Dutch Recipe: Oliebollen

Oliebollen are a typical Dutch treat eaten around Christmas and New Year’s. They are a delicious, deep-fried dough ball, served warm, with a sprinkling of powdered sugar. They are traditionally either made with a plain dough, or a dough with raisins or sultanas mixed through.

Oliebollen were part of our top 5 Dutch New Year’s traditions that we shared last week, and while you can buy them at supermarkets, bakery, food trucks etc., they are really easy to make at home too.


250 ml Milk (halfvolle melk)
7 g Dried yeast (gedroogde gist)
1 tbsp Sugar (suiker)
300 g Plain Flour (tarwebloem)
1 Egg (ei), lightly beaten
Pinch of salt (zout)
2 liters Sunflower Oil (zonnebloemolie), for frying


Heat the milk in a saucepan until lukewarm.

Pour 100 ml of lukewarm milk into a bowl with the yeast and sugar. Allow to stand for 5 minutes until it starts to foam.

Put the flour in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the middle. Pour the yeast mixture, the remaining milk, the egg and a pinch of salt into the well. Beat with a whisk until smooth.

Cover the mixing bowl with a tea towel and let the batter rise for 1 hour in a warm, dry place, until the batter has doubled in volume.

Heat the oil in a large pan or deep fryer to 180 °C; you can use a kitchen thermometer to check.

Dip 2 tablespoons briefly into the hot oil, and use them to scoop a round heaped spoon of batter and let the batter gently drop off the spoon into the oil. If using a medium-sized pan, you can cook up to 4 oliebollen at the same time.

When the first side has risen and is golden brown, use a fork to turn.

When both sides are golden brown, use a slotted spoon to remove them from the pan and place on kitchen paper to drain.

They are best served freshly made, but you can make them in advance and reheat them in the microwave or oven. And don’t forget the powdered sugar to sprinkle over them!

Credit & Attributions

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Posted under: Dutchness, Food for Thought

Media Attributions
Dutch Oliebollen, copyright Stephanie Fermor