Oma's Dampfnudeln ~ German Steamed Buns

Dampfnudeln, those delicious German steamed dumplings (literal translation: steamed noodles), are the perfect recipe to learn since they can be used as a main course and a dessert course. Yummy with vanilla sauce.

Thankfully, it's a recipe that's not at all hard to master. 

Prep Time

20 minutes

Cook Time

30 minutes

Total Time

50 min + 1.5 hr rising


Makes 8 - 10 dumplings


Yeast Dumplings:

  • 2 tablespoons lukewarm water
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup lukewarm milk
  • Optional for sweet dumplings: 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup soft butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 - 2½ cups all-purpose flour

Poaching Liquid:

  • 1½ cups milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • pinch salt
  • Optional for sweet dumplings: 1 tablespoons granulated sugar,1 teaspoon vanilla, lemon rind


  1. Grease a baking sheet and set it aside.
  2.  To make the dumplings, add the water into a small bowl, add the yeast, and 1 teaspoon sugar. Stir and let sit 10 minutes. (This mixture should become bubbly, indicating that the yeast is "alive & working". If it's not, throw out and use new yeast.)
  3. In a large bowl, cream the butter with the 2 tablespoons sugar (if using) and add the eggs, milk, and salt. Stir in the yeast mixture. Mix in enough flour to make a rough dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead well until a smooth dough forms, adding more flour as necessary. Put the dough into a clean bowl. Cover and let sit in a warm draft-free place until double in size, about 1 hour.
  4. Punch down. Shape the dough into 8 to 10 dumplings (about 1-inch in diameter)
  5. Place the dumplings onto the greased baking sheet. Cover lightly and let rise about half an hour in a warm, draft-free place.
  6. In a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, place all the poaching ingredients. Bring to a simmer. Add the dumplings, making sure they are not overcrowded.
  7. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 20 to 25 minutes until you hear the butter sizzling meaning that all the milk has evaporated. Do not open the lid during this poaching time or the dumplings will stop rising. 
  8. Open the lid, either as soon as you hear them sizzling or at 25 minutes even if you don't hear them sizzling. Check that the tops are firm to the touch. Leave the lid off and continue to simmer to evaporate any remaining liquid and let the bottoms become browned in the butter.
  9. Serve immediately, using two forks to make a hole in the top of the dumpling into which gravy or vanilla/fruit sauce is poured. 


  • The "sweet" dumplings can also be served with a topping of melted butter, poppy seeds, and sugar
  • If you use a glass-lidded saucepan, you can watch to make sure everything is simmering properly

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