German plum dumplings (Zwetschgenknödel)

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A classic German plum dumpling autumn recipe made with yeasted dough. The dumplings are stuffed with Italian plums and cinnamon sugar and coated with buttered breadcrumbs. Tastes great with plum compote and blob of sour cream – yogurt mixture. The dumplings are great for lunch, dinner, afternoon tea or dessert.

Each and every year around this time of the year, when the garden is overflowing with Italian plums (European plums) known as Zwetschgen, my mum in law, Beate makes plum dumplings. This year I’ve decided to help her make them. Plum dumplings meal is always a very special meal for my family in law, after all it’s only made once a year.

This time we were five grown ups and one kid at the lunch table. First we had a tomato soup followed by eleven XXL plum dumplings, that ate all of them up with enthusiasm. After lunch we all sat on the sofa and massaged our full bellies. This easy to put together and highly addictive plum dumpling recipe has been passed on to Beate from her sister in law.

What are plum dumplings

The plum dumplings are sweet yeasted dough dumplings, stuffed with plums and cinnamon sugar and topped with buttered breadcrumbs after boiling. Some recipes call for cooked potatoes or quark. This recipe is made with Italian plums, but if you don’t have access to them, you could also use apricots.
The dough is relatively soft and sticky in comparison to apple doughnut or plum cake. But don’t get temped to add extra flour. It’s just very important that you constantly dust your hands and the working surface.

Ingredients for German plum dumplings

For the dumplings

  • 500 g (17,6 oz/ 4 cups) all purpose flour, plus extra 30 g (1 oz/ ¼ cup) for dusting
  • 2,5 teaspoons dry yeast (7 g/ ¼ oz)
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 40 g (1,4 oz) butter
  • 250 ml (8.5 fl oz/ 1 cup) milk
  • a pinch of salt

For the filling

  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 12 fresh plums (one plum per dumpling)

For the topping

  • 10 tablespoons margarine/ butter
  • 200 g (7,1 oz/ 1 1/3 cups) bread crumbs, dry

For the creamy sauce (OPTIONAL)

  • 200 g (7,1 oz/ 3/4 cup + 2 tbs) sour cream
  • 5 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 2 packets vanilla sugar or (4 teaspoons sugar + ½ teaspoon vanilla essence)
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream

How to make German plum dumplings from scratch

Make the dough

Put the butter in a jar with milk and melt in the microwave. You could also melt the butter on a stove.


In the meantime combine flour, sugar, yeast, salt and eggs in a bowl. Start mixing, while adding the lukewarm milk – butter mixture slowly. Knead the dough very well until you see bubbles in the dough.

Cover with a kitchen towel and let the dough rise for 1 hour or until it has doubled its size in a warm place.


In the meantime make the creamy sauce, cinnamon sugar and buttered bread crumbs.

Creamy sauce: In a bowl combine sour cream, vanilla sugar, heavy cream and plain yogurt and mix very well. Set aside.

Make buttered breadcrumbs

Melt half of margarine in a pan or skillet over medium low heat. Once margarine hast melted, stir in half of the breadcrumbs. Continue stirring until crumbs are golden brown. Remove from the heat and transfer to an empty plate. Do the same to the remaining margarine and breadcrumbs.

Make cinnamon sugar and cut the plums

In a bowl/ plate combine sugar with cinnamon and mix well. The quantity of the plums that you’ll be needing depend on the number of dumplings that you will be making. Wash the plums very well and let them dry. Take 12 plums and cut them just on one side lengthwise as shown on the photo below. The stones remain inside.

Make the dumplings

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured silicone pastry mat or cutting board. Dust your hands very well. Slightly flour the dough and rub it.

Using a dusted dough scraper or a dusted knife divide the dough in the middle and take a bit of the dough. (You could also divide the dough into 12 equal dough parts at once). Feel free to use the kitchen scale to weigh them. One dumpling weighs around 100 g (3.5 oz). You can also make more, but smaller dumplings.


It’s very important that the working surface and your hands are always dusted with the flour. Because the dough is sticky.
Take one dough part at a time, dust it with flour and flatten it with your hands. Take one of the plums that you previously prepared and put it in the center. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon cinnamon sugar. Fold the dumpling such that the plum is covered and then roll into a ball shape.

Put the balls on a lightly floured cutting board. Don’t forget to leave enough space between the rolls for them to expand. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for another 20 minutes.


During this time you can boil the water and divide the buttered breadcrumbs among plates. Because if you only use one plate to coat in all the dumplings the breadcrumbs will loose their crispiness since the dumplings contain excess water on the outside after cooking.

Boil the plum dumplings

In the meanwhile put water in a large pot and bring to a boil. After 20 minutes, dust your hands and pick up one dumpling at a time. Lightly shape it into a ball once again, if it has lost its shape.

Put the dumpling in the pot with boiling water. Put three more dumplings in the pot. (You can make up to 4 dumplings at one time). Cover and let cook for 5 minutes. Turn the dumplings, cover and let cook for another 5 minutes.


Using a spotted spoon or something similar remove the dumplings from the pot. Put each dumpling on a separate plate and coat with buttered breadcrumbs.


Repeat the process until you have cooked all the dumplings. Serve with creamy sauce that you’ve made previously and plum compote.

More Recipes You’ll Like

German plum dumplings (Zwetschgenknödel)

A classic German plum dumpling autumn recipe made with yeasted dough. The dumplings are stuffed with Italian plums and cinnamon sugar and coated with buttered breadcrumbs. Tastes great with plum compote and blob of sour cream – yogurt mixture.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Rise Time1 hr
Total Time2 hrs 10 mins
Course: afternoon tea, Dessert, Main Course
Cuisine: Austrian, German
Keyword: dumplings, Fall recipes, how to, Marillenknödel, Pflaumenknödel, yeast dough, Zwetschgenknödel
Servings: 12 XXL dumplings
Author: Ester from esterkocht.com

Equipment

  • Large pot
  • Jar
  • 2 bowls
  • Knife
  • Slotted spoon
  • spoon
  • Kitchen machine or hand mixer with dough hooks
  • Dough scraper (OPTIONAL)
  • Kitchen towel
  • Plates
  • Silicon pastry mat or cutting board

Ingredients

For the dumplings

  • 500 g (17,6 oz/ 4 cups) all purpose flour plus extra 30 g (1 oz/ ¼ cup) for dusting
  • 2,5 teaspoons dry yeast (7 g/ ¼ oz)
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 40 g (1,4 oz) butter
  • 250 ml (8.5 fl oz/ 1 cup) milk
  • a pinch of salt

For the filling

  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 12 fresh plums ot apricots

For the topping

  • 10 tablespoons margarine or butter
  • 200 g (7,1 oz/ 1 1/3 cups) breadcrumbs

For the creamy sauce, to serve with

  • 200 g (7,1 oz/ 3/4 cup + 2 tbs) sour cream
  • 5 tablespoons  plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 2 packets vanilla sugar or (4 teaspoons sugar + ½ teaspoon vanilla essence)

Instructions

Make the dough

  • Put the butter in a jar with milk and melt in the microwave. You could also melt the butter on a stove. In the meantime combine flour, sugar, yeast, salt and eggs in a bowl. Start mixing, while adding the lukewarm milk - butter mixture slowly. Knead the dough very well until you see bubbles in the dough. Cover with a kitchen towel and let the dough rise for 1 hour or until it has doubled its size in a warm place.
    Meanwhile make the creamy sauce, cinnamon sugar and buttered bread crumbs.
  • In a bowl combine sour cream, vanilla sugar, heavy cream and plain yogurt and mix very well. Set aside. Melt half of margarine in a pan or skillet over medium low heat. Once margarine hast melted, stir in half of the breadcrumbs. Continue stirring until crumbs are golden brown. Remove from the heat and transfer to an empty plate. Do the same to the remaining margarine and bread crumbs.

Make cinnamon sugar and cut the plums

  • In a bowl/ plate combine sugar with cinnamon and mix well. The quantity of the plums that you'll be needing depend on the number of dumplings that you will be making. Wash the plums very well and let them dry. Take 12 plums and cut them just on one side lengthwise as shown on the photo below. The stones remain inside.

Make the dumplings

  • Transfer the dough to a lightly floured silicone pastry mat or cutting board. Slightly flour the dough and rub it. Dust your hands very well. Using a dusted dough scraper or a dusted knife divide the dough in the middle and take a bit of the dough. (SEE NOTE 1 & 2)
  • Take one dough part at a time, dust it with flour and flatten it with your hands. Take one of the plums that you previously prepared and put it in the center. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon cinnamon sugar. Fold the dumpling such that the plum is covered and then roll into a ball shape.
  • Put the balls on a lightly floured cutting board. Don't forget to leave enough space between the rolls for them to expand. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for another 20 minutes. During this time you can boil the water and divide the buttered breadcrumbs among plates. Because if you only use one plate to coat in all the dumplings the breadcrumbs will loose their crispiness since the dumplings contain excess water on the outside after cooking.

Boil the plum dumplings

  • Meantime put water in a large pot and bring to a boil. After 20 minutes, dust your hands and pick up one dumpling at a time. Lightly shape it into a ball once again, if it has lost its shape. Put the dumpling in the pot with boiling water. Put three more dumplings in the pot. (You can make up to 4 dumplings at one time). Cover and let cook for 5 minutes. Turn the dumplings, cover and let cook for another 5 minutes.
    Using a spotted spoon or something similar remove the dumplings from the pot. Put each dumpling on a separate plate and coat with buttered breadcrumbs. Repeat the process until you have cooked all the dumplings. Serve with the creamy sauce that you've made previously and plum compote.

Notes

  1. You could also divide the dough into 12 equal dough parts at once. Feel free to use the kitchen scale to weigh them. One dumpling weighs around 100 g (3.5 oz). You can also make more, but smaller dumplings.
  2. It's very important that the working surface and your hands are always dusted with the flour. Because the dough is sticky.

Did you make this recipe? I’d love to see!. Snap a pic and share it on Ester kocht Facebook Page or @ester.kocht on Instagram. Or simply write a comment.

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One Comment

  1. mmmh, die sehen super lecker aus. Ich glaube besonders mein Sohn würde da voll reinhauen wollen 🙂

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