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Dutch Festive Oliebollen and Appelflappen

festive oliebollen
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Hello New Year! The major part of the Dutch food, excluding the wonderful cuisines of minorities living in the Netherlands, is fast food. All the forms of this little greatness, from fish and egg to meat specials. They serve them cold or warm, savoury or sweet. Throughout the whole country, you find cute little bars and food corners with these good quality snacks. Today I present you a truly Dutch specialty – Festive Oliebollen and Appelflappen.

Oliebollen mean oil balls, as per their forms, which usually resemble a ball. They are made from an easy loose dough, similar to Donuts in English, Krapfen in German or My Hungarian Fried Breads. The original recipe consists of yeast, milk, flour, eggs, salt and sugar. Oliebollen are traditionally filled with raisins and generously soaked in a thick layer of icing sugar. Yummy!

festive oliebollen

Appelflappen are a sort of Oliebollen but without the raisins and filled with apples. The Dutch word means an apple flap as it is basically made of 2 flaps, in which you hide a slice of apple.

These wonderful treats are being sold during the last days of the old year, preceding the celebrations of the new one.

Festive Oliebollen and Appelflappen are suitable for kids from the age of 3. I must admit that my little one really loves them, especially the ones with apples. Do not offer too many as they are a little heavy, of course.

Total Time: 30 minutes + 30 minutes sit of the dough

Shopping List

20 g of fresh yeast
1,5 cup milk
400 g of all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
A pinch of salt
A splash of rum
50g of raw sugar
2 whole eggs
50g raisins + dried cranberries, rinsed in a warm water
1 liter of sunflower oil for frying
Icing sugar to sprinkle with
*1 big apple (peeled, cored and chopped in small cubes)*In case you decide to try Appelflappen


First, activate the yeast. In a coffee mug pour the milk and add 1 teaspoon of raw sugar. Sprinkle with yeast and mix. Let it work for about 15 minutes in a warm place.

Meanwhile, in a large wide mixing bowl place flour, cinnamon, salt, rum, sugar and eggs.

Stir in the yeast with milk and start kneading a smooth dough. Beat the air out and knead with a solid spatula from the bottom. The Dough shouldn’t be too thick, nor too liquid, just like a pancake batter. If needed add more milk from the mug. I used 1.5 cup of lukewarm milk in total. My tip is to use a mixer to whisk a really smooth dough.

festive oliebollen

In the finale, decide if you would like make Oliebollen or Appelflappen too. I transferred ⅓ of the dough into a small bowl and sprinkled with flour. For Festive Oliebollen, I added rinsed raisins and cranberries.

festive oliebollen

festive oliebollen

festive oliebollen

The last stir and sprinkle with some flour as well. Cover both with clean cloths and let it sit for at least 30 minutes in a warm place.


The last step in deep-frying. My advice is an ice cream spoon and lots of oil. The more oil you have, the better the Oliebollen keep the form of the balls. Simply scoop the dough with an ice cream spoon and deep-fry for about 3-4 minutes on medium heat until it looks nicely golden and baked through. If you have really hot oil, it will go much faster, but the dough can be raw in the middle. Therefore, keep the heat lower constantly and pay attention.

For the Appelflappen, gently soak slices of the apple into the dough, so they are nicely covered from all the sides. You can use 2 forks to do that. Then, deep-fry them for about 1-2 minutes. It goes fast because they have less dough within.

festive oliebollen

festive oliebollen

Take them all out onto a paper towel to let the paper absorb the extra oil. Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve. The fresher the better. Eet smakelijk!

Should you be interested more in Carnival Season Recipes, visit my page for the inspiration.

Makes 1 large bowl of Festive Oliebollen and Appelflappen.

festive oliebollen


festive oliebollen


festive oliebollen


festive oliebollen


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