Oliebollen are what the Dutch treat themselves to for New Year’s Eve. They are the original Doughnuts, only we only eat them for NYE (and the occasional carnival fair). Every year on the 30th and 31st of December many kitchens in The Netherlands are filled with the smell of fried dough, as everybody knows that nothing beats homemade. The traditional kind of Oliebol is either plain, or filled with raisins and apples (depending on where you live, candied cherries can be included as well).


  • 500ml milk
  • 30gr sugar
  • 5gr salt
  • 1 egg
  • 50gr soft butter
  • 15gr dried yeast or 40-45gr fresh
  • 500gr strong white bread flour
  • sunflower oil (2 liter works best but depends on your pan, 5-6cm deep does the trick)

Makes approximately 20-25


Combine the milk, sugar, salt, egg and the soft butter.
Stir the dried yeast into the flour, then add the liquids one ladle full at a time.
Mix (preferably in a free standing mixer) for 10 minutes. Cover the bowl and leave to rest for an hour.

Meanwhile, heat the sunflower oil to 180-190°C.

Scoop the dough in portions into the oil. I use an ice-cream scoop to portion the dough, and bake approximately 8 at a time. Do not overcrowd the pan as it may cause the oliebollen to stick together, but it will also drop the temperature of the oil a lot, which results in the oliebollen taking longer to crisp up, which will cause them to absorb more oil and becoming quite literally oil-balls (the literal translation of oliebollen). Flip them over once the bottom is nicely browned.
Regular sized oliebollen (5cm ice-cream scoop) should take approximately 6 minutes (3 on each side) and small oliebollen (4cm ice scoop) take about 3-4 minutes.
Take them out of the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. If not eating immediately, space them out while cooling to avoid them getting squashed and becoming watery from the condensation as hot oliebollen are tossed on top each time.

Serve warm or cold. The Dutch method of serving is with powdered sugar, but they go great with whipped cream (with or without cinnamon), ice cream or jam as well.