Dutch: Oliebolen

Dutch: Oliebolen

Serves 12
Prep time 40 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 1 hour
Allergy Milk, Wheat
Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Serve Cold
Region European
A traditional holiday treat in Holland--particularly served on New Year's Eve.


  • 10g fresh yeast (1 packet is 7 grams, so about 1 1/2 packet)
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 cup milk (lukewarm)
  • 8oz white flour (If you don't have a scale, use about 2 cups flour.)
  • oil (for frying)
  • powdered sugar (for coating finished donut holes)
  • 1 egg (whipped)


  • 4oz raisins or currants


1. Soak the raisins for thirty minutes in hot water.
2. Dissolve the yeast and sugar in a quarter cup of the warm milk.
3. Place the flour in a bowl and form a well in the center. Pour the yeast mixture and the beaten egg into the well, then pour in the rest of the lukewarm milk. Beat into a smooth batter.
4. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let rise for one hour in a warm area.
5. Heat oil to 350 degrees. (If you drop a tiny bit of batter in the oil it will immediately rise too the top if the oil is hot enough.)
6. With two large spoons or an ice cream scoop, form balls of batter and flip them into the hot oil. Do not overcrowd the pot, or the oil will cool too much. After frying 2 or 3 minutes, they should turn over by themselves, but you may need to give them a little help and flip them over.
7. When they are brown all over, they should be done. Lift the oliebolen out of the hot oil with a slotted spoon. Drain the on paper towels and place on a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper (for easy clean up). Either sift powdered sugar over them, or dip them in the powdered sugar.


Jane says: Part of the fun of making oliebolen is watching them turn themselves over by themselves. (My note: making them a fun treat for kids to help with--as long as they know how to be careful with the hot oil).

Jane says: During the Christmas season and especially on New Year's Eve, every Dutch home has a platter of Oliebolen on the table.

My note: These will keep in a tightly covered container for 2 or 3 days. If you need to keep them longer, after they are completely cool, freeze them. You can keep them frozen for about 6 months.

My note: They are also popular in other Germanic countires like Austria.

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Vera Marie Badertscher

About Vera Marie Badertscher

I am a grandma and was named for my grandma. I’ve been an actress, a political strategist and a writer.I grew up in various places, went to high school in Killbuck, Ohio and graduated from Ohio State University. My husband and I moved to Arizona after graduation and have three adult children. I love to travel and read–and have another website for that called A Traveler’s Library. I ponder family as I cook.