Dutch oliebollen recipe (Dutch donuts)

Posted: December 27, 2017 Last modified: May 29, 2024
Dutch oliebollen recipe (Dutch donuts)

With this recipe you can bake your own Dutch oliebollen, enjoy! And of course I share lots of baking tips with you so you can bake the tastiest oliebollen at home.

Dutch oliebollen tradition

Here in the Netherlands we love our oliebollen. You can buy them at the stand, but I like making them myself the most. Oliebollen stands can often be found as early as October and they stay up until sometime in January. They are also often found at fairs throughout the year.

In the Netherlands we eat Oliebollen mainly with New Year’s Eve. It is a traditional delicacy with which we ring in the new year. Every year I use my recipe for oliebollen, which I personally find the most delicious.

Dutch donuts

Oliebollen are fried and somewhat similar to fritters, although they are more readily called ‘Dutch donuts’.

This is the basic recipe for oliebollen, but you can also make delicious new flavors with them. I have already made them with apple and cinnamon, and Oreo oliebollen are also delicious. I will of course share these recipes with you.

Which oil is best for making oliebollen?

I always use a frying pan (or my Dutch oven) with sunflower oil. I’ve been doing that for years and it really works perfectly. Of course, if you have an electric frying pan, you can also fill it with sunflower oil.

What you absolutely don’t want to do: fry oil balls in frying fat. This fat solidifies after cooling and leaves a white layer on your oliebol. Doesn’t look appetizing and is also really not as tasty.

Traditional Dutch doughnuts (oliebollen) 2a

Oliebollen ingredients

You don’t need a lot or any weird ingredients to bake oliebollen at home. I list them for you and share right away some tips for ingredients where needed.

  • Milk. Heat the milk in the microwave or in a saucepan until lukewarm, or body temperature if you find that easier to determine the right temperature. If the milk is too hot, it can kill the yeast, preventing your batter from rising. Not heating is not a solution either, because even then your oliebollen batter will not rise.
  • Dry instant yeast. Dissolve the yeast in you luke warm milk and set aside for a few minutes. You’ll see that the mixture increases in volume.
  • White caster sugar. For a little sweetening, but also to make your yeast work well.
  • Flour. You can use all purpose flour or wheat flour for baking oliebollen.
  • Salt. A pinch of salt always makes a difference and enhances other flavors.
  • Egg. The last ingredient for your oliebollen, a baker once told me that eggs reduce fat absorption in oliebollen.
Traditional Dutch doughnuts (oliebollen) 3a

What to do with leftover oliebollen?

I always have breakfast on January 1 with the leftover oliebollen, which is a tradition in our family. Just heat them up, sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy.

However, you can also bake French toast from oliebollen. Cut them into pieces/slices and follow the recipe for French toast.

Another option: use oil balls for a bread pudding. Although then, of course, you make an oliebollen pudding. Slightly misleading that name, because it’s actually a kind of French toast, but in a large dish and baked in the oven instead of the pan.

Dutch oliebollen recipe - how to store

How long can you store oliebollen?

Home-baked oliebollen are best eaten within 1-2 days. You store them outside the refrigerator, do wrap them or cover the bowl with aluminum foil.

Reheating oliebollen

Oliebollen are easy to heat up in the oven or in the microwave. I always use the microwave for this myself. For 3-5 oliebollen I find 20-30 seconds in the microwave enough. Be sure to test this, as the time may vary from microwave to microwave, but also depends on the size of your oliebollen and how many you want to reheat.

Freezing oliebollen

You can freeze oliebollen very well, here you can keep them for 3 months.


Delicious Dutch oliebollen

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4.20 from 30 votes

Dutch oliebollen recipe

You can make the best oliebollen for New Year's Eve yourself. With this simple recipe and all my baking tips, you can bake the best oliebollen at home.
Servings: 20 -25 servings


  • 500 ml milk
  • 7 grams of dry instant yeast
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 500 grams of all purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • sunflower oil (to bake the oliebollen)



  • Heat milk until lukewarm and remove from heat, add yeast and sugar and stir briefly. Let this sit for 5-10 minutes, you will see the yeast bubbling.
  • In a bowl combine flour and salt, stir briefly. Add the egg and mix through the flour, while mixing pour in the milk mixture. Keep mixing until a smooth batter forms.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for an hour until it has doubled in volume.
  • 15-20 minutes before the batter is ready, put your pan with oil on the stove and heat until it reaches 180°C/350℉.
  • You can make oliebollen with two separate spoons that you use to form a ball, or with an ice cream scoop with trigger release/cookie scoop. The latter is easiest and we used it. Just dip the scoop in the oil and scoop 4-5 oliebollen into your pan.
  • Bake the oliebollen for 4-6 minutes until golden brown, turning them halfway through if they do not turn on their own.
  • Just dip your spoon back into the pan of oil before each round of oliebollen, this way you make sure they don't stick to the spoon and give your oliebollen a very strange shape. No need to clean your spoon after each round.
  • When your oliebollen are ready put them in a strainer that you line with kitchen paper, then move them to a plate that also has kitchen paper on it. The paper absorbs excess fat, which is a good thing. Change the kitchen paper in the strainer regularly.
  • Serve with powdered sugar and enjoy!


  • How much sunflower oil is needed, depends on the size of your pan. We used a pan that held 2 liters of oil. Do not fill the pan to the brim.
  • Want raisins in your oliebollen (this is a very popular addition)? Then use about 200 grams of raisins. Soak them in warm water for an hour and pat dry before adding them to the batter after rising.
How to store

The oliebollen are best if you eat them within 1-2 days. You can also freeze them and they will keep for up to 3 months. Simply reheat the oliebollen in the oven or microwave.

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