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Traditional Oliebollen (Dutch Doughnuts) Recipe

Traditional Oliebollen (Dutch Doughnuts) Recipe

Oliebollen is a Dutch deep-fried pastry snack made from flour, milk, salt and sugar. Yeast is used to leaven the dough. The dough is shaped into smaller pieces then deep fried and dusted with sugar and served warm.

This fried pastry is similar to a doughnut. Variations for the recipe include raisins, currants, cinnamon or apple pieces. It is most commonly eaten with a powdered sugar since the dough itself is not very sweet but oliebollen are sometimes sprinkled with sweet toppings or filled with jam, whipped or pastry cream.

Also sometimes known as oliebol, it is a popular snack food which can be found at markets or fairs and is mostly eaten during the festive winter season. It is a tradition for many Dutch families to prepare oliebollen on the last day of the year and eat the pastry to celebrate the arrival of the new year.

Origin & Cultural Significance

In the Dutch language, olie means oil and bol means spheres, so the name oliebollen translates to oil balls. There are many stories about the origin of oliebollen. Some believe that it was introduced by Pagan Germanic tribes who ate them during Yule – the celebration of the winter solstice. Another story tells that it was brought to the Netherlands by Jews who were fleeing from Portugal.

Whatever the true story, oliebollen is believed to be thousands of years old. A painting dating back to 1652 by Dutch painter Aelbert Cuyp, depicts a young woman holding a pot filled with spheres that appear to be oliebollen. Today’s doughnuts originate from oliebollen which were brought to America by Dutch settlers.


Dutch Oliebollen Recipe

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Oliebollen is a Dutch deep-fried pastry snack made from flour, milk, salt and sugar. Yeast is used to leaven the dough.


  • White Flour – 400g
  • Salt – 2 tsp
  • Fresh yeast – 20g
  • Whole milk, luke warm – 300 ml
  • Sugar – 1 tbsp
  • Whole eggs - 2
  • Raisins, soaked, washed and dried – 200g
  • Oil for deep frying
  • Powdered sugar for dusting


  1. Stir the yeast into the lukewarm milk and let it sit for a few minutes to get frothy
  2. In a bowl mix the flour, salt and sugar.
  3. Add the eggs and the yeast-milk mixture to the flour and mix with a wooden spoon.
  4. Keep mixing for about 10 minutes to until a soft dough forms.
  5. Mix in the raisins
  6. Cover the bowl and leave to rise for about 1 hour.
  7. Heat the oil in a deep pan or fryer.
  8. Use an ice cream scoop to create even balls. Scoop the dough pieces into the hot oil.
  9. Fry the balls until golden brown.
  10. Remove the oliebollen from the oil with a slotted spoon and place them in a paper towel to drain off the excess oil. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  11. After all the pieces have been fried, transfer to a fresh plate and dust with powdered sugar.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 515Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 828mgCarbohydrates: 103gFiber: 4gSugar: 44gProtein: 13g

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