeln, a fluffy, sweet, steamed dumpling served with vanilla sauce and topped with a poppyseed-sugar mixture. It’s heaven!

Regional Dampfnudel Differences

Apparently the German states of Bavaria and Rheinland-Pfalz (where I grew up) are in dispute over which state can claim the Dampfnudel. They’re fighting for ownership over the Dampfnudel recipe, and rightfully so because it’s damn good! Funny enough, the version from the Pfalz oftentimes has a salt crust on the bottom, while the Bavarian version does not (I have yet to try it with a salt crust!).

It’s All in the Steam

Dampfnudel translates from German to “steam noodle,” which makes sense as it’s cooked in its own steam. Watch the dumplings grow to double or even triple size in your deep skillet, but be careful not to lift the lid too early or else your Dampfnudeln may collapse! This is truly a winter indulgence that’s best enjoyed with a hot drink by the fireplace – if you don’t have a Christmas market to attend that is!

Enjoy Dampfnudeln with a Bärenjäger Hot Toddy

Christmas market treats demand a hot, boozy companion. This hot toddy made with Bärenjäger Honey Bourbon is surely going to warm you from the inside. To create Bärenjäger Honey Bourbon, German honey liqueur is married with American bourbon for the ultimate, smooth German-American experience. No more sore throats! 😉

Add all ingredients together in a small mug. Stir until honey is dissolved. Prost!

More Giveaways For The Holidays!

Thank you for stopping by my blog! Please stay a while, drool over some delicious German food, leave some feedback and ideas in the comment section below, and subscribe to receive weekly emails with new recipes! Last week, I had you enter for a WÜSTHOF 2-piece carving set and a $50 Whole Foods giftcard (the winner is yet to be announced)! Please subscribe, so you can also stay tuned on more fun giveaway surprises and more great German recipes to come soon!  Next week, I will share a recipe for some of my favorite German Christmas cookies!

Recipe Alteration Notice

Please make note that I cooked the dumplings in twice the amount of liquid, while keeping everything else to proportion. Because I halved the dough to not have as many leftover dumplings to deal with (we’re a small 2-person household!), I was hesitant to cut the liquid in half because I thought the dumplings would burn. When you double the dough recipe, please make sure to keep the liquid amounts the same (under “For the Skillet” section). That way, you will also achieve the liquid cooking off completely, and a sweet crust will form on the bottom of the dumplings as it should. Regardless, these tasted great, so feel free to make prepare them either way!

Ingredients for 4 Dampfnudeln:


  • 2 c (250 g) flour
  • 1/2 package (3.5 g) dry yeast
  • 2 Tbsp (25 g) sugar
  • 1/2 c (1/8 l) milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2.5 Tbsp (40 g) butter, melted
  • 1 small to medium sized egg

For the Skillet:

  • 7 Tbsp (100 g) butter
  • 1/2 c (125 ml) milk
  • 1/2 c (100 g) sugar

Vanilla Sauce:

  • 10 oz (300 ml) milk
  • scraped seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 egg yolk (medium sized)

Sprinkle With:

  • Poppy Seed Powdered Sugar Mixture (2:1 ratio)


  1. Mix yeast with sugar and lukewarm milk, let stand for 5 to 10 minutes or until bubbles have started to develop.
  2. Knead together all remaining ingredients for the dough, then cover and allow to rise for at least 1 hour in a warm place (I usually place my bowl underneath the kitchen cabinet lights).
  3. Separate dough into 4 pieces and shape into dumplings.
  4. In a high-rimmed skillet with a lid, mix together the “skillet” ingredients (please make sure to read the “recipe alteration notice” above), bring to a boil, then reduce to just below medium heat and place the dumplings in it. Make sure to top with a lid and do NOT lift the lid during the next 30 minutes, or else the dumplings will deflate!
  5. For the vanilla sauce, mix 2 Tbsp of milk with cornstarch, and another 2 Tbsp of milk with 1 egg yolk. Bring the remaining milk, sugar and vanilla bean to a boil.
  6. Add the cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil again. Whisk in the yolk and serve over dumplings.
  7. Sprinkle with poppy seed sugar mixture if desired (my favorite way to eat these!).
  8. Pretend like you’re at a German Christmas Market and have a guten Appetit!

Sophie’s Dampfnudel Tools & Entertaining Picks

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Some Other German Recipes To Try:

  • Bratapfel – German Baked Apples perfect to get you through winter!
  • Riesling Soup – a delicate, savory soup using dry Riesling
  • Döner Kebab – my favorite German-Turkish fast food!

Sponsored Content and Affiliate Links Disclosure

I received compensation from Niche Import Co. in exchange for writing this post. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions, thoughts and recipes are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may be compensated if you click certain links.