Austrian Germknödel Recipe


Last updated on April 13th, 2017 at 12:37 pm

Germknödel are large, steamed yeast dumplings filled with Powidl (a type of plum jam made only of plums – no sugar – which cooks for many to reduce down to a dark purple puree). A delicious sweet dish and all-time favourite served in Austrian ski huts, Germknödel are the perfect treat for a cold winter’s day!

Germknoedel filled with Powidl, served with poppy seeds and vanilla sauce
Germknödel filled with Powidl, served with ground poppy seeds, icing sugar and vanilla sauce

Germknödel are often served with clear butter poured on top, but I much prefer warm homemade vanilla sauce. Finish with a sprinkling of ground poppy seeds and icing sugar. I’ve asked my grandmother for her Germknödel recipe recently so now I’m finally able to enjoy them whenever I want!

My family’s traditional Austrian Germknödel recipe

Ingredients (makes 10 Germknödel)

For the steamed yeast dumplings

  • 500g strong white flour
  • 7g instant, dried yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 65 g sugar
  • 70 g butter, melted
  • 250g whole milk, warmed
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 lemon, zest
  • Vanilla seeds from 1/2 vanilla pod or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the filling


To serve

  • 150 g poppy seeds, ideally ground
  • Icing sugar
  • Homemade vanilla sauce

How to make Germknödel

  1. Combine all dumpling ingredients and knead for about 10 minutes. You should have a soft, smooth, workable dough – not too sticky and not too dry.
  2. Place the dough in a plastic bowl, cover and leave to rise somewhere warm for an hour or two until it has doubled in size. How quickly the rise happens depends on the temperature in the room, so be patient in case it takes a little longer.
  3. In a small bowl, mix Powidl and rum.
  4. Lightly flour a clean work surface and turn out the dough.
  5. Punch down the dough, form the dough into a sausage shape and divide into 10 pieces with your dough scraper.
  6. Flatten each piece with your hand.
  7. Place a teaspoon of Powidl mixture into the centre of the flat round dough piece.
  8. Bring up the sides of the dough around the plum jam and seal well by pinching the edges.
  9. Place each dumpling onto the floured work surface or baking sheet, cover with a dish towel and leave to prove for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. The Germknödel should have visibly risen before you continue.
  10. Prepare the vanilla sauce while you wait.
  11. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and use a steamer (I use a bamboo steamer) lined with baking paper to steam the dumplings for 15 minutes. I can fit four dumplings into my steamer at a time. Make sure you cover the steamer with a lid.
    If you don’t have a steamer, you can use a cotton dish towel which you put over the pan. Secure it with twine and make sure the cloth isn’t exposed to the heat source. Place the dumplings onto the cloth and cover with a second pot.
  12. Serve and enjoy straight away. Pour over hot vanilla sauce and sprinkle with a mix of ground poppy seeds and icing sugar.
Germknödel before proving
Germknödel before proving
Germknödel after steaming
Germknödel after steaming – beautifully plump and tender dough buns
Germknödel with vanilla sauce
Germknödel with vanilla sauce
  • Christa Kadarusman

    Oh my goodness thank you so much for posting this recipe! I had one exactly like it at an Austrian restaurant on zugspitze !! It was the best ever! I’m so happy now I can make it!

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  • Luca Tudor

    How long does the whole process take ? 2 hours ?! How many germknodels do you get out of this recipe ? 10?
    Thing is I want to make these casually on a daily basis ,but I don’t want to make more than 1 or 2 at a time because I know these are best served while still warm. Got any suggestions ?

    • paemsn

      Hi Luca, thanks for getting in touch. The whole process will take between 2.5 and 4 hours based on the proving process which depends on the temperature in your room. I have a cold kitchen so it takes longer for me. The recipe makes 10 Germknödel. For smaller batches, you could freeze part of the dough after its first rise – see instructions here Hope this is useful! Pam